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 [where the party leapfrogged Labour and Ukip to come second in October last year in David Cameron’s former seat] and approaching Richmond Park levels of support at this stage.”

But someone doesn’t seem to have noticed this:

Labour sources remain relaxed about the seat


Let’s show them.

If you want to help pull off an historic Lib Dem result, here’s how to help.

All the talk about this by-election seems to be about the race being firmly between us and Labour. With 19 days left to polling day, we can turn this from a solid to a sensational result. Who’s up for it?

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

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Geoff English 16th Apr '17 - 12:49pm

    That’s what I’ve been waiting to hear! Go for it,everyone!

  • Think I might have to drop in tomorrow and see what’s happening for myself…

  • Best bit of my visit was someone on the street I was delivering spontaneously offering to put up a poster – always a good sign.

  • Andrew McCaig 16th Apr '17 - 2:42pm

    Yes, from canvassing a largely Asian area in Longsight yesterday I can confirm it is definitely a 2 horse race with Labour still ahead but lots of disillusioned and undecided former Labour voters. There was a huge personal vote for Gerald Kaufman which is not transferring to Asfal Khan, so the Labour majority last time was really inflated. Labour have been putting up garden posters without asking and I can add my experience to others who have converted a Labour poster site to Lib Dem!

    Personal contacts are making a difference but to win will need far, far more of them! If you cannot get there, please get on the phone!

  • Dr Zulfiqar Ali 17th Apr '17 - 11:30pm

    Did door knocking with Jackie Pearcy on last Fri, Sat and Sunday. Jackie, myself, Lisa Smart and rest of the team were upbeat, we felt Liberal politics and EU are relevant and we are back in front foot politics. My experience of these 3 days is Jackie been recognised as a genuine and only contender to Labour’s Mr Khan. Only one person i have talked to during these 3 days mentioned George Galloway’s name but intention was not to vote for him. Amazingly a middle aged Asian gentleman responded to my door knock in Rusholme, acknowledged me a Liberal Democrat activist from yellow rossette i was wearing and jokingly said “you are not Jackie”. He had a window poster from Jackie and than signed the permission form for a poster in his garden. Another door knock in the same area, a couple who voted to leave in referendum talked to me in depth about the literature they recieved from us . Though their original intentions were not to vote for us and certainly Labour was not their favourite party but i felt Jackie managed to tilt their intentions to vote from a pro-brexit candidate to herself. The couple acknowledged Jackie and Lib Dems were the only ones to door knock in the area.
    Many elderly people in Gorton North ward where we convassed on Saturday said they had voted for Gerald Kaufman but not for Labour . We need convassers, if successful in mobilising the membership and converting them from mere believer in Liberal Democracy to door knockers i am sure this by election would be an historic shock to labour and an historic win for Liberal Democrats.This by -election could be a game changer like Richmond Park.

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