Wentworth & Dearne

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6441 (14.9%)
Labour: 24571 (56.9%)
Lib Dem: 1135 (2.6%)
UKIP: 10733 (24.9%)
Others: 309 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 13838 (32%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, South Yorkshire.

Main population centres:



Current MP
JOHN HEALEY (Labour) Born 1960, Wakefield. Educated at St Peter`s School and Cambridge University. Former campaign director for the TUC. Contested Ryedale 1992. First elected as MP for Wentworth in 1997. PPS to Gordon Brown 1999-2001, junior education minister 2001-2002, Economic Secretary 2002-2005, Financial Secretary 2005-2007, Minister of State for Local Government 2007-2009, Minister of State for Housing 2009-2010. Shadow Health secretary 2010-2011. Shadow Housing Minister since 2015. He came second in Labour's first shadow cabinet elections after re-entering opposition and was appointed shadow health secretary. However, he left the shadow cabinet in the first reshuffle after the abolition of elections. He returned to the frontbench under Jeremy Corbyn.
Past Results
Con: 7396 (18%)
Lab: 21316 (51%)
LDem: 6787 (16%)
UKIP: 3418 (8%)
Oth: 3189 (8%)
MAJ: 13920 (33%)
Con: 6169 (17%)
Lab: 21225 (60%)
LDem: 4800 (13%)
BNP: 1798 (5%)
Oth: 1604 (5%)
MAJ: 15056 (42%)
Con: 6349 (19%)
Lab: 22798 (67%)
LDem: 3652 (11%)
UKIP: 979 (3%)
MAJ: 16449 (49%)
Con: 6266 (15%)
Lab: 30225 (72%)
LDem: 3867 (9%)
MAJ: 23959 (57%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Wentworth

2015 Candidates
JOHN HEALEY (Labour) See above.
EDWIN SIMPSON (Liberal Democrat)
MIKE HOOKEM (UKIP) Former serviceman, carpenter and small businessman. Contested Hull East 2010. MEP for Yorkshire since 2014.
ALAN ENGLAND (English Democrat) Born Exeter. Former civil servant. Contested South West region 2014 European election.
Comments - 40 Responses on “Wentworth & Dearne”
  1. A rather rare Labour by-election defeat in this neck of the woods last night, as UKIP took Rawmarsh from Labour. The other parties were nowhere. Congrats are due to UKIP.

  2. The Labour choice of candidate wasn’t helpful to them in present circumstances.

    But more worrying for them is that people don’t vote for minor parties because their family has done so for the last hundred years but because they deliberately choose to do so.

    More people actually making a deliberate choice with their vote will be good for democracy but bad for the establishment parties and their establlishment leaderships.

  3. A remarkable result for UKIP I think, though I recall UKIP doing well in this area for some time – as far back as a European parliament byelection in the late 1990s.

    If traditional Labour loyalties in this part of the world are starting to crumble with generational change the electoral impact could be very significant – early days yet of course.

  4. Yes, I wouldn’t make too many assumptions – you always get by-elections like this.

    The Tory and LibDem vote collapsed almost completely. But I also wonder whether the fact that the byelection happened because of the former councillor taking up what is viewed as a pretty useless but well paid white elephant of a job might have had an impact – particularly when his anointed successor was his wife!

    It does rather encourage thoughts of nepotistic pigs enjoying the product of the trough

  5. The Lib Dems didn’t stand last time. The Tory vote did decline from a low base, but it looks as though most of the UKIP vote came from Labour and the BNP. The full result with changes from 2012 was:

    UKIP 1,143 47.7% (+47.7%)

    Labour 1,039 43.3% (-22.9%)

    Conservative 107 4.5% (-8.4%)

    BNP 80 3.39% (-17.6%)

    Lib Dem 28 1.2% (+1.2%)

    There are a couple of reasons why I don’t think this result can be dismissed as lightly as is the case with a lot of local by elections. Firstly Labour are the main opposition to an administration that is not currently popular. They really should be winning contests like this in their heartland areas at a canter.

    Secondly this was a by election in a metropolitan ward where turnout was only around one percent down on the last round of borough wide elections. Freakish results that tell us very little I would have thought are more likely to occur in tiny district wards, and/or cases where turnout is really low.

  6. I find it rather interesting that this seat and Rother Valley next door as recently as 1992 used to count on the second day as I believe for many years was traditional in these parts for the slow-counting South Yorkshire mining seats.

    The old Dearne Valley used to as well I think, certainly as late as the 70’s before it was abolished. Perhaps the reason why seats like these waited until the second day was because of the vast rural areas within the seats, with pockets of mining communities scattered far and wide.

  7. It was also due to the fact that they were rather slow-moving and traditional parts of the country, to put it bluntly. Plenty of other seats were just as rural but still counted on the night.

  8. They probably liked to do it methodically because they knew the results weren’t in doubt- Also they thought it would probably save money as well. It is interesting though IMHO in that a lot of the rural seats that counted the next day instead no longer do so, in fact some of them haven’t for years.

  9. The seats that either counted or declared on the second day in 1997 for example were-

    1. Buckingham (05:47)
    2. Leominster (05:55)
    3. Hexham (06:05)
    4. Forest Of Dean (06:07)
    5. Tiverton and Honiton (06:13)
    6. Truro and St Austell (08:11)
    7. St Ives (10:59)
    8. Berwick-upon-Tweed (11:16)
    9. Argyll and Bute (11:43)
    10. Blyth Valley (12:00)
    11. Brecon and Radnorshire (12:18)
    12. South Dorset (12:23)
    13. Skipton and Ripon (13:03)
    14. North Down (13:23)
    15. Kettering (13:27)
    16. Strangford (13:49)
    17. Lagan Valley (13:54)
    18. East Londonderry (14:02)
    19. Richmond (Yorks) (14:05)
    20. Belfast West (14:11)
    21. South Antrim (14:15)
    22. North Antrim (14:29)
    23. Belfast North (14:38)
    24. Foyle (14:41)
    25. Fermanagh and South Tyrone (14:50)
    26. South Down (14:50)
    27. Mid-Ulster (14:58)
    28. Newry and Armagh (16:18)
    29. Belfast South (16:23)
    30. East Antrim (16:35)
    31. Upper Bann (16:35)
    32. Ludlow (16:35)
    33. Belfast East (16:35)
    34. Daventry (16:35)
    35. West Tyrone (17:58)
    36. Winchester (18:18)

    And I was kindly informed by SBJME19 on the Witney thread not all that long ago that the first six in the list above actually counted overnight. He said- ”The first six of that list counted overnight, they had local elections and were large rural areas. In 2010 there were umpteen which counted overnight and did n’t declare till the next day and most were far from being large rural areas.”

  10. The first five on that list were overnight counts that just took a long time.

  11. Actually Truro probably was as well. I’m a bit surprised by the declaration time there: it doesn’t fit in with an overnight or next day count.

  12. Leominster always has taken a long time to get its result out traditionally I think- In 1992 it came through when there were very few results left to come in on the night itself, while in 1997 it didn’t come through until five minutes before Breakfast went on air.

    RE Truro I think they must have started counting towards the end of the small hours of the morning on that occasion. Normally I think they tend to declare in the latter part of the morning or midday, but I’m not quite sure.

  13. Counts always start at 10pm on the night or able out 9am the next morning. They never start in the middle of the night. Quite how Truro in 1997 fits into that is a bit of a mystery.

  14. I think Truro might have experimented with overnight counting in 1997 because they had local elections on the same night I think- but they weren’t used to this practice, and so having to count votes for wards as well as the actual seat itself must have slowed them down a bit because the staff weren’t familiar with it perhaps, which is what caused the result to take ten hours for the result to Coe through- so much so that it was very much the next day by the time they did so, ironically nearer to the time it would normally start in Truro every other year…

  15. Noticeable that in 1997 a good deal of seats normally used to counting on the second day began their now ubiquitous practice of counting overnight- Gainsborough, Harborough, Kensington and Chelsea, Wentworth and Dearne, Rother Valley and Lewes to name but a few.

  16. my forecast for 2015 here:

    Lab 52 (+1)
    UKIP 25 (+17)
    Con 12 (-6)
    LD 5 (-11)
    Others 6

    The Rawmarsh by election was very interesting.

  17. This might be of interest:


    It gives population migration between English/Welsh counties for the year 2011-12.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t break the counties down into districts.

    While the media have highlighted the movement from the North to London they don’t seem to have picked up on a movement from the Home Counties to poorer Northern counties.

    There was it seems a net migration of 45 people from Surrey to South Yorkshire during that year.

    Can anyone guess why I chose this constituency to post this comment in?

  18. Because there is also a place called Wentworth in Surrey?

  19. Indeed so.

    I wonder if anyone moved from Wentworth to Wentworth.

    I have mentioned before how ‘cockney’ accents are heard much more in South Yorkshire than a decade or two ago.

  20. Also a considerable outflow of families from London to the home counties, of which we were one example.

    I wonder about the age profile of those moving from, say, Surrey to Yorkshire. My guess is that they will be primarily older people, perhaps retiring back to their roots, cashing in their property in the south and using the proceeds as a nice cushion in the north.

  21. I hope for their sake it is from South Yorkshire to Surrey rather than the other way around.

  22. That’s a bit unfair. Plenty of nice places to live in South Yorkshire. The problem is jobs, as the excellent article Richard linked to makes clear.

  23. Most of the South Yorkshire – home counties show movements to SY – but it really is very slight. c. 10% higher .

    Perhaps the real reason you hear more cockney accents is just that immigration in general within the country has gone up quite a bit. In the last 8 years I have gone from Tyne and Wear to Oxfordshire to Tyne and Wear to Durham, back to Tyne and Wear and now down south again to London in September.

  24. I wonder if there are any pairs of counties where there was no movement at all in one direction. Isle of Wight to Gwnyedd had a grand total of 2.

  25. “That’s a bit unfair.”

    I would say “That’s a bit imbecilic”.

    The vast majority of people would get a much higher standard of living and likely quality of life in South Yorkshire than Surrey because of the lower cost of living.

    Even in Surrey there are relatively few people who earn enough for money to be no issue.

  26. Maybe North Yorkshire – but not South.

  27. Local election votes:

    Lab 11,536
    UKIP 9,434
    Con 2,408

    UKIP were ahead in the Rotherham section but Labour had a massive lead in the two Dearne wards in Barnsley council.

  28. The Conservative candidate is Michael Naughton.

  29. I wonder if the Sheffield selections are coming soon especially if the Rotherham selections are also the product of City Seats Initiative and they’re within South Yorkshire.

  30. I was wondering the same Neil – means we can find out who’ll be fighting Hallam (and the quality of the Conservative candidate could be important).

  31. Neil, MrNameLess,

    The Conservative candidates for the Sheffield constituencies (not including Penistone & Stocksbridge) will be selected on 17 January.

  32. Another seat where UKIP should take an easy second, but the Barnsley wards should carry Labour to victory.

  33. Labour Hold. 18,000 majority.

  34. I don’t see the majority that high if UKIP is 2nd with around 30%, probably half that.

  35. I’d predict:

    Labour: 52%
    UKIP: 26%
    ConservatIve: 15%
    Liberal Democrat: 6%
    Others: 1%

    I have no extended family whatsoever in this constituency, so cannot claim any insight into the battle here unfortunately!

  36. UKIP collapse in the Dearne North by-election tonight. Labour up 12% (very easy hold), UKIP down 25%. Yorkshire First took 10%. Maybe worth keeping an eye on.

  37. UKIP’s result in Dearne North will be disappointing for them; but this seat is not quite on the East Coast belt that they must ruthlessly target if they are to make advances in 2020.

    UKIP’s first task is to set up sound and active local parties in places like this. Then the election results should begin to follow..

    Wentworth and Deane is Number 139 on UKIP’s target list. Realistically, UKIP will be happy if they gain 20 seats, which would represent a 5% swing from Labour and the Conservatives to UKIP.

    UKIP’s problem is that their performances were heavily bunched, just out of reasonable range. There are no less that 39 seats in which UKIP were between14 and 15% behind the first placed candidate and another 30 in which they were 15 to 16% behind the winner.

    Of the seats wher UKIp were 14-15% behind they were in third palce in 25 seats, fourth in two (Hazel Grove and Cardiff West) and fifth in one (Norwich South). Of the seats in which they wer 15 – 16% behind they were second placed in six (Suffolk West, Sheffield Heeley, Aylesbury, Havant, Barnsley East, and Blaydon)

    Are Yorkshire First likely to be fielding parliamentary candidates n 2020. If so which seats are likely to be their best prospects (obviously, they will be ones in Yorkshire! I don’t thnk Yorkshire First would get many votes in Preston.)

  38. Frederic,

    YF stood candidates in 14 seats at the election in May:

    Barnsley East 1.7%
    Beverley & Holderness 1.2%
    Calder Valley 0.7%
    Colne Valley 1.0%
    Dewsbury 0.4%
    Yorkshire East 1.4%
    Haltemprice & Howden 1.0%
    Hemsworth 2.4%
    Hull East 0.8%
    Hull North 1.0%
    Leeds NW 0.3%
    Morley & Outwood 1.0%
    Shipley 1.1%
    York Central 0.6%

    I feel like they’d have traction in non-marginal rural seats, as a kind of local independent sort of protest group. Probably most likely to harm UKIP more than anyone with the sort of “stop the world, I want to get off” attitude.


    Any chance of a UKIP target list soon? No need to bother with defence!

  39. John Healey reported to be planning to tell Corbyn tomorrow that he should resign. Presumberly if he does not then he will have to resign from the shadow cabinet as well.

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