Barnsley/Wales election day liveblog

March 3, 2011 9:06 am

By Mark Ferguson / @markfergusonuk

01.31: That’s it confirmed then. Lib Dems lose their deposit. Tories finish third. An awful night for the coalition. Tune in to LabourList tomorrow morning for full reaction.

01.21: That result in full:

Lab 14,724, UKIP 2,953, Con 1,999, BNP 1,453, Independent (Tony Defoy local man) 1266, Lib Dem 1012, Eng Dem 544, Loonies 198, Ind 60

That’s Tories third, Lib Dems 6th (SIXTH)

01.18: Good speech from Dan Jarvis, strong and on message. “My whole life has been dedicated to serving the public”

01.11: Putting our necks on the line – the LabourList prediction is Lab/UKIP/Con/BNP/LibDem. Labour will pick up 65%+ of the vote based on sources from the ground, which explains the unusual vote for smaller parties – they’re fighting over a small share.

01.02: BBC TV still spinning Lib Dems in 4th. BBC Radio Sheffield’s James Vincent suggests SIXTH is on the cards for the yellows.

00.56: Shadow health secretary John Healey is also at the count tonight after a mammoth campaigning session today.

00.52: Cheers for Dan Jarvis as he enters the count with Andy Burnham. Pat on the back from Burnham, but unlike Oldham, no flowers.

00.50: Keep an eye on those numbers. If the Lib Dems slump below 5% they’ve lost their deposit.

00.45: Rumours have hardened now – we’re willing to predict a 5th place finish for the Lib Dems. Disaster for them.

00.37: Barnsley isn’t the only by-election tonight. Some great results for Labour. Luke Akehurst has the details.

00.35: Those of you seeking election night TV, BBC News Channel are increasingly switching over to Barnsley. Keep tuned to LabourList too though, for more updates.

00.30: It’s now almost received wisdom that UKIP have finished 2nd, and Lib Dems have started spinning that 4th/5th place isn’t too bad. Oh dear. Time to stop digging…

00.16: We’re hearing from the count that it’s close between 4th and 5th. Which based on previous information it’s close between the BNP and the Lib Dems. If the Lib Dems come 5th, considering how low their vote would be for that to happen, are they finished as a national party? Shocking stuff.

00.10: You need to get below 5% to lose your deposit by the way (thanks to several people on Twitter for reminding me). If a major party were to lose their deposit it would be a hammerblow to the coalition. Watch this space.

23.59: We’re now hearing rumours of delays. Is one party trying to save their deposit with a recount? Who could it be? BNP? Or a bigger party altogether?

23.53: The Guardian are now saying that UKIP may have come second. That’s certainly not out of the question from what we’re hearing though. As I’ve been saying all day though, what about the Lib Dems. How low could they go?

23.49: We’re now into the rumours stage of the night, as each party begins to grasp how well or badly they’ve done. We’re still at least 30 mins from official results, and the only racing certainty is a big win for Dan Jarvis. Expect surprises though. When we know more, so will you…

23.35: Some people are suggesting that 36.5% is low for a by-election. In reality it’s not unusual for a by-election in a safe seat. This graph shows recent by-election turnouts (hat-tip @neilwigg)

23.14: BBC say turnout is 36.5%. Which is similar to what we were hearing from the ground. For reference, the turnout at the general election was 56.4%. All of the ballot boxes have now arrived at the count, so we should have an idea of the result in the early hours of Friday morning.

23.09: According to the Guardian liveblog – Dan Jarvis will be the first MP for Barnsley Central since 1938 to be born outside Yorkshire and have no mining links. It seems a little premature to say “will”, but it’s almost impossible for Labour to lose this seat.

23.03: Election night TV addicts – help is at hand. There’s no election night special in England, but there is in Wales. BBC website reports that:

“On TV, Referendum 2011 – The Result, presented by Jamie Owen, will be on BBC One Wales from 1030 GMT, it will switch to BBC Two Wales, and will continue on BBC One Wales until after the final result.”

22.31: Marcus Roberts – who served as Ed Miliband’s field-ops guru during the leadership contest – has also made predictions for both of today’s elections. Both with pessimistic turnout predictions:

Barnsley: Turnout 26%, Lab 52, Con 18, UKIP 12, LD 10, BNP 6, Others 2%
Wales: Turnout 26%, Yes 61%, No 39%

22.12: MP Toby Perkins (who unlike your humble correspondent has been on the doorsteps today), has made his prediction for the Barnsley result. He think it’ll be : Turnout 40% LAB 51, Lib 17 CON 13, UKIP8, BNP5. That’d be a good result for the Lib Dems if true.

22.00: Polls have closed in Barnsley and Wales. No news yet on the Welsh result, but in Barnsley we’re hearing that turnout may have been on the low side (south of 40%) – raising the possibility that the Lib Dems may have sneaked into third place. It’s still looking like a poor night for the yellows though, with fourth (or worse) still a distinct possibility.

17.07: Shadow minister Mary Creagh has just posted a picture of herself and Dan Jarvis on Twitter. If you look closely, you’ll see that Dan (campaigning so hard) is actually a blur, as if he’s still moving.

16.30: It’s as you were in both Barnsley and Wales, with low turnouts expected, but comfortable wins too for the “Yes” camp and Labour’s Dan Jarvis. If you missed Newsnight last night, there was an interesting report from Barnsley, which you can catch on the iplayer.

14.17: Things are still ticking along in Barnsley. If you’re in the local area and want to help out, you can find the campaign office here. In Wales too, signs are positive that “Yes” will win out and the assembly will take on more powers. If you’re a gambler (which obviously you’re not), the real action today is on how the Lib Dems will fare in Barnsley. They’re still 2nd favourites to finish 2nd (implying a third place finish). I think they’ll fare worse than that…

12.32pm: We’re hearing from sources on the ground that turnout in Barnsley is slow but positive, which is much as you’d expect in a safe Labour seat in a by-election at this time of year. Few surprises so far.

11.46am: Well worth a read (if you want to understand the dynamics at play in Barnsley) is Michael White’s Guardian article yesterday – especially on the problems facing the Lib Dems as they fight UKIP…

10.30am: In Barnsley the first canvassers are hitting the doorsteps at the moment, and from what we’re hearing the feedback is positive. A good GOTV (Get Out The Vote) operation is still important today, especially when the weather is slightly on the chilly side in Barnsley today.

9.15am: Perhaps the most interesting thing to keep an eye out for when the results come through from Barnsley, is how badly have the Lib Dems done? It’s too early to make predictions, but I’m hearing terms like “collapse” used in reference to their vote. They finished joint second with the Tories on 17% last time. I’d be astonished if they perform as well again today, despite a lower turnout.

9am: Good morning everyone. The polls have now been open in Barnsley and Wales for the last two hours, as a by-election and a much overlooked referendum take place. We’ll be here throughout the day (and into the night) bringing you all of the news from the ground, and through into the announcement of the results in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

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