Tag Archives: oldham west and royton by-election

Nick Clegg on Jane Brophy and the #libdemfightback

On Thursday alone, 5 of the Lib Dems’ 8 MPs were in Oldham. Tim Farron had been there on Monday and Sal Brinton is there today. You never know who you might meet if you go there this weekend.

Nick spoke to the Oldham Evening Chronicle, saying he thought Jane was fantastic and talking about the #libdemfightback

As a party that took a real knock in the General Election this by-election gives us the opportunity to get out and speak to people again, explain who we are.

I think Jane’s getting a really positive response on the doorstep and I am very confident that she is going to do a lot better than we did in the General Election.

We have got to rebuild like any party, like any individual that takes a hard knock. You have got to lick your wounds a bit but move on and dust yourself down.

The party’s finding its zeal and fighting spirit again. In a constituency like this where we haven’t traditionally been competing at Westminster level we still have scores and scores of activists coming into our HQ and knocking on people’s doors.

It shows that, as much as our opponents might suggest that the Liberal Democrats have been put out of action, we’re mounting a fight back. We’ve had a massive influx of new members.

He also commented on the Autumn Statement and in particular the Chancellor’s u-turn on tax credits:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Has Oldham had more parliamentary by-elections than any other place in the UK?

On Tuesday I asked: “Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?”. I genuinely didn’t know the answer to that question when I wrote that post. We had to employ Mounted Police to deal with the deluge of replies to the question. Thanks to Tim Hill for showing interest. Prompted by Tim’s enquiry, I did a bit of research and came up with the following tentative answer.

The Oldham wards of Crompton, Lees and Shaw have had more parliamentary by-elections, spread relatively frequently over two centuries, than any other part of the UK.

Those wards were part of Littleborough and Saddleworth constituency for the by-election there in 1995. They were part of Oldham East and Saddleworth for the by-election there in 2010. And they were part of the old Oldham Borough parliamentary constituency for by-elections there in:

  • 1835
  • 1852
  • 1857
  • 1862
  • 1877
  • 1899
  • 1911
  • 1925

I haven’t exhaustively researched this, so let me know in the comments thread below if you think differently. But I think it’s a fair bet, from my reading of the lists, that those three Oldham wards, or perhaps Oldham itself, have had the most by-elections when looked at over the last two centuries. The nearest contender I could find was the “Combined Scottish Universities” seat which had by-elections in 1936,1938 and 1945. If someone can point me in the direction of a list of pre-1900 by-elections that would be very helpful in nailing this question. I couldn’t find such a list.

I think that where the Oldham by-election frequency record is so impressive is that it covers a good range of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections. It’s just a shame that the current Oldham West and Royton by-election doesn’t cover those three wards mentioned above but it does cover wards in the old Oldham Borough such as Chadderton. So, you could actually say that Chadderton and other western wards have had the most by-elections but that would mainly be relying on pre-1900 by-elections. Lees, Crompton and Shaw are the wards in Oldham with the most impressive frequency of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections.

But you don’t get away with reading this that lightly! Please help Jane Brophy and the team at Oldham West and Royton in the next few days.

Here’s all the info you need on how to get there:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?

Tim Farron and Paul Walter in OldhamThat is a convoluted way of crow-barring in an immodest mention of this fact: I have now helped the Liberal Democrats at three by-elections in Oldham:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

A real opportunity at Oldham West and Royton

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I spent the weekend helping Jane Brophy’s campaign at Oldham West and Royton. Here are some of my observations in random order:

  • Jane Brophy is an excellent candidate with a proven campaigning track record.
  • There is a fantastic, young and enthusiastic team running the campaign – working extremely hard.
  • We are fighting in what is a “development constituency” for us – which means there are great gains to be had in terms of new members and supporters to be recruited.
Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

We must take Oldham seriously

The Obelisk on Alderman's HillBy-elections caused by the death of the incumbent are always an occasion for sadness, so our first reaction to the passing of Michael Meacher, Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton, must be a sincere expression of sympathy to his family and friends. However, politics is politics, as Michael would have said himself, and therefore we have to face the fact that there will be a by-election before too long. Even if we should not campaign until after the funeral, that does not mean we should avoid thinking about the challenge ahead.

During the Coalition government the Liberal Democrat powers that be took what I believed to be a misguided decision to virtually ignore northern parliamentary by-elections, with predictably disastrous results. In a couple of cases there was, however, a tremendous surge towards UKIP, almost causing shock Labour defeats. We lost our deposits spectacularly, despite the hard efforts of by-election candidates and mainly local party support. The impression given to the wider public, however, was that in the North of England the LibDems are rubbish, even irrelevant. We must not allow that to happen again.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 54 Comments
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