Rother Valley

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10945 (23.3%)
Labour: 20501 (43.6%)
Lib Dem: 1992 (4.2%)
UKIP: 13204 (28.1%)
Others: 377 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 7297 (15.5%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire, South Yorkshire. Part of the Rotherham council area.

Main population centres: Dinnington, Maltby, Thurcroft, Wales, Wickersley.

Profile: The southernmost seat in South Yorkshire, to the south of Rotherham itself. The seat is situated in the South Yorkshire coalfield and is mostly made up of small former pit town and villages that grew up with the expansion of coal mining, and which have fallen into decline with its passing. Maltby has the only remaining coal mine in the area, the Maltby Main Colliery.

Politics: Like most coal mining communities this is a solid, safe Labour seat. While the majority has fallen below ten thousand in bad years for Labour, it has been held by the party continuously since its creation in 1918.


Current MP
KEVIN BARRON (Labour) Born 1946, Tadcaster. Educated at Maltby Hall Secondary Modern and Sheffield University. Former electrician at Maltby colliery. First elected as MP for Rother Valley in 1983. PPS to Neil Kinnock 1985-1987.
Past Results
2010
Con: 13281 (28%)
Lab: 19147 (41%)
LDem: 8111 (17%)
BNP: 3606 (8%)
Oth: 2613 (6%)
MAJ: 5866 (13%)
2005*
Con: 7647 (19%)
Lab: 21871 (55%)
LDem: 6272 (16%)
BNP: 2020 (5%)
Oth: 1685 (4%)
MAJ: 14224 (36%)
2001
Con: 7969 (22%)
Lab: 22851 (62%)
LDem: 4603 (13%)
UKIP: 1380 (4%)
MAJ: 14882 (40%)
1997
Con: 7699 (17%)
Lab: 31184 (68%)
LDem: 5342 (12%)
MAJ: 23485 (51%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
GARETH STREETER (Conservative) , son of Gary Streeter MP. Educated at London School of Theology. Charity communications director.
KEVIN BARRON (Labour) See above.
ROBERT TEAL (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Sheffield Polytechnic. Businessman. Contested South Yorkshire police election 2012.
ALLEN COWLES (UKIP) Rotherham councillor since 2014.
SHARON PILLING (English Democrat)
Links
Comments - 171 Responses on “Rother Valley”
  1. I find Tim Montgomerie odious and smug in the extreme.

  2. I thought Tim Montgomerie was alright a few years ago, while he was the editor of ConservativeHome. Since moving to The Times, he seems to have grown quite smug.

  3. I see what you both mean. It’s what commonly happens when a plucky outsider ends up part of the establishment they started out criticising. In fact this has happened to most of the other leading political blog pioneers too – certainly Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale, also Mike Smithson to a certain extent. A decade ago it seemed that the blog pioneers would eventually defeat the print media….I didn’t forsee that the print media would subsume the bloggers and both neuter and smugify them.

  4. HH – really?! I knew Nadine had all that trouble with her ex, but never heard that she was ever with Tim M. Although a colleague mentioned Esther McVey briefly went out with Philip Davies which struck me as quite a mismatch! Incidentally, I wouldn’t say Tim is smug and he retains right wing views, but does seem to enjoy the metropolitan life, a bit like Portillo and Andrew Neil.

  5. Was the comment on the top of the page written by Tim Montgomerie himself?

  6. Haha – no, I’m a paid-up Labour supporter who just happens to share his initials…

    @Lancs Observer, he lives in Salisbury according to Wikipedia. Glad that I’m not alone in my perception of him.

  7. TM – indeed he does. His tweets/posts often mention him having a coffee while working on his laptop waiting for his train.

  8. Guardian article today “calling time” on Labour’s grip on Rother Valley:

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/the-northerner/2015/feb/10/rotherham-and-the-very-real-ukip-threat

  9. That doesn’t call time. It merely states that Barron will have a fight on his hands.

  10. Labour would be under threat if Barron retired & were replaced by a metropolitan SPAD.

    As a former miner he has enough credentials to fight off UKIP I think.

  11. I think the Ashcroft poll showed that much of the opposition vote could coalesce around UKIP, hence falls in Conservative and Lib Dem VI in the constituency only question. Labour remained static suggesting that they’ll retain their support, but it’s still a chilling prospect to be only 6 points ahead in a seat where the majority fell significantly last time.

    Sarah Champion should be comfortable in Rotherham. John Healey in Wentworth & Dearne will probably be carried by the Barnsley wards (though he had a large majority last time).

  12. This should be UKIP’s best result in South Yorkshire, given the relatively strong performance of non-Labour candidates here in 2010. Of the three constituencies around Rotherham, this had the strongest UKIP results in the 2014 local elections, with only Wales staying solidly Labour. UKIP are likely to take much of the Conservative and BNP votes, plus parts of the Lib Dem and Labour votes, but that will probably still leave Barron with enough to hold on.

    My prediction is a narrow Labour win, with UKIP a close second, and the Tories and Lib Dems both falling well back.

  13. Labour Hold. 8,000 majority. UKIP 2nd.

  14. This MP has resigned as Chairman of the Standards Committee, after apologising for hosting dinners and breakfasts on the Parliamentary estate and receiving fees from a drugs firm.

    He has however donated the fees to charity.

  15. One factor with the coal-mining seats that rarely gets mentioned is that, as the mines close, so people move out of the area to places where there is actual work. This means that, over time, you would expect the seat boundaries to expand a little to maintain a fair share of the electorate.

    Obviously, this wouldn’t have too much of an effect for a seat in South Yorkshire surrounded by other Labour strongholds. But it may be significant in other areas where the seats might expand into Tory countryside.

  16. Will have to see what the boundaries are, but I think you’re being vastly optimistic for the Conservative vote – the party no longer has a single councillor in Rotherham borough. Far from making advances, they’re falling back. Any boundary change will bring in areas less promising for the Tories, so I cannot see anything like this happening.

  17. I agree on this; to be honest, I was surprised UKIP didn’t get closer last time, there is plenty of Tory vote to squeeze. But it’s still a tall order, it’s very unclear whether UKIP will be in any position to make advances come 2020.

  18. A couple of years ago on here I started a discussion about the re-development of the vast Orgreave coking site. I can’t remember whether it falls mostly within the boundaries of Rother Valley or Rotherham. But that and others like it in the area will be a big boost to the Tories in these seats longer term. Once the sites of former mines and steelworks have been properly cleared up these kind of areas close to motorways can offer a very attractive semi-countryside environment for commuters etc.

  19. Assuming all of the UKIP vote to be right-wing is a fairly obvious error.

  20. True, but it’s a fair assumption at the moment that Labour will get virtually none of it back under the present leadership

  21. The government has made the rather controversial decision not to hold an inquiry into police activity at Orgreave despite May’s previous sympathetic statements, in my personal opinion for pretty feeble reasons, Rudd claims there is no evidence of excessive use of police force (despite the consensus amongst historians of the event and earlier criminal proceedings stating there unequivocally was thus forcing SYP to pay compensation) and that there is no evidence and little reason to believe SYP engaged in a cover up (Erm have we forgotten about Hillsborough already?)

    This is one of those situations where I believe if one has nothing to hide they have nothing to fear and the refusal to hold an inquiry points to a definite cover up and probably orders going straight to the top of Thatcher’s government ordering police to make an example of the striking miners. This is a serious miscalculation on the Tories part, Andy Burnham has rightly said the truth will come out eventually and when it does this decision will be viewed as clear evidence that the Tories were complicit in a cover up.

  22. zzzz…Thatcher…froth…froth…zzzzzz

    No-one cares about this except sad left-wingers.

  23. With respect Runnymede nobody cares about you period.

  24. Christ almighty this is not the place for silly posts like these

  25. Matt
    I agree alas everything Runneymede posts is of that quality hence I’m not even humouring him with a serious response.

  26. I wonder what Labour will come up with next – a fresh look at the Peterloo massacre or Tonypandy perhaps? I can remember them still wittering on about the latter in the late 70s and early 80s.

  27. “I imagine Orgreave in 2016 is a very different place to Orgreave in 1984.”

    Well you could say that, given that it was demolished in the early 90s and totally obliterated by opencasting shortly thereafter.

  28. “I wonder what Labour will come up with next – a fresh look at the Peterloo massacre or Tonypandy perhaps? I can remember them still wittering on about the latter in the late 70s and early 80s.”

    The alleged torture in Northern Ireland under Callaghan/Mason would be an interesting one and at least as valid as Bloody Sunday.

    Outside exceptional circumstances I dislike these historical public enquiries and that includes Hillsborough. It’s brave of the government to finally make a stand on the issue. Had they gone ahead though it might have helped the Tories move on from the lingering Thatcher hatred in these parts.

  29. Maxim
    “Most people don’t care about Orgreave. It’s hardly Leveson or Chilcot, or Hillsborough”

    Its not about who cares its about justice, the police should NEVER be used as a partisan tool of the government (of any colour) that’s textbook dictatorship stuff right there. Brushing it aside saying “let bygones be bygones” given the injuries inflicted ,threats of prison faced by many of the strikers not to mention the media vilification which most reputable outlets like the Beeb admitted they got badly wrong is very foolish, are you comfortable knowing that the government is happy to break the law then cover it up to keep those they deem a threat in their place.

    This shouldn’t even be partisan, Its very easy to dismiss such issues when injustice is perpetrated against those you don’t particularly agree with but I imagine you would have quite a different opinion if a cause you believed in or you yourself were involved in received even half the treatment.

    Also people like Runnymede were saying the same things about Hillsborough just a few years ago, can you honestly say you wouldn’t be saying the exact same things about Hillsborough as well had an inquiry been denied to them too?

  30. Maxim is right though – this is the sort of issue that is quintessential to the Labour Party (and, unusually for such issues, is so across the whole of the party and not just the Corbyn clique), but, if it registers with Nuneaton swing voters at all, will come across as merely a desire to replay old battles, and by extension, a lack of enthusiasm to tackle the issues of the here and now.

    Orgreave is important because justice is important. But voters have jobs, pensions, illnesses etc. It’s not like Labour don’t have plenty of material to work with in those more salient areas.

  31. ‘Outside exceptional circumstances I dislike these historical public enquiries and that includes Hillsborough’

    Hillsborough was an exceptional circumstance

    South Yorkshire police completely f*** the whole thing up, then to cover themselves invented stories about drunken fans, blamed the deaths caused by their incompetence on the ;drunken fans’ and if not for the subsequent enquiry they would have got away with it

    I’m not convinced Orgrave merits a public enquiry but Hillsborough most certainly did

  32. ‘the police should NEVER be used as a partisan tool of the government (of any colour) that’s textbook dictatorship stuff right there’

    But they were exactly that at times under the two Blairs, Tony and ‘Sir’ Ian. Labour weren’t moaning then.

  33. Runneymede
    “But they were exactly that at times under the two Blairs, Tony and ‘Sir’ Ian. Labour weren’t moaning then”

    I’d ask to what you were referring but regardless if that’s what a Lab government did then yes its unacceptable, however I can’t think of anything New Labour (horrible as it was) that came close to Orgreave.

  34. “I meant the mining community in the area not the mine itself.”

    It wasn’t a mine it was a coking plant for the steel industry.

  35. Polltroll
    “if it registers with Nuneaton swing voters at all, will come across as merely a desire to replay old battles, and by extension, a lack of enthusiasm to tackle the issues of the here and now”

    Its not a partisan point though and its not meant to be a vote winner its about justice as I said earlier. Everyone of all political persuasions should be concerned over things like this, that the law can be so blatantly violated by high ups in the establishment who then use the apparatus of power to get off Scott free, not only is that unfair it sets a precedent that present and future figures might follow.

    As I said to Maxim a lot of people would be treating this a whole lot differently had it happened to them and by ignoring the issue as they are they ensure that it very well could which would be ironic.

  36. Frankly I think Labour’s belated interest in this is pretty much entirely political. They want an inquiry because they think it will show the Thatcher govt in a bad light. The case for ‘justice’ is very weak given nobody died or was wrongly convicted and it is hard to see what lessons could be learned from something that happened over 30 years ago when policing was very different and in circumstances that are extremely unlikely to be repeated. The govt have therefore made the right decision. Much better to spend Home Office resources on the many contemporary challenges than politically-fueled inquiries into supposed historic wrongdoing.

  37. ‘I think Labour’s belated interest in this is pretty much entirely political’

    You don’t say.

  38. Interesting to compare Labour wanting the SYP investigated for Orgreave but showing no interest in having the SYP investigated for more recent events.

  39. “It wasn’t a mine it was a coking plant for the steel industry.”

    Orgreave was chosen for strike action not because of its industrial importance but because Scargill thought by creating a mass battle there the industrial workers of Rotherham and Sheffield would pour out the factories and steel mills in a proletarian uprising.

    He would have got a more enthusiastic local response if he’d staged his battle on Hampstead Heath.

  40. Yes. The steelworkers were very upset with the miners. If the pickets had succeeded in shutting the coke works and steel plants down it would have put them out of work. Also steelworkers were very jealous that miners got massively more generous redundancy terms than redundant steel workers. Scunthorpe workers were especially furious with Scargill, in South Wales less so.

  41. Richard what more recent events are you thinking of?

  42. ”the police should NEVER be used as a partisan tool of the government”

    The were not used as a partisan tool they were used to try to end an ILLEGAL strike and ILLEGAL flying pickets. The far left nutters of Scargill and his ilk explicit goal was to overthrow a democratically elected government and last time I checked it was the job of police to thwart the attempts of such extremists…

    And whilst I don’t defend every action of the police they were hardly to blame for the tragedy of the miners strike, that falls squarely on the table of the far left and to which day they refuse to accept their culpability.

  43. You know what could settle these arguments? A government inquiry 😉

  44. “Richard what more recent events are you thinking of?”

    ‘ The Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood said the committee had heard evidence in private from the Home Office researcher that her 2002 report had been greeted with hostility by South Yorkshire police. She said they had heard evidence that the researcher had been contacted by two officers who threatened to pass her name to the groomers in Rotherham and she had been left in fear of her life.

    The Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert suggested to the current South Yorkshire chief constable, David Crompton, that there had been an active conspiracy involving police officers and questioned how the public could now trust South Yorkshire police. ‘

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/09/researcher-rotherham-abuse-feared-for-life-police-visit

  45. No one is claiming the police are responsible for the miners strike.

  46. ‘The Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert suggested to the current South Yorkshire chief constable, David Crompton, that there had been an active conspiracy involving police officers and questioned how the public could now trust South Yorkshire police’

    But can we doubt that sandal-wearing lefties like Huppert, if they were in a position of responsibility in S Yorks, would be part of the cover up? It is a strange world where these people and the sorts of nasty pieces of work you get in the S Yorks police are in cahoots.

  47. Pepps
    That’s a very interesting interpretation of events, you are aware most modern historians don’t exactly agree with you? Also makes you wonder why the Tories and SYP are so against an inquiry while the miners and “far left” are desperate for one.

    Polltroll
    Damn right, alas…

  48. The miners strike was not “illegal” and neither was secondary picketing, according to the law in force in 1984-1985.

  49. Secondary picketing was illegal from 1980 onwards:

    ‘ 1980 Employment Act (Jim Prior)
    •Definition of lawful picketing restricted to own place of work ‘

    And secret ballots were a legal requirement for strike action from 1984:

    ‘ 1984 Trade Union Act
    Secret ballots before industrial action ‘

    http://www.ier.org.uk/resources/chronology-labour-law-1979-2008

    Now the miners strike had actually started before the 1984 Act came into force so I’m not sure of the legalities there. Scargill calling a strike after it had been rejected three times by the miners themselves via a ballot must have been against the NUM’s own rules.

    But as we know Scargill has always had his own interpretation of the NUM’s own rules.

  50. As I recall he tried to circumvent requirements for a ballot by claiming it was a ‘local’ (or series of local) rather than national dispute.

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