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 - 164 Responses on “Rother Valley”
  1. “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.”

    Exactly, though that fell down in Notts where most miners did not vote for the strike.

    “Secondary picketing was illegal from 1980 onwards:
    ‘ 1980 Employment Act (Jim Prior)
    •Definition of lawful picketing restricted to own place of work ‘”

    I’m pretty sure the flying pickets squeezed through loopholes in the law which were not closed until the 1990 industrial relations act. Certainly it was already banned to picket different industries as occurred in the winter of discontent but eg a coking plant such as Orgreave was a grey line between the coal and steel industries.

    If there was no doubt that the strike had been completely illegal it could not have gone on for such a huge length of time.

    I’m not saying it was a good idea – far from it.

  2. Had the strike been legal there would have been prosecutions or at the very least attempted prosecutions but the only criminal proceedings that were brought against the strikers were accusations of “inciting unrest” and “rioting” which all fell through.

    This stems back to the original point, whether you thought the strikes were a good idea or whether you supported the strikers or not is irrelevant the police response was totally disproportionate and most probably politically motivated. That actually is illegal but no charges have been brought against them.

  3. illegal rather

  4. Rivers, there were several court judgements that questioned the legality of the strike:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_miners'_strike_(1984%E2%80%9385)#Court_judgments_on_legality_of_strike

  5. ‘I’m pretty sure the flying pickets squeezed through loopholes in the law which were not closed until the 1990 industrial relations act’

    Hmmm not sure about that. The police actually stopped busloads of miners in 84-85 from travelling to various places to engage in secondary picketing, as I recall.

  6. Kieran
    Quoted from the link you provided
    “The strike in Yorkshire relied on a ballot from January 1981, in which 85.6% of the members voted to strike if any pit was threatened with closure on economic grounds.The motion was passed with regard to the closure of Orgreave Colliery, which prompted a two-week strike.The NUM executive approved the decision in Yorkshire to invoke the ballot result as binding on 8 March 1984. Mr Justice Nicholls ruled that the 1981 ballot result was “too remote in time [with]… too much change in the branch membership of the Area since then for that ballot to be capable of justifying a call to strike action two and a half years later. He ruled that the Yorkshire area could not refer to the strike as “official”, although he did not condemn the strike as “illegal” as he did in the case of the national strike and the North Derbyshire strike”

    I’ll openly admit the strike was called on pretty flimsy grounds but it was not illegal and even had it been that certainly doesn’t justify the actions the police took which as I keep saying was grossly disproportionate. In some hypothetical world were the strike was found in advance to be illegal I’d still be calling for an inquiry cos the actions of the police that day amounted to police brutality and the subsequent actions of the police and government amounted to an abuse of power involving perjury, intimidation and wrongful accusations all for politically motivated reasons all of which it totally unjustifiable and HIGHLY illegal if found to be the case, alas for the moment we wont know cos the gov refuse to hold an inquiry which as I also keep emphasising suggests they have something to hide.

  7. The fiddly details of the legality aren’t really the point.

    The strike was quite clearly (and openly admitted to be) an attempt to bring down an elected government, with free use of violence and intimidation.

    If you start a fight like that, don’t be moaning afterwards that you got a black eye and a fat lip. It’s frankly pathetic.

    The miners’ leaders – and sadly many of the rank and file too – had got the idea in their heads that they could make or break governments and paid a heavy price for that hubris.

  8. Rivers10 – I’ve no idea what you think the word ‘illegal’ means but the reality is certainly not what you think above.

    ‘disproportionate’ – well that’s fine if you hold that opinion. If true, the actions would be wrong, but not illegal. Today, (ie post-PACE) it could well be, although it’d probably be a police disciplinary matter rather than anything ‘illegal.’

    If a Dr performs the wrong minor operation by mistake (eg as you may have read happened at Fazakerley hospital twice recently), that’s civil negligence and compensatory £ is paid. The Dr’s act wasn’t criminally ‘illegal’ but they can be fined and suspended for a few months by the GMC.

    I can think of similar examples in many professions including solicitors and teachers where civil actions and professional bodies take action. It does happen, but it’s equally rare for a police officer or soldier to be convicted of a criminal offence.

    You do realise how high the threshold is for someone to be convicted of a criminal offence? Even civil actions with a lower 51% threshold wouldn’t have succeeded when you view the footage.

    Incidentally, I assume you’re all just referring to Orgreave, as there are in fact many miners who were indeed convicted of various offences. So to state there were no convictions is also untrue.

  9. Rivers10 – it literally sounds as if you’ve just read a version of history. The Govt didn’t break the law however many times you repeat it. [There are examples of this, but it’s not this event]

    I suggest you at least look up the other side.

    If only at least the following two examples:

    * Michael Fletcher (a working miner) was savagely beaten in a sustained attack lasting 5 minutes by 20 masked men wielding baseball bats. They chased him home, invaded his house and beat him while his pregnant wife and children hid. 2 striking miners were convicted of GBH+.

    * David Wilkie (a taxi driver who was driving a working miner to work) was murdered in Merthyr.
    2 striking miners were convicted of his murder.

    This is in fact the only issue which unites Anna Soubry MP & Philip Davies MP. Even Kinnock disowned Scargill.

    To align your Party with striking miners 32 years after the event really is a sort of rewriting of history. If anything Kinnock is famous for attacking people such as Hatton & Scargill. These ‘mad Militants’ really were mad, you know.

    Billy Elliott is a good film – but it is just that and one side of the story.

  10. It is strange that many people seem absolutely certain that the police were (very largely) in the right, but that they lack the confidence that a public inquiry would come to a similar conclusion.

  11. I think it’s more that it’d be an unnecessary waste of taxpayers’ money.

    Although I realise in this Country that since the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, there seems to be a whole industry of lawyers looking for the next one, whether it be against soldiers or police.

    It’s their job to be forceful. It just has to be reasonable in all of the circumstances. Rioters throwing missiles shouldn’t be surprised if they get hit by a police shield or baton. They’re lucky the taser wasn’t available in the ’80s.

  12. @Simon

    Whilst some may have that view I think there are many who don’t know whether the police were in the wrong or not (they may well have been) but just think that there are more important things to spend time and money on in 2016.

  13. …than trying to use an inquiry for obviously partisan political ends

  14. “It is strange that many people seem absolutely certain that the police were (very largely) in the right, but that they lack the confidence that a public inquiry would come to a similar conclusion.”

    If we keep holding public inquiries into every episode in British history the country will go bankrupt.

  15. Don’t be silly Andy we should only be holding ones that involve trying to advance a particular left-wing agenda.

  16. Though he was a better choice for leader than Suzanne Evans or Mr Donkey Horse Rape I still think Paul Nuttall is too much of an obscure nonentity to replicate Farage’s success. I think UKIP will continue to attract a large rump of votes but they won’t be winning seats under his leadership. I think Arron Banks has said something similar. Farage has a combination of likeability and polish which no-one else in UKIP seems to have. Despite disagreeing with him I’d very much enjoy a drink with Farage, I wouldn’t at all want to have a drink with Paul Nuttall who looks a bit like someone who might glass your face. The “Eddie Hitler from Bottom” look certainly won’t do him any favours even with the core WWC vote. I was incredulous to find Nuttall is actually a few months younger than me – he looks about 10 years older. What is it with politicians and rapid ageing.

  17. I think this list just goes to show how tough FPTP makes things for UKIP. Most of those seats are miles out of reach. Though I can imagine the recriminations if Labour lose Stoke Central (“we’d have won with a non-Blairite candidate…”)

    As for your theory that the Tories will hold up better against UKIP than Labour – well, that depends on what sort of EU deal we end up with. If the government gets a deal that could be portrayed as “selling out”, they’re in trouble. (Though I’m sure Paul Dacre will try and paint any deal as a sell-out.)

  18. Nuttall certainly lacks Farage’s likeability but I think he comes across as more genuine and less machiavellian

    His pitch is much more straightforward too – portraying UKIP sit comfortably as the party of Brexit Blue Collar Britain, a massive voting bloc, and one which they seem to understand far better than those who traditionally won this group’s support (ie Labour)

    I think he might struggle though securing ukip business backing

  19. TJ: on the contrary, his pitch to businesses is very simple. “You fund us, and we’ll pinch Labour voters to help keep the Tories in power.”

  20. Might Kevin Barron have to resign?

  21. No chance of Mansfield being close?

  22. And can we assume that Liverpool Walton will be an unexciting, run-of-the-mill, no frills Labour hold where they will retain the seat easily and face no realistic challenge from anyone else? It’s a neighbouring seat to me actually, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing many political earthquakes round here for a long time.

  23. Agreed. There’s no clear challenger to Labour in any of these seats, and I suspect there won’t be for a very long time to come. Obviously it goes without saying that in such safe seats for a party the hold is further accentuated if there isn’t even another party in something resembling a respectable second place.

  24. A bit of a geographical pattern there- they’re all in South Yorkshire. Interesting.

  25. I concur. Bishop Auckland and Darlington also look vulnerable to the Tories as well I think, but I don’t know whether or not they’ve gone as far as they can in these seats in terms of vote share, or if demographic changes will yet move these seats further away from Labour to the Tories’ continuing benefit.

  26. I do wonder though, whether actually an old-style lefty like Corbyn might be able to tap into the class-warrior spirit in former mining communities (certainly more than, say, Ed Miliband ever could). Or have memories of Orgreave etc faded too much?

  27. “When people tell me Labour is not London-centric I always show them that map.”

    What a daft comment. Labour tend to dominate Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Greater Birmingham, Tyneside and South Wales in addition to most other urban parts of England and Wales. If anything the Conservatives are southern-centric as the tend to dominate the south of England far more than Labour dominates the Greater London area.

  28. Con Estmiate
    Come on dude we keep going over this just cos the combined UKIP/Tory vote exceeds the Lab vote doesn’t mean Lab are in any real trouble. A large % (in some seats very large if not majority) of the UKIP vote in seats like this will in no circumstances vote Tory and I’d hazard a guess that a large amount of the Tory vote will never go UKIP either. You cant just lop them together as one voting bloc. Even if we take an extremely low threshold of saying the UKIP votes splits 3 to 1 for the Tories (a frankly laughable prospect in South Yorkshire) that still leaves Lab in a secure position in most of the seats you talk about. If either the Tories or UKIP want to win they need to win over more Lab voters to do it, simple as.

  29. “With a 51.4% combined UKIP-Con vote share, I can see this being lost at the next election.”

    Unlikely at the moment.

  30. Con Estimate
    As for how London centric Labs shadow cabinet is 8 of them represent London seats, compared to 19 that don’t.

    then compare to the Tories where 15 represent Southern seats (excluding London) compared to 10 that don’t.

    I struggle to see how Lab is London centric for having less than 30% of the shadow cabinet as London MP’s but the Tories are supposedly brilliantly representing the whole UK with a cabinet that’s 60% Southern MP’s???

  31. Nobody says she is. She’s southern…

  32. I can’t get my head around how you think this’ll be a UKIP gain.

  33. Well Rivers I think it’s more that the 4 people shadowing the 4 great offices of state which are more or less the face of the party are literally walking negative caricatures of the Labour Party taken straight from a Daily Telegraph editorial.

  34. Pepps
    And the same can’t be said of the Tories top team of May, Rudd, Hammond and BoJo? All white, all Southern, all posh, all millionaires…

  35. @ Conservative Estimate – But Labour increased their vote share and % majority in 2015…

  36. Perhaps a bit but they’ve got nothing on Labour’s top 4 as they really only have the posh and rich bases covered. To be on Labour’s level of walking stereotype they’d need someone Katie Hopkins-esque reactionary and they’d also need to be a hardnosed libertarian openly calling to ‘privatise the NHS’. They also don’t come across anywhere near as badly and are nowhere near a gaffe prone. True BoJo is indeed gaffe prone but nowhere near as bad as Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and Thornberry and is infinitely more charismatic.

  37. But aren’t the boundaries more favourable for the Tories now with the inclusion of Hellaby ? (Or was that also part of the 1992 seat?)

  38. Pepps
    We can debate the respective talents of both all day long but its not really the point. Labs top team is a stereotype true as is the Tories, it stemmed from the initial point that Lab was supposedly London centric, all I was saying is its literally impossible to accuse Lab of being such and absolve the Tories from being Souhtern centric.

  39. “…it’s literally impossible to accuse Lab of being [London-centric] and absolve the Tories from being Southern-centric.”

    Inconsistent? Yes. Impossible? You’ve clearly never read the Daily Mail…

  40. Polltroll
    “Inconsistent? Yes. Impossible? You’ve clearly never read the Daily Mail…”

    Lol you’ve got me there I suppose.

  41. The thing is the Tories can afford to be “southern-centric” (not saying it’s a good thing) in a way that Labour can’t afford to be “London-centric”. The former is massively more electorally influential than the latter.

  42. I think when people accuse Labour of being “London-centric”, they’re not necessarily referring specifically to how the shadow offices of state are represented by MPs with constituencies clustered in Haringey. It’s more a metaphor for their disconnect with the people they represent – Ed Miliband or Tristram Hunt have little in common with Doncaster or Stoke. Of course that is a problem rooted in the Blair era, but that’s probably lost on the average voter.

  43. Agree, it’s the parachuting that makes MPs seem like a bad fit for their seat. Couple that with a leader that the ‘old Labour’ vote – your non-Tory voting, but to some extent socially and morally conservative and you’re asking for bother.

    I doubt Miliband would be in bother in 2020 but Hunt certainly could be, in a way that someone like John Mann wouldn’t be.

    Hunt would be an ok candidate for a seat like Leeds North West, thinking of ones close to me.

  44. Oh I agree totally that the accusations of being London centric are in part due to the parachutes of previous years of which I am probably more opposed than most, I was simply pointing out that this is out of Corbyn’s control and totally the fault of the moderates themselves. Love him or loathe him one of thing is think must here can agree on is Corbyn isn’t going to start parachuting people in from central office and he certainly isn’t going to bar certain members from standing.

  45. ”Corbyn isn’t going to start parachuting people in from central office and he certainly isn’t going to bar certain members from standing.”

    True that is one of the very few things I will give Corbyn any credit for. If he had parachuted his allies into by-elections instead of the credible local candidates actually chosen, in particularly ones that are PR nightmares like that blue haired woman who has a conviction for electoral fraud (I forget her name Rivers will probably know though) they would have lost Tooting and maybe Ogmore and Oldham West too.

  46. Con Estimate
    “If current boundaries are used in Tooting next time..

    Conservative: 44.2%
    Labour: 42.4%
    Liberal Democrat: 11.9%
    Green: 1.2%
    UKIP: 0.3%”

    Once again its WAY too early to be making predictions, especially such detailed ones.

    That being said I’ll humour it in which case its probably wishful thinking, as things currently stand I actually don’t think your far wrong on the Lib Dem vote share but I imagine they’ll come massively disproportionately from Tories in Tooting. Rich city professional types in Balham or Wandsworth common massively peeved off at the Tories over Brexit, Tories are very unlikely to increase their vote share in Tooting.

  47. ”Tories are very unlikely to increase their vote share in Tooting.”

    Well that depends on what % they are on nationally. If they get in the 40s they will be up almost everywhere and if Labour sinks into the mid 20s they will be down almost everywhere. I do agree that Tooting will ‘trend’ Labour i.e. swing less Tory than the nation or swing more Labour if labour ditches Corbyn and turns it around. London should be a difficult area for the Tories next time as Labour’s vote is less WWC which is where most of the drop off will be (+ Jews and maybe Hindu Indians to). Thus I would say Eltham is the most likely Tory gain from Labour in London with Corbyn in charge.

  48. *boundary dependent of course.

  49. Penistone is certainly in play, the others probably not (though this one is more interesting than Don Valley, where Caroline Flint should be fine).

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