Penistone Parliamentary Boundaries and Elections

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2018 Parliamentary Constituency Proposals
The Boundary Commissioners of England ('BCE') were asked to begin a review of parliamentary constituencies in order to re-balance constituencies to be within 5% of the same average number of people for each. This was to reduce the number of Members of Parliament from 650 to 600 to save Parliament about £12 million. This started in 2016 and its early reports went public in September 2016. The final recommendations appeerad in September 2018. In our 'Yorkshire and Humber' region, with an electorate of 3,722,035, the target was to reduce the number of MPs from 54 down to 50.

If accepted by Parliament, the BCE proposals do away with the 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' constituency. The Penistone district would be split up just to the east of Penistone, with BMBC Penistone West (including Penistone town centre) in the new 'Colne Valley and Penistone' constituency. This would retain both of the former constituency names: 'Colne Valley' and 'Penistone' (although perhaps in the wrong order) and would join us to Holmfirth and smaller places such as Golcar. The other ward of BMBC Penistone East would join Oxspring and Thurgoland with Stocksbridge and Dodworth in the new 'Barnsley West and Stocksbridge' constituency.

'Why was a review being carried out?' (From BCE 2018 Review):

'The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended in 2011) required the four Boundary Commissions for the UK to carry out a review of constituencies and to submit final reports to Government in September 2018. Parliament specified that the 2018 Review must reduce the number of constituencies, and therefore MPs, in the UK, to 600. It asked us, as an independent and impartial body, to consider where the boundaries of the new constituencies in England should be, ensuring that every new constituency (except two for the Isle of Wight) has roughly the same number of electors: no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507.'

According to newspaper and news reports in 2016, the re-balancing part might affect the Labour Party more than the Conservatives, leading to fewer Labour seats. It was described by Labour as gerrymandering (i.e. regions being altered to give advantage to a party). The Liberals would have preferred the review to be cancelled but UKIP was happy for it to go ahead.

As of September 2018, the newly-published review recommendations will await approval from HM Government but there had already been a renewal of fierce objections. Under the heading of 'Political Map is 'appalling' for Barnsley' in the Barnsley Chronicle (14th Sept. 2018), Barnsley MB Council leader, Sir Steve Houghton said that he could 'hardly imagine how anyone could have done a worse job of re-drawing the borough's political map.'

Dan Jarvis MP was just as unhappy about his 'Barnsley Central' constituency disappearing completely, with votes being split into the two new constituencies. In effect, Barnsley would not fully have its own constituency. Part of the borough is already represented by a different MP, Angela Smith, with the current 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' boundary extending well into Dodworth to include such as the Horizon College.

In the article, Jarvis said: "We have had a Barnsley MP since the 1885 Reform Act, and two MPs who have represented just Barnsley since 1983. The proposed boundaries will dilute our town's representation in Parliament as they will result in five different MPs representing different parts of our borough, and none solely representing Barnsley. Regardless of which way you vote, we should all be concerned about proposals that will weaken Barnsley's standing on the national stage. I will not be supporting Boundary Review in its present form , and will vote against it."

The 2018 Review Guide claims that it has attempted to keep to council ward boundaries, except for certain circumstances, but the recommendations have put BMBC Penistone West in with a majority of Kirklees Council wards stretching as far North as the M62, whilst BMBC Penistone East joins with districts under Sheffield City Council. Of course, we are lumping administrative regions in with parliamentary constituencies and they are quite different beasts but the methodology was supposed to keep them together, where possible.

Methodology - 'Guide to the 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies' Page 8, Section 31. (2018 Boundary Revue)

'The BCE seeks to avoid dividing wards between constituencies wherever possible. Wards are well-defined and well-understood units, which are generally indicative of areas which have a broad community of interest. Any division of these units between constituencies would be likely to break local ties, disrupt political party organisations, and cause difficulties for Electoral Registration and Returning Officers. The BCE’s view is therefore that wards should continue to be the default building block for constituencies.

However, the BCE recognises that in a few cases there may be exceptional and compelling circumstances – having regard to the specific factors identified in Rule 5 – that may make it appropriate to divide a ward. Strong evidence and justification will need to be provided in any constituency scheme that proposes to split a ward, and the number of such ward splits should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Examples of circumstances in which the BCE might propose splitting a ward could include: a) where all the possible 'whole ward' options in an area would significantly cut across local ties; or b) where splitting a single ward may prevent a significant 'domino effect' of otherwise unnecessary change to a chain of constituencies in order to meet the electorate totals requirement. Where the BCE does accept the need to split a ward, it will seek to do so along the boundaries of the polling districts that form part of that ward.'

Several local residents had contributed their thoughts in the consultancy phase from September 2016 and particularly to make the point about retaining 'Penistone' in the new constituency title, given its long history. 'Penistone' had been either stood alone or been part of another constituency name since the end of the Great War in 1918. The Commission appears to have taken notice of public responses.

The tables below show how council wards are grouped into the two parliamentary constituencies. Both are described as 'County Constituencies' (as opposed to 'Borough Constituencies') in the Yorkshire and Humber Region.

New 'Colne Valley and Penistone'
Local Authority Region Authority Electorate
Penistone West Barnsley 9,162
Colne Valley Kirklees 13,093
Crossland Moor & Netherton Kirklees 12,481
Golcar Kirklees 13,141
Holme Valley North Kirklees 12,677
Holme Valley South Kirklees 14,345
Total Electorate   74,899

New 'Barnsley West and Stocksbridge'
Local Authority Region Authority Electorate
Central Barnsley Barnsley 7,231
Darton East Barnsley 8,032
Darton West Barnsley 7,875
Dodworth Barnsley 7,917
Kingstone Barnsley 6,792
Old Town Barnsley 7,815
Penistone East Barnsley 8,963
Worsbrough Barnsley 6,981
Stocksbridge & Upper Don Sheffield 14,329
Total Electorate   75,935

Please note that The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), a separate, independent body from the BCE, is responsible for council ward boundaries. Their most recent ward boundary review gave the final recommendations in July 2003 (See BMBC Ward Map Recommendations). The 2018 BCE Review could only consider ward boundaries that were in place on 7th May 2015, that being the date of the most recent election.

Sources: BCE Final Recommendations and low-resolution pdf maps may be found at the 2018 Boundary Revue.

National Boundary Change Effects

2018 Review (Pending Gov't Approval)
Region Old New Δ Con Lab Lib UKIP Grn
N Ireland 18 17 −1 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 59 53 −6 −2 2 −2 0 0
North East 29 25 −4 −1 −3 0 0 0
North West 75 68 −7 0 −6 −1 0 0
Yorks & Humber 54 50 −4 −1 −3 0 0 0
Wales 40 29 −11 −3 −6 0 0 0
West Midlands 59 53 −6 −2 −4 0 0 0
East Midlands 46 44 −2 1 −3 0 0 0
Anglia 58 57 −1 −2 1 0 0 0
South West 55 53 −2 −3 1 0 0 0
London 73 68 −5 −2 −2 −1 0 0
South East 84 83 −1 1 −1 −1 0 0
Total MPs 650 600 −50 −14 −24 −5 0 0

More details are on the Electoral Calculus site. It would appear that Labour's worries about losing places have substance. In the Yorkshire and Humber region, the new boundaries will result in the loss of three Labour seats for only one Conservative seat, in a traditionally Labour-supporting area. A Guardian article sets out Labour's fears, and how the boundary changes could affect certain prominent pro-leave Conservatives.

Sources: 'Electoral Calculus - Boundaries 2018' and 'Electoral Calculus 2018 Yorks Summary.'

Previous to 2018
An earlier Boundary Review of 2013 proposed new constituencies but it was never implemented. That review was conducted on the basis of 1st December 2010 electoral registers, but as the later 2018 Review required a report in September 2018, they had used the published electoral register data of 1st December 2015 as a basis.

A new constituency proposed in 2013 had been 'Sheffield West and Penistone' with Stocksbridge being in 'Stocksbridge and Hillsborough'. Angela Smith MP might have liked that proposal, as she had started her parliamentary career in the earlier 'Hillsborough' constituency.

Previous Constituencies for Penistone

See the a BCE website and Parliament - Constituency Boundaries.

2017 General Election
Four candidates were submitted for election in the 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' constituency for the General Election of Thursday 8th June. Sorry this page is no good on mobile devices, this whole website has been written for PCs and laptops, from its inception in 2000.

Penistone Last
None of the candidates were local to Penistone and none of the campaigning messages specific to Penistone. With their worlds being mostly centred on Sheffield City Council, the focus of the candidates was north Sheffield, with a slight nod towards Stocksbridge. The Penistone district was not referred to in campaign literature, except for the 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' constituency name, and one of the candidates persisted in naming it 'Stocksbridge & Penistone' (online version, not the leaflet distributed in Penistone). That does not win votes on our side of the hill.

However, in this election the national party campaigns had been more effective than any individual campaigns, which were largely lost in the noise. It was billed as the 'Brexit Election', with Mrs May attempting to gain the mandate in her own name, rather than being constrained by previous election promises and with her term of office coming to an end at an awkward time, disrupting the Brexit process. Unfortunately for her, her huge lead at the time of calling the election was gradually eroded away by a very successful campaign by the Labour Party and its activist backers, 'Momentum', which produced some effective campaign materials on social media. The Conservative campaign was lacklustre in comparison and perhaps too heavily reliant upon the Brexit message (and charisma?) of Mrs May.

'Penistone and Stocksbridge' Election Results 2017 - Declared 3.24am, Friday 9th June 2017
Name Home Address Party Votes Ratio Gain/loss ±
Penny Ann Baker Stannington Road, Sheffield, S6. Lib Dems 2,042 6.9% - 2.2%
John Charles Booker Charlton Hill Rise, Burncross, S35 UK Ind Pty 3,453 4.1% - 16.0%
Angela Christine Smith Westwood Close, Sheffield, S6 Labour Pty 22,807 45.8% + 3.8%
Nicola Jayne Wilson Ripley Rd, Knaresborough Conservative 21,485 43.2% +15.5%
  Majority   1,322 1.06%  
Total Votes and Turnout (Electorate 71,293)   49,787 69.8% Up 3.9%

Election Results
The Gain/loss column is compared to the 2015 results below. In the end, it was a very close-run thing in our area, between Labour and Conservative. The percentage UKIP losses in this election were mirrored by the percentage Conservative gains. With such a close result, we might speculate that the absence of a UKIP candidate might have meant a Conservative win. UKIP's votes added to Conservative votes yields 23,527, beating Labour by 720 votes.

But it might not have worked like that. According to experts, some northern losses from UKIP had been transferred to Labour. A TV expert explained that some former UKIP supporters had abandoned their natural party as they were confident that Brexit was on its way; in other words - job done. They felt free to vote for other things. As an individual candidate rather than a party, the UKIP candidate Cllr Booker's credentials would have been good enough anyway, if the national campaigns by the big parties had not been fought on such narrow, partisan lines.

Conservative gains in our area were most likely due to Mrs May's campaign in support of completing the Brexit procedure, with each home under a bombardment of personalised campaign materials through the post. The Conservative candidate lived in North Yorkshire, well away from the local area, and had been elected as recently as May 2017 as a councillor for North Yorkshire County Council. The electorate might have questioned her commitment to the local area, so it is likely that voters had supported the party rather than the individual. The Lib-dems did rather poorly in our region. Their campaign in our district had been much weaker than the other candidates, who at least had made themselves visible in Penistone. No pain, no gain.

The labour candidate was 'mainstream' Labour, rather than leftist (and some might say 'entryist') 'Old Labour' but made only a small gain over the 2015 result. As with the Conservatives, the Labour Party campaign also bombarded us with campaign materials but appeared to be more in touch with popular thought by playing upon some of the excesses of Conservative policy (Eg. UK subsidies going to foreign, state-owned railway companies, stealth privatisation of the NHS, etc., etc.) and to great effect. The Old Labour faction was polishing its act.

We can congratulate Angela Smith MP for her success, albeit with a narrow majority. This would make it her seventh year as MP for 'Penistone and Stocksbridge'. However, the proposed boundary changes might affect the results of future elections (see below).

Notes from the 2017 General Election
Note that Sheffield City Council gave the turnout as 69.05%, while the BBC and my own calculation gave 69.8%.
National Turnout was 68.73% of an electorate of 46,843,705 (also given as 68.7%, 46,843,896). It was up 2.3% over the 2015 election.

Daily Telegraph - National voting trends:

Notice of Poll (pdf) - Posted at Sheffield City Council
BBC Election 2017 - The source of the above results table

Pre-election sources:
General Election Documents - Posted at BMBC.
Democracy Club - Some of the candidate details in the table above have been sources from this site. Penny Baker needs to update hers.
Party Funding - At the Electoral Commission.
'Reality Check' - The BBC considers the viability of party manifestos.
Sheffield Star - MP Angela Smith is one of many Labour MPs asking Jeremy Corbyn to stand down as party leader.
Opinion Polling Wiki - Aggregates opinion polls for this election.
2017 GE Hustings - Nothing listed for our area.

Nicola Jayne Wilson - Is listed at Companies House under the surname of Faris-Wilson.

The 2015 Parliamentary Election
for the 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' constituency. The 'Ratio' column is the proportion of votes compared to total votes.
The election was held on Thursday 7th May 2015 at the same time as BMBC and PTC elections.

'Penistone and Stocksbridge' Constituency 2015
Name Home Address Party Votes Ratio Gain/loss ±
Rosalyn Jane Gordon Fleet, Hants, GU51 3DX Lib Dems 4 - 2,957 6.3 % - 14.8 %
Steven Jackson Harrogate, HG3 2YA. Conservative 2 - 12,968 27.7 % - 3.5 %
Colin Porter Barugh Green, S75 1LN. Eng Dems 5 - 500 1.1 % 0 %
Angela C Smith Sheffield, S6 1UQ. Labour Pty 1 - 19,691 42.0 % + 4.3 %
Graeme Waddicar Oughtibridge, S35 0FW. UK Ind Pty 3 - 10,738 22.9 % + 18.8 %
  Majority   6,723 14.3 % 3.9% swing
Con to Lab
Total Votes and Turnout Electorate = 71.048   46,854 65.9 %  

UK Parliament 2015
Party 2010 Seats 2015 Seats
Conservative 307 37.0% 331 37.8%
Labour 258 29.7% 232 31.2%
Lib Dems 57 23.6% 8 8.1%
UK Ind Pty 0 3.2% 1 12.9%
Green Pty 1 1.0% 1 3.8%
Scot Nat Pty 6 1.7% 56 4.9%
Plaid Cymru 3 0.6% 3 0.6%
Minor 0 3.4% 0 0.8%
N. Ireland 18   18  

Disregarding, for the moment, the smaller parties, Penistone East had a Lab/Con ratio of about 2/3, while Penistone West was only slightly in favour of the Conservatives and could have been winnable by either party. Somewhat predictably, Dodworth's Lab/Con ratio was about 3/2. The 'Stocksbridge and Upper Don' area had a Lab/Con ratio of about 7/4 but UKIP had gained significantly more votes than Labour, in line with a national trend against the EU. (Source: Electoral Calculus).

The 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' constituency was formed in 2010. From 1993 to 2010, it had been 'Barnsley West and Penistone'. A boundary review in 2013 proposed the new constituency of 'Sheffield West and Penistone' but this was not enacted. Proposals fro a new boundary review are referred to in the item above this one. The next boundary review will take place in 2018.

See the Boundary Commission.
See also the Electoral Commission Report on the 2015 Election (pdf).
BBC Constituencies - Shows much the same as the above table.

2015 Notes
Party Gains/Losses ± column is compared against the 2010 election (details below).
No further information on turnout and spoiled papers available.
Main source: BBC News. Turnout information: Daily Express.
2015 UK Polling Report.
'They Work for You' has a page on our MP.
The BBC has another.

VE Day 2016, MP Angela Smith - picture not 'clickable'Penistone's MP
Penistone's current MP is Angela Christine Smith, born in Grimsby but now living in Hillsborough, Sheffield, where she was elected MP in 2005. The Sheffield Hillsborough seat was abolished in 2010, when she stood for and won the 2010 election for the newly-created 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' constituency. She is Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Although not prominent at Penistone events and somewhat distant from local issues (which usually involve Barnsley's Labour-held Council), our MP appears to be generally well-regarded in the Penistone area. This picture shows her at the VE Day Commemoration in Penistone Church (Friday 8th May 2015), where she gave a fine (if rare) speech.

The Star reported her 2015, post-election statement:
"It feels really good to have more than doubled the majority but I will not rest on my laurels. You cannot take majorities for granted nowadays and we'll carry on working as hard as we can to deserve majorities like that. I feel happy; humbled; because, as I said in my speech, I never take elections for granted; ever. ... I always refuse to believe that I've won until I've actually seen the ballot paper on the table in front of me. It is a humbling experience."

"To voters I would like to say, thank you very much. I'm very grateful. I'll work as hard for you as I can and do my best to represent you effectively in Westminster."

Check the Penistone MP's expenses at IPSA.
See also 'They Work for You'

Tel: 020 7219 6713
Fax: 020 7219 8598
Constituency Address: The Arc, Town Hall, Sheffield S36 2DT.
Parliamentary Address: The House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Website: Angela Smith MP.

2010 Parliamentary Election
The election was held on Thursday 6th May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters in the country. The boundary of the Parliamentary Constituency of 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' boundary was redrawn for this election, linking two quite separate areas.

'Penistone & Stocksbridge' Election 2010
Name Party Pty Funding Votes Ratio
Angela Smith Labour £14,295.81 17,565 37.76 %
Spencer Pitfield Conservative £19,573.01 14,516 31.21 %
Ian Cuthbertson Liberal Democrat £3,437.47 9,800 21.07 %
Paul James British National Party   2,207 4.74 %
Grant French UKIP   1,936 4.16 %
Paul McEnhill English Democrat   492 1.06 %
  Postal Votes   12,426 -
  Rejected Votes   83 -
Total Votes and Turnout Electorate = 68,480   47,074 67.93 %

2010 Notes
The Labour majority was 3,049 (6.55%), compared with the 2005 Labour majority of 8,617, but the boundary changes make the comparison of doubtful merit. Party funding figures in this table were from the Yorkshire Post, Sat 5th April 2011.

Of Interest:

2005 Parliamentary Election
Michael Clapham held Penistone through four elections, from 1992 until 2010, when Angela Smith reigned supreme.

'Barnsley West and Penistone' Election 2005
Name Party Votes Ratio
Michael Clapham Labour 20,372 55.3 %
C Watkinson Conservative 9,058 24.6 %
Ms AE Brelsford Liberal Democrat 7,422 20.1 %
  Postal Votes ? -
  Rejected Votes ? -
Total Votes and Turnout Electorate = 67,123 36,852 54.9 %

The 'Barnsley West and Penistone' Constituency existed from 1993 to 2010. Before that it was just the 'Penistone' constituency.

Penistone MPs over time
Liberal at first but mostly Labour over the years. Clifford Glossop of the Conservative Party bucked the trend but, after 1935, Penistone returned to being a Labour Party stronghold.

Penistone Parliamentary Elections 1918 to Current
Years Election Years MP Born Died P'ty
1918: Penistone Constituency, to 1983. Previously under Holmfirth.
1918 - 1921 1918
(Resigned 1921)
Mr Sydney Arnold
(Holmfirth 1912-14)
13 Jan 1878 3 Aug 1945 Lib
1921 - 1922 1921 Mr William Gillis 10 Nov 1859 18 Sep 1929 Lab
1922 - 1924 1922, '23 Mr William Mather Rutherford Pringle 22 Jan 1874 1 Apr 1928 Lib
1924 - 1931 1924, '29 Mr Rennie Smith 14 Apr 1888 25 May 1962 Lab
1931 - 1935 1931 Mr Clifford William Hudson Glossop 30 Jun 1901 4 Jul 1975 Con
1935 - 1959 1935 (by), '45,
'50, 51, '55
Mr Henry McGhee 3 Jul 1898 6 Feb 1959 Lab
1959 - 1978 1959, '64, '66,
'70, '74,
Mr John Jakob Mendelson 6 Jul 1917 20 May 1978 Lab
1978 - 1983 1978 (by), '79, Mr Allen McKay 5 Feb 1927 2 May 2013 Lab
1983: 'Barnsley West and Penistone' Constituency
1983 - 1987 1983, 87 Mr Allen McKay 5 Feb 1927   Lab
1992 - 2010 1992, '97, '01, 05 Mr Michael Clapham 15 May 1943   Lab
2010: 'Penistone and Stocksbridge' Constituency
2010 - Now 2010, '15, '17 Mrs Angela Christine Smith 16 Aug 1961   Lab
Next Election: 'Colne Valley and Penistone' Constituency
??   ??     ??

The election of 1918 was called immediately after the Armistice had been signed with Germany following the Great War.
The Penistone Constituency was created in 1918 but Penistone had also been in the Holmfirth Constituency, see below.

Mr Sydney Arnold was a banker who won the Holmfirth by-election of 1912. This following the resignation of Liberal MP Henry Wilson at the age of 79, who had been MP since the Holmfirth Constituency was formed in 1885. Mr Arnold resigned from the newly-formed Penistone Constituency in 1921 due to ill health. He became the First Baron Arnold in 1924 and later joined the Labour Party.

Prior to 'The Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885', the Southern Division of the West Riding of Yorkshire returned just two MPs to Parliament. This was changed in 1885 to eight, single-member divisions with one MP each:

Sources: 1, 2.

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