Turnout down to 36.5 per cent in Barnsley by-election

Barnsley Central by-election votes are counted in The Metrodome after the polls close in Barnsley. Photo: Dean Atkins.
Barnsley Central by-election votes are counted in The Metrodome after the polls close in Barnsley. Photo: Dean Atkins.
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TURNOUT in the Barnsley by-election was just 36.5 per cent - down from 56.5 per cent at the General Election in May last year, writes digital editor Graham Walker

Cold weather and the near-certainty that Labour candidate Dan Jarvis will win are likely to have discouraged voters from venturing out to the ballot box.

The by-election was prompted by the resignation of Eric Illsley, the Labour MP who was jailed for 12 months in February for expenses fraud.With Labour currently riding high in the polls and Illsley having retained the seat with an 11,093 majority in last year’s general election, Mr Jarvis is seen as a shoo-in.

The result, expected any time after midnight, may prove more interesting for how well the Liberal Democrat and Conservative votes hold up after 10 months of the coalition Government.

Only six votes separated the second-placed Lib Dem and third-placed Tory last May.

There has been speculation that the Lib Dems, whose poll ratings have plummeted since joining the coalition, may even sink below third and behind one of the smaller parties in Barnsley.