2015 Result:
Conservative: 10216 (22.6%)
Labour: 24312 (53.9%)
Lib Dem: 1150 (2.5%)
UKIP: 8903 (19.7%)
TUSC: 542 (1.2%)
MAJORITY: 14096 (31.2%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Leigh, Golborne, Tyldesley.

Profile: A working class constituency on the south-eastern edge of Greater Manchester, consisting of three former mill and coal mining towns, Leigh, Tyldesley and Golborne. The last three collieries, Golborne, Bickershaw and Parsonage closed in the late 80s and early 90s.

Politics: Like all three of the Wigan seats Leigh is a safe Labour constituency, having been held by the party since before the second world war..

Current MP
ANDY BURNHAM (Labour) Born 1970, Liverpool. Educated at St Aelred`s Roman Catholic High School and Cambridge University. Former Parliamentary researcher and special advisor. First elected as MP for Leigh in 2001. PPS to David Blunkett 2003-2004, PPS to Ruth Kelly 2004-2005. Under-secretary of State at the Home office 2005-2006, Minister of State for Health 2006-2007, Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2007-2008, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 2008-2009, Secretary of State for Health 2009-2010. Shadow education secretary 2010-2011, Shadow Health Secretary 2011-2015. Shadow Home Secretary since 2015. Unsucessfully contested the Labour leadership election in 2010 and 2015.
Past Results
Con: 9284 (21%)
Lab: 21295 (48%)
LDem: 8049 (18%)
BNP: 2724 (6%)
Oth: 2980 (7%)
MAJ: 12011 (27%)
Con: 5825 (16%)
Lab: 23097 (63%)
LDem: 4962 (14%)
Oth: 2604 (7%)
MAJ: 17272 (47%)
Con: 6421 (18%)
Lab: 22783 (65%)
LDem: 4524 (13%)
UKIP: 750 (2%)
Oth: 820 (2%)
MAJ: 16362 (46%)
Con: 7156 (16%)
Lab: 31652 (69%)
LDem: 5163 (11%)
MAJ: 24496 (53%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
LOUISA TOWNSON (Conservative) Educated at University College London. Life sciences consultant.
ANDY BURNHAM (Labour) See above.
BILL WINLOW (Liberal Democrat)
LES LEGGETT (UKIP) Born 1956. Retired police officer. Stockport councillor 2002-2005 for the Conservative party. Contested Cheadle 2005 by-election for Veritas.
Comments - 245 Responses on “Leigh”
  1. Wow – I never realise the English Democraps were still around!

  2. This was a rather impressive result from Burnham. Not sure you can extrapolate much to the GE given the low profile of the other candidates, but the borough breakdowns suggest he carried all the marginals here comfortably.

  3. Almost an 8% swing from Lab to Cons here.

    May be due to a combination of no Burnham and the Manc terrorist attack.

    I am hearing that there are rises in the Tory vote in other parts of Greater Manc as well.

  4. Astley Mosely Common Ward By-election, 19.10.16:

    Labour 773 46% (-5%)
    Cons 604 36% (+11%)
    UKIP 185 11% (-13%)
    LD 73 4% (+4%)
    Green 46 3% (+3%)

    (Another) 8% swing from Lab to Cons here since 2016.

  5. In GE that ward voted

    Lab 50.79% Con 41.86% UKIP 5.17% LD 2.18%

    (Wigan council released GE results by ward)

  6. “Almost an 8% swing from Lab to Cons here”

    It was 5.4%.

    [Con up 13.2 %, Lab up 2.3%]

  7. Wigan released the GE results by ward? That a very helpful thing to do, wish all councils did that.

    If those figures are accurate then this result is nothing of note really, no change since the GE. There was a very healthy swing towards the Cons in the Leigh constituency in 2017 a probable combination of the high Brexit vote and the loss of any Burnham incumbency boost, This result is nothing more than a reflection of that. Not even particularly illuminating re the Wigan local elections since (excluding the already Tory held Lowton East) Astley Mosley Common is the Tories best prospect by far of a pickup within the Leigh constituency.

  8. “Wigan released the GE results by ward? That a very helpful thing to do, wish all councils did that.”

    they are here

  9. I was interested in this one as it is about 3 weeks since the general waste collections went to every 3 weeks which is actually higher up the list of topics talked about among residents than Brexit or any other political subject though still not as high as Strictly or X-Factor. Something that is good to do as forces more people to pay attention to recycling but obviously not going to be popular and even the best households can struggle at times on a 3 week collection.

    So result seems not to be much different from what you would expect under normal circumstances. Always noticeable in a General Election year how proportionately (as compared to Tories) more Labour voters turn out for locals held on the same day than in any other year. Labour vote down on Greens and Lib Dems standing, Tory vote up on UKIP unwind probably. Plus obviously personal vote abesent.

    This has been a Tory ward in the past but 2010-2015 changed the dynamics I think for a lot of towns in the North west.

  10. James E – An 8% swing since 2016, as I said (and as detailed by locals on Vote 2012). I think it actually neighbours Iain’s ward so it may explain the Tory activity there yesterday.

  11. @ Lancs

    please see your post re the General Election, in which you miscalculated the swing as 8% rather than the actual 5.4%.

  12. Sky on Sunday’s Niall Ferguson featured this council area of Wigan and interviewed Lisa Nandy and Tory Cllr Mike Winstanley (who as PPC and then Group Leader achieved a big swing in the neighbouring Makerfield seat previously).

    It didn’t reveal much to surprise posters on here; but, did note, “it’s counter intuitive, but Labour performed poorly in poorer towns amongst blue collar workers.”

    Winstanley cited the conservative nature of voters in Wigan who are repelled by Corbyn and the Remain campaigning of the Labour Group in an area which voted heavily Leave.

    Nandy agreed that towns feel left behind compared to the cities and bemoaned that many now had no pub or post office in their area.

  13. You Gov MRP predicts the biggest swing will be here – taking it from a 9,554 Labour Majority to a narrow Tory win.

    Tories still 18 behind in rochdale so that shock looks like it won’t be happening.

  14. Buzzfeed reporting anger at greater manchester at tons of Labour voulenters working in Bolton West rather than here, Worsley and the Bury seats.

  15. Interesting. The contrast between inner and outer Manchester politically seems not that dissimilar to London, albeit London being bigger has even more diversity across it.

    Unlike Birmingham, it seems.

  16. I don’t think Leigh will go Tory but this is one of queries I have about the MRP as to exactly what they take into account. There are specific low level race relations issue here and I believe Leigh is one of the areas that has taken a lot of asylum seekers. Whether any of that is built into the MRP seems doubtful.

    Bolton West- I have one of my more outrageous punts on Labour winning this one- probably unlikely and certainly not with polls the way they are at the moment but Labour was slow to get going there last time with the snap election and with BXP not standing (as it is a Tory seat) it could work more in Labour’s favour. It’s a mixed seat- some WWC but also leafy parts so an uncertain combination of how this plays out. Probably stay Tory but if there was to be a shock on the night and if Labour are working it hard then possible.

  17. From people I know in GM Labour if any shock gain happened it be Altrincham not Bolton West.

  18. Bolton W is a high Leave seat. I can’t see Labour gaining any in Lancashire simply because all seats voted Leave.

    Indeed Labour are worried in Blackpool, Bury, Bolton etc.

    I can’t see Leigh electing a Cons MP although a large swing is probable.

  19. Bolton West was the most remain of the three Bolton seats. The safeish for Labour South East was the most leave.

  20. It was 56% Leave. But I take your point that it was less Leave than Blackpool etc.

  21. I know we shouldn’t treat this MRP stuff as an Oracle, but didn’t we all laugh two and a half years ago when we were told Canterbury was on a knife-edge?

  22. We did.

    Interesting Manchester Evening News article on Leigh just published. Sounds like it will be tight.

  23. I don’t recall Canterbury specifically (prior to GE2017 I mean, I obv remember well the result coming in).

    However, I do remember scratching under the surface of opinion polls at different companies’ methodologies and it being abundantly clear to me that Survation had got their weightings spot on and that the vote shares of Lab and Con really were rapidly heading towards parity.

    It always baffled me that various polling geeks, including some who publicly saw the result of GE2015 coming, could overlook this so much in 2017.

    Clearly Theresa May was being advised by such, as she was allegedly very shocked and overwhelmed when she saw the exit poll.

  24. When I say it was abundantly clear to me, I don’t mean I had some amazing psychic powers that others didn’t have.

    I mean that Survation’s methods were much more logical and made much more sense, tying in with OTHER evidence of vote surges in certain demographics etc, and the approach of a lot of other pollsters in weighting so heavily back to 2015 VI and turnout levels just seemed so naive and clearly wrong.

  25. Of all the possie Conservative gains this year, this one is the most baffling to me. I just can’t see it, amazing though it would be if it were to be pulled off.

    If we are winning here then the majority is going to be a lot higher than 68.

  26. Through it’s possible the swing here wont be repeated in many other less than 60% leave seats.

  27. I think the most baffling thing is that it’s happening in a seat that was “only” 60% leave. We’re not seeing swings this big in Workington, or Bishop Auckland, or other similarly Eurosceptic seats in the north. What’s different about Leigh?

  28. Labour apparently getting a better reaction in the more middle class areas of the seat than the working class ones. Some suggestion labour bigger activist base might just hold seats like this – where massive swings are needed for Tory gains.

  29. This might be why the swings happening.

    Voting intention for 2017 Labour voters…

    Changes w 28-30 Nov

    Labour Remainers:

    Labour 86% (+1)
    Lib Dems 8% (-3)
    Conservative 3% (-1)

    Labour Leavers:

    Labour 50% (-6)
    Conservative 23% (-)
    Brexit Party 13% (-)
    Lib Dems 9% (+1)
    SNP 3% (+3)

    Deltapoll 5-7 Dec

  30. Given where the party was six months ago, Corbyn deserves some credit for holding on to nearly all of his remain voters.

    Do you have equivalent figures for Con 2017 voters?

  31. So that poll shows Labour have lost half of their Leave voters from 2017?

  32. Apparently so.

    Voting intention for 2017 Conservative voters…

    Changes w 28-30 Nov

    Conservative Remainers:

    Conservative 66% (+3)
    Lib Dems 19% (-12)
    Labour 10% (-4)

    Conservative Leavers:

    Conservative 92% (-)
    Brexit Party 3% (-)
    Labour 2% (-1)

    Deltapoll 5-7 Dec

    Labour only keeping half of it’s leavers while tories keeping two third of it’s remainers,

    In seats like here its probably well over 50% being I suspect Bame 2017 Labour leavers in places like Newham are more loyal to Labour.

  33. Sky Newa reporting some concern from Labour in this seat about voters who have only voted in referendum but didn’t in 2017 being activated again in a way which they simply weren’t by May.

    The assumption is new voters will help Lab but perhaps in this kind of seat it won’t.

    Wigan the borough had a turnout of 69.2% in 2016 while in 2017 Wigan the seat had a 62.6% turnout, Makerfield 63.8% and here 61.5%. So a turnout nearer to 69.2% could spell curtains for Labour in lots and lots of seats.

  34. Leigh’s gone.

    Political realignment happening here.

  35. I’ve met the new MP.

    A bit odd, but nice guy.

    Lives in Slag Lane.

  36. The Kuenssberg docu (BBC2 9pm) is said to feature a couple of Labour MPs losing their seats, including this one.

    Mentorn were meant to be doing one about ex-MPs ie life after the House – but not heard of a transmission date yet.

    The BBC had a brief one the other day with three 2017 losers: the Bath bottom pincher was on, but it didn’t reveal much: he simply said it hit him on the Sunday afterwards when he was crying in the kitchen taking the washing out of the machine.

    Of the Counts, Dent Coad and Williamson apparently refused to shake hands and at the other end, Frank Field was hugged by all.

  37. ‘Lives in Slag Lane.’

    Well, this is the working class North, so almost certainly true.

  38. Ha it’s a large farm, so he isn’t typical of the people of the seat, but is undoubtedly Northern.

    AFAIK HS2 was due to cut right through his family house.

  39. “Of the Counts, Dent Coad and Williamson apparently refused to shake hands and at the other end, Frank Field was hugged by all.”

    Williamson was not present at the declaration.

    Dent Coad, yes. The Tory MP shaked the hands of the other candidates. She went towards EDC and judging by the body language EDC didn’t give her hand.

    Godsiff was another one who wasn’t present at the declaration. Skinner was absent too but in his case it was because he was too ill to attend.-

  40. Suprised at Godsiff as he didnt seem the type to boycott a count.

  41. I neglected to mention that the winning Tory here has only recently had his 40th.

    Politics certainly ages people!

    Andrea – really? It was actually a Momentum twitter account that praised CW for not shaking their hands. I took that to mean that he was at least present. Unless he left after he saw the contents of the boxes?


    he wasn’t in the photo of the stage during declaration posted by Derby Council twitter account

    but maybe he left after seeing how few votes he received.

  43. Ah that makes more sense, thanks Andrea.

    Plus I think some ROs only allow the top 3 to make speeches – although you’d hope a sitting member losing was always afforded the opportunity.

  44. Individual counts do certainly have their eccentricities.

    If you watch old election night coverage from the 1980s you will see that Thatcher’s count at Finchley always involved the candidates sitting in luscious armchairs. I wonder if they still do that there, or if it was a treat for the female Prime Minister’s seat?

  45. Andy Burnham’s acceptance speech was *really* good.

    (And made a big deal about using devolution as a opportunity to improve people’s lives, rather than a platform for airing grievances with the national government. Naming no names.)

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