Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Barnsley Central By-Election

Eric Illsley has resigned his seat two days before he is due to be sentenced, so let's bring on By-Election Number 2.

Like the Old and Sad by-election Barnsley Central is a Labour seat and with a majority of over 11000 it is unlikely that Labour will lose this one either. Instead this by-election will probably be focused on two other aspects.

Conservative vs Liberal Democrats

The first will be the behaviour of the Conservative and Liberal Democrats camps going into this one. At the 2010 General Election they were only 6 votes apart, so a soft campaign by the Tories is not really an option with the margin being so small between 2nd and 3rd place. Having maintained the Liberal Democrat vote in the Old/sad By-election the Coalition should take the view that the Lib Dems have had time to recover and this election should be fought as hard as possible to demonstrate not only that the parties are different (to silence more merger talk) but also to show that the Lib Dems do not require an easy ride from the Tories.

The Other Guys

As with any By-election little media attention will be paid to the fight for 4th place. The BNP came fourth in the General Election, Followed by UKIP. With the recent internal problems that have plagued the BNP and being pushed by UKIP into 5th in Oldham, the BNP will need a strong showing to prove that they are still in the game, especially so close to Local and Assembly elections. Otherwise UKIP may finally be able to garner enough support to make significant gains come May, which with their new Millionaire supporter will be much easier to do.

I would suggest that as many of the smaller/minor parties should run in this election, as it will provide an excellent opportunity for publicity in the lead up to the Local election in England. Parties such as the Libertarians, Liberals, SDP, Greens, English Democrats and Pirate should attempt to run. In the case of the Left wing parties of which there are a multitude, I would suggest backing a left unity candidate, perhaps a Trade Unionist and Socialist Candidate (TUSC) so as to gather a bit more attention for the left wing candidates who may have a chance in Scotland come May.

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