Bolton North East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 14164 (32.8%)
Labour: 18541 (43%)
Lib Dem: 1236 (2.9%)
Green: 1103 (2.6%)
UKIP: 8117 (18.8%)
MAJORITY: 4377 (10.1%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Greater Manchester.

Main population centres:



Current MP
DAVID CRAUSBY (Labour) Born 1946, Bury. Educated at Derby Grammar School. Former lathe turner and trade union convenor. Bury councillor 1979-1992. Contested Bury North 1987, Bolton North East 1992. First elected as MP for Bolton North East in 1997.
Past Results
Con: 15786 (36%)
Lab: 19870 (46%)
LDem: 5624 (13%)
UKIP: 1815 (4%)
Oth: 182 (0%)
MAJ: 4084 (9%)
Con: 12771 (35%)
Lab: 16874 (46%)
LDem: 6044 (16%)
UKIP: 640 (2%)
Oth: 582 (2%)
MAJ: 4103 (11%)
Con: 12744 (33%)
Lab: 21166 (54%)
LDem: 4004 (10%)
GRN: 629 (2%)
Oth: 407 (1%)
MAJ: 8422 (22%)
Con: 14952 (30%)
Lab: 27621 (56%)
LDem: 4862 (10%)
Oth: 676 (1%)
MAJ: 12669 (26%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JAMES DALY (Conservative)
DAVID CRAUSBY (Labour) See above.
STEVE ROCK (Liberal Democrat)
HARRY LAMB (UKIP) Managing director. Contested Bolton West 2010.
Comments - 47 Responses on “Bolton North East”
  1. Turnout was up by 10% at the last election. Seems like a high figure although I suppose the seat was regarded as an important marginal for the first time in nearly 20 years.

  2. have the tories got any chance of winning this in the future

  3. To answer your question, I somewhat doubt it.

    (1) Even in the Thatcher era, the Tories were not winning Bolton North East by decent majorities- just 2443 in the landslide of 1983, 813 in 1987, and 185 in 1992 (which was actually a good Tory result to be fair). I would suggest that the Tories would probably have to win a 1983-landslide to pull of a 1992-style majority now.

    (2) Although the Conservative vote share here is just as much in line with the national vote share as it was in 1983, the 2010 result suggests Labour might be starting to get even further ahead of its national share here.

    (3) Labour undoubtedly has the balance of power here. There are three surburban Tory wards: Bradshaw, Bromley Cross, and Astley Bridge. The Tory candidate will have carried these comfortably in 2010 but probably not overwhelmingly- certainly no better than 2 to 1. Indeed, Labour has come within striking distance in Astley Bridge at recent local elections. By contrast, there are 4 Labour-leaning urban wards: Breimghet (where the Tories can be competitive), Tong, Haliwell and Crompton. Labour’s vote in these wards looks more solid than the Tory vote in its core wards. I imagine that in Haliwell and Crompton, Labour will have led the Tories 3:1 in 2010.

    (4) One would have to say that the demographics don’t exactly favour the Conservatives. All four of the urban wards have high levels of unemployment etc.

  4. On the subject of demographics, one should also note that Haliwell and Crompton have become ethnically quite diverse- about a third of the population in both wards is Asian- largely Indian Muslim. Given how poorly the Conservatives do with ethnic minorities living in urban areas, it is a relevant observations.

  5. *observation

  6. I should also add (and I promise this will be my last point) that the boundaries are more favourable to Labour now than they were before 1997. As I understand it, the 1997 boundary changes made Bolton North East notionally Labour by about 3000 and the 2010 changes further helped (though only slightly).

  7. yes the boundary changes brought the town centre & its immediate surrounds into the constituency. This would have tipped the seat into Labour tenure certainly in 1992, and probably in 1987 too.

  8. During their coverage of the 1992 General Election, ITN went to this seat to get the declaration live but as the Returning Officer was about to announce the result, the microphone stopped working, so they had to go away for a few moments so it could be sorted out, and by the time ITN returned, the figures had already been given, and so they missed the result!

  9. The Conservative candidate who lost here in 2010 was booed by the crowd if I remember right.

  10. Isn’t she on the Tory list for the Euros? I remember getting an email from her asking for support.

  11. Forecast for 2015

    Lab 50
    Con 28
    UKIP 11
    LD 7
    others 4

  12. Peter Thurnham looked absolutely made up on ITN’s coverage when he held this seat in 1992. It was one of Labour’s top targets, and the fact they couldn’t take it was probably indicative of the seat’s demographic trends at the time I think.

  13. Ooooh

  14. I’d say A Brown’s prediction doesn’t look too shabby at all (and at least he didn’t give us an anecdote with it when he wrote that lol). Perhaps the Tories won’t fall under 30% though, I’d say they would be around the low 30s. Labour should be able to win around 50% of the vote with a decent showing for UKIP and a poor Lib Dem finish.

  15. James Daly, a lawyer and Bury Councillor, selected to stand for the Conservative Party in this seat.

  16. No offence but I can’t find any links for this selection. Do you have one?

  17. I’m afraid I can’t find any official confirmation of this particular selection either sadly. Perhaps maybe tomorrow the news might make it online?

  18. Usually something appears on Twitter, as has just happened with the Batley selection.

  19. I’ve tried checking Twitter but it’s not working properly, i.e. not loading properly and saying the page is unavailable, bit strange.

  20. Assuming the selection has indeed taken place, the Consevative Party in Bolton NE must be stuck in the dark ages regarding modern technology because news of the selection still hasn’t appeared anywhere online.

  21. No news articles online yet…

  22. Labour Hold. 6,000 majority.

  23. As I think I said elsewhere, I assume the Tory PPC here spent Polling Day in Bury North knocking up where he’s a Cllr and where the Tories won.

  24. Crompton Ward By-election result:

    Labour 1,961
    UKIP 320
    Cons 302
    LibDems 117
    Green 65

    Labour Hold and a swing to Labour.

  25. I know that not too much can be inferred from one local council by-election, but surely last year UKIP would have been scoring way above the 11.6% of the vote that they achieved this time.

  26. True.

    Although I perhaps should have stated the swing was actually Conservative > Labour here.

    Labour up 8%.
    Cons down 11%
    UKIP up 12%

  27. What are you using as a comparison? Political betting reports very different figures for the +/-.

    It’s always debatable which figures to use when dealing with multi-member seats (the most recent or the one the last time this specific seat was contested, which was possibly the 2012 election).

  28. From last May presumably, although I haven’t checked.

    Those changes are on 2 other sites, as well as the Assoc of LD Cllrs site.

  29. Tories have been in a tight 30-36% range all of 1997-2015, and still bang in the middle.

    Not sure if greater focus and local effort in seats like this could make them winnable for Tories in a good year. They’re still just 10% behind in spite of failing to grow their vote share.

  30. I suspect hard work and greater focus maybe add a percentage point or two at most. Also, given the Tories general membership situation, they probably don’t have a vast number of people available to work seats like this, which, even if they make progress, they’ll only win when they have a very comfortable overall majority nationally.

  31. The issue for the Tories here is that the inner city wards are very multi ethnic and consequently monolithically Labour, to be in serious contention the northernmost suburban Tory voting wards would have to be monolithically Tory to counterweight Labs monolithic strength in the inner city. But to be blunt the Tory strength in the suburbs just isn’t big enough, their obviously well ahead but Bolton’s northern suburbs are the type of places where there is probably a significant affluent public sector vote which gives Labour some decent support there. The Tories just don’t have the leads in the suburbs to close Labs big leads in the inner city.

  32. ‘Bolton’s northern suburbs are the type of places where there is probably a significant affluent public sector vote which gives Labour some decent support there.’

    I would have thought the wards like Bradshaw, Astley Bridge and Bromley Cross to be comfortably Tory, just outweighed by the strong Labour vote nearer the town centre

    I think it probably would take a landslide victory to bring the Tories back in contention here but isn’t the seat certain to be carved up in the upcoming boundary review?

  33. 49th on Tory target list on UKPR – but even then probably some with slightly higher majorities to overturn would be more likely to swing the required % for Tory victory.

  34. I don’t think Labour will lose this. Their vote share is likely to drop but it’ll probably split evenly between Tory and UKIP.

  35. Tim
    “I would have thought the wards like Bradshaw, Astley Bridge and Bromley Cross to be comfortably Tory, just outweighed by the strong Labour vote nearer the town centre”

    They are comfortably Tory but as I said the Tory leads there just aren’t big enough. Tories generally sit on around 40-50% in those wards while Labour is on around 25% Compare this to the inner city wards where the Tories are way back on 10-20% and Lab are often in excess of 60%.

  36. Hi, is there any reason my reply of 2nd April is still in moderation.

    To repeat without any commentary, here is the link I posted. You will have to read it for yourself:

  37. The Tory PPC, Abi Kay has stood down, so Cllr James Daly is to be the Candidate here again.

  38. Cllr Debbie Newall has defected from Labour to the LibDems here. She represents Breightmet ward, leaving Labour with none there now after the Tory gain in May.

    Incidentally here are the UK figures of Cllr defections in 2018/19:

    45 Labour have > Ind
    5 Lab > LD

    32 Cons > Ind
    13 UKIP > Ind (whereas in 17/18, 14 UKIPs went Tory)

    6 SNP Cllrs > Ind

    Numbers are small (just 5 Lab went LD, but is again a reversal from the 2017/18 trend when LDs were still joining Labour).

    Whilst a lot of disgruntled Cllrs always do go Indy, this last year’s rise is in line with the surge in the % of those voting Ind in the locals compared with the norm.

  39. Bolton MBC’s Tory Leader has confirmed that no statues will be removed and he opposes any BLM marches.

    Labour are certainly going the right way to continue the electorate’s rightward drift in a lot of these areas in the North West.

    Just that single image of a BLM activist attempting to burn the flag at the Cenotaph was so powerful that it’s enraged many.

    Personally, I think we need to see BLM for what they are. In a similar way to the public got tired of the Extinction Rebellion lot (commuters dragging them from the DLR), to remove League of Gentlemen and Little Britain from 2003 is just bizarre. The joke was that Ting Tong and Mrs De Vere were obese, not that Matt Lucas donning a tanned fat suit is racist.

  40. Worth noting that the removal of those programs was a pre-emptive move by the BBC, under no pressure from BLM. The fact that people in Britain can argue for days about how problematic our old TV programmes are just demonstrates how tangential American policing is to us. We’ve just bought so heavily into a transatlantic culture war that we feel we have to argue about *something*, so we make it something really trivial about which we manufacture unduly strong opinions.

  41. Students in Bolton have done some independent polling in all seats here. Good news for the Tories. Very small swings going both ways. All holds.

    On polling Starmer is the most popular leader of either main party within 2 months of taking over since Ipsos polling began

  42. “Students in Bolton have done some independent polling in all seats here. Good news for the Tories. Very small swings going both ways. All holds.”

    Can’t say I’m surprised. The next election might well see the Tories holding the Bolsovers and Bishop Aucklands, whilst Starmer pulls off 1997-esque victories in the likes of Tunbridge Wells.

    One interesting thought I have is that the north has been very hardened to high unemployment since the 1970s and it’s perhaps less likely to damage the Tory vote there as a consequence. By contrast parts of the prosperous south have never experienced the tsunami of unemployment which is quickly coming their way. Crawley a few miles from where I live is going to be decimated by Gatwick job losses – the leader of the council comparing it to 1980s mine closures up north,

  43. On the face of it Keir Starmer does seem to be the sort of leader who will solidify Labour’s Middle class base at the expense of the wwc seats that have been on a rightward drift for the last three decades

    But will he really start winning Labour the sort of the affluent seats their Democratic counterparts in the states can now rely on

    I was shocked to find out the other day that Democrats hold 43 of the 50 most affluent congressional districts in the US. Labour have much work to do to match that


  44. Wells is perhaps way off but; Worthing, Bournemouth, Southport, Falmouth, etc. will all be in his sights. Ian Warren wrote a good article on Labour’s victories in local government in many of these places. HH probably is bang on the mark too, Labour did as well in 2017 amongst ABC1s as Blair did in 97. It’s not hard to imagine KS does similarly well

  45. If Labour are to make the most of the unemployment figures, they are going to have to get serious about job creation. They are going to have to learn how to talk about “the economy” all over again, rather than just decrying injustices and inequalities. (Though of course they should carry on doing that too, of course; there is plenty of room for both critiques and they reach different kinds of voter.)

  46. The issue is Labours current appeal is now ironically far more heavily weighted toward the job creators and no longer appeal to those in a job

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