Alan Billings (Labour) – 74,060 votes (50.02%) Jack Clarkson (UKip) – 46,883 (31.66%) Ian Walker (Conservative) – 18,536 votes (12.52%) David Allen (English Democrat) 8,583 (5.80%).
148,062 votes cast, around 14% of those eligible to vote
Labour claims UKip’s advance has been brought to a “shuddering halt” and that they “took Ukip on and won”. They also claim the results show the Conservatives have “no chance of forming a majority government”. Bit of a disappointment for Nigel Farage, I should think after he said he was putting his tanks on Labour’s lawn. But a majority of 0.2 % is hardly a resounding victory and mb hasn’t come across a comment from him as yet.
Under the supplementary vote system used in this by-election, a candidate needed to get above 50% of the vote to avoid going to a second round. A ridiculous system in my opinion, but Labour won its first round with 28 votes more than they needed.
Clarkson says that the result shows that UKip “are in there now” and says Labour will have “to be looking over their shoulder at us”. Shame that there is a battle between these political parties, especially as both candidates have said they believe the post of Police and Crime Commissioner should be scrapped.
Ed Miliband, who represents Doncaster North, said the result would bring a “fresh start to South Yorkshire Police”. It’s certainly needed, but whether it happens or not remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Clarkson has called for a criminal investigation into the Rotherham scandal and says that if Alan Billings doesn’t get this right,”believe you me, there’ll be people again demonstrating on the streets of Rotherham. They’re wanting to see action.”
Maybe this is true, but what a pity that the people of Rotherham didn’t turn out in greater numbers to voice their opinion. Sadly, it’s difficult to imagine that anything is about to change at all.