Friday, 14 October 2011
Barnsley By-Election Result
Dave Leech, Labour Party: 1,257 (75.1%)
Danny Cooke, BNP: 174, (10.5%)
Kevin Riddiough, English Democrats: 146, (8.8%)
Clive Watkinson, Conservatives: 61 (3.7%)
Edward Alan Gouthwaite, Independent: 21 (1.3%)
This was an excellent vote for our first time ever standing in this ward.
Our campaign consisted of around three and a half sweeps of leaflets - one of which was localised for the campaign - the rest were standardised English Democrats leaflets.
Our opponents in the BNP put in what was, by the standards of those who are still in this organisation, a substantial campaign, which appeared to consist of four seperate leaflet drops which included 2 localised pieces of propaganda, some Voice of Freedoms, and a sweep of Nick Griffin's EU-petition leaflets.
These EU leaflets were produced through 'Budget Item 400', which is the name of the communications budget allocated to each MEP. Items paid for through this budget are not allowed to be distributed in elections, so their distribution of these leaflets in this by-election may be regarded as a further example of fraudulent use of EU funding.
The BNP's 10.5% is a far cry from the 30% achieved in this ward in 2008 or even the 23% achieved as recently as the by-election in 2009.
In Barnsley, just like everywhere else, the BNP vote is going in one direction and one direction only. The BNP's truth truck (being driven by the odious Ian Kitchen, of Granny Porn infamy) was in town yesterday and the party had a national election day mobilisation.
The fact that all this still could not achieve better than 10.5% says a great deal about the party's decline.
Obviously it would have been very nice to have got an extra 30 votes and finished second but our result was a good one regardless which sets us in good stead for future growth in this area.
I will conclude by congratulating our excellent candidate, Kevin Riddiough, who worked really hard during this campaign. As I said in my recent conference speech, it was a pleasure to help out in this campaign, and I am delighted that our efforts resulted in a highly respectable vote.