Dominic Carman writes: Barnsley Central – a call to action

Six weeks ago, my son Charlie and I travelled up from London with Simon Hughes – to leaflet on behalf of Elwyn Watkins in the Oldham by-election. The campaign was fantastic: dozens of Lib Dems in a well-equipped campaign office and many more leafleting and campaigning on the streets. It produced an excellent result in difficult circumstances: Elwyn even increased his share of the vote to 31.9%.

On Saturday, I was selected as the PPC for the forthcoming Barnsley Central by-election, to be held on March 3rd. At the 2010 general election, the Lib Dems came second to Labour in Barnsley Central, with 17.3% of the vote.

The Barnsley by-election is now only 17 days away, and we need Lib Dems everywhere to help in the campaign with the same enthusiasm and commitment as shown in Oldham.

This time, it’s not just about fighting hard against Labour. The BNP present a real threat on the ground. Andrew Brons is a BNP MEP in Yorkshire.

This is how the Guardian reported his victory and the surge of the BNP vote at the European Elections in Barnsley in June 2009:

Brons’s victory in Yorkshire saw the highest BNP poll, 9.8%…the Labour vote crashed from 45% to 25% in Barnsley, where the BNP share climbed from 8% to 17%.

At last year’s general election, the BNP share of the vote in Barnsley Central doubled from 4.5% to 8.9% – the largest increase in the BNP share of the vote of any seat in the country. Last week, Nick Griffin described the Barnsley Central by-election as ‘the most important ever fought by the BNP’ – he sees it as a referendum on his future as BNP leader and for the future of the BNP as a party.

Over the last fortnight, the BNP has had scores of activists from all over the country, campaigning in the constituency every day. Liberal Democrats should be doing the same. Please do whatever you can to help, and take the Oldham buzz to Barnsley.

For details of how you can help, please contact me at [email protected]

Thank you for your support,


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This entry was posted in Op-eds and Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Andrea Gill 14th Feb '11 - 9:24pm

    Best of luck – I no longer have the time, having just started a new job and having our own local campaigns to run though 🙁

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