Liberal Humiliation in Barnsley

If the Liberal Democrats about managed to save face in the earlier by-election of Oldham, the same ccannot, alas, be said for Barnsley. A dismal sixth place, behind even UKIP and the BNP, can only have put the jitters up the Coalition's junior partner. That said, anyone hoping to take comfort from the Liberals' misfortune should do so quickly - few real lessons can be drawn from this by-election. Hardly a typical seat, a northern Labour stronghold, and a pathetic turnout - merely 37%. UKIP's 2,000 odd votes will always look rather better against a turnout of only a few thousand in total than it will when all the normal electors come out to vote! The victorious Labour candidate, meanwhile, should prove an interesting addition to the Commons, as a former paratroop major who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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