Eight candidates competed for the seat in the 2010 general election; however, the largest two opposition parties failed to gain more than 18.2% each and the winning candidate Michael Dugher managed to obtain 47% of all votes despite the presence of a candidate from the Socialist Labour Party. Although the percentage decline in the Labour vote was the largest in the country (at nearly 24%), they still won the seat safely.
In 2017, Stephanie Peacock succeeded Dugher as Member of Parliament for Barnsley East.
Both between 1983 and 1997, and at the 2010 general election, this constituency has been a safe seat for the Labour Party, as indeed was its temporary replacement, Barnsley East and Mexborough.
1983–1997: The Borough of Barnsley wards of Brierley, Cudworth, Darfield, Dearne South, Dearne Thurnscoe, Wombwell North, and Wombwell South.
2010–present: The Borough of Barnsley wards of Cudworth, Darfield, Hoyland Milton, North East, Rockingham, Stairfoot, Wombwell, and Worsbrough.
Following the death of Terry Patchett on 11 October 1996, a by-election was held on 12 December 1996. The replacement Labour candidate Jeff Ennis held the seat for the party despite a low voter turnout.
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