Manchester Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6133 (13.5%)
Labour: 27772 (61.3%)
Lib Dem: 1867 (4.1%)
Green: 3838 (8.5%)
UKIP: 5033 (11.1%)
TUSC: 270 (0.6%)
Others: 418 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 21639 (47.7%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Moss Side, Hulme, Ancoats, Newton Heath.

Profile: The rapidly redeveloping and growing centre of Manchester. This contains the thriving City Centre itself, but also some of the blighted and troubled inner-city housing around it. These areas were once infamous for poverty and drug violence, but in recent years have seen substantial redevelopment and the beginnings of gentrification. Levels of owner-occupation remain low, with most of the residents living in private rented or social housing. The seat contains Manchester University and has a substantial student population, as well as Manchester`s Chinatown. The seat has the highest proportion of people with a Chinese ethnic background of any in the country.

Politics: A safe Labour seat with one of the largest electorates in the country. A large electorate does not, however, necessarily equate to lots of votes and the 2012 by-election had a turnout of only 18.2%, a record low.

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


Current MP
LUCY POWELL (Labour) Born 1974, Manchester. Educated at Oxford University. Former Chief of Staff to Ed Miliband. Director of Britain in Europe from 2004-5. Contested Manchester Withington 2010. First elected as MP for Manchester Central in 2012 by-election. Shadow cabinet office minister 2014-2015. Shadow Education Secretary since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 4704 (12%)
Lab: 21059 (53%)
LDem: 10620 (27%)
BNP: 1636 (4%)
Oth: 1908 (5%)
MAJ: 10439 (26%)
2005*
Con: 2504 (9%)
Lab: 16993 (58%)
LDem: 7217 (25%)
GRN: 1292 (4%)
Oth: 1258 (4%)
MAJ: 9776 (33%)
2001
Con: 2328 (9%)
Lab: 17812 (69%)
LDem: 4070 (16%)
GRN: 1018 (4%)
Oth: 700 (3%)
MAJ: 13742 (53%)
1997
Con: 3964 (12%)
Lab: 23803 (71%)
LDem: 4121 (12%)
Oth: 907 (3%)
MAJ: 19682 (59%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Manchester, Central

Demographics
2015 Candidates
XINGANG WANG (Conservative) Born China. Educated at Imperial College. Accountant.
LUCY POWELL (Labour) See above.
JOHN REID (Liberal Democrat)
MYLES POWER (UKIP) Born 1974, Singapore. Solicitor.
KIERAN TURNER-DAVE (Green) Educated at Manchester University.
JOHN PAUL DAVIES (Communist League)
LOZ KAYE (Pirate) Composer, musician and teacher. Contested Oldham East and Saddleworth 2011 by-election, Manchester Central 2012 by-election.
ALEX DAVIDSON (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 238 Responses on “Manchester Central”
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  1. Here’s last night’s by-election result from Ancoats & Clayton ward:
    Labour 1,239 (70.5%) -3.8%
    UKIP 166 (9.4%) +9.4%
    Green 89 (5.1%) -3.5%
    Conservative 82 (4.7%) -2.2%
    Pirate 79 (4.5%) +1.5%
    BNP 58 (3.3%) +3.3%
    Lib Dems 44 (2.5%) -1.5%
    Lab held.

  2. Thanks BM.

    I didn’t think it was possible for the Lib Dems to hit yet a new low in Manchester, but they’re trying.

  3. This is not a surprising result in the slightest but well done to the Labour candidate.

  4. At least the tories (just) beat the pirate candidate.

  5. Apparently he made the Lib Dem candidate walk the plank!

  6. Interesting that UKIP still managed to come 2nd, in a very young, urban, ethnic seat. Did the Greens or LDs leaflet?

  7. An obviously low turnout, but for neither Tories nor Lib Dems to reach even 3 digits is odd.

  8. 9.4% is a great result for UKIP considering the area without a shadow of a doubt.

  9. They are now becoming the natural party of protest in safe Labour wards in the urban North of England. They are probably attracting quite a lot of LD votes as well as Tory & Labour ones.

  10. I think UKIP could come second in a number of safe Labour seats in the north of England at the next election, especially in areas like South Yorkshire. Barnsley Central must be a strong candidate.

  11. Completely agree, and they may start to worry Labour in such areas if a Labour government post-2015 starts to hit some serious mid-term unpopularity.

  12. Not sure. It depends on what happens to the LibDems. However, a post-2015 Labour government may not be unpopular

  13. Bootle may be UKIPs best chance of securing a 2nd place.

  14. Joe – just had a re-think. Whilst still impressive that UKIP were 2nd, it isn’t as surprising as I first thought. I mistakenly looked at the constituency stats above, rather than the ward/my own knowledge. Ancoats includes some apartments and young profs and isn’t anything as ethnic as the rest of the Parl seat. Those aged 25-35 have been quite Thatcherite in their views in recent surveys and I was reminded of this on the News today, with that age group buying Royal Mail shares. So whilst UKIP makes me think of OAP and C2 voters, there are certainly young profs who choose them too, rather than the damaged LDs or the Cameroon Tory Party. After all, their deputy leader, Paul Nuttall is young.

  15. Joe – and you’re absolutely right that Merseyside provides a few seats for Others. After all, the official Liberal Party came 2nd in Lpool West Derby twice and the BNP were 2nd in Knowsley in the European elections and UKIP were 2nd in a dozen wards in Sefton/Lpool in the last locals. The Greens have stated they expect to be 2nd in Lpool Riverside, but I don’t.

  16. I think the Greens could well come in second there. They hold one of the wards, its a very safe Labour seat, and the Tories and for that matter, the LibDems barely exist now. Second to Labour but a long way behind is quite feasible

    Bootle: yes, UKIP should find it easy enough to come second.

  17. The Greens don’t hold any Manchester seats, Mike. They did win Hulme ward once but Labour struck back immediately & now are a long way ahead in the ward (it includes the University campus). Labour has won all 33 of Manchester’s wards both in 2011 & 2012 & will expect to achieve a full slate of the city’s councillors next year.

  18. Barnaby’s post raises the prospect of Manchester becoming a one-party council. One wonders whether it would be politically healthy for such a major city to have no opposition at council level. Perhaps the nearest example was Stoke a generation ago, when the Labour Party there was notoriously weak in terms of membership. It didn’t do that city, which has woefully underperformed economically give its central geographical location and excellent transport links, much good.

  19. I do wonder how one party councils operate politically.

    Its not an intrinsically healthy state to be in.

  20. Manchester has been under constant Labour control since 1972 and now looks likely to be 100% Labour councillors soon.

    Partly this is because the way the borough boundaries are drawn but is there something more intrinsic to Manchester which allows Labour to do better in middle class areas than they do in other cities?

  21. Barnaby – Mike H was referring to Lpool’s equivalent seat of Riverside. Mine/Joe’s fault for talking about 2nd places in Merseyside seats on this page. I disagree with Mike though. Riverside is the only Lpool seat where the Tory share and vote has increased in the last 2 Generals, due to new apartments. The LD vote increased at the last 2 whereas the Green vote fell and was only equal to the combined UKIP/BNP vote. So their PPC’s press release of 2nd in 2015 and winning in 2020 is fanciful. The Greens do well and achieve 25%-35% in 2 suburban bohemian wards, but achieve 1-2% in many solid Labour wards in the city.

  22. Richard – yes, there are cultural reasons. Having lived in and worked in both Manc and Lpool, Manchester has a larger and more organised Irish, ethnic and gay communities. In Lpool, there are perhaps 30%+ who would never vote Labour and more importantly, a few wards that won’t also.

  23. FS & Richard – Knowsley is a one Party state that works VERY badly and Officers even sack staff for speaking out. One recently won an Employment Tribunal case and he was merely speaking as a member of the public, bemoaning the state of Kirkby town centre.

  24. There are only 3 Liverpool wards which didn’t vote Labour last year. One was won by the Liberal Party, one by the LDs & one by the Greens.

  25. Barnaby – true, although 2012 was a very special case, with the local LibDem leader prosecuted and 3 other wards were within a few votes and 2 others were won/lost with just 32%. Unlike Labour’s clean sweep in Manchester in both 2011 and 2012.

  26. I don’t think Labour doing well in middle class areas of cities is intrinsic to Manchester. The Policy Exchange report called Northern Lights showed that Labour does better with ABC1s in the north than with DEs in the south (outside London) regardless of whether they were in private or public sector. The cultural aversion to voting Tory explains why Labour can very comfortably hold Tynemouth for example.

  27. Fair point but the absolute dominance of Labour does set Manchester apart somewhat.

    There are still quite a few Tory councillors in Tynemouth despite it now being basically a safe Labour seat.

  28. I think it will be 100% Labour next year but it may fall back a bit thereafter, in reaction, but not very much.

    But if the LDs are to get one or two seats back in 2015 that will certainly require split votes against the General Election, as I am virtually certain the Lib Dems will take one of their worst hammerings here.

  29. ‘…as I am virtually certain the Lib Dems will take one of their worst hammerings here.’

    As am I. Of all the LD constituencies across the UK, I fully expect the biggest car crash will be in Manchester Withington.

  30. *crash, even

  31. Yes, I think so.
    It could be even 5 figures – depending somewhat on how well Labour are doing overall,
    but about 8,000+

  32. St Mary’s ward in Tynemouth is still monolithically conservative even in a ge year. Tynemouth village is probably likewise. However Tynemouth itself is such a small area that the ward covers a lot of eastern North shields which is good labour territory.

    Cullercoats and Whitley are both marginals, so the coastal area is quite tory still. The inland areas are hard work though.

  33. AM- ‘I don’t think Labour doing well in middle class areas of cities is intrinsic to Manchester. The Policy Exchange report called Northern Lights showed that Labour does better with ABC1s in the north than with DEs in the south (outside London) regardless of whether they were in private or public sector. The cultural aversion to voting Tory explains why Labour can very comfortably hold Tynemouth for example’

    By and large, I agree, though I wouldn’t limit the analysis to the north. The key psephological development of the last 20 years has been the decline of Conservative fortunes in the middle-class fringes of major conurbations. If you consider the seats that they won in 1992 but failed to win in 2010, a great many fall under that heading: Tynemouth, Wirral South, Crosby (if you must, ‘Sefton Central’), Edinburgh W, Gedling, Birmingham Edgbaston, Leeds NW, Leeds NE, Bolton W, Bury S etc.

    Outside the conurbations, the Tories did reasonably in 2010- even in the north.

  34. Of course, the Tory decline in many of those seats has been going on for more than 20 years but I was comparing 2010 with 1992 for convenience.

  35. ‘Outside the conurbations, the Tories did reasonably in 2010- even in the north.’

    i think the north was a double-edged sword for the tories

    It was relatively unreported that they actually achieved some of their highest swings in working class former industrial, particularly mining areas – not enough to seriously threaten the incumbant Labour MP’s in most cases, but good enough to reduce their majorities to the lowest they have ever been since the war

    However it more urban parts of the North – Merseyside, South Yorkshire, even some parts of the North East – the Lib Dems have effectively replaced the Tories as the main opposition to labour, and seem to be picking up an increasing amount of middle class votes than would have one time certainly gone to the tories

    AM is in part right in his analysis – the Tories are all but dead in the big cities of the North – but the continuing polulation shifts from the urban north to the surburban south means that the tories can afford to lose these voters – which probably explains why they haven’t tried too hard to court them

  36. ‘The key psephological development of the last 20 years has been the decline of Conservative fortunes in the middle-class fringes of major conurbations. If you consider the seats that they won in 1992 but failed to win in 2010, a great many fall under that heading: Tynemouth, Wirral South, Crosby (if you must, ‘Sefton Central’), Edinburgh W, Gedling, Birmingham Edgbaston, Leeds NW, Leeds NE, Bolton W, Bury S etc. ‘

    I agree with you partly bit every one of those seats you mention is North of Watford – with all but two them in the North proper

    If you look at the cities in yhe south, the biggest of which outside london is bristol, the Tories won three of the six seats, and did well in other southern cities like plymouth, swindon, portsmouth, brighton & hove etc. They almost even won both the seats in gritty southampton

    These aren’t conurbations by any means by they are urban centres with the types of voters who would be more likely to vote labour if they were in the north

    So there is still much evidence to suggest that the Tory vote has declined further in the urban areas of the North, than the South in recent years

  37. Well I could have mentioned other Birmingham seats, as well as Derby North and Solihull (where the Lib Dems profited rather than Labour). And don’t forget those urban seats which the Tories now hold with far lower majorities than in the past: Broxtowe, Wolverhampton South West; and even Sutton Coldfield. There has even been decline in the more urban parts of the south east- look at Hove, and the two Readings for instance. Although I accept your point that Tory fortunes have decline particularly sharply in the urban north, I think there is a danger in overstating it.

  38. *I expressed my last point badly. The danger lies not so much in overstating Tory decline in the urban north as in locating it exclusively in the urban north.

  39. Failure to win Derby North was entirely down to boundary changes.

    It would have been won by the Tories on the pre-2010 boundaries.

  40. Tim Jones – that’s very true re the Tories not bothering in many northern cities and so a lot voted LD as the anti Labour Party. I would however ad a caveat which has also gone unnoticed. In the Lpool city centre polling district, the Tories have been ahead, although turnot is so woeful that it isn’t sufficient to carry a ward. Indeed the CBD was the only polling district they ‘won’ in the whole city when I attended a Count in 2006. I suspect a PD in Manc city centre is the same.

  41. I wasn’t aware that the Tories polled well in liverpool city centre – although i was struck by the amount of regentrification that had taken place when i went there in May

    The city centre seemed far smarter than when i last visited eight years ago

  42. Lancs Observer – I appreciate that City Centre ward in Manchester does contain areas outside the centre itself, but I still doubt that the Tories would carry any polling district within that ward – the LDs still have the great majority of anti-Labour votes there, and indeed have remained competitive in the ward as a whole, which is more than one can say for the vast majority of other Manchester wards.

  43. My forecast for 2015

    Lab 61
    LD 12
    Green 9
    Con 7
    UKIP 6
    Others 5

    Turnout 45%

    I’m pretty sure that the so called ‘Cameroon project’ has backfired spectacularly.

  44. AB- I think your Labour forecast is a bit low, I’d imagine that they will be in excess of 65%. The Lib Dems have been wiped out locally and will be focusing their efforts on keeping Withington respectable. I’ll say;

    Labour 66
    Lib Dem 12
    Con 10
    Green 6
    UKIP 4
    Oth 2

    Turnout- 48%

  45. I agree with KingTut.

  46. I just spotted that Cllr Henry Cooper sits as Independent Labour for Moston ward. Also, I hadn’t realised Manchester has 15 Asian City Cllrs. By comparison, Liverpool has none.

  47. There are considerably more Asian residents of Manchester than Liverpool.

  48. Barnaby – I was aware there were in GM boroughs such as Oldham, but hadnt realised there were many outside Rusholme, Cheetham Hill and Longsight wards in Manchester. I suspect the 15-20% of Cllrs is double the % of the electorate in the city and I think the black population is larger (although only 1 black cllr).

  49. I’ve just checked and I’ll correct myself: the Asian population of Manchester was 14% in 2011 and so the Cllrs are representative. That’s a huge increase in a decade, meaning only 59% are now White UK in Manchester. (8% Black, 3% Chinese, 3% Irish).

  50. That’s quite a high Chinese percentage – do any local authorities in Britain have a higher one? (I must add that I am a very enthusiastic visitor to Chinatown in this constituency!)

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