Category Archives: Oldham West

UKIP Gains Momentum in Oldham West

The Torygraph, I’m sorry I mean the Telegraph (UK), reported that UKIP is sending maximum resources to Oldham West and Royton to seek a surprise by-election win December 3 and is urging Tory strategic voting for the libertarian party:

New polling suggests the UK Independence Party has dramatically cut Labour’s lead in the previously safe seat of Oldham West and Royton, which became vacant when the former minister Michael Meacher died last month.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Farage, the Ukip leader, said the contest was now so “close” that he would be throwing all the party’s available campaign resources at winning, in the final few days before Thursday’s vote.

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Mr Farage said: “We are going to give this a very big push. I am going to be there almost all week. I have cleared the diary out of almost everything else. One of the things we have to do is try to get Tories to vote Ukip tactically to vote Labour.

Labour senses the political momentum shifting to UKIP but it is an uphill battle (The late incumbent won with a 14k margin last May):

Labour sources fear that they could lose if Ukip’s surge continues – and defeat would intensify pressure on Mr Corbyn’s already embattled leadership.

According to both Labour and Ukip insiders, the Labour leader’s opposition to a “shoot-to-kill” policy against terrorist gunmen in the aftermath of the Paris attacks has been particularly damaging to Labour’s standing in the constituency.

UKIP has cut the Labour lead to seven points!  The Guardian has a very reasonable assessment of the potential – and the uphill climb:

Oldham West should not be a difficult defence. Its long-serving MP, the late Michael Meacher, bequeathed a 15,000-vote majority in a seat he comfortably held for 45 years. Yet reports from the campaign trail suggest Labour is nervous and Ukip buoyant. Comparisons are made with the neighbouring seat of Heywood and Middleton, where a collapse in the Labour vote nearly delivered an upset victory for Ukip in 2014. Could Labour lose? It is possible, but Oldham West is much tougher terrain for Ukip than Heywood; Labour’s starting majority is larger, and there is a hefty ethnic minority vote unlikely to switch to Nigel Farage’s party. Ukip needs everything to go its way to get into contention.

And the Independent reports the sudden and numerous appearance of the Farage Labourite in the district:

Labour Party internal polling suggests that it is within 1,000 votes of losing the Oldham by-election to Ukip.

Canvassing by activists over the past few weeks has found that swathes of voters who backed Labour in May are preparing to desert the party in the by-election, in what should be one of its safest seats.

Senior figures close to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are understood to be “very worried” and fear the party could lose the seat.

It might be interesting Thursday evening.  (And I am off work Friday so that means potential for multiple victory laps if UKIP wins!)

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

About that UKIP By-Election in Oldham West…

UKIP came in third in the popular vote among the political parties but only won one seat in parliament in the 2015 General Election last May.  (It’s the reason the party has decided to go to a proportional representation system advocacy but that really is not in the best interest of the libertarian euroskeptic party – but that another story!)

Now the party has a real chance to pick the Big MO back with a win or even a close second in the by-election in Oldham West.  Oldham West is a northern England seat that would normally be solidly for Labour.  But the election of their new (and radical) party leader Jeremy Corbyn has hurt Labour and now this election will show how much damage Corbyn’s election will cause.

In the online Sunnation, we have this article:

Patriotic voters are poised to give Jeremy Corbyn a bloody nose in his first major test at the ballot box.

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Senior figures now fear they could even lose Oldham West and Royton, where they are defending a comfortable 14,738 majority.

And there’s more, here at the Telegraph (called by some in Britain the “Torygraph”) we have confirmation of this:

Labour support at the ballot box could be halved in the first electoral test for Jeremy Corbyn since becoming leader, private polling by the party has suggested.

***

However, the same canvassing returns in recent weeks found that just half those voters said they would now back Labour.

The result would mean that a majority of almost 15,000 could be halved in the Oldham West by-election on December 3.

Some party figures believe the result could be even worse. Ian Warren, an expert who advised former Labour leader Ed Miliband on how to fight Ukip before the general election, said the majority in the previously ultra-safe seat could fall to a low as 2,000 to 3,000.

So can UKIP actually win in Oldham West?  Yes I think so.  It would be a bit of a longshot but first, by-elections tend to have lower turnout than regular elections, the committed from the most enthusiastic parties tend to vote (that favors UKIP because Labour is divided and many will be discouraged from voting) and sometimes a by-election reflects national issues.  And the climate right now favors a “statement” election.

Another factor to consider:  Will Tory voters whose candidate has no chance go to UKIP to beat Labour?  Or will they rather see Labour prevail than UKIP take the victory?

We’ll see Thursday December 3!


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders