Tag Archives: by-elections

Manchester Gorton: Times reports on “serious challenge by the Liberal Democrats”

According to the Times today (£) the Liberal Democrats are putting up a serious challenge to Labour in the Manchester Gorton seat. We know that’s true, of course, because we are running a pretty vigorous campaign. Key people in the party are making it known that they are clearing their diaries and heading there as much as they possibly can. However, it’s good to hear serious journalists taking serious note of what they are being told:

With the vote less than three weeks away, party sources said that the Lib Dems were stronger than they had been in the Witney by-election, when Tim Farron’s party lost but achieved a 19.3 per cent swing from the Tories.

Losing would be a disaster for Labour and would rank as one of the great by-election shocks. The 31 per cent swing required for a Lib Dem victory would be the eighth largest since the war, according to Matt Singh, an election analyst.

The Guardian quotes a campaign briefing written by the Party’s Deputy Campaigns Director Dave McCobb:

But a briefing for senior Lib Dem officials and campaigners – written by deputy director of campaigns Dave McCobb – says the party’s messages on Brexit, including calls for a second referendum on the outcome of negotiations, are winning over voters in a seat where more than 60% voted remain in last June’s Brexit referendum.

McCobb says the Lib Dems are making up ground fast and are on 31%, with Labour on 51% – a level of support that is, he says, “running well ahead of where we were in the Witney byelection and approaching Richmond Park levels of support at this stage.”

But someone doesn’t seem to have noticed this:

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LibLink: Jackie Pearcey: Only the Lib Dems can stop a hard Brexit

Writing on the Times Red Box site (£), Manchester Gorton’s brilliant Lib Dem candidate Jackie Pearcey has said that only the Lib Dems can offer national opposition to a hard brexit and take on a Labour Party which takes people for granted.

She outlines some of the ways that they have done so in Gorton – in a city where they have all but one councillor:

Residents here are also tired of being ignored by the Labour-run council, which has become a de facto one-party state. This constituency is full of proud communities, passionate about improving their area. I was proud to serve as a councillor here for 21 years, fighting hard with local people to protect green spaces and improve services.

Years of neglect by the council have taken their toll. Many of the roads now have more craters than a lunar landscape. A deeply unpopular decision to reduce bin sizes has led to an epidemic of fly-tipping. Small business owners are struggling with soaring rents. These are the symptoms of a Labour party that takes voters for granted and is more interested in spending cash on glitzy developments in the city centre than investing in the neglected suburbs.

A Labour win would let them off the hook, she says:

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John Leech writes: Come and help deliver a knockout blow to Labour and hard Brexit in Gorton

Having spent the last few weeks delivering leaflets and talking to residents in Manchester Gorton I wanted to share my thoughts on the by-election.

Manchester Gorton presents a huge opportunity for us as a party. The response that we are getting for our candidate, Jackie Pearcey, is really very impressive. I have been struck by the number of people who have told me on the doorstep how much better their local area was when they were represented by local Lib Dem Councillors like Jackie. This is a constituency that voted 65% remain, had 19 out of 21 Lib Dem Councillors just a few years ago and where we used to get a very substantial vote at the general election. This is a real chance to show that we can do to Labour in Manchester what we did to the Tories in Witney. We are the only party that is openly campaigning against Theresa May’s Hard Brexit agenda in this election. The Labour candidate even said he agreed with Corbyn to 3 line whip the vote to trigger article 50!

Quite simply the only barrier to us winning this seat right now is people not thinking we can win and not coming to help. When we won Manchester Withington in 2005 our biggest challenge was persuading people that the effort there was worthwhile. In Manchester Gorton it really is. This is our opportunity to deliver a knockout blow to Labour and show up their hypocrisy on Brexit. Getting a good result in Manchester Gorton improves the chances for all of us facing Labour in elections in the future.

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Game on in Gorton – By-election on 4th May

It was never going to be any other day, but the writ for the Manchester Gorton by-eleciton has now been moved and the poll will take place on 4th May.

Lib Dem candidate Jackie Pearcey had this to say on Twitter:

Tim Farron sent members an email asking them for money to boost Jackie’s campaign. He said:

We’ve already been hard at work for weeks, and we now have another 36 days to pull off something incredible.

In contrast, Labour has only just selected its candidate. George Galloway cancelled an event in Paisley last weekend due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Presumably that meant he was in the constituency over the weekend. I am sure we are all waiting to see Jackie take him on at hustings.

4th May is going to be a tad busy, shall we say. As well as the by-election, there is a council by-eelction in a ward in the constituency and the Greater Manchester mayoral election.

Want to get involved in the campaign?

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Farron: Galloway boosts Lib Dem chances of victory in Manchester Gorton

So the hard left maverick George Galloway chose the ultra right Westmonster website set up by UKIP donor Arron Banks to tell anyone who would listen that he’s be standing in the Manchester Gorton by-election.

Tim Farron reckons that makes a Lib Dem win more likely.

While George Galloway won’t pick up enough votes to win, he clearly will take a number of votes from Labour. That increases our chances of winning as the only party that can beat Labour in Manchester Gorton.

George Galloway is a divisive, hard left campaigner of the old school and an ardent supporter of Brexit.

There will be little support for his brand of politics in Manchester Gorton, which is a diverse and tolerant place and voted 62% to remain in the EU.

His decision to enter the race is yet another consequence of the chronic splits and weak leadership in the Labour party. People in Manchester want change, they deserve better than a failed politician and a failing Labour party.

Our candidate Jackie Pearcey said on Twitter:

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Manchester Gorton: We need YOU!

The Manchester Gorton by-election can change things for the whole party – and we need you to come and help to make that happen.

Look at what we achieved in Witney. We sent a message loud and clear that the Lib Dem fightback was on. We proved we could take a serious number of votes from the Conservatives, angry at their former party’s backing for a hard Brexit.

If we can do to Labour in Manchester what we did to the Tories in Witney or Richmond Park we will send shock waves through British politics.

We have an amazing story to tell in Manchester Gorton.  From our great candidate Jackie Pearcey who has a proud 20 year record as a local councillor, to our party’s positive message of hope for an open and tolerant Britain.

And that’s not to mention the failure of Labour in Manchester and nationally. Labour have sided – and voted – with UKIP on Brexit – letting down the 62% of people in Manchester Gorton constituency who voted Remain. And at a local level they take Manchester and its voters for granted.

But we need your help to get that message across.

Only last Wednesday we walked into an empty shop on Stockport Road in Levenshulme for the first time to set up our new Lib Dem HQ. Within hours of getting the office keys, it was bustling with activity as we unloaded the party’s by-election kit – fresh from its triumphs in Witney and Richmond Park.

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++++Breaking: Jackie Pearcey will fight Manchester Gorton by-election for the Lib Dems

News from the land of Twitter:

Jackie is a fabulous candidate. She has 20 years’ experience as a Gorton councillor. She’s brilliant. I first met her in a queue at the Torquay conference in 1993 and I just love her plain-speaking manner and sense of humour. There couldn’t be a better person to fly the Lib Dem flag. She’s in the centre of the photo in between Mamchester mayoral candidate Jane Brophy and the one-man opposition to Labour Cllr John Leech. That man gives Labour in Manchester a million times more trouble than Corbyn’s Labour gives to Theresa May’s Brexit Government. 

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