This Thursday, 29th November, there will be a by-election in Rotherham and it has the potential to transform the political landscape in this country.
The result at the last election was as follows:
As you can see it was a clear win for Labour in it’s northern heartland. But much has changed since 2010.
To begin with this by-election follows the resignation of Denis MacShane for corruption. This would have a negative effect on the Labour vote anyway, which would normally manifest itself in a reduced Labour supporting turn out but there are other factors which will come into play.
Before looking at those other factors let’s examine who will be standing in the by-election.
As you can see, there are far more candidates standing in the by-election than did at the general election, this is quite normal. Ignore the Independents, the Engish Democrats, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, they will be lucky if they keep their deposits.
It will be the distribution of votes between these candidates, below, which will decide who wins on Thursday.
1) The cause of the by-election will hit the Labour vote.
2) The recent paedophile ring scandals will hit the Labour vote and benefit the BNP and UKIP.
3) The ludicrous decision by the local Labour council to discriminate against two UKIP members fostering children will benefit UKIP.
There is a large asian community in Rotherham who might otherwise have voted for Labour but they have an easily recognisable alternative in Respect and some might even feel comfortable voting for UKIP. Some will still vote Labour, very few if any will vote BNP.
Of the white voters in Rotherham, those who normally vote Conservative could switch to UKIP as could some Labour voters though more white working class Labour voters are likely to vote BNP.
I could go on but my point is that this election could go to any one of those four candidates.
So here is my prediction for the result. I can’t tell you who will win but I would guess that 10,000 votes could win it and that those four candidates will all get more that 6,000 votes each.
I’d put UKIP and Respect as joint favourites.
A UKIP win could be a game changer.
Labour third and the BNP fourth.
If anyone wants to leave their own prediction before Thursday, we’ll see who is closest on Friday morning.