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Local By-Election Preview : January 7th 2014

January 7th, 2014

Swinton South on Salford (Lab Defence)
Result of last election to council (2012): Lab 52, Con 8 (Labour overall majority of 44)
Result of ward in last electoral cycle:
2010: Lab 1,671, Lib Dem 1,358, Con 1,055, Ind 837
2011: Lab 1,356, Con 553, Green 481, Lib Dem 277, UKIP 194
2012: Lab 1,072, Green 394, Con 376, BNP 172, Lib Dem 141, Eng Dems 112, Community Action 86
Candidates duly nominated: Neil Blower (Lab), Anne Broomhead (Con), Steve Cullen (TUSC), Joe O’Neill (Green), Robert Wakefield (UKIP), Paul Whitelegg (Eng Dems)

Yes, Salford is a Labour heartland (and has been for the best part of twenty years from the data I have) and so you might expect that it will return another Labour councillor (as I am sure it will) but there are reasons for Labour to be scared. Firstly, the date of the by-election, this by-election will happen on January 7th 2014 (a Tuesday) and be the first by-election of the year. First by-elections have a habit of going wrong for the defending party. In January 2011, the Conservatives lost Camborne North on Cornwall to Labour and Marl on Conwy to the Liberal Democrats, In January 2012, Labour gained Newcomen on Redcar and Cleveland and Batchwood on St. Albans from the Liberal Democrats and in January 2013, the Conservatives lost Wollaston on Dudley to Labour. Secondly, there are three anti mainstream candiates (UKIP, English Democrats and the Trade Unionist and Socialists) all of whom are more than capable of cutting into that Labour lead and thirdly, with only seven and three quarters hours of daylight (out of a fifteen hour polling day) anti mainstream party voters will be more determined to vote than other parties. Head says: Labour HOLD but heart says “You can never tell)