Rotherham by-election, 2012

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Rotherham by-election, 2012
United Kingdom
2010 ←
29 November 2012
→ 2015

 
Candidate Sarah Champion Jane Collins Marlene Guest
Party Labour UKIP BNP
Popular vote 9,966 4,648 1,804
Percentage 46.46 21.67 8.41

 
Candidate Yvonne Ridley Simon Wilson
Party Respect Conservative
Popular vote 1,778 1,157
Percentage 8.29 5.39

Rotherham2007Constituency.svg

Map showing the Rotherham Parliamentary constituency within the county of South Yorkshire.

MP before election

Denis MacShane
Labour

Subsequent MP

Sarah Champion
Labour

The Rotherham by-election was a by-election for the Parliament of the United Kingdom's House of Commons constituency of Rotherham. The by-election was caused by the resignation of its Member of Parliament Denis MacShane after the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee found that he had submitted 19 false invoices "plainly intended to deceive" the parliamentary expenses authority,[1][2][3] an issue dating back to 2009 and a wider parliamentary expenses scandal in the UK. MacShane accepted the office of Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds on 5 November 2012,[4] formally vacating his seat. The election took place on 29 November 2012,[5] at the same time as by-elections in Croydon North and Middlesbrough which were caused by the deaths of the sitting MPs.

Candidates[edit]

Rotherham Borough Council released the statement of persons nominated on 14 November 2012, confirming 11 candidates for the by-election.[6]

The Liberal Democrat's candidate, Michael Beckett, was announced by BBC Look North on 13 November 2012. The Labour candidate Sarah Champion is chief executive of Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice in Rotherham.[7] Ex-miner Ralph Dyson was confirmed as the candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on 9 November 2011.[8]

Clint Bristow is standing with no party description, but is a local organiser for the English Defence League.[9][10]

Local resident Jane Collins is the candidate for UKIP, who previously stood for the party in the 2011 Barnsley by-election where she achieved second place with 12.2% of the vote, beating both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.[11] Marlene Guest has stood for the BNP in Rotherham previously.[12]

Respect confirmed their selection of Yvonne Ridley on 12 November.[13] Ms Ridley is a broadcaster, known for being kidnapped by Taliban forces while she was working in Afghanistan for Sunday Express newspaper. Subsequent to being freed, she converted to Islam and has adopted a strong anti-Zionist position, saying "any Zionism in Respect would be hunted down and kicked out".[14][15]

English Democrats candidate David Wildgoose stood in the 1994 Rotherham by-election as a Liberal Democrat when Denis MacShane was first elected, coming second with nearly 30% of the vote. At the previous General Election, he stood for the English Democrats in Sheffield Hallam against the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

Simon Copley, a charity fundraiser and church leader, stood as an Independent candidate saying he offered a "moderate alternative".[16]

Campaign[edit]

During the election campaign, social workers removed three children from foster care on behalf of the local council on the grounds that the foster parents were members of UKIP. The local council said that the children were "not indigenous white British" and that they had concerns about UKIP's stance on immigration. The decision attracted widespread criticism from across the political spectrum, including from the Labour leader Ed Miliband[17] and Conservative Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove. The Labour Leader of Rotherham Council has also launched an inquiry.[18] Leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage said that he was "appalled and upset" by the decision.[19][20] He said that his party is officially constituted as a non-racist, non-sectarian, libertarian party, as defined in the party constitution.[21]

Result[edit]

Labour won the by-election.[22] The result was poor for the two parties of the governing coalition with the Conservatives dropping to fifth place, while the Liberal Democrats were in eighth place, described as the worst ever performance by a major party in a by-election,[23] although not the lowest vote share.[24]

UKIP finished in second place. Their candidate Jane Collins had previously been the only UKIP candidate to come second in any UK parliamentary election at Barnsley Central in 2011. UKIP also came second in the Middlesbrough by-election held on the same day as Rotherham. The UKIP vote share was, at 21.7%, the highest ever recorded for that party in any parliamentary election (however they had polled more votes in both the Corby by-election and in Buckingham at the 2010 General Election, and their record for highest share was broken at Eastleigh three months later).

The British National Party's third place was the highest ever placing for that party in a by-election, although they had polled more votes and a higher share elsewhere. Additionally the BNP result represented a decline in their vote from the 2010 General Election, in what had been one of their strongest performances that year. For Respect, Yvonne Ridley obtained the party's third best by-election result, beaten only by her own performance in Leicester South in 2004 (fourth with 12.7%), and George Galloway's win in Bradford West in March 2012.

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
Rotherham by-election 2012
Resignation of Denis MacShane
Turnout: 21,330 (33.63%) −25.37
Labour hold
Majority: 5,318 (24.79%) −3.1
Swing: 7.0% from Lab to UKIP
Sarah Champion Labour 9,966 46.5 +1.8
Jane Collins UKIP 4,648 21.7 +15.8
Marlene Guest BNP 1,804 8.4 −2.0
Yvonne Ridley Respect 1,778 8.3 N/A
Simon Wilson Conservative 1,157 5.4 −11.4
David Wildgoose English Democrats 703 3.3 N/A
Simon Copley Independent 582 2.7 N/A
Michael Beckett Liberal Democrat 451 2.1 −13.9
Ralph Dyson TUSC 281 1.3 N/A
Paul Dickson Independent 51 0.2 N/A
Clint Bristow no description 29 0.1 N/A

Previous result[edit]

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
General Election 2010
Turnout: 37,506 (59.0%) +4.9
Labour hold
Majority: 10,462 (27.9%)
Swing: 8.3% from Lab to Con
Denis MacShane Labour 16,741 44.6 −13.1
Jackie Whiteley Conservative 6,279 16.7 +3.4
Rebecca Taylor Liberal Democrat 5,994 16.0 −0.4
Marlene Guest BNP 3,906 10.4 +4.5
Peter Thirlwall Independent 2,366 6.3 +6.3
Caven Vines UKIP 2,220 5.9 +2.0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MP's expenses: Denis MacShane resigns over false invoices". BBC. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Standards and Privileges Committee (2 November 2012). Second Report - Mr Denis MacShane (Report). UK Parliament. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmstnprv/635/63502.htm. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Denis MacShane Resigns". Denis MacShane. 2 November 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Three Hundreds of Chiltern - Regional News Network". Rnn.cabinetoffice.gov.uk. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  5. ^ < "Croydon, Middlesbrough and Rotherham by-election dates set". BBC News (BBC News). 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Rotherham byelection candidates", BBC News Sheffield and South Yorkshire
  8. ^ TUSC to stand in Rotherham and Middlesbrough by-election TUSC
  9. ^ Hope Not Hate Exclusive: EDL Stand Candidate in Rotherham By Election Hope Not Hate
  10. ^ EDL member to stand for Rotherham byelection EDL News
  11. ^ "Lib Dems slump to sixth as Labour win Barnsley poll". BBC News (BBC). 4 March 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Marlene Guest: electoral history The Guardian
  13. ^ "Yvonne Ridley Respect candidate in Rotherham election", BBC News, 12 November 2012
  14. ^ David Hirsh "Zionism is not apartheid", theguardian.com, 2 August 2006
  15. ^ Respect is a 'Zionist Free Party' Engage
  16. ^ "Rotherham by-election candidate list". BBC News. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  17. ^ Ed Miliband: 'Urgent investigation' into fostering row, BBC News, 24 November 2012
  18. ^ Decision over UKIP couple fostering 'indefensible' - Gove, BBC News, 24 November 2012
  19. ^ UKIP leader 'very upset' over foster row, BBC Radio4, 24 November 2012
  20. ^ "Nigel Farage "appalled" at fostering decision"|http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20475323%7Caccessdate=24/11/12
  21. ^ "Constitution of The UK Independence Party" |http://www.ukip.org/page/constitution-of-the-uk-independence-party-ukip%7C accessdate=24/11/12
  22. ^ "Labour holds Rotherham seat". ITV News. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  23. ^ LibDems' Rotherham By-Election Results "Worst Ever" Recorded for major party Huffington Post
  24. ^ Transcript - Interview 2/12 Tim Farron, President of Liberal Democrats Sky News Press Office