++++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. 

We’ll bring you the official announcements when they are made.

And here it comes:

Jackie Pearcey was the overwhelming choice of party members at a packed selection meeting on Saturday afternoon to become the Liberal Democrat candidate in Manchester Gorton.

This is for the by-election following the death of the late MP Sir Gerald Kaufman in what is already building into a competitive two horse race between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Jackie served as a Councillor in Manchester Gorton for over 20 years.

Jackie Pearcey said:

“I am really excited to have been selected by the Liberal Democrats to be the candidate in this by-election. Sir Gerald Kaufman served this area extremely well and it will be both a challenge and an honour to fill his shoes.

“Manchester Gorton deserves a local champion to stand up for our community against Theresa May’s hard Brexit plans, against the wishes of local people. Labour can’t stand up for us whilst they’re too busy arguing amongst themselves in Westminster and supporting the Tories on Brexit.

“Labour have also failed locally, just this week increasing council tax for Manchester’s poorest residents by 22%. It is clear that Labour has been treating Manchester like a one-party state and has been taking it for granted for too long.

“It is also vital that Manchester Gorton has someone to stand up for local NHS services, and defends them from Tory cuts. This great area deserves better.”

Update 2:

Tony has mentioned this Manchester Evening News article in the comments and I thought it was worth putting in the main site just to show you how functional,  together and united the local Labour Party in Gorton is.

Last year a mammoth falling-out between different factions and personalities reached its zenith at a Levenshulme branch meeting. As with all things to do with Gorton CLP it can be difficult to get to the actual facts – but suffice to say the police were called in amid claims of vote-rigging, abuse and intimidation.

A letter from regional office to the CLP at the time said allegations ‘related to the conduct of Labour party members both during and outside of Labour party meetings’, as well as to ‘the conduct of members of the CLP executive committee in administering internal ballots’.

It had received complaints from members fearing for their safety, it added.

In contrast, the same paper observes in a different article that the Liberal Democrats are intent on giving Labour a run for their money in Gorton.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Congratulations 🙂 next part to see MP number 10 🙂

  • Excellent news. I’m glad there was no nonsense about us standing down for the Greens (they came 2nd last time, we were 5th).
    Can someone tell me, when was Jackie a councillor, and did she lose her seat in one of the coalition routs, or stand down?

  • This extraordinary article about the toxic divisions in the Gorton Labour party is a must-read. This is what the local voters are reading about this weekend. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/the-labour-battle-for-gorton-12677245

  • Tony, I am fairly certain she lost her seat.

  • Tony, I’ve now put a bit about that article in the main article (crediting you for bringing it up) and also putting in another about our preparation and chances. Thanks.

  • Congratulations Jackie! I’ve met Jackie in lots of different seats where she’s been helping others over the years – always hardworking, knowledgeable and fun. The only thing that really matters in a candidate is if they’ll be a great MP (and I think Jackie will), but I am still pleased to be able to go and help the campaign of someone who has given so much to the party over the years. And getting another scientist into Westminster doesn’t hurt either.

  • Simon mcgrath 4th Mar '17 - 9:59pm

    Great to see another by election where a woman is selected cwithout the need for A WS

  • Andrew – thanks for that summary. I have no doubt that Cathy was a superb councillor. Just one of many great LDs who lost through no fault of their own in 2010-15.
    Caron – Thanks for crediting me in the main article, but in all honesty I should say I got that link from Mark Pack’s blog! (I’d also like to thank my parents, my agent etc.)
    Here’s another nice article, which I did find myself! From the NumberCrunchPolitics website: “If any party is going to challenge Labour here, it will almost certainly be the Lib Dems…”

  • PS Obviously I meant Jackie, not Cathy. Sorry. (It’s late!)

  • Richard Underhill 5th Mar '17 - 4:13pm

    Former MP Ed Balls said he will not be seeking the Labour nomination (Peston-on-Sunday 5/3/2017).

  • Great potential here. As recently as 2008 five of the seven wards in the constituency were won by us before the coalition effect set in.

  • David Crichton 5th Mar '17 - 4:19pm

    The enthusiastic start to the campaign brings back some great memories of the 1967 by-election campaign there run by the Young Liberals – including my driving across the Pennines to drop Gordon Lishman off to collect his father’s car and then having to find my way back to David Prussman’s house in Manchester where we were camping out! I hope this one will be as enjoyable – and much more successful!

  • Just reflecting on Thursday local by elections. The Conservative vote appears to have solidified after the fall out from Copeland, there is their good win at Redcar Hutton compared to last years by election and in Swanley where we missed by 1 vote only 3 0r so months ago, we fell back to third and the Cons won with some comfort. We should hope this does not persist through to the May local elections, but on the brighter side the Conservative vote at Gorton will not rise that much if at all. compared to 2015, we should try and squeeze half of it.

  • theakes: Swanley was a town council contest with 20% turnout. I think you are trying to read too much into last week’s results.

  • Tony Dawson 5th Mar '17 - 7:39pm

    Jackie was an excellent councillor who suffered the worst of the Coalition tsunami. She is also incredibly knowledgeable about Gorton. No one deserves to be a Member of Parliament more than she does.

  • David Thame 6th Mar '17 - 10:03am

    Dave Page is right – among other things (not a problem exclusive to Manchester, but important all the same) the relatuionship with the electorate was transactional, not ideological. The result was that when people thought they could extract a better deal from someone else, they voted accordingly. The risk is pork-barrel politics. And the risk of that is the Lib Dem vote melts like ice in summer the moment things get a bit rough. Which is exactly what happened. That said – Jackie was *always* much wiser about these things than manty others in the 1990s and 2000s, avoided many of the Trumpton sillinesses of the same period, and she’ll make an absolutely excellent MP.

  • Andrew Toye 6th Mar '17 - 4:41pm

    Good luck to Jackie, who I have met at conferences over many years. I will try and come (unless our own County elections get in the way)

  • clive english 8th Mar '17 - 3:48pm

    on the Swanley result I understand the conservatives made some play of the fact that the Lib Dem candidate had missed some council meetings, without mentioning his wife had had a life threatening illness at the time. Regrettably the limited available resources did not leave time/or bodies to rebut/explain this fully. If there had been a little more time or resource this could have been an own goal for the Tories

  • By-election HQ, 815 Stockport Road, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 3BS

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