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
Con: 24176 (49%)
Lab: 11073 (22%)
LDem: 12581 (25%)
UKIP: 1563 (3%)
MAJ: 11595 (23%)
Con: 20569 (46%)
Lab: 13410 (30%)
LDem: 9595 (22%)
UKIP: 736 (2%)
MAJ: 7159 (16%)
Con: 20113 (46%)
Lab: 17172 (39%)
LDem: 6283 (14%)
MAJ: 2941 (7%)
Con: 22348 (43%)
Lab: 20843 (40%)
LDem: 6535 (13%)
Oth: 708 (1%)
MAJ: 1505 (3%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
GRAHAM BRADY (Conservative) See above.
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.
Comments - 159 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.

  17. Conservatives have announced Angela Stone is their candidate for Altrincham Ward in May.

    Still no news on the pending disciplinary re Matthew Sephton, who is still sitting as an Ind for that ward.

  18. Rumours that Graham Brady is just a handful of MPs’s letters away from 48, the magic number required to trigger a leadership contest.

    Are they just rumours? If Graham Brady is doing his job properly, nobody else should have a clue…

  19. Is there some irony that since Brady took over letters of no confidence no longer have an expiry date

  20. Cllr Matthew Sephton has been convicted of 6 counts of possession and distribution of almost 4,000 indecent images of boys under 14, as well as images of bestiality.

    The Judge’s sentence was 2 years and 9 months imprisonment and she also placed him on the SO Register for life.

    The National Crime Agency have stated that they will continue to work with the primary schools he taught at throughout the North West in order to ensure safeguarding is in place. They declined to comment on the rumoured links to other Cllrs and any pending raids or arrests.

  21. The Bow Group have asked Conservative Party Chairman to investigate claims that the LGBTory group was infiltrated by a child abuse network.

    Ben Harris Quinney told the Mail on Sunday and Breitbart that he believes date ra*e drugs, underage boys and CSA images were all involved and he first asked CCHQ to investigate in 2015.

  22. the idea that labour will gain trafford is dishonest spinning by the media. The only seats that can plausibly change hands are Con losses to Lab in Flixton and Davyhulme W, with potential for an LD gain in Village in Timperley and a wildcard Grn gain in Altrincham , the ward of ther disgraced cllr Matthew Sephton.

  23. Another post there which isn’t mine.
    The Real Joe James B

  24. Whichever post JJB made the post, it hasn’t aged well.

    Labour don’t have a majority on the council, but they have a choice of partner between the Greens and the Lib Dems. A good result for Labour on a slightly underwhelming night for them.

  25. It’s largely gone unnoticed (or I suspect simply not said), but the Tories lost control of Trafford due to Matt Sephton being jailed!

    They lost both seats in the safe Altrincham ward to the Greens.

    As readers on here may know, the Cons Group voted to extended Sephton’s £ and absence for almost a year whilst he was awaiting Trial.

    Even more bizarrely is that the replacement for Sephton as candidate was another Knight of St John who also dresses up like Ron Davies. He was named Constantine Biller and says he was baptised by the Pope in person. He was part of the failed Pro Euro Conservatives almost 20 years ago.

    Truly bizarre even for local govt and in this area which has a lot of gay Tory cllrs.

  26. Latest “letters to the 1922” rumours – there are 6 or 7 “decoy” letters written by loyal MPs, to be retracted at the last minute among speculation the threshold is about to be reached, in order to give Theresa May a bit of breathing space.

    This sounds utterly mad. It all sounds quite a lot like the “widening the debate” rationale of Margaret Beckett, Frank Field, Sadiq Khan etc. Remind me how that one went, again?

  27. I must admit it does sound bonkers and very risky. If it got confirmed it would push some more genuine mp’s into writing letters.

    Sadiq Khan motives in 2015 through were different to the first two mentioned and were to help him get the Mayoral nomination.

  28. Not sure you can compare Frank Field who has nominated an SCG candidate in almost every leadership election to a Nay loyalist submitting a letter. You may disagree with their reasoning but reasoning is not the same

  29. Looks like Brady amendment will pass.
    If it passes and Cooper fails, then a No deal |(blamed on the EU) is very likely to happen. As I am skeptical all the minsters threatening to resign to stop no deal will do so.

  30. Brady passed 317-301.
    Cant see the withdrawal agreement reopening so expect no deal is happening to be declared mid February and it to be framed as the EU’s fault. Will probably go down well with the public blaming the irish, french and germans.

  31. ‘Cant see the withdrawal agreement reopening so expect no deal is happening to be declared mid February and it to be framed as the EU’s fault. Will probably go down well with the public blaming the irish, french and germans’

    Yawn. You’ve made this point literally dozens of times…we get it. I think you’re so invested in wanting to be proven right that you’re losing it a bit.

  32. Probably am. Who knows what the next two weeks will bring.

  33. No deal Brexit will go down well with the public and they’ll all blame the Germans French and Irish? Bloody hell can I have a puff of what you’re smoking? Theresa May and Boris Johnson will be lynched and strung up from Nelson’s Column.

    On the train back from Luxembourg. Where possible businesses here and elsewhere in EU are now minimising any contact with the UK (buying from or selling to). Shortages won’t just be due to queues at ports, they will occur due to suppliers avoiding selling to UK. Prices will have to rise hugely to tempt them back under chaos no deal scenario. Prepare for massive inflation.

  34. And it’s primarily May and Cornyn’s – surely the two most lamentable leaders the two main parties have ever had

    At least in Corbyn’s case he’s always been anti EU from the offset whereas with May we are where we are because her complete lack of any leadership qualities – charisma, inspiration, wit, intelligence, ability to influence etc.

    She could not be more lacking in any of the above

  35. I just forsee a fair bit of blitz spirit style nationalism in some sections of society – through obviously not in London as that will be where May and Johnson etc will be as a whole. But where the Blitz spirt happens then what could follow – if food shortages occur- are an increase in racial and national tensions.

  36. “Some sections of society” doesn’t equal the whole country though does it. It won’t even be close to a majority. Half the country voted Remain and some of the Leave vote will feel lied to. I doubt the Blitz spirit will describe the attitude of more than 30% of the voters – the hardcore leavers and approximate vote share of UKIP in 2014 Euro elections.

  37. I doubt Britain would have had such an unconquerable blitz spirit if the country had been given a referendum on whether to have a blitz and 48% of people had voted against it.

  38. In any case much of the Blitz spirit was a propaganda myth. Most of those extolling it were born after the war and have been watching too much Dad’s Army.

  39. I have tried to reason with BM11 on other threads that he is only looking at this from one point of view (i.e. the view from Basildon market), and that he’s somewhat overlooking the millions of Britons who will squarely blame the government and the likes of Rees Mogg et al rather than the EU. I know I certainly bloody will…and I see I’m not alone on this board either.

  40. Even in Basildon market, many will blame the government when McDonalds runs out of burgers etc. The government almost always gets the blame, fairly or not, twas ever thus. Who remembers how gung ho IDS was to invade Iraq? Or that Cameron pledged to match Labour’s spending plans before the 2008 crash. Or that Kinnock voted to join the ERM. Rightly or wrongky Brexit will be blamed squarely on the Tories for a generation.

  41. I have never been to Basildon Market – through I have been to the town (and been sent as a passenger around its main roundabout 6 times by a confused sat nav).
    Tristan and H.Hemmelig you are both probably right.
    Through many will blame both government and the Eu and it will be fascinating to see how will they react.

  42. Personally i don’t see the EU’s problem with renegotiating the backstop but it says everything about May’s character that she’s more than happy to join the ranks of those who voted tp remove her in December

    She’s absolutely pathetic and needs to be put out of her misery.

    One man who seems to got away with doing an utterly horrendous job is Julian Smith- surely a good shout for worst chief whip in history

  43. It is imperative from the EU’s perspective not to shaft Ireland. Not only has Ireland been repeatedly promised the security of the backstop, small EU countries cannot be seen to be trampled over by the big boys of Germany France and UK. More than half of EU states are small countries remember, and the likes of Latvia and Malta are watching this very closely.

    In addition the ERG are using the backstop as an excuse. Even if it were removed they would find another reason to oppose any deal. They just want No Deal and have repeatedly lied on this point for 3 years.

  44. The only people being honest are some of the Labour Brexiters who publically want no deal. The likes of Graham Stringer and Lord Glassman. (Chris Willamson was saying no deal was not a bad thing but voted for all the anti no deal amendments yesterday).

  45. There are some Tories who are open about wanting no deal too. Probably about twenty of them.

  46. A lot more than that are open to comments like “No Deal won’t be a disaster”. Half or more, I’d estimate.

  47. HH – it’s a good point you make in principle. However the reality it is the smaller countries and newer members who are more open and vocal in agreeing it isn’t a big deal and the usual big boys of Germany and France saying they speak for the EU27.

    Quite apart from the Belfast Agreement making no such insistence. Indeed a reason it does not is that the Common Travel Area existed 50 years before the EEC and grants free movement.

    But SF never mention that as they’d have to utter the words, “the British Isles.”

    We’ve been very generous. I imagine a Maggie/Tebbit Got would have rescinded the right of the 300,000 Irish Republic born living here to reside and vote!

  48. In a move that I definitely didn’t see coming, Graham Brady is apparently preparing for a bid for the Tory leadership.

    I think that the low quality of some of the people who have announced already (Esther McVey anyone) is encouraging some rather unexpected people to stand. After all, if in the running, surely any semi competent Tory MP would think they are in with a chance too.

  49. Does seem surprising when its hard to see him making the top two – one place already virtually reserved for Boris.

  50. To say a place is already reserved for Boris is frankly ridiculous. Boris is never more than one gaffe away from falling on his face.

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