But at GE2015 the yellows came in 5th losing their deposit
Although the arrival of George Galloway in the Manchester Gorton race has caused a tightening of the Lib Dem odds the position is nothing like as strong as it would have been if the party had not gone onto the Coalition with the Conservatives in 2010.
The chart above shows the extraordinary strength the party had in ward elections in the constituency in the period between the Iraq war and the Coalition. At one stage they held all but two of the Gorton Manchester City Council seats.
But all went pear-shaped following the decision to go into coalition with the Tories in 2010 and they had a terrible 2015 general election result dropping from 32.6% to just 4.2% and fifth place.
We have seen elsewhere that historic organisational strength, like in Richmond Park, can be reactivated particularly if their voter data is good.
A lot depends on how many LAB votes Galloway’s manages to skim off.
Gorton was 72% for remain at the referendum and we do know that those opposed to leaving the EU are probably more motivated than those who aren’t at the moment. Certainly what will be portrayed as Corbyn’s ambivalent approach will be used ruthlessly by the yellows in the next few weeks. Galloway, who announced his candidature on the website of Arron Banks was a strong proponent of Leave.
This last night from the political correspondent of the Manchester Evening News gives an interest slant on morale within Gorton LAB .
The assumption is that LAB will call the by-election on May 4th so that it will coincide with the Greater Manchester mayoral election and the other local elections on that day.
Overall it is very hard to argue against LAB holding on even though they’ve got a fight on their hands on two fronts the Lib Dems and Galloway.