Voters have their say in Labour stronghold

June 1970

South Yorkshire Times, June 13, 1970

Voters have their say in Labour stronghold

Prospects are very bright for the Labour Party on June 18th, according to the electorate of the Dearne Valley area. “They have done good work for the country in the past six years and they will continue to do so,” said one former domestic worker of Mexborough

She reflected the general feeling of people locally.

Young and old alike are keeping their fingers crossed that Mr. Wilson will retain his position — but this seems hardly surprising in Labour strongholds like Dearne Valley and Hemsworth.

Even in these strongholds, however, there are a few people who say the Conservatives will be successful.

Mrs. Rose Redfern, of 85, Brampton Road, Wombwell, said this week, “I think the Conservatives will win.”

Her husband is a self employed bricklayer, Mrs. Redfern did not say whether or not she thought the country would benefit under a Tory Government if they were returned.

Old and poor

“The Labour Party help the old and the poor. They are also good for students,” said Mrs. D. Wroe, a widow, of Burman Road, Wath. She thought that she had benefited under the Labour Government throughout their period in power.

The Labour-minded electorate of the Dearne Valley can see little wrong with the policies of the Socialists. “They are for the workers,” said a local woman.

Glyn and Phyllis Edwards of 196, Doncaster Road, Wath, are expecting their second baby about the time of the General Election. They look forward to the “excellent family allowances ” which they say they will receive under the Labour Government.

His first vote

Twenty-three-years-old Glyn, a pump man at Manvers Preparation Plant, will be casting his vote for the first time this month.

He thought the Labour Party had undertaken a hard task when they came to power. “Labour have been mending the damage done by the Conservative Party in past years. They will show profit in the next five years if they are re-elected.”

Unlike him was Mr. Philip Hatch, agency inspector for a large insurance company, whom I interviewed in Goldthorpe. He thought the Conservatives had found it necessary to spend time bringing the country back to normality nearly 20 years ago when they last ousted the Labour Party. If the Tories were returned to power, they would again have to undertake to bring the country back.

“It is time the Conservatives were back in power,” he said. “The record has not been good for Labour in the past five years and people abroad have lost confidence in this country.

“1 feel the Conservatives could bring the country hack to its former position.”

People are always divided in their opinions of how well each Party has handled its work. Eunice Cornell, a housewife of 83, Wath Road, Mexborough, says Mr. Wilson has chosen the right time to go to the country


Giving fair judgment of both the Socialists and the Tories Mrs. Connell condemned both Parties for their continual back biting and verbal fighting.

“It is ridiculous,” she said “I think Ted Heath has put his foot in it and the Party consequently lose a lot of support”

Mr. Edwards attributed these personal attack to both party readers as did most people, but Mrs. Wroe was adamant that no harm could come from the Labour party. She Said, “Labour have never said a wrong word. “The Conservatives do too much of this back biting.

Mrs  Pamela Mark said, “I would like to see a Party in who would do what they mean.

Generally  people say the parties do not undertake what they say and that they rarely the facts of what they mean.

Rival leaders

On personalities of the leading members of the two parties, opinions seem to be fairly consistent.

Very few people admire Mr. Heath for his outlook on politics. Even Mr. Hatch said, “I don’t like Heath as a party leader.”

Mr. Heath was criticised for being weak. Mr. Arthur Angel, a Goldthorpe civil servant, who lives in Wombwell, said, “Heath is inoffensive.    He is not a leader. Other Tories — for example Powell — get irate too easily.

“I think Wilson has a strong personality and comes over well. He is always cool and calm.”

He thinks Mr. Wilson has performed his task as Prime Minister well under the circumstances he has had to face.