VIDEO: Dan Jarvis swerves leadership question after Barnsley win

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Dan Jarvis has retained his seat in Barnsley Central, confirming expectations for the safe Labour seat.

Mr Jarvis, who won by a majority of 11,771 in a by-election in 2011, has increased his majority to 12,435 to hold the seat.

Speaking after the results were announced Jarvis said: “I’m delighted. We’ve run a strong campaign here. 
“I’m really pleased that the people of Barnsley have placed their faith and trust in me and re-elected me as their MP.

“I’m delighted also to have increased the majority here in Barnsley central it’s a good result tonight.”

Asked if he had any plans to throw his hat in the ring for the job of Labour leader, Mr Jarvis said: “There’s lots of results still to come in so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. We’ve got lots of good Labour colleagues waiting on their results, I send them my best wishes and we will see where they are later on.”

He secured 20,376 votes, a 55.7 per cent share of the vote, ahead of UKIP’s Lee Hunter who finished second with 7.941 votes, a 21.7 per cent share.

Tory Kay Carter polled 5.485 votes in third, with the Green Party’s Michael Short fourth with 938.

Liberal Democrat John Ridgway polled 770, ahead of TUSC’s Dave Gibson, with 573, and English Democrat Ian Sutton, with 477.

Turnout was 56.7 per cent

Mr Jarvis is thought to be one of the front-runners to become leader of the Labour party should Ed Miliband step down. Some bookmakers have Mr Jarvis with odds as short as 8/1 to take over the party.

Asked about the failure of UKIP to make gains in Rotherham, Mr Jarvis added: “I’m delighted. Sarah Champion has been a great MP for Rotherham, she’s a good colleague of mine in Parliament and I’m really pleased to see the people of Rotherham have returned her back to the House Of Commons and I think she’ll be a tireless advocate for them in Parliament.”

Steve Houghton, Barnsley Council Leader, responded to news UKIP failed to make gains in Rotherham. He said: “UKIP will be very, very disappointed. Given the events in Rotherham I think UKIP expected to sweep the board.

“Labour have held up in Rotherham. That really is testimony to the MPs who have worked incredibly hard there, but also to the support networks and the party to keep saying, despite the problems, there’s still a lot of support for Labour values in that part of the world.”