It’s Up the Poll! 2015: Tameside’s General Election

The third part of East of the M60‘s preview of the Local, Parish and General Elections

  • Greens and UKIP to stand in all three of the borough’s constituencies;
  • Stalybridge and Hyde seat likely Tory target.
View towards Eastwood bird reserve, Cheethams Park
Cheethams Park, Stalybridge, towards the Eastwood Bird Reserve.

 

For the last 30 years, you could always count on Tameside being staunch Labour territory in the parliamentary elections. Ashton-under-Lyne was always associated with Robert Sheldon, hence the name of the arterial road on Ashton Moss and the public house. Stalybridge and Hyde, and the Denton and Reddish seats, equally so.

In the last five years we have seen Ashton-under-Lyne and Denton and Reddish remain Labour strongholds, in spite of boundary changes. Stalybridge and Hyde has gone from being a strong Labour to a fairly marginal one. 1997 saw its boundary change to cover Mossley, with Dukinfield joining the Denton and Reddish constituency.

As Stalybridge and Hyde takes in Mottram-in-Longdendale, the biggest concern among its residents is the Longdendale Bypass. The implications of this project being passed from pillar to post may be on their electorate’s minds. Likewise to a lesser extent with recent developments in Stalybridge and Mossley.

With Tameside bearing the brunt of the ConDems’ public sector cuts, we could be in an interesting set of results. Given the rise in popularity of UKIP and the Green Party, expect to see some reduced majorities.

Constituencies contested, by party:

  • Labour (including Labour Co-op): 3;
  • The Green Party of England and Wales: 3;
  • Conservative Party: 3;
  • United Kingdom Independence Party: 3;
  • Independent candidates: 1;
  • Liberal Democrats: 3.

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Candidates by constituency:

Please note that the asterisk denotes a sitting Member of Parliament. Each constituency is colour coded according to its incumbent party.

Ashton-under-Lyne

This seat is of particular interest to politicos owing to the fact only one male is among the five candidates. In the last year, Robert Sheldon’s successor David Heyes stood down due to ill health. Therefore, Labour’s candidate for 2015 is Angela Rayner. If elected, she could be Ashton-under-Lyne’s first female MP. She is also a Unison official for its Stockport branch.

Also standing as a parliamentary candidate as well as in the local election is Charlotte Hughes. Many of you may be familiar with The Poor Side of Life, her blog on the travails of battling with the DWP and its liberal use of sanctions against unemployed persons.

Ashton’s sole male candidate Maurice Jackson, is standing for the United Kingdom Independence Party. He is also standing as candidate for the Audenshaw ward in the local elections.

The Conservative Party candidate Tracy Sutton has previously stood as a candidate in the 2014 local elections for the Lewisham Central ward. She is a teacher and a Manchester City supporter, who studied a PGCE at Goldsmiths College.

Carly Hicks, the Liberal Democrats’ candidate moved to Greater Manchester from Cornwall for study. From there, she trained to become a solicitor. In between studies, she became a tireless campaigner for the Lib Dems.

  • Tracy Sutton, Conservative Party;
  • Angela Rayner, Labour Party;
  • Charlotte Hughes, Green Party;
  • Maurice Jackson, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Carly Hicks, Liberal Democrats.

2010 Results:

  • David Heyes, Labour Party: 18,604 (48.4%);
  • Seema Kennedy, Conservative Party: 9,510 (24.7%);
  • Paul Larkin, Liberal Democrats: 5,703 (14.8%);
  • David Lomas, British National Party: 2,929 (7.6%);
  • Angela McManus, United Kingdom Independence Party: 1,686 (4.4%).

Turnout: 38,432 (56.9%)

Majority: 9,094.

Labour hold.

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Denton and Reddish

Often a safe seat for Labour, Andrew Gwynne‘s local support in Denton may well ensure his retention. Taking over from Andrew Bennett in 2005, his majority was dented by a 5.6% swing to the Conservatives, and a 2.6% swing to UKIP in 2010.

Conservative candidate Lana Hempsall‘s interest in politics was sparked by involvement in her local Parish Council. She is an Operations Director for EMA Ltd and has been a district councillor for Acle, a village close to Great Yarmouth.

Also standing in the Hyde Godley ward is Green Party candidate Nick Koopman. A Data Manager aged 27, he has lived in Tameside all his life. He has campaigned against the development of Reddish Vale Country Park and noticed how the spending cuts have adversely changed his area.

Mark Jewell, the Liberal Democrats’ candidate has had experience with the Preston and Wyre Lib Dems. In 2009, he exposed how Lancashire County Council used anti-terrorism laws on its cleaning staff. He has also worked for BAE Systems.

The UKIP candidate Andrew Fairfoull is the Deputy Chairperson for the party’s North West region. He has for over 30 years been a Chemistry teacher to ‘O’ Level, GCSE and iGCSE students. Last year, he stood as PPC in the Manchester Wythenshawe by-election following the death of Paul Goggins MP.

For the second General Election running, Denton and Reddish sees an Independent candidate. This time, Victoria Lofas, a local candidate who has appeared in theatrical productions at the Stockport Garrick Theatre.

  • Andrew Gwynne*, Labour Party;
  • Lana Hempsall, Conservative Party;
  • Nick Koopman, Green Party;
  • Mark Jewell, Liberal Democrats;
  • Andrew Fairfoull, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Victoria Lofas, Independent candidate.

2010 Results:

  • Andrew Gwynne, Labour Party: 19,191 (51%);
  • Julie Searle, Conservative Party: 9,360 (24.9%);
  • Stephen Broadhurst, Liberal Democrats: 6,727 (17.4%);
  • William Robinson, United Kingdom Independence Party: 2,060 (5.5%);
  • Jeff Dennis, Independent candidate: 297 (0.8%).

Turnout: 37,635 (58.1%)

Majority: 9,831.

Labour hold.

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Stalybridge and Hyde

The Stalybridge and Hyde constituency has been Labour since 1945. After Tom Pendry took over from Fred Blackburn in 1970 it became a safe seat. Today it is a marginal seat with its present majority of 2,744 the slimmest since 1959.

The present incumbent Jonathan Reynolds has helped to campaign for the construction of the Longdendale Bypass as well as helping to improve local train services. With his seat covering most part of the former SHMD area, transport is likely to be a major issue among his constituents.

For the second election running, Stalybridge and Hyde will see a Green Party candidate. Mossley’s Jenny Ross is also a stand-up comedian who won the BBC New Comedy Award. Also a journalist and presenter, she is passionate about environmental and social justice.

Carrying the baton for UKIP is Angela McManus. A nurse at Tameside Hospital, she is also standing as candidate for the Stalybridge North ward. As a local election candidate her fifth time, and her first as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.

Hoping to eclipse Mr Adlard’s progress in 2010 is Martin Riley, the Conservative Party candidate. With his local ties and family in the area, he aims to “focus on being an MP for the local people”.

Standing for the Liberal Democrats is Pete Flynn. He is an economics graduate from Cambridge University and believes in economic growth being focused around local communities. His wife, Helen Flynn is standing as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency.

  • Martin Riley, Conservative Party;
  • Angela McManus, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Jenny Ross, Green Party;
  • Jonathan Reynolds*, Labour Co-op Party;
  • Pete Flynn, Liberal Democrats.

2010 Results:

  • Jonathan Reynolds, Labour Co-op Party: 16,189 (39.6%);
  • Rob Adlard, Conservative Party: 13,445 (32.9%);
  • John Potter, Liberal Democrats: 6,965 (17%);
  • Anthony Jones, British National Party: 2,259 (5.5%);
  • John Cooke, United Kingdom Independence Party: 1,342 (3.3%);
  • Ruth Bergan, Green Party: 679 (1.7%).

Turnout: 40,879 (59.2%)

Majority: 2,744.

Labour hold.

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Next up on It’s Up The Poll! 2015

With most of the main parties’ manifestoes due out soon, we shall be looking at the policies affecting the people of Tameside. We shall be looking at twelve key policy areas and stating where each party stands on each one. First up will be Labour, whose manifesto was launched today.

S.V., 13 April 2015.

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