2015 Result:
Conservative: 7742 (17%)
Labour: 20961 (46.1%)
Lib Dem: 4667 (10.3%)
Green: 1382 (3%)
UKIP: 8519 (18.8%)
Others: 2159 (4.8%)
MAJORITY: 12442 (27.4%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Rochdale, Milnrow, Littleborough, Wardle.

Profile: Contains most of the town of Rochdale, apart from its western suburbs which lie in Heywood and Middleton, and the neighbouring towns of Milnrow and Littleborough, all former mill towns. In the east the seat stretches up into the foothills of the South Pennines, with the Pennine way passing through the eastern edge of the seat. The seat has a large ethnic minority population, with 17% describing themselves as Asian in the 2001 census.

Politics: Rochdale has a strong tradition of Liberal support. For twenty years it was represented by Sir Cyril Smith, but since his retirement it has become more marginal, swapping back and forth between Labour and the Liberal Democrats several times over the last twenty years. In 2010 the seat was the place where Gordon Brown infamously described a member of the public as a "bigoted woman" having accidentally left his microphone on - it did not prevent Labour retaking the seat from the Liberal Democrats.

Current MP
SIMON DANCZUK (Labour) Born 1966. Former labourer for Main Gas and ICI before returning to University and founding a social research company. Blackburn with Darwen councillor 1993-2001. First elected as MP for Rochdale in 2010. Danczuk has a high media profile, originally through his then wife Karen whose hobby of posting buxom selfies on social media made her a tabloid favourite, and later as a reliably vocal critic of Jeremy Corbyn`s leadership.
Past Results
Con: 8305 (18%)
Lab: 16699 (36%)
LDem: 15810 (34%)
UKIP: 1999 (4%)
Oth: 3094 (7%)
MAJ: 889 (2%)
Con: 4270 (10%)
Lab: 16345 (40%)
LDem: 16787 (41%)
BNP: 1773 (4%)
Oth: 1661 (4%)
MAJ: 442 (1%)
Con: 5274 (13%)
Lab: 19406 (49%)
LDem: 13751 (35%)
GRN: 728 (2%)
Oth: 253 (1%)
MAJ: 5655 (14%)
Con: 4237 (9%)
Lab: 23758 (49%)
LDem: 19213 (40%)
Oth: 874 (2%)
MAJ: 4545 (9%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
AZI AHMED (Conservative)
SIMON DANCZUK (Labour) See above.
ANDY KELLY (Liberal Democrat) Former Rochdale councillor.
MASUD MOHAMMED (UKIP) Born Kashmir. Housing officer. Rochdale councillor 2001-2012 for Labour and then the Liberal Democrats.
MARK HOLLINRAKE (Green) Born Rochdale.
KEVIN BRYAN (National Front) Contested Rossendale and Darwen 2010.
MOHAMMED SALIM (Islam Zinda Baad) Teacher and lecturer. Contested Rochdale 2010.
FAROOQ AHMED (Rochdale First) Born Rochdale. Rochdale councillor since 2007, originally elected for Labour.
Comments - 619 Responses on “Rochdale”
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  1. Cyril Smith’s electoral record in Rochdale-
    1970- 14, 076 (30.40%, +11.13%)
    1972 by-election- 19, 296 (42.3%, +11.9%, 5, 093 (11.2%) majority)
    February 1974- 25, 286 (49.11%, +18.71%, +6.81%, 8, 899, 17.30% majority)
    October 1974- 20, 092 (42.66%, -6.45%, 2, 753 (5.85%) majority)
    1979- 22, 172 (45.0%, +2.34%, 5, 294 (10.8%) majority)
    1983- 21, 858 (46.1%, +1.1%, 7, 587 (16.0%) majority)
    1987- 22, 245 (43.4%, -2.7%, 2, 779 (5.4%) majority)

  2. he was a pervert

  3. A closer look at the result here in February 1974-
    Smith (Liberal)- 25, 266 (49.11%, +18.71%, +6.81% against 1972 by-election)
    Cunliffe (Labour)- 16, 367 (31.81%, -9.76%, +0.71% against 1972 by-election)
    Green (Conservative)- 7, 933 (15.42%, -12.61%, -2.28% against 1972 by-election)
    Sellors (National Front)- 1, 885 (3.66%, N/A)

    Majority- 8, 899 (17.30%)
    Swing- +14.235% From Lab to Lib.
    +3.05% From Lab to Lib. (Against by-election)

  4. Interesting channel 4 documentary on the other night about the former MP for this seat/

  5. Presumably Cunliffe was Laurie Cunliffe, MP for Leigh from 1979 until he was succeeded by Andy Burnham.

  6. I’m torn between being absolutely disgusted about the allegations against Smith, and feeling slightly uneasy that he is unable to defend himself.

    Ditto Jimmy Saville, Wilfrid Brambell, Sir Peter Morrison and the numerous other deceased alleged child abusers who have been exposed in the past year.

    It’s almost as if the media are scared to defame someone unless they are too dead to sue.

    We need to ask ourselves why these people were not confronted while they were alive despite their crimes allegedly being common knowledge for decades.

  7. I responded to your comment on Taunton Deane Hemmelig- if you have any shred of kindness or humanity in you I’m sure you would respond to it.

  8. LOL….not sure how you want me to respond.

    I can’t see how you having Aspergers is in any way related to me saying that a lot of people speaking at party conferences give retarded speeches…especially as autism is nothing to do with retardedness (is that a word) and I didn’t know your condition till you told me.

    Not sure you would appreciate anyone saying that you have their sympathy….it sounds patronising. Your autism probably has its uses on places like this as most people would not have the inclination to put together all those lists.

  9. Those last two lines sound patronising in themselves.

    I struggle with this condition alright and this for me is one of the very few ways that I am able to release my frustrations.

    If you really did fully understand the condition then you would be more careful when choosing your words.

    I appreciate that I have your sympathy but in truth I don’t need it. I manage somehow, God knows how but I do. If you had to struggle with this then believe me you would truly understand.

    And I wonder why I feel a million times closer to Labour then I ever will in a million years to the Tories…

  10. Its hardly fair is it to demand a response from someone by means of some kind of emotional blackmail and then take offence at the response when it is forthcoming. It seems to me that H Hemelig would have been damned whatever he said. He’s absolutely right of course that AS is almosy a prequisite for having an obsession with election results. Perhaps you should pay a visit to the Vote UK site ( ) where at least half the regular posters are somewhere on the autistic spectrum and where the discussion ranges more widely than the kind of constituency specific threads here really allow.
    In fact I started a thread on the predecessor site on the link between Aspergers and psephology. You would have found it very interesting I’m sure.

  11. @Pete
    It wasn’t emotional blackmail at all. I was simply addressing how the condition effects me on a daily basis.

    I don’t know if everyone with my condition has an obsession with psephology but there is clearly some sort of link between the two.

  12. Results

    I thought it went without saying that I meant you no offence, but it seems I have to say it so I will.

    Again with no offence intended, it does help me to understand your posting style better.

    Non-autistics such as myself find it hard to motivate ourselves to plough through hours of data for fun (different if you are being paid)…it’s fun for a few minutes but becomes a drudge.

    As long as you are in the right kind of career and have a happy family life I don’t see why you should see your autism as a disability nor why you would suddenly bring it up out of the blue.

  13. Hemmelig it’s OK don’t worry, what you say is welcome.

    Although if I’m being honest, it’s the very fact that most people will only plough through data unless they’re getting paid for it that says it all for me really- I personally enjoy doing it as a hobby TBH.

    Overall I’m alright in life etc. so nothing to worry about really in that particular regard.

  14. I don’t like the way it’s taken for granted that Jimmy Savile was without doubt guilty of the crimes he’s been accused of. Whether we like it or not, he was never convicted of anything.

  15. A former colleague of mine is severely autistic, and often emails or texts me in the middle of the night when he’s pondering some obscure scientific or economic theory which he thinks might interest me….it took me a while to get used to but he is a very nice guy.

  16. “I don’t like the way it’s taken for granted that Jimmy Savile was without doubt guilty of the crimes he’s been accused of. Whether we like it or not, he was never convicted of anything.”

    Yes exactly, and in all media reporting it is stated as gospel fact that Saville was a serial paedophile without any disclaimer as to his never having been tried in a court of law. Same goes for the other names I mentioned including Cyril Smith on the Channel 4 documentary discussed above.

  17. I strongly suspect the fact that women are less likely to be found on the autistic spectrum and their absence on this and similar websites are not unrelated. (No offence intended to anyone).

  18. I know what you mean Andy.

    I would like to think that no prejudice exists against people on the Autistic spectrum nowadays but there will always be a minority I suspect.

    I swear that if anyone met me in real life they probably wouldn’t think I had Asperger’s Syndrome. I certainly don’t see it as a disability however.

  19. Just for the record, I do not have Aspergers nor any form of autism. I just find election results interesting. Even my own!

  20. If someone is severley autistic then unfortunately they’ll not be able to put their skills to much use – as far as I know.

    It has been suggested to me that an interest in political data,
    transport networks,
    and noting down plane numbers etc
    is mildly autistic – perhaps it is but I don’t think it is.

    I could at one time tell you where a particular aeroplane, or train carriage or bus operated
    and when it was moved from Kingston to Romford,
    when it was withdrawn
    and re-instated etc.

    Certainly all the autistic people I know notice all the details about different types of train etc.

    I really don’t mind – if you’re not interested in anything enough to follow it well then that;’s what I can;’t fathom,
    and those of us who are get more out of life – but you must balance it against other things.

    I don’t really see it the caricature way – political data is fascinating because it tells you so much about our country and other countries – it’s not some isolated/autistic etc thing off on it’s own.

    Provided you do a range of things in your life I really wouldn’t worry about it atall – enjoy your interests.

  21. the irony of politics is you do have to get out and address the concerns of other people
    and the interesting bit is seeing what actually works in practice
    away from the speeches and things that can’t be properly pinned down.

  22. Having lived in Rochdale for 8 years, I find myself aghast at the complete implosion of the Liberal Democrats in the town, Always a coalition rather than a party of set ideological conviction (I am referring to the party in Rochdale rather than nationally), the room for defections was always there and vast swings in wards based on intra-community rivalry were not unknown, but the recent collapse has proved to be so complete that even that old standby had been unable, at this time, to rebuild their vote.
    I used to argue that the demographics of the town meant that many of the Liberal Democrat voters would be more naturally Labour elsewhere but even Labour party members would vehemently disagree, but that has now become the case in much of the constituency. It seems sad that many committed and decent Liberal Democrats have seen all their hard work destroyed so thoroughly and, with the added horror of the behaviour of Cyril Smith (a man I found to be an appalling bully), dishonoured.
    I do not dismiss the probabilty of the party regaining council seats, but Mr Danczuk is likely to have a stonking majority over the Conservatives in 2015 and this may put the seat well out of the Liberal Democratic reach for a very long time.
    Mr Danczuk must think all his Christmasses have come at once.

  23. As for the other discussion on this thread, I am a high-functioning dispraxic. Maybe I didn’t need to share that, but I have a need for completeness…..

  24. @CatholicLeft
    Your knowledge of this seat really is fascinating. An excellent post. Well done.

    If what you say in the last paragraph of your first post is true, then this seat in 2015 would revert back to its state post-Ludovic Kennedy and pre-Smith.

  25. A brave man would guess at the Labour majority but, if the local elections resutls next May show no more than a couple of holds (if any), then the seat will continue the trend that was beginning to assert itself before the Iraq vote did so much damge to Labour – that is that it will become a safe Labour seat. Without Labour losing the seat in 2005, I would have expected the Liberal Democrats to be in second place in 2015, by over 7,000 votes. I expect that Labour might well have a majority of around 10,000 over the Conservatives.
    I base this on Labour having around 49% of the vote, the Tories getting 27%, the Lib Dems 17% and others 7%. Weirdly, I might be overstating the Liberal Democrat share.
    I wonder if UKIP might do well as the anti-party party?

  26. The Results – thank you for your kind words.

  27. CatholicLeft is indeed correct. If there were ever a survey done to find the place where the Lib Dems had fallen the most since 2010, then Rochdale would be very high up on the list.
    There has been a huge implosion of the Lib Dems since 2010. They began to fall apart towards Christmas 2010 when the defections started. Some ex-Lib Dems went to the Tories, some to Labour, some Respect, some independent and some have just dropped out of politics altogether.
    To illustrate this look at some recent local election results:
    Healey Ward – once a safe Lib Dem banker – now a Labour/Tory marginal ward with the Lib Dems a distant third.
    Spotland & Faliinge Ward. This was Cyril Smith’s heartland, Spotland had been Liberal/Lib Dem for a century. In 2012 it was a Labour/Independent marginal with the Lib Dems in 3rd.
    Milkstone & Deplish Ward – held narrowly by the Lib Dems in 2010, just 12 months later they finished 4th behind Labour, Tories and Respect.
    Littleborough Lakeside Ward – a solid Lib Dem banker up to 2008 locals, now a very tight Labour/Tory marginal where the Lib Dems could not even find a candidate in 2012.
    Obviously, since 2012 we have now had the revelations about Cyril Smith, what impact that will have on the Lib Dems only time will tell. But you have to recognise that Smith was an icon in the town and all that has now turned round and his name is now a liability to the Lib Dems.
    A very comfortable hold for Simon Danczuk in 2015 with the Tories in second.

  28. My forecast for 2015:

    Lab 45
    Con 22
    LD 19
    UKIP 7
    Others 7

    The Lib Dems will probably get wiped out next year unless they can salvage Milnrow or Bamford.

  29. If the Lib Dems are to salvage any seats in Rochdale Borough (covering both Rochdale and Heywood and Middleton Constituencies) then it’ll be Milnrow and Newhey and North Heywood.

    Their result in Bamford depends whether William Hobhouse stands again but since his Wera is up in Norden (assuming she stands again) then the Hobhouse campaign tem will be more focused there and William may not stand.

    I think the interesting ‘battle’ is between Simon Danczuk in Rochdale and Jim Dobbin in Heywood and Middleton as to who gets the larger majority!

  30. I will belatedly acknowledge CatholicLeft’s response and say you are very welcome, my friend.

    As for A Brown’s prediction, it looks good IMHO, although I don’t have any local knowledge it has been great reading not just your comments CL, but also Rochdalian and Heywood_Lore, cheers.

  31. I appreciate there will be a LD collapse – but is it really that likely the tories will go up 4?

  32. I wasn’t too sure about that myself, but on the whole I agree with A Brown’s prediction- we’ve had comments from three people who know this seat well, and they all indeed point to an ominous result for the Lib Dems here come 2015…

  33. The Tories were able to win I think one ward in this constituency in the last local elections here, but that was one more than the LDs managed. The Tories won 3 wards in the borough, but I think that 2 of those were Norden & Bamford which are in the Heywood & Middleton constituency. Some wards have seen a truly seismic shift in recent years – it wasn’t many years ago that Spotland ward (known for it being the home of Rochdale FC) was voting something like 70% Lib Dem, and was the ward of the LD council leader, but now Labour is getting scores like that itself.

  34. I’m not sure where to begin with the Rev Paul Flowers! Yet more revelations in the papers…Scouse rent boys; S & M; buying Class A drugs; using his Co-Op email to procure the above; resigning as a Bradford City Cllr due to porn on his council PC; being vice chair of Rochdale social services in 1990 and instigating the Satanic abuse inquiry and the removal of children from their families…..oh and he doesn’t know what assets are. Perfect man for the job!

  35. The good reverend probably wasn’t the best choice was he. Infact what other than his position in the labour party were his qualifications?

  36. Barnaby is correct – the Tories won just one ward (Wardle & West Littleborough) in the 2012 local elections but they did win 3 wards in 2011 – the above ward plus Healey and Littleborough Lakeside.
    Also, the Tories are now edging into second place in some of the wards with a high Asian vote – Milkstone & Deeplish, Smallbridge & Firgrove – where previously they finished a poor third behind both Labour & the Lib Dems. OK they are still way behind Labour in those wards but they have advanced past the Lib Dems which a few years ago would have been unthinkable.
    Joe – I can see the Tories advancing modestly in this seat by a few percent because the more upmarket areas of this constituency which used to vote Lib Dem tactically both in local & general elections no longer vote Lib Dem and are voting Tory.
    The Lib Dems here have not just been hit by the unpopularity of the Coalition but their local fall-outs and spats have seriously depleted their activist base, again this is most evident in the Asian community where previously the community movers and shakers that once supported Paul Rowen and Cyril Smith and the Lib Dems in general have now abandoned them.

  37. It does rather appear to be turning into a safe Labour seat which isn’t entirely unreasonable given its demography

  38. The collapse of the Lib Dem vote in Rochdale is quite remarkable, this could be one of the biggest swings to Labour in Greater Manchester.

  39. Prediction for 2015-
    Danczuk (Labour)- 51%
    Conservative- 20%
    Liberal Democrats- 17%
    UKIP- 8%
    Others- 4%

  40. For anyone doubting that the Lib Dems won’t collapse here and that the Tories are not on course to come second, here are the last two sets of local election results in this constituency:

    Labour – 49.4%
    Tory – 23.6%
    Lib Dem – 19.2%
    Others – 7.6%

    Labour – 52.6%
    Tory – 26.4%
    Lib Dem – 16.7%
    Others – 4.1%

    Note how the Lib Dems fell even further between 2011 and 2012 to the gain of both the other two main parties and although the Tories only won one ward in 2012 as opposed to 3 wards in 2011, their overall vote across the constituency actually rose by almost 3% to the extent that they are now 10% in front of the Lib Dems in this seat. The Tories have not been doing this well in this constituency since the 1970s and this was unthinkable just four short years ago when the battle was nip and tuck between Labour and the Lib Dems. .

  41. Those who bury the LibDems too fast here might be in for a surprise..

  42. I doubt it, the Lib Dems were the protest party. They cannot be that in government, that element of voters has been kissed goodbye. The only way the Lib Dems will hang on in some seats is a reciprocal arrangement with the Tories which people on here don’t think will happen but I am not so sure given how Clegg and Co. berate Labour in the commons when Cameron is speaking and making a point against them!

    The Lib Dems may have shot themselves in the foot by blocking the boundary changes because I get the feeling that Cameron would do another deal with Clegg should the Tories even win a slim majority under changed boundaries. That said the boundary changes could be brought back for some other deal giving the Lib Dems something they cherish as Peter Lilley suggested in December 2013 at PMQ’s. I can see many advantages to another coalition because the Tories and Lib Dems have a supremicy of Commons and Lords strength where as Tories on their own would not be such a good position.

  43. I doubt it, the Lib Dems were the protest party. They cannot be that in government, that element of voters has been kissed goodbye.

    The only way the Lib Dems will hang on in some seats is a reciprocal arrangement with the Tories which people on here don’t think will happen but I am not so sure given how Clegg and Co. berate Labour in the commons when Cameron is speaking and making a point against them!

    The Lib Dems may have shot themselves in the foot by blocking the boundary changes because I get the feeling that Cameron would do another deal with Clegg should the Tories even win a slim majority under changed boundaries. That said the boundary changes could be brought back for some other deal giving the Lib Dems something they cherish as Peter Lilley suggested in December 2013 at PMQ’s.

    I can see many advantages to another coalition because the Tories and Lib Dems have a supremicy of Commons and Lords strength where as Tories on their own would not be such a good position.

  44. The only surprise would be that the Lib Dems will do even worse than the Liberal pessimists would expect!

  45. The Lib Dems MPs may all fit in a Yellow Taxi in 2015; it could be Yellow Taxi Time for Clegg! The strategy over XMAS highlighting how Lib Dems champion green policies that cost the voter money seem like suicide on an electoral basis and an economic competitiveness level.

  46. The proposed boundary changes were bad for the LibDems even using 2010 voting intentions. I doubt they would be revisited….

    Their scrapping did more damage to the Tories….

  47. That’s not true according to electoral calculus using the 2010 notionals:

    National Prediction: CON short 1 of majority

    Party 2010 Votes 2010 Seats Pred Votes Gains Losses Pred Seats
    CON 36.97% 300 36.97% 0 0 300
    LAB 29.66% 222 29.66% 0 0 222
    LIB 23.56% 54 23.56% 0 0 54
    NAT 2.26% 8 2.26% 0 0 8
    MIN 1.29% 16 1.29% 0 0 16
    OTH 6.25% 0 6.25% 0 0 0

  48. There can be little doubt that, rightly or wrongly, the Lib Dems are suffering locally from the abuse scandals which have come to light in this area. This must be a contributory factor to the phenomenon that the party is doing extremely badly here, and yet in E Oldham & Saddleworth, a seat with considerable similarities next door, their vote is holding up very well. I think it’s possible they may just save 2nd place in the constituency at the general election, but not very likely.

  49. Rum…

    How can one short of a Tory majority NOT be an improvement over the current situation?

    The boundary changes would have been very favourable to the Conservative Party..

  50. I actually hadn’t paid much attention to Rochdale local elections. Just had a look about 2 hours ago (had to go downstairs to do all the New Year stuff with the family!) on the council website. The Lib Dems have been reduced to about 5 or so councillors and leapfrogged by the Tories.

    In any case this looks like it’ll swing considerably to Simon Danczuk in 2015. The Tories have a good chance of polling above the Lib Dems.

    Maybe if Liz Lynne held the seat in 1997, it might have still been Lib Dem held today. Who knows.

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