Labour on course to retake Doncaster and South Yorkshire Tory seats if they mirror Wakefield by-election swing, say party

Labour will comfortably retake the Don Valley constituency and two other South Yorkshire Tory seats if they repeat the swing that saw them win a recent by-election, the party has said.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 2:36 pm

Doncaster elected its first Conservative MP in Nick Fletcher since the 1960s in 2019 but current polling suggest he could lose his seat to Labour at the next general election.

Neighbouring first-time Conservatives Alexander Stafford in Rother Valley and Miriam Cates in Penistone & Stocksbridge, are also behind Labour in the polls.

Labour, who retook Wakefield in a by-election on June 23 with a swing of 12.7 per cent, say if they mirrored that in the next general election, they would take 14 seats from the Tories across Yorkshire & the Humber.

(L-R) Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley; Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley and Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone & Stocksbridge. Credit: UK Parliament

Fletcher has a majority of just over 3,600 votes and a 4 per cent swing would be enough for Labour to retake the seat.

Stafford, with a majority of 6,318, would need a 6.5 per cent swing against him to lose the seat. Cates, whose seat straddles parts of Sheffield and Barnsley, has a majority of 7,210. A 7.3 per cent swing would be enough for Labour.

Labour themselves say that an 11 per cent vote swing in their favour would be enough to win the next general election.

But Fletcher hit back at the data and said Labour’s lost deposit in the Tiverton & Honiton by-election would not lead them to a general election win.

“This set of by-elections saw Labour lose their deposit in Devon so it’s certainly not going to lead them to win a general election,” he said.

“We are now a city but we still need a new hospital, a rail link to the airport and to open up the centre with free parking.

“I know Doncaster very well. I actually live here and I am working hard to push us forward.

“These are what I’m focusing on. I’m confident that’s what my constituents want and I will carry on working for Don Valley.”

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary said: “Winning back Wakefield puts us firmly on the path to No. 10.

“We’ve got the ideas and the vision for this country, whereas the Conservatives have led us into an economic disaster with absolutely no clue how to get us out of it.

“The people of Wakefield have spoken, and the time is up for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.”