Manchester Gorton by-election, 4/5/2017

Prof Honeydew

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While it may be overshadowed by local elections in all of Scotland and Wales and most of England as well as locally by the first ever direct election for Mayor of Manchester, the Manchester Gorton by-election on the 4th of May will be another straw in the British political wind. Its nearest equivalent in recent by-elections is Stoke-on-Trent Central which Labour retained in February although with a reduced majority but there are a number of significant differences with that other inner-city constituency. While both are heavily working-class, Gorton has a 30% Asian Muslim population compared with the overwhelmingly White British Stoke and this is reflected in the UKIP vote which threatened a seat in February but which wasn't at the races in Gorton in the 2015 General Election where long-time MP Gerald Kaufman's 67% share of the vote was almost 60% ahead of the Green and Tory candidates in second and third places.

On paper, the result should be a Labour shoo-in where it gained its biggest majority in an English constituency in 2015. Unlike Stoke Central which was the result of an MP resigning for a better-paying job, they're also defending a seat after the death of a popular local representative. Gorton is estimated to have voted 62% Remain in the Brexit referendum.

2015
Labour, 28,187, 67.1%, +17.0%
Green, 4,108, 9.8%, +7.0%
Cons, 4,063, 9.7%, −1.4%
UKIP, 3,434, 8.2%, +8.2%
Lib Dem, 1,782, 4.2%, −28.4%
Other, 445, 1.0%, -2.5%
Majority, 24,079, 57.3%, +39.8%
Turnout 42,019, 57.6%, +7.1%

However, the 2015 figures are an anomaly as the Liberals gained over 30% of the vote in 2005 and 2010 when the Labour majority was 20% and 17%.

The five main parties are contesting the by-election as well as Independent George Galloway and the usual line-up of far right, far left and loony no-hopers. Galloway is a former left-wing Labour MP for Glasgow between 1987 and 2005 who was expelled from the party over Iraq. He then represented a heavily Asian London East End constituency between 2005 and 2010 for the Respect Party he founded, was beaten in 2010 and re-entered Parliament as MP for the strongly Muslim Bradford West in the 2012 by-election before losing again 2015.

Labour's candidate Afzal Khan MEP, the first Muslim Lord Mayor of Manchester, was chosen from an all Asian shortlist and the Tories' Shaden Jaradat is also a Muslim.

Paddy Power has Labour red-hot favourites at 1/7 followed by the Lib Dems at 5/1 and Galloway at 12/1 with the rest in dreamland. As things stand, it looks as if Jeremy Corbyn will have his second by-election success. Galloway's star has dimmed with the Asian community in particular since the bruising 2015 General Election in Bradford West saw his 10,000 majority over Labour turn into a deficit of 11,000. LibDem candidate Dr. Jackie Pearcey stood in Gorton in 1997 and 2001 but with, 17% and 21%, didn't perform as well as their candidates in 2005 and 2010.

If Labour have any worries, they may result from resentment at the exclusion of White British applicants from the shortlist which also went against the wishes of the Corbynista Constituency Labour Party by choosing a candidate from the party's more conservative wing. The local elections and the novel direct election for a Greater Manchester Mayor (which Labour's Andy Burnham is heavily favoured to win) being held on the same day are likely to result in a turnout above what would be expected in a by-election and this may have a bearing on the Galloway and LibDem vote.

Corbyn needs a Labour vote in excess of 55% to draw any comfort from the result. The LibDems will be hoping to re-establish their position as the main alternative in this strongly anti-Brexit constituency but will need a major swing from their 2015 share of under 5% to over 30% if they're keep their post-referendum momentum on the boil. Galloway needs a second place to retain any relevance in British politics. As the Tories haven't breached 12% in Gorton since 1992, they're unlikely to drum up any great degree of enthusiasm in their campaign and any increase on their 9.7% share in 2015 will be seen as a success. Their main goal may be to finish ahead of UKIP and drive another nail into the coffin of their rivals on the right.
 
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midlander12

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I think the LD's have a chance here, in a three-way contest, if Galloway makes any impact.
 

ffc

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Galloway won a by election in Bradford a few years ago. It was a Lab safe seat with a large Asian/muslim electorate. By elections are never good indicators of the GE, Labour won the seat back easily at the 2015 election.

It won't be Corbyn's second by election victory, it will be his sixth, Oldham, Sheffield, Ogmore, Tooting and Stoke, all won comfortably.
The only loss, Copeland, had some particular local issues which went against Corbyn's nuclear power beliefs.
 

theloner

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You're obsessed Wes. Ken put his head above the parapet for all types of minorities throughout his career. Encouraging a little support in return isn't exactly a call to gas the Joos again. No doubt Kaufman was an anti-semite too? His consistent and articulate criticism of Israel would have the Zionist loons say so, but only if his family name was Cole or McCarthy, or his grandmother wasn't gunned down in her bed by the Nazis. :roll:
 

former wesleyan

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You're obsessed Wes. Ken put his head above the parapet for all types of minorities throughout his career. Encouraging a little support in return isn't exactly a call to gas the Joos again. No doubt Kaufman was an anti-semite too? His consistent and articulate criticism of Israel would have the Zionist loons say so, but only if his family name was Cole or McCarthy..
Galloway is a creep. Livingstone likewise. As for Kaufman, there's no shortage of Jewish anti-semites.
 

former wesleyan

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What a bizarre assessment. Do you think everyone who opposes the crimes of the Israeli state hates Jews?
I think that people who talk about the crimes of the Israeli state are usually anti-semites to a greater or lesser degree despite their protestations to the contrary.
 

RasherHash

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What a bizarre assessment. Do you think everyone who opposes the crimes of the Israeli state hates Jews?
He thinks everyone is a raging antisemite until proven innocent by licking Israelite ar$e.
 

RasherHash

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Galloway has criticised Labour for only listing "South Asian" candidates, he seems to have a point.

If they were all whites some people would be screaming from the roof tops.

Elections will become increasingly racial battlegrounds if people are only going to vote along racial lines.

Galloway, 62, who has represented constituencies in London, Bradford and Glasgow during a political career spanning more than 40 years, said the “all-Asian shortlist” selected by Labour was the latest in a long line of insults delivered by mainstream parties to local communities”.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/21/george-galloway-to-stand-in-manchester-gorton-byelection
 

locke

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Galloway seems to be yesterday's man in general. His popularity stemmed from his position on the Iraq war, but that is fading into history.

I can't see Labour managing to lose this one.

The interesting figure to watch will be the Lib Dem one. If they get over 20%, they are recovering the support they lost post-coalition and things are starting to look good for them.
 

Cai

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Galloway won a by election in Bradford a few years ago. It was a Lab safe seat with a large Asian/muslim electorate. By elections are never good indicators of the GE, Labour won the seat back easily at the 2015 election.

It won't be Corbyn's second by election victory, it will be his sixth, Oldham, Sheffield, Ogmore, Tooting and Stoke, all won comfortably.
The only loss, Copeland, had some particular local issues which went against Corbyn's nuclear power beliefs.
He won't do well here, he'll be toxic. Gorton is a strong Remain area.
 

livingstone

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Galloway seems to be yesterday's man in general. His popularity stemmed from his position on the Iraq war, but that is fading into history.

I can't see Labour managing to lose this one.

The interesting figure to watch will be the Lib Dem one. If they get over 20%, they are recovering the support they lost post-coalition and things are starting to look good for them.
All seems right. Galloway thrives on sucking oxygen from others by being Galloway. He's not doing that this time because his schtick is so old and predictable.

Labour will almost certainly hold this. Very small chance of a LibDem gain, but it is VERY small.

The key, as you say, will be how close the LibDems come which will tell us about how much they are beginning to recover. There's an odd situation where the LibDems national polling isn't great - hovering around 10/11/12% which is not a huge gain on 2015 and nowhere near where they were in 2010 or 2005.

But on the other hand, they are doing well locally, with some pretty dramatic swings to them. It looks like when people are polled nationally and in the abstract, the LibDems are still not a popular choice, but when people have an actual choice to make, they are doing better.
 

rainmaker

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He called on the London Irish to support Ken and rightly so.

Everything is antisemitism to you, but in reality it doesn't exist.
Hmm, do you really think Livingstone needs a holocaust denying, neo Nazi Hitler fan like you supporting him right now?

On the other hand, be my guest...
 

rainmaker

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He thinks everyone is a raging antisemite until proven innocent by licking Israelite ar$e.
To be fair you have posts in their thousands expressing your admiration for Hitler and claiming the holocaust is a fictional story invented by Jews to make money, which according to you is typical of them.

I mean, you could see how some people might get the silly idea you're a raging anti Semite :roll:
 

cricket

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Surprised that Galloway hasn't been found out by some yet as a charlatan.
 

RasherHash

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Galloway seems to be yesterday's man in general. His popularity stemmed from his position on the Iraq war, but that is fading into history.

I can't see Labour managing to lose this one.

The interesting figure to watch will be the Lib Dem one. If they get over 20%, they are recovering the support they lost post-coalition and things are starting to look good for them.
Another point I would make about this wrt democracy, is that these people (largely LP) are driven into a frenzy in order to get the mercs and percs FOR LIFE, I believe that MPs or TDs should NOT be in the job for life, it would be more democratic to limit people to two terms rather than allow them to sit on €90,000 jobs for life without most of them achieving anything of any value at all for the nation.
 

RasherHash

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Hmm, do you really think Livingstone needs a holocaust denying, neo Nazi Hitler fan like you supporting him right now?
You're quite insane aren't you?
 

locke

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Another point I would make about this wrt democracy, is that these people (largely LP) are driven into a frenzy in order to get the mercs and percs FOR LIFE, I believe that MPs or TDs should NOT be in the job for life, it would be more democratic to limit people to two terms rather than allow them to sit on €90,000 jobs for life without most of them achieving anything of any value at all for the nation.
In a parliamentary democracy, a time limit makes more sense that a term limit.

Imagine a TD elected in Ireland in February 1981. By November 1982 their career would have been over with term limits.
 


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