The Casual Vacancy occurs in the Parish Council when the popular Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly of an aneurism. The small village of Pagford is torn apart by petty jealousies and rivalries, and social and political ambitions. The main issue driving the election campaign concerns the public housing community, The Fields. The high class citizens of the village want nothing to do with the council estate. They believe the inhabitants of The Fields to be an idle group, who live off the state and pass through addiction centers. Barry Fairbrother had himself come from The Fields and shared a bond with the people there. He wanted to bring the council estate into the mainstream of the Parish Council and had been working on many programmes to help the people of The Field. One of his favorite proteges was Krystal Weedon, the daughter of a heroin addict mother. He includes her in a rowing team at the school and tries in other ways to bring her of her tough shell and fit into the larger community. After Barry's death, the undercurrent in the community rise to the surface. The online parish community becomes a hotbed for rumor and accusations as someone under the name The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother reveals secrets about those who are contesting for the council seat.