Altrincham & Sale West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 26771 (53%)
Labour: 13481 (26.7%)
Lib Dem: 4235 (8.4%)
Green: 1983 (3.9%)
UKIP: 4047 (8%)
MAJORITY: 13290 (26.3%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: North West, Greater Manchester. Part of the Trafford council area.

Main population centres: Altrincham, Sale, Bowden, Hale.

Profile: An extremely affluent seat that contains some of the wealthiest of Manchester`s suburbs, such as Hale and Bowden. Altrincham and Sale were both part of Cheshire until the local government re-organisation in 1974 and both towns still have a Cheshire address, and still retain a grammar school system. It also home to a significant Jewish community. The western half of the seat is largely rural, made up of small villages and farms.

Politics: Altrincham and Sale West is the safest Conservative seat in Greater Manchester and, indeed, from 2001 to 2010 the only Conservative seat in Greater Manchester. Along with its predecessor Altrincham and Sale it has been represented continuously by the Conservatives since its creation in 1945.


Current MP
GRAHAM BRADY (Conservative) Born 1967, Salford. Educated at Altrincham Grammar and Durham University. Former worked in Public Relations (for Shandwick) and the CPS. First elected as MP for Altrincham and Sale West in 1997. PPS to Michael Ancram 1999-2000, Opposition whip 2000. PPS to Michael Howard 2003-2004, shadow Europe minister 2004-2007. Chairman of the 1922 Committee since 2010. Brady first became involved in politics as a teenager, campaigning to save Grammar schools in Trafford. He was first elected in 1997, becoming the youngest Conservative MP at the time. He resigned from the front bench in 2007 after criticising the party`s policy on grammar schools.
Past Results
2010
Con: 24176 (49%)
Lab: 11073 (22%)
LDem: 12581 (25%)
UKIP: 1563 (3%)
MAJ: 11595 (23%)
2005*
Con: 20569 (46%)
Lab: 13410 (30%)
LDem: 9595 (22%)
UKIP: 736 (2%)
MAJ: 7159 (16%)
2001
Con: 20113 (46%)
Lab: 17172 (39%)
LDem: 6283 (14%)
MAJ: 2941 (7%)
1997
Con: 22348 (43%)
Lab: 20843 (40%)
LDem: 6535 (13%)
Oth: 708 (1%)
MAJ: 1505 (3%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
GRAHAM BRADY (Conservative) See above.
JAMES WRIGHT (Labour)
JANE BROPHY (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Chorlton High School and Leeds University. Nutritionist. Trafford councillor 1999-2007. Contested Eccles 2005, Altrincham and Sale West 2010.
CHRIS FROST (UKIP)
NICK ROBERTSON-BROWN (Green)
Links
Comments - 116 Responses on “Altrincham & Sale West”
  1. Chris – I love the idea and would jump at the opportunity to vote for such a party, but it’ll never work. The country is just too polarised right now, and there’s the inevitable brick wall of FPTP. This country is explicitly designed to be run by two tribes shouting at each other – even the seating in the House of Commons chamber is arranged with this explicitly in mind.

    I’d also keep an eye on France, where this grand idea is actually playing out, and so far it’s not quite following the script. Taking the tribalism out of politics there has seriously weakened opposition to the president. La Republique En Marche – with its candidates picked (and perhaps controlled) directly by Macron – has a parliamentary majority on its own, and the Democrats, who are officially allied to En Marche, bolster that majority to three figures. Add in the Republicans and the Socialists, who are promising to be “constructive” – there are echoes here of the defeatism of remainers who marched through the “aye” lobby to trigger Article 50, only this time it’s on a national scale. With parliament seemingly supine, the opposition to Macron is likely to manifest itself chiefly on the streets in the form of various left-wing groupings (who, in the grand tradition of the Judean People’s Front, are poorly organised and spend most of their time squabbling with each other). Meanwhile, Macron prances round like he’s the messiah, maintaining a measured distance from the media, knowing that, regardless of the slide in his approval ratings, nothing can touch him. I quite approve of Macron’s policy plaform but I can’t pretend that his cronyism and suppression of dissent is a mature way to run a developed country.

    It turns out that maybe taking the politics out of politics isn’t such a good idea. Yes, you lose the point scoring, disrespect and perverse motives – but you also lose scrutiny, accountability and democracy.

  2. Some intetesting points well made

  3. @Polltroll

    I take your point, and I also agree that Macron is the figure to watch.

    I would hope that the stale old parties he crushed might take the hint and reorganise in a slightly less cliched way to oppose him. I think the reason he isn’t being opposed much is because the political establishment is stunned by what he has done and needs some time to come up with alternatives.

    I also think it instructive that French (and British) electoral groupings who have spent significant time in recent years shouting that things have to change, really, really hate it now it is happening – and it really is in France – thanks to someone who isn’t them.

    I think we’re all too hung up on the idea that certain policies are ‘right’ and ‘left’ wing, which is why you get the preposterous situation that dominant electoral groupings can pretend that global warming is not an issue (to choose the most obviously damaging stance).

  4. I wouldnt have thought the markerisation of the public sector was particularly centrist. Surely a balance of the market and the state rather than a monopoly is centrist.

    Halfon’s view isn’t that radical most people tend to think unions should exist the debate tends to be over how effective they should be. I imagine Halfons view isnt much different from Blairs toughest curbs on union laws in the western world.

    Parties steal each others ideas all the time Labours 2015 manifesto planned to cut winter fuel allowance which was then in the 2017 Tory manifesto. As was the energy freeze. The Tories i introduced the living wage after labour pledged to do it. They did the same with non dom status.

  5. Chris Riley
    You may see what I’m about to say as partisan claptrap but hear me out.
    Your point on embracing ideas that work regardless of which wing they are from and not blindly peddling the entire doctrine (warts and all) of your ideology is a fine idea and few would disagree with that. Putting aside the fact that it would never work “perfectly” i.e there will always be the odd zaney idea thrown in for ideological reasons it could in both theory and practice work, the closest we have to that party currently though is the Labour party.

    Now stick with me here, I’m not saying its how the Lab party has always been, back in the 70’s Lab was too ideologically committed to “left wing ideas” including the bad ones but that’s not the case anymore. Its easy to paint Corbyn and co as left wing ideologues but come on read the manifesto, they were proposing that the vast majority of the economy remain under private control and subject to market influences, they were proposing only moderate expansion of union and workers rights more in line with what they have in that bastion of Socialism Germany, they were proposing only modest tax rises on the wealthy that would have actually been a lower tax burden than under that renowned Communist Thatcher, hell they even proposed cutting dozens of taxes including the reintroduction of small business rates which would have been a large tax cut for the majority of businesses in this country. This is not the manifesto of the communist left no matter what the right wing press says.

    In contrast we have the Tories “privatise what we can and cut everything else” approach which is right out of the Hayek/Friedman Libertarian playbook. I cant remember who made the point a week or so ago but somebody claimed that as it stands out of the two main parties Labour are the ones that are firmly entrenched on the “real” centre ground and are actually using evidence to formulate policy not blindly sticking to ideology.

  6. Yes, it was a pretty reasonable social democratic manifesto, but a couple of qualifications:

    a) It was probably a fair bit less radical than the leadership’s private views

    and, more significantly:

    b) It was far less radical than the leadership’s rhetoric.

    The painting of JC & JM as dangerous Marxists is unfair. But when John McDonnell calls for the state to seize control of people’s private homes, when Jeremy Corbyn struggles to condemn the atrocities perpetrated by Nicolas Maduro… they are leaving the goal wide open. If they themselves are not going to present themselves as mainstream Keynesians don’t expect their ideological opponents to do that for them.

  7. Polltroll
    That is all true of course but that’s the world we live in, your rhetoric plays a large if not greater role in your electoral prospects than your policies. Corbyn and co had to use the language of revolution to fire up the base and tap into the anti establishment sentiment when in reality they were proposing nothing more than reforms, quite sweeping reforms admittedly but a genuine Communist would argue reforms that would just save the current system from its own contradictions and thus that makes Corbyn and McDonnell the real “Red Tories”

    We need only look to Macron in France, his rhetoric was well to the left yet in power he has governed like a Thatcherite. Thus if possible look beyond words and focus on actions/plans.

  8. Macron has constantly described himself as “neither left nor right”, so I don’t see how you can call that rhetoric “well to the left”.

    I also disagree that he is a Thatcherite – he is moving the country to the right, for sure, but from the starting point of a left-wing administration which bequeathed him great workers’ rights but widespread unemployment (the opposite problem to Britain). For comparison he wants to cut CT to the same level Jeremy Corbyn wants to raise it. IMO he’s a centrist, maybe centre-right at a push, but so far both rhetoric and policy are fairly consistent with what we Brits might call an Orange Booker.

  9. I’d rather the manifesto reflected the wider labour movement than just the leadership.

    I think it was Corbyn who said the government should acquire housing for the victims of Grenfell not JM which is exactly what the government did.

  10. Back onto domestic affairs, I think the recent election disproves the hypothesis that words speak louder than actions. If you track the polls, the first big movement in the polls followed immediately after Labour’s solid manifesto release (technically a leak, but who cares?), and the second big narrowing of the gap was after the Tories’ dementia tax fiasco. It does seem very much like policies trumped rhetoric.

  11. Polltroll
    “I don’t see how you can call that rhetoric “well to the left””
    In the first round he pitched himself as the outsider, the uncorrupted, non politician who wont play usual party games and will govern for the people (this is despite him being more “establishment-esque” than practically anyone else in France) Then in the second round when faced by La Pen he portrayed himself as the progressive bastion of Liberal values, a staunchly pro European, pro immigrant, pro gay denouncer of bigotry and division in all its forms. He was clearly trying to play to a more left wing crowd.

    As for his Thatcherite agenda I’m being a bit unfair, he’s not totally Thatcherite though he’s clearly closer to Thatcher than any previous French leader. So far he’s implemented a swathe of tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthiest, a slew of spending cuts on every area except military expenditure, has liberalised various markets within France, is in the process of implementing his first wave of union restrictions and has done all this with very little opposition scrutiny, indeed he’s actually proposed modifying the French constitution which most have interpreted as little more than a authoritarian power grab.

    Essentially he’s the most right wing (economically) President France has had in its post war history and he’s not particularly liberal. His only redeeming qualities are that he is staunchly anti racist and very pro EU which probably falls in line with most French people but was in direct contrast to La Pen hence he was able to beat her just by being the “not La Pen” option in what people keep needing to be reminded was the lowest turnout final round for a French Presidential election in decades.

  12. When the campaign started there seemed to be a consensus that Labour were having the better time of it, all those controlled media appearances; the Tories just hadn’t got off the ground yet.

    There was a slow uptick for Labour in the polls which seemed to be the result of Labour 2015 voters moving from Don’t Know to Labour. It was generally thought that a positive campaign and polls for Labour would play into the Tories Vote Labour Get Corbyn rhetoric.

    The leak gave Labour a week of positive coverage despite what was an attempt to undermine Corbyn. The actual manifesto launch gave Labour another week of positive coverage.

    However, it was believed the Tories manifesto launch would finally shift the limelight. May 18 was my birthday and the Tory manifesto was a nice present. In all seriousness the handling of Dementia Tax was probably worse than the policy, it was really confusing. Labour were polling mid 30s and the Tories were falling to the low 40s.

    When the terror attacks took place people thought that national security would be TM strength and she gave a good speech, no more Maybot but actually genuine. However, saying we’ve put up with extremism for too long enough is enough didn’t sit well since she had been Home Secretary for 6 years.

    Refusing to turn up to the debates also had quite a powerful impact surprisingly. I don’t know if people thought calling an election and not turning up to the debate was unacceptable since Cameron didn’t turn up last time but nobody cared.

  13. @Rivers

    I am wondering if we should develop a metric called ‘The Corbyn Number’, which measures the number of posts a discussion can sustain before someone comes in and tells everyone how wonderful Jeremy Corbyn is.

  14. I wonder if we should stick to the comments policy

  15. ‘Refusing to turn up to the debates also had quite a powerful impact surprisingly. ‘

    Not really that surprising because this rime round it played into the developing narrative surrounding May in the campaign as having taken her 20pt lead for granted and treating voters like idiots

  16. Chris Riley
    “I am wondering if we should develop a metric called ‘The Corbyn Number’, which measures the number of posts a discussion can sustain before someone comes in and tells everyone how wonderful Jeremy Corbyn is”

    Brilliant idea, what does my last comment score? 0 I presume given I didn’t give any praise to Corbyn or indeed even the Labour party and have actually made my not very favourable opinion of him clear many times before.

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