Congratulations to Sarah Champion, the new Labour MP for Rotherham (full results below). She will no doubt do a great job in the role – we hope better than her predecessor Denis MacShane.
So can we all breathe a sigh of relief? Well, of course, in that Labour won. Respect may be capable of delivering reality-checks to Labour, as in Bradford West, but only Labour can deliver a government that works in the interests of working people. And that’s not to mention the appalling judgment calls made by George Galloway – and candidates who have refused to distance themselves from him – in recent months. It’s welcome to see those rejected – and of course, Yvonne Ridley appeared on the ballot paper as “Respect (George Galloway)”.
But the result is hardly a vindication of the selection process that saw local candidates kept off the ballot paper by the party machine. With a turnout of 33 per cent and an unheard-of second place for a party that capitalises on disillusionment, it is clear that voters have been turned off by the political process that disenfranchised the people of their town.