Thursday, 3 March 2011

Voting today in Barnsley and Wales

Today the citizens of Barnsley Central are going to the polls to replace their jailed MP Eric Illsley currently serving 1 year as a guest of Her Majesty for fiddling his expenses to the tune of £14,000. The results in the constituency at the 2010 general election were as follows:

 (Click to enlarge)
As you can see Labour won comfortably with nearly half the vote. Labour will also win this time - their supporters do not seem to be blaming the party for the actions of the MP. The main question from a nationalist perspective is whether the BNP will gain or shed voter-share.

At the Oldham East by-election, held back in January to replace the disqualified Labour MP Phil Woolas who knowingly made false statements about his rivals, the BNP lost voter share and slipped behind UKIP. This was due to UKIP being able to focus its far greater resources on the constituency whereas at the prior general election Oldham East was a BNP priority but of no great interest to UKIP.

Meanwhile the Welsh are also at the polls.They are not electing anyone, just deciding whether to make the Welsh Assembly more autonomous from the parliament at Westminster. The question they are being asked is: "Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?"

The likely result is "Yes". The difference this will have on the lives of people in Wales is effectively zilch. The referendum was part of the Lib Dems' conditions for joining the coalition government and is of interest to practically no one else.

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