Heywood & Middleton

2015 Result:
Conservative: 9268 (19.1%)
Labour: 20926 (43.1%)
Lib Dem: 1607 (3.3%)
Green: 1110 (2.3%)
UKIP: 15627 (32.2%)
MAJORITY: 5299 (10.9%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale.

Profile: The seat covers some of the more affluent suburbs of Rochdale itself and the two neighbouring towns of Heywood and Middleton, both former mill towns that are now largerly residential, with mixtures of more affluent private developments and overspill council estates. In the north the seat stretches into the West Pennine moors and includes part of the Scout Moor Wind Farm, the largest onshore wind farm in England.

Politics: Heywood and Middleton has been held by the Labour party since its creation in 1983. There was a by-election here in 2014 following the death of Jim Dobbin on a Parliamentary trip abroad. The by-election was held the same day as the Clacton by-election which received much greater media attention, but in the event UKIP came incredibly close to winning this seat too, leaving it one of their prime targets in the north.

By-Election: There was a by-election in this seat in LAB HOLD. For full details see here.

Current MP
LIZ MCINNES (Labour) Born 1959, Oldham. Educated at Hathershaw Comprehensive and Oxford University. Former biochemist. Rossendale councillor. First elected as MP for Heywood and Middleton in 2014 by-election.
Past Results
Con: 12528 (27%)
Lab: 18499 (40%)
LDem: 10474 (23%)
BNP: 3239 (7%)
Oth: 1385 (3%)
MAJ: 5971 (13%)
Con: 8355 (21%)
Lab: 19438 (50%)
LDem: 7261 (19%)
BNP: 1855 (5%)
Oth: 2144 (5%)
MAJ: 11083 (28%)
Con: 10707 (28%)
Lab: 22377 (58%)
LDem: 4329 (11%)
Oth: 1366 (4%)
MAJ: 11670 (30%)
Con: 11637 (23%)
Lab: 29179 (58%)
LDem: 7908 (16%)
Oth: 750 (1%)
MAJ: 17542 (35%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
IAIN GARTSIDE (Conservative)
LIZ MCINNES (Labour) See above.
ANTHONY SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Businessman. Contested Heywood and Middleton 2014 by-election.
JOHN BICKLEY (UKIP) Born 1953. Businessman. Contested Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election 2014, Heywood and Middleton by-election 2014.
ABI JACKSON (Green) Educated at Cardinal Langley High School and Huddersfield University. Contested Heywood and Middleton 2014 by-election.
Comments - 434 Responses on “Heywood & Middleton”
  1. The only problem being that UKIP might have stupendous momentum from Clacton the week before, and will be on a high which could propel them to a larger vote here than otherwise.

  2. If the parties chose candidates who reflect a very narrow range of views on social issues, they should not be surprised if the electorate decide to go elsewhere.

    Thankfully we have not seen the growth of US style religious politics here. This can only happen if the parties do not divide on social issues. If parties seek to exclude people with mainstream social or religious opinions then we risk sectarian politics again.

    If MerseyMike does not like a particular localLabour candidate, there are plenty of other parties to chose from!.

  3. whoops – I thought for some reason Clacton was on October 2, because that was a date that was talked about. Of course, the by-elections in the 2 seats will be on the same day, so I was therefore talking out of my arse. A most unusual occurence, naturally.

  4. it was clever of the labour whips to move the writ for the by-election for 9 october.

  5. Yes but it meant breaking the convention of waiting until after the funeral of the deceased member.

  6. In my view it might be a mistake. Holding it the week after Clacton would have been worse and at least in this instance a worst-case scenario (a UKIP win) can be dampened by the Tories simulataneously taking a probably-worse hammering.

    However, it might have been wise to run a longer campaign, hold the by-election in November and let UKIP’s Clacton momentum peter out.

  7. I have been trying to estimate how the old Middleton and Prestwich seat would have voted in 2010.
    The Tories narrowly failed to get it in 1979 (when it was slightly over-sized).
    I think Labour would have been ahead by a larger margin – about 40% to 31%.

  8. tend to agree with that. The Tory vote tends to be rather weaker in Middleton than it was then, although there still are Tories in the south of the town. And Prestwich wards are mainly Labour nowadays too.

  9. I’ve met the Tory candidate who narrowly lost in 1979 – Peter something or other. A nice man. He left politics but came back as a Tory councillor in Bromley in 2006, where he remains.

  10. Peter Morgan – a chartered surveyor, has lived in Bromley since the 1980s.

  11. Actually it has a different name for 1979 C candidate here.

    I was going to say
    (Peter Morgan and J Park) never found a Parliamentary seat – not sure he tried to after 1979.

    Middleton and Prestwich
    Majority: 388 (0.87%)

    Middleton & Prestwich
    Conservative gain
    AGB Haselhurst Conservative 25,030 43.76%
    DW Coe Labour 23,988 41.94%
    S Crilly Liberal 8,175 14.29%

    Electorate: 76,539; Turnout: 74.72%;
    Majority: 1,042 (1.82%)

    February 1974
    Middleton & Prestwich
    Labour gain
    J Callaghan Labour 24,357 39.84%
    AGB Haselhurst Conservative 23,840 38.99%
    JP Harrison Liberal 12,946 21.17%

    Electorate: 75,968; Turnout: 80.49%;
    Majority: 517 (0.85%)

    October 1974
    Middleton & Prestwich
    Labour hold
    J Callaghan Labour 26,639 45.82%
    A Fearn Conservative 22,925 39.43%
    J Clarney Liberal 8,340 14.35%
    H Smith More Prosperous Britain 234 0.40%

    Electorate: 76,737; Turnout: 75.76%;
    Majority: 3,714 ( 6.39%)

    Middleton & Prestwich
    Labour hold
    J Callaghan Labour 27,918 45.79%
    J Park Conservative 26,820 43.98%
    D Whatmough Liberal 5,888 9.66%
    S Andrews National Front 350 0.57%

    Electorate: 77,291; Turnout: 78.89%;
    Majority: 1,098 (1.80%)

  12. Interesting how the Tory and Labour votes were both higher in 1979 than 1970.
    There seemed to be some rump Liberal vote there in 1970. Not sure why.

  13. {As MerseysideMike requested, I wasn’t going to comment on the by-election, but since Labour have moved the writ it is now going to be discussed}.

    UKIP came close to winning two of the wards in this year’s local elections:

    North Middleton: Lab 851, UKIP 779, Con 273, Ind 129, LD 55

    West Heywood: Lab 1029, UKIP 1006, Con 248, LD 97

    They had a fairly good result in two other wards in the constituency:

    East Middleton: Lab 1092, UKIP 749, Con 365, LD 112

    West Middleton: Lab 1167, UKIP 855, Con 174, LD 126

    UKIP didn’t contest Bamford or Castleton. Bamford is the Tory stronghold in the constituency.

  14. I wonder whether it could actually be UKIP gain then, if there is that stupendous momentum from Clacton, or whether it may only be suspendors momentum, so far up the shore.

  15. The only explanation for Labour moving the writ so quickly is that they were a bit jittery about how UKIP might have done following Clacton. The problem is they’ve now revealed the fact they think UKIP might do unexpectedly well here by holding the election so quickly.

  16. “UKIP accuses Labour of ‘shoddy politics’ over Heywood & Middleton by-election date”


  17. it’s a no brainer if you fear an insurgent opposition in a by-election to hold it as quickly as possible to prevent that opposition from getting a head of steam. The Newark by-election was held very quickly…labour are doing the right thing. all of ukip’s energy will be diverted to winning emphatically in clacton.

    Waiting to November is very daft. you would allow ukip to build and consolidate its local base and actually fight a campaign, in the vague hope that their forces “might peter out”. That’s letting something which is uncertain, ukip’s “petering out”, outweigh a cetainty, the month or so ukip could use in driving a serious campaign. The Labour chief whip knew exactly what she was doing in moving the writ the way she did and UKIP know this and are already crying foul.

  18. by the way, this will be a labour hold, as people are suggesting. The 23% lib dem vote will be squeezed to very little and both labour and ukip, to a lesser degree in my view, will benefit from this. I think ukip will come 2nd.

  19. I agree. Although the Tories should do well enough in Norden & Bamford, they are probably too weak in the rest of the constituency to stay ahead of UKIP in the circumstances. Certainly if the Tory vote in S Middleton is similar to its best-known former resident that will be the case! (Bernard Manning lived in Alkrington Garden Village in S Middleton.)

  20. just eye-balling the local election results, UKIP registered very strong 2nds to labour in many wards, while the tories trailed badly…that suggests that the tories would have to defeat ukip very heavily in their strongholds which, under current circumstances, seems unlikely.

  21. It’s setting up another UKIP second place then. I hate to bang on about it but having 50-100 seats with them in second in 2020 might be very helpful for them.

  22. Mr Nameless,

    you’re absolutely right…the prospects for the tory party and the right in general are pretty dire, if UKIP and the tories are battling to be labour’s main opposition. i think there’ll be some deal between these two parties, otherwise labour will win 2020 without too much difficulty.

  23. “Actually it has a different name for 1979 C candidate here.

    I was going to say
    (Peter Morgan and J Park) never found a Parliamentary seat – not sure he tried to after 1979.”

    My mistake.

    Actually Peter Morgan was the candidate in Heywood & Royton – which also covered part of this seat – not Middleton & Prestwich. He got quite close to Labour, losing by about 2,287.

  24. Heywood & Middleton Labour selection timetable

    Deadline for application: tomorrow
    Shortlisting: Monday
    Selection: Tuesday

  25. They’re not messing about then. Seems a little disrespectful but I suppose they have to have a candidate in place.

    Clacton selection is today as well.

  26. Clacton Tory selection that is.

  27. UKIP have selected John Bickley (of Wythenshawe and Sale East fame).

  28. Not surprising that Heywood & Royton was still marginal in 1979 – it was always a Tory seat in the 50s until Labour took it, in the shape of Joel Barnett, in 1964. The predecessor seat of Royton stayed Tory by a hair’s breadth even in 1945 though Bury was even closer. The seat included a little of the rural territory which was later to form Littleborough & Saddleworth & Barnett considered standing there in 1983 though he soon realised he had no chance of winning.

  29. More than little I think Barnaby. I think the majority of L&S came from Heywood & Royton with LIttlenorough, Wardle, MIlnrow, Crompton and Shaw all coming from that source with just Lees coming from Oldham East and Saddleworth of course coming from Colne Valley. I’m not sure if more than half of the old Heywood & Royton came into Littleborough & Saddleworth, but clearly the largest part of it did despite neither of the eponymous towns doing so.

  30. Yes I thought that was the case. Before 1950 Heywood was twinned with Radcliffe (it never has been since). There was a Middleton & Prestwich seat however for much longer. It was not until 1966 that Labour first won it; Labour’s performance in outer north Manchester suburbia in 1945 was amongst their least brilliant anywhere in Britain that year. I remember at the time not being surprised that Labour did survive there in 1979, but being rather surprised that the party survived in neighbouring Bury & Radcliffe too. Labour was defending a majority of only (IIRC) 441 but the defending MP Frank White was very well-regarded as a constituency MP.

  31. I think that’s a smart move from UKIP given the short time frame. Bickley’s a solid candidate who’s gone through this recently and extremely unlikely to say something Godfrey Bloomish in the run up to voting. A safe pair of hands basically.

    As a silver lining UKIP, if Carswell wins Clacton they could probably do without another candidate finishing second a week or two down the line. Then you’d just have the usual suspects claiming the UKIP fox has been shot and that they won’t poll above their 3% from 2010 blah blah blah.

  32. Yes that is a very astute point. The date is actually most beneficial for UKIP, who were never going to win the seat anyway. Their distant second place will be buried beneath their triumph in Clacton the same day.

  33. Yes good point

  34. Returning to the discussion of the old boundaries, the Middleton & Prestwich seat would have been won narrowly by the Tories in 1983 but would have returned to Labour as early as 1987. Heywood & Royton on the other hand would have been won by the Tories quite comfortably at each of the elections from 1983-1992

  35. If another poll comes out in Clacton showing a very easy UKIP win, the party could probably send plenty of activists to Heywood & Middleton in the run up to 9th October. If that happens it would wreck Labour’s cunning plan of holding this by-election on the same day as Clacton. I assume their plan was that most UKIP activists would be otherwise occupied in Essex on that date.

  36. Clacton is a dead cert, as far as these things can be … carswell acc. to betair has a 90%+ chance of winning the by-election….the United Kingdom has an 80% chance of remaining one country.

  37. According to Manchester Evening News Labour shortlist is

    Mariam O’Reilly (former BBC presenter, shortlisted for Nuneaton)
    Byron Taylor (TULO National Officer, longlisted for Stoke Central in 2010 but NEC didn’t shortlist him)
    Liz McInnes (Rossendale Cllr)
    Kailash Chand (GP from Tameside shortlisted for Stalybridgeand Hyde before 2010 GE)

    Selection tomorrow (brought forward by 1 day compared to original timetable)

  38. Dr Kailash Chand would be a fantastic selection IMO.

  39. GPs from Hyde don’t have the best of reputations…

  40. Chand is currently chairman of Healthwatch Tameside. He previously served as chairman of Tameside and Glossop NHS (2009-2012). He also deputy chair of British Medical Association.

    Taylor has been TULO national officer since 2002. He lives in Basildon.

    McInness works as Clinical Scientist for NHS.

  41. Ah I knew I knew Kailash Chand from somewhere, I’ve seen him on Twitter. He does look the best of the bunch.

  42. Given with how UKIP are marketing themselves in their election materials and considering UKIP are known to take support from both the Tories & Labour from people who feel failed by the establishment – this looks like it could be an emphatic UKIP win. It does depend if the BNP Will stand against them.

  43. Horseshit.

    This will be an easy Labour win with UKIP a respectable, but decent, second (say 20% or so).

    The UKIP candidate may wish this were Rotherham, but it isn’t. And the BNP are a complete & utter irrelevance.

  44. of course, HHemmelig expresses himself in his usual curt and abrasive style, but he’s right…this is a labour hold.

    I think UKIP will get 25%, on a good day for them, but no more…a party would need 40%+ to win the seat.

  45. Peter – nothing abrasive about horseshit 😉

  46. Having looked up Byron Taylor, I’m impressed, he seems like exactly the sort of Old Labour activist who there’s too few of in the current PLP and could be an asset amongst WWC voters.

  47. Labour 45-50%
    UKIP 25-30%
    Con 15%
    Lib Dem 5%
    Others 5-10%

    How’s that for a prediction? Fully expect to have egg on my face on October 10th but I’ll be out of the country on that date so who cares!

  48. Seems reasonable. Big slab of Lib Dems (looking at the 1997 result they came from Labour rather than the Tories) for Labour to tuck into.

  49. Prediction update time for this seat. This is still an early prediction, I’ll update it on the actual day itself, but for now my fruitcake figures have been altered a bit-

    Labour- 49%
    UKIP- 27%
    Conservative- 14%
    Liberal Democrat- 5%
    Others- 5%

  50. I think UKIP will struggle to do as well as that

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