Manchester, Gorton

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4063 (9.7%)
Labour: 28187 (67.1%)
Lib Dem: 1782 (4.2%)
Green: 4108 (9.8%)
UKIP: 3434 (8.2%)
TUSC: 264 (0.6%)
Others: 181 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 24079 (57.3%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Gorton, Levenshulme, Longsight, Whalley Range, Rusholme.

Profile: A tough inner-city seat to the south of Manchester city centre. Longsight and Gorton are largely made up of Victorian terraced housing, two-up two-downs. There is a large Asian and Muslim population, concentrated in Longsight which has also suffered from gang and gun violence in recent years. Historically Rusholme used to be a more middle class area, but here and in Whalley Range the bigger houses have been broken up into flats and bedsits and Rusholme, Levenshulme and Longsight are all now home to many of Manchester`s students..

Politics: A safe Labour seat, held by the party since 1935. As might be expected in a seat with a large Muslim and student population, there had been a significant shift towards the Liberal Democrats here since the Iraq war, but it rapidly faded under the coalition. In 2004 the Liberal Democrats managed to win 19 of the 21 council seats within the constituency, by 2012 they had been reduced to just one.

Current MP
GERALD KAUFMAN (Labour) Born 1930, Leeds. Educated at Leeds Grammar School and Oxford University. Former journalist on the Daily Mirror and Labour party press officer. Contested Bromley 1955, Gillingham 1959. First elected as MP for Manchester Ardwick in 1970. Minister of State for Industry 1975-1979. Shadow Environment secretary 1980-1983, shadow home secretary 1983-1987, shadow foreign secretary 1987-1992. Knighted for services to Parliament 2004. He is the longest serving Labour MP, a senior shadow cabinet minister throughout the 1980s and an influential backbencher since then.
Past Results
Con: 4224 (11%)
Lab: 19211 (50%)
LDem: 12508 (33%)
GRN: 1048 (3%)
Oth: 1334 (3%)
MAJ: 6703 (17%)
Con: 2848 (10%)
Lab: 15480 (53%)
LDem: 9672 (33%)
UKIP: 783 (3%)
Oth: 340 (1%)
MAJ: 5808 (20%)
Con: 2705 (10%)
Lab: 17099 (63%)
LDem: 5795 (21%)
GRN: 835 (3%)
Oth: 795 (3%)
MAJ: 11304 (42%)
Con: 4249 (12%)
Lab: 23704 (65%)
LDem: 6362 (18%)
Oth: 1184 (3%)
MAJ: 17342 (48%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MO AFZAL (Conservative)
GERALD KAUFMAN (Labour) See above.
DAVE PAGE (Liberal Democrat)
PHIL ECKERSLEY (UKIP) Educated at Manchester University. Businessman.
Comments - 849 Responses on “Manchester Gorton”
  1. Mr Pitt
    “the Lib Dems are genuinely becoming more popular”

    Be that as it may the question then becomes by how much? Polling suggests the Lib Dems have only seen a modest uptick since Brexit and they are still polling between 1/3-1/2 of what they were at their peak, at their peak they managed 33% here, given national polling they shouldn’t even break 20% but given its a by-election and Brexit is a key issue I think they will outperform and break the 20% mark but I really struggle to see them breaking 30%

  2. Also a question worth asking is more popular than what? They are certainly more popular than they were in 2015.

  3. Up by 3-4 pts in the national polls isn’t going to win the lib dems many more seats than the 8 or whatever that they currently hold although they have been winning local by-elections up and down the country

    I still dont see them winning back more than say a third of the seats they lost in 2015 and its worth remembering that for the most part, they will be up against liberal(ish) tory opponents enjoying a first-time incumbancy bonus

  4. At the risk of repeating myself, this is a by-election, not a General Election. If there had been a by-election here in 2008 the Lib Dems would have got their usual 25% swing and romped home with 57% . Predicting 30% is merely acknowledging that the Lib Dems start from a much worse position than in 2008, although they are only about 5% lower in the polls than there typical mid-term poll rating in the last 40 years..
    The key thing here for the Lib Dems is to be seen as the only challenger to Labour. I suspect they have done that. Then it becomes not about Brexit at all, but about kicking the establishment. In Manchester, with every councillor but one, and every MP, Labour are 100% the establishment, and in any inner city seat there is plenty for people to blame the council for. I sense there is an additional desire among normally solid Labour voters to kick Labour into getting rid of Corbyn.
    Add to that the fact that Gerald Kaufman had a big personal vote because he was an unusually assiduous constitutuency MP, while the Lib Dem candidate is by far the best known in the area, having been a local councillor for 21 years in Gorton North. She is an appealing candidate, born in a Council house but clever enough to get a PhD in nuclear physics. In 2008 the Lib Dems got more votes in the local elections in Gorton than Labour and many people will remember those days fondly… This is not Stoke, where the Lib Dems never had more than a foothold on the Council..

  5. I kind of know what scottyboy is getting at and agree with him.

    I agree with all of rivers10 post apart from the percentage predictions.

    my guess at the current time is:

    LAB 44
    LD 28
    CON 13
    UKIP 5
    GRN 5
    GG 4

  6. I think its pretty obvious that the only person who can kick Corbyn out in Corbyn

  7. I actually believe that the conditions are now in place such that a further challenge to Corbyn would now succeed.

  8. After sitting at 5/1 for a while, Ladbroke’s have now moved the odds for a Lib Dem gain here to 4/1.

    They must have money coming in on the Lib Dems. I don’t think these odds are good value.

    Anecdotal evidence does seem to indicate the Lib Dems have won the battle to be seen as the main alternative to Labour. I think they will do better than people such as Rivers believe. Given their low base, 30% would be an excellent result, and seems attainable, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to take the seat. The Conservatives might be up slightly, but I think that Galloway, UKIP and the Greens will all lose their deposits.

    If the Lib Dems end up with 25 to 30 per cent here, which is probably what they expect (at least now, that might change with a good campaign), then the results of the local elections that same day will be more important in determining the morale and mood of the party’s activists. They are hoping to gain 100 seats, but I think they will fall short of that, given the national strength of the Conservatives. If they gain less than 50, they will be very disappointed.

  9. I think if that’s true then we’d be currently campaigning in new leadership election

  10. Most bookies have cut the Lib Dem odds this morning but they are still firmly odds-against while Lab are still odds-on.

    I am gradually reassessing my view of the Lib Dem performance here and think 30% is a possibility on a low turn-out.

    Given the losses in 2012 (Wales and Scotland) and 2013 (England) when these seats were last fought I think they should comfortably gain 50 in the locals and 100 is not unrealistic. The Labour performance will be more interesting though.

  11. The libdems clearly have the nicest candidate in this byelection. The more that this is exposed to the voters, the better they will do

  12. The calling of the General Election has overtaken the by-election.

    Parliament will be dissolved, to bring about an election on 8June, before the intended by-election on 4 May.

    The Lord President of the Council, when questioned in Parliament today, said it was up to the Acting Returning Officer if the by-election would go ahead. However he mentioned that there was a precedent in 1923, when a by-election pending when Parliament was dissolved was abandoned.

  13. Mike Smithson said by election to be called off

  14. Apparently :

    “David Lidington, the leader of the Commons, has just told MPs that there is no rule saying what should happen in the case of the Manchester Gorton byelection, which was due to take place on 4 May, after the dissolution of parliament, thereby electing an MP to a parliament no longer sitting. It is all up to the discretion of the acting returning officer, he says. But he says he would expect the byelection to be cancelled, as happened when this last occurred in November 1923.” (Source The Guardian).

    An interesting parallel is the Liverpool Edge Hill by-election which took place on 29th March 1979, exactly one day after the Labour government had lost a no confidence vote. The Liberal victory gave the party a useful fillup prior to what was always going to be a tough election for them.

    I suppose it is in the interest of both major parties to deny the Lib Dems any equivalent boost in Gorton.

  15. Yes, but the question is whether the Returning officer can legally cancel the election before Parliament is dissolved.. Until parliament is dissolved nothing legal has actually happened (possibly?)… Cancelling an election 2 days before when thousands of people have already voted would be bizarre.

    Postal votes are being delivered on Friday, I believe

    David Alton was elected to a House that was not sitting and had to win again a month later to take his seat..

  16. My instinct is this will obviously not happen… would be a farcical waste of money to elect someone to a dissolved parliament.

    The Edge Hill case is a bit different – parliament wasn’t actually dissolved yet and it was only the day after the vote of no confidence.

  17. Agreed there is no precedent to electing an MP to a dissolved Parliament

  18. It clearly won’t happen; I’d be interested what the result would be, bearing in mind that the winner would have to stand again before they could actually take their seat! I bet the Monster Raving Loony Party would be pretty bullish, if it did go ahead (I think that’s who I’d vote for).

  19. I see from Andrew111 that the postal votes will be delivered on Friday. I hope that the Returning Officer and the police will ensure that the election here is conducted strictly in accordance with the law in relation to postal votes in this constituency, both in the bye-election, assuming that it continues, and in relation to the General Election.

    I could make a similar comment about many seats.

    Would there be any difficulty, if necessary, in passing a quick Act of parliament to cancel any bye-elections in parogress when a General Election is called?

  20. Just to complicate matters further we have the mayoral election going on that day and a by-election in Rusholme ward. Does anyone have experience of whether councils deliver several postal votes in the same envelope, or are they separated?

    The expense of holding the election twice may be less than the expense of sorting out the fallout of cancelling it, especially since it is not certain whether it can be cancelled until the date of the General Election has been formally set by dissolving Parliament (I think officially it is up to the Queen!). The only extra expense will be the count

  21. Jack,

    The farcical waste of (much, much more) money is calling a General Election on June 8th when it could have been on May 4th… No doubt local authorities will have to find the money out of their already slashed budgets…

  22. Too soon to be May 4th it’s only a couple weeks from now

  23. It’s clear now why the Tories were apparently invisible in this by election.

  24. For the veneral election to take place on May 4th, May would really have had to trigger A50 by the second week in March at the latest. I had wondered (as many people did) why she waited so long to trigger A50, unless she was secretly crossing her fingers that the nation would collectively get cold feet, and she could somehow wriggle out of it. Perhaps it was actually really to prevent speculation that there would be a GE on May 4th? (Can you imagive the “Obi-Wan Corbynoni vs Darth Mlayder cartoons?), and the polls actually did the opposite of what she expected?

  25. “Obi-Wan Corbynobi vs Darth Mayder”

    Apologies. For the pun and the typos.

  26. Andrew111 – nonsense.

    Any GE costs are by their very nature ‘one off’ and are funded.

    Costs only increase above that when counters are paid extra for staying to separate the ballots and then count them, ie when 2 different elections are held on the same day.

    Hence the farce in London and at the AV Ref when locals were held on the same day and it took 2 days for the results.

    After all we’ve had 2 GEs in the same year previously.

    We’re still only having 3 in a 12 year period – the same as previously when the norm was for a GE every 4 years.

  27. Confirmation that this by-election has been superseded by the GE:

  28. Lancs,

    surely you are not disputing that having two elections in a month in most parts of Britain costs more than having them on the same day??

    Are you George Osborne or something??

  29. Scottyboy,

    maybe, although you would have thought they visible in other places (like here in marginal seat Dewsbury where they have also been invisible since May 2016…)

  30. Well, with by-election cancelled, this one becomes a simple “lab hold”.
    I doubt even LDs will get very excited as to who manages to get their nose in front of the pack of also-rans.

  31. Paul H-J

    I agree that is the likely result but not a foregone conclusion and the Lib Dems will still campaign hard here after doing so much work. They are looking to make a big comeback on Manchester Council next year at the very least

    I would expect at least 25%, but bets on 30% are off for the time being!

  32. Andrew 111 – it costs no more than previously, no – such as the GE in April 1992 and the Locals in May 1992.

    It’s only a fairly recent trend for some politicos to call for both on the same day as happened in 2015. Many Cllrs opposed this.

  33. Incidentally, BBC NW News showed Cllr Leech and the LDs and all of the talk was in Withington.

    So I assume the LDs will now shift their efforts to that seat in Manc?

  34. Lancs Observer

    That would make sense for them as I think Gorton was only a target for them as a by-election. They may get a reasonable result there after the work they have done but in a GE it will tend to revert towards normal.

  35. Don’t know.. Not entirely I suspect.

    It depends a bit whether they have done anything in Withington this year. They obviously campaigned in several of the council seats in 2016, judging by the results. Gorton has just had 6 or 7 high quality leaflets and a a flood of letters. They will not be able to do anything like that in Withington, I suspect, with so many other target seats around.

    I think Birtwhistle has a decent chance in Burnley, actually. I suspect Labour votes will be very soft if a Tory landslide looks certain come the beginning of June.

    Re. General elections: My point was not whether this General Election will cost more than in 1992, but just to point out that it would have been cheaper overall on May 4th. I thought Tories were all for avoiding waste of money???

  36. Your April 18th post claimed it was costing much much more than previously budgeted for.

    I was merely pointing out why that was not the case.

    Plus the silly idea of holding the AV Ref & Locals on the same day or London Mayoral meant we had to wait 2 days more for the results – at extra expense too.

  37. Gorton is somehow STILL at the top of the Lib Dem target list, according to Farron. So is Withington.

  38. Rusholme Ward By-election Result:

    Labour 2,188
    LD 576
    Green 458
    Cons 151
    TUSC 37

    It seems – as with those on here – the voters couldn’t agree either whether LDs or Greens were the main challenger.

  39. LDs didn’t even make 200 in that ward last year. Big improvement from them. Greens don’t seem to be prioritising this seat which disappoints me, since they had roughly 2.5 times the LD vote in last year’s locals.

  40. Galloway a distant 3rd behind Labour (massive majority) and 2nd placed Tories

  41. Result of the Fallowfield by-election:
    Labour 861 (76.9%; +5.7)
    Green 105 (9.4%; -5.6)
    LD 82 (7.3%; +2.7)
    Con 72 (6.4%; -0.9)
    The tiny turnout (9.36%) can be partly explained by the absence of students from their halls of residence.

  42. “Rusholme Ward By-election Result:”

    We are a long way from the days of dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw, aren’t we?

  43. Under 10% voter turnout is pitifully low…I am wonderingif this is a record low but I can’t find anywhere on the Net that gives record low turnouts in council elections Can anyone help? Ty

  44. I’m sure if it was really a record low, the press would have picked up on it.

  45. I think we’d need to know the proportion of the electorate who are in student accommodation (i.e. they’re students whose family homes are elsewhere). If a large proportion of the electorate are in halls of residence etc., in an election held in the summer break it would hardly be surprising if the turnout were particularly low. Perhaps someone knows?

  46. There’s one ward in Lancaster that’s entirely student halls of residence, IIRC.

  47. Yes i think that was the one where labour won a council seat with just 90 votes

  48. For the record Rusholme is comprised of 38% full time students (over 18) which while well above average is by no means the largest even in Manchester, for example the City Centre ward is 48% students

  49. I should actually caveat that by saying those figures are based off the 2011 census data, further change over the last six years though as well as increased registration almost certainly means the figure for today is higher.

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