Monday, 3 February 2014

Focus on Wythenshawe

In the first week of January Labour MP Paul Goggins went out for a run, collapsed, and died a few days later. Thursday next week there will be a by-election to replace him in his Manchester constituency of Wythenshawe and Sale East. Obviously the Labour candidate Michael Kane will win and become the new MP.

At the 2010 the general election the results were as follows:

Candidate               Party   Votes   Percent

Paul Goggins            Labour  17,987  44.1
Janet Clowes            Con     10,412  25.6
Martin Eakins           LibDem  9,107   22.3
Bernard Todd            BNP     1,572    3.9
Christopher Cassidy     UKIP    1,405    3.4
Lynn Worthington        TUSC    268      0.7

(TUSC is a small trade unionist/socialist party.)
Labour holding the seat is not really in question. The two questions of note are, 1) will the Lib Dems get wiped out, and 2) how big a bite out of the Tories will UKIP take?

Wythenshawe is seen as a good early indicator of how the European elections in May are going to go. On the basis of Wythenshawe we could see realignments of the parties; the Lib Dems may be forced to distance themselves (further) from their government partners - they are already getting fractious with them and the Tories may be forced to formalise some sort of relationship with UKIP.

Sadly, the BNP is expected to lose vote share to UKIP.

So the significance of Wythenshawe is very much in the small print.

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