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”
  1. Simon Danczuk MP has complained that he saw at least, “4 beggars” within 100 yards in his seat “and they should at least be moved on” and he’s asked GMP why they don’t action.

  2. ‘Simon Danczuk MP has complained that he saw at least, “4 beggars” within 100 yards in his seat “and they should at least be moved on” and he’s asked GMP why they don’t action.’

    Then he realised they were members of his local constituency association…

  3. Danczuk has confirmed he’s standing, “whatever happens.”

    The Labour NEC are to decide after the (first) May Bank Holiday if he’ll be the Labour PPC.

  4. Based on Corbyn, and Labour becoming the gift that keeps on giving, what price Danczuk as their next leader?

  5. Ha the Corbynistas would really hate the fact he was more popular in the Country than their blessed JC had been.

  6. Danczuk not allowed to stand for Labour. No word yet on if he will stand as independent. Even through she withdraw from the Leigh Selection I would not be surprised if Katy Clark attempts selection in this seat.

  7. Does anyone have any idea how he’d perform as an Indy?

  8. If Danczuk stands as an independent his vote tally would be somewhere south of 10% – he’s not particularly well-liked in Rochdale and is seen as a self-promoting big-mouth. There’s a possibility the Tories might do well here, especially if Danczuk stands; between them, Con and UKIP scored almost 40%, and with Danczuk spoiling, it might mean a Con tally of 30% (with LD recovering slightly) might be enough.

  9. I think Labour will be fine here. Danczuk standing may even help (a tiny bit) as any voters who vote for him are likely to be anti-corbyn (and therefore at risk of otherwise going to The Dark Side). Also- having someone standing who is implicated in an underage sex scandal, may focus the minds of potential stay-at-home labour voters who don’t want Danczuk back in (the smell of an underage sex scandal makes him something of a pariah, from what I can see).

  10. Having said that, I doubt he’ll stand. He’s all mouth and no trousers, if you ask me.

  11. EcoW – that was Cyril Smith you’re thinking of.

    The girl Danczuk allegedly texted was aged 17 and so not ‘underage’ as you twice incorrectly claimed.

    Oh he’s standing, don’t be in any doubt about that.

    It’s just a shame Mrs D isn’t standing in Bury N – both would have attracted a media circus.

  12. While I can see the majority tumbling significantly I imagine whoever Lab select will be fine here. Reality is there is no obvious main challenger and that applies more so if Danczuk decides to stand. UKIP are in second but their a busted flush these days and there is simply too big a Muslim vote for them to seriously challenge here, Tories in third are in ascendency nationally but they’ve never done very well in Rochdale, its hard to see them suddenly doubling their vote to a historic high and winning, and finally the Libs who’s “no Brexit” strategy is not going to go down well in 60% leave Rochdale, what’s more Lib Dem strength here was traditionally the old Liberal Pennine vote which has been discussed before and is probably not really a factor anymore, followed by Muslim defections post Iraq which just isn’t an issue anymore.

    Thus my guess is Tories will take some votes off UKIP, Lib Dems will take some off the Tories and Danczuk (if he stands) will take some off Lab that might have otherwise went to the Tories or Libs resulting in a hopelessly split opposition with UKIP, Cons and Libs all between 15-25% with Lab comfortably ahead, at worst in the mid 30’s.

  13. Ex mp for Manchester Central Tony Lloyd is favourite to be the Labour candidate here.

  14. Seriously? He must be just retiring surely.

    LLoyd is unpopular here for his backing of GMP and the ex Chief Constable Fahey over their omissions / non-feasance in Rochdale CSE.

  15. LANCS O – Sex with a minor under 18 is illegal if the adult is in a position of authority over them (ie GP, Teacher etc). Whether her MP would fall foul of that law is untested, but I think other power differentials (ie a 32year age gap) may well be taken into consideration.

    Besides- I said the ‘stench’. Whether he is guilty or not of a crime, his behaviour is dodgy, and is linked to sexual activity with a minor. Hardly looks good for an election campaign, does it?

    RIVERS10 – Totally agree. It’s very difficult to make a good prediction, but even my worst case sees Labour holding on here.

  16. Nonsense (again).

    The only exception applies to school pupils aged 18 and under and not even 18-year-old students at universities.

    You twice stated, ‘underage’ – when in fact that would be 15 and under.

    Quite apart from texting is not sex.

  17. The rules absolutely fon’t just apply to schoolteachers. As I say, I don’t know they’d extend to MPs (and I suspect they wouldn’t) but she was a child, and the spirit of that act certainly would apply to this case, even if legally it wouldn’t work. And as I say- as far as the election is concerned, perception is everything. Danczuk has been exposed as a swinger with a penchant for minors, and I’m afraid that isn’t going to play well with any electorate. Least of all one which has been so publicly affected by the sexual exploitation of children, both under and over 16.

  18. She was not ‘underage’ – she was 17.

    To say so is to defame Danczuk (this is the last time you have been warned, EcoWirral).

    16 is the age of consent [the only exception to that is those who lack mental capacity].

    Oh you almost got close to admitting what this seat is indeed famous for – the abuse of underage boys by Cyril Smith – which Danczuk helped to unmask and which many here are very grateful.

    I get that you’ve never been a fan of his, but he is rather more in touch with Labour voters than yourself.

  19. LANCS O – Final warning….lol!!!

    It is a fact that a 17 year old is legally a child.

    It is a fact that 17 year olds are legally “underage” in certain circumstances, when the ‘partner’ is deemed to be in a position of authority over them (teachers, police, gp, nurse etc etc). I have stated quite clearly that I am not sure whether this would apply to an MP (I suspect it very much would depend on the exact citcumstances of how they came to know each other, but I’ve clearly said that I don’t know).

    My point was that this backdrop doesn’t bode well for his election chances. People don’t tend to embrace politicians who (whether rightly or wrongly) have the stench of sexual deviancy about them (remember that this is not the only revelation which has come out about Danczuk).

    But I’m really surprised that you are defending him so passionately. Perhaps you are actually him? You’re certainly right wing enough!

    So, sorry, I’ve ignored my “final warning” because I have dome nothing wrong, and the discussion is even within the spirit of the rules of the site, as it is absolutely related to speculation about an actual election.

    So what are you going to do about it, big man?

  20. Also- ‘sexting’ vs ‘sex’. Of course, this is the reason that the 17-yo thing is less relevant legally, but if anything it makes his position even weaker. It suggests harrassment…..sexual harrassment OF A CHILD by a man in his late 40s. Do you really think that the electirate will like that, whether he’s broken the law or not?

    I can imagine lots of people having sympathy if he was having a sexual relationship with a physically mature 17 year old. Many of them would say what you did, that “16 is legal – what’s the problem”? But an MP sexually harrassing a child constituent, 30 years his junior? Come on!

  21. What a load of rubbish. I don’t like Danczuk’s antics for one second, but nonsense surmising whether the law applies to MPs (which of course it doesn’t) and therefore somehow equating this with the terrible abuse that has gone on in this area (of minors) is pretty desperate stuff.

    On that subject, the area that the law does badly need to change for is to include sports coaches etc. – the revelations out so far regarding abuse of minors (<16), and abusing position of trust for 16-18 year-olds too, are fairly obviously the tip of the iceberg. Their position of trust and scope to take advantage of it, is greater generally than the average teacher and other carers who are covered by the law governing sex etc. with 16-17 year-olds. By definition sports arenas are probably fairly testosterone-filled environments, and coaching can often include 1-2-1 and all sorts of times, so it's not difficult to see why these people should be top of the list of those 'in authority' governed by the law.

    Sorry for the digression.

  22. BT SAYS – Fair enough – I’m still unsure on the MP thing, but I’ll let you have that.

    But as for Danczuk himself- do you feel that the issue has left him appearing seedy and suspicious at the least? And if so, do you think that will dissuade some voters from voting for him (especially when there is a Labour candidate, if they are/were natural Labour voters)?

  23. Yes, looks more to him than meets the eye (negatively) compared to when he was a freshman MP. It may impact him extra hard to given how outspoken he has been on some matters.

    But nothing more sinister than that.

  24. EcoW – you twice wrongly stated ‘underage’ which in law can only mean 15 or under – which as well as leaving you open to legal action for defamation, could also pose a risk to the very continuation of AW’s site (hence the final warning).

    Glad you at last recognise the differences as also pointed out to you by BT. Or even if you don’t accept the facts and the law, it is no defence – your mutterings as to what you think should be the case should not be posted on an open forum.

  25. Incidentally, Simon Danczuk has resigned from the Party, citing McDonnell’s support for Stalin and HQ wanting to parachute in a Corbynista to Rochdale:

    He’s also called a press conference for later this week, so I expect him to stand as an Independent, (as he said he was always going to stand).

  26. Tony Lloyd has been selected as the Labour candidate

  27. Danczuk jumped before he was pushed?

  28. Danczuk will prob do badly… but don’t rule out a Con surge here, so Lloyd not completely home and hosed.

  29. Looks like Danczuk will be standing as an Independent. That should split the Labour vote.

  30. I doubt it will split it very much; I can’t see him having that significant a personal vote

  31. “I doubt it will split it very much; I can’t see him having that significant a personal vote”

    Totally agree, indeed what little effect this will have will probably help Labour if anything in that any Lab votes Danczuk attracts will likely otherwise be liable to drift to the Tories or Libs so Danczuk’s standing just splits the anti Lab vote further, though admittedly not by much I’d be very surprised if he saved his deposit.

  32. If polls still look as bad on June 8th as currently, Danczuk’s humiliation may be one of the few highlights of the night.

  33. I can’t help but think that Danczuk’s downfall is very convenient for those who want to close down the paedophile ring investigations. Could it be possible that the various antics which led to his suspension were in some way provoked by people hostile to his investigations?

  34. HH
    I’m all for a good conspiracy but I doubt it, I think we can all agree Danczuk’s shenanigans were bound to catch up with him eventually and by all accounts the local CLP have wanted rid of him pretty much since he was elected. Regardless of what seat he represented I think we’d be saying goodbye to Danczuk.

  35. Incidentally, Karen Danczuk was one of his nominees.

    Contrary to the above comments of Paul D & Rivers10, it’s obvious to anyone who has ever been to Rochdale that Simon Danczuk is personally popular here.

    How much of this he is able to take with him in the very short campaign window available I’m not privy to, but I’d certainly imagine he’ll hold his deposit. A local businesswoman is aiding his campaign so the electorate here will at least receive the Freepost election address from him.

    But clearly an unexpected GE next month has brought the issue to a head rather sooner than the anticipated 2020 GE. Whereas I’m told both Carswell and Reckless printed off canvass data before making their move which clearly gave them the vital on the ground GOTV info which meant however many MPs DC flooded their seats with they were always one step ahead as they’d stood in their respective seats a few times previously and knew their way around.

  36. Lancs
    “it’s obvious to anyone who has ever been to Rochdale that Simon Danczuk is personally popular here”

    I’m not so sure, its only anecdotal evidence but I have a friend who was involved in the Greater Manc mayoral election and he said that when they canvassed or phone banked this part of the world Danczuk often came up but rarely in a good way, whats more Danczuks eventual expulsion was a godsend since they were able to shut such avenues of conversation down by pointing out he’d been kicked out of the Lab party and wouldn’t be standing again.

  37. Incidentally here’s what Simon Danczuk and Tony Lloyd have said since being nominated:

    My particular favourite being, “Tony, who is 68, sees Parliament as a retirement home where he can potter around.”

    [For those unaware since Danczuk gave up alcohol he has run 5 miles each morning along the banks of Rochdale canal so in an energy contest he certainly wins]

    If it were a By-election I could well see Danczuk winning, in a sort of Galloway way (with polar opposite views of course) but it’ll be almost impossible with a GE turnout.

    Although I still expect it to become a very personal fight highlighting Lloyd’s Manchester credentials and his lack of action as PCC and his closeness to ex GMP Chief Con Fahey who failed to act over Rochdale’s Asian grooming gangs.

  38. Rivers10 – if true that’s plain silly (if Labour HQ sanctioned workers to say he wouldn’t be the candidate again when he was merely suspended at that point) as it would be actionable by Danczuk for breach of contract, as no decision had been taken at that time re the GE.

    Equally it’s only anecdotal, but the support Danczuk is receiving on Twitter and in the Letters’ pages today is huge. I realise his most vocal supporters may not be representative but the Rochdale man v yesterday’s/Manchester man does seem to striking somewhat of a chord in what is quite a parochial place.

    I repeat that I can’t seem him winning but it seems to fly in the face of evidence to suggest he can’t even obtain 5% of the vote in a seat such as this, given the UKIP vote last time and all of the work Danczuk has done re Cyril Smith and CSE in Greater Manchester, highlighting the non-feasance of GMP and council officials.

  39. “If it were a By-election I could well see Danczuk winning”

    Sorry Lancs I just don’t see it, Danczuk is appealing to a very niche market of very moderate Labour and Tory voters that aren’t tribally loyal. My guesstimation is this at best accounts for about 15% of the electorate here and frankly Danczuk will be lucky to manage half that.

    Then we have to look at his credentials, independents only ever win when they are extremely charismatic (which Danczuk just isn’t) or are capitalising on some sort of anti corruption, anti sleaze screw the establishment type ticket which as the colourful former MP kicked out of his own party amid countless scandals Danczuk can’t pull off either.

    I’m confidently sticking to my initial position, Danczuk lost deposit, if he has an absolutely great night he might manage 10% but I doubt it.

  40. The Tories must have a chance here surely, if they can pick up most of the UKIP vote.

    Labour’s vote will split in half and the Lib Dems remain mortally damaged by the Cyril Smith baggage.

  41. Lancs
    “if true that’s plain silly (if Labour HQ sanctioned workers to say he wouldn’t be the candidate again when he was merely suspended at that point)”

    You misunderstood, they weren’t allowed and didn’t say that UNTIL he was actually forbidden from standing again on May 2nd I believe? It only gave them a few days to say he wouldn’t be the candidate prior to the vote on May 4th but it apparently helped.

  42. HH
    Why will Labs vote split in half? Not cos of Danczuk surely

  43. Rivers10 – he isn’t just appealing to moderates. As I suggested, I’d fully expect at least half of the UKIP vote to go to him here if they turnout.

    Er yes, there is a very real ‘anti-corruption’ issue alive in Rochdale and Greater Manchester.

    Fair enough re the timing. Oh I have no doubt Danczuk is unpopular with a slice of the electorate here, particularly Asians. But equally that doesn’t harm him in other parts. After all this is a seat where some people were voting BNP even 25 years ago. I realise that demographic is least likely to vote usually so it won’t aid him greatly, but just because they are your polar opposite in views you cannot pretend that many voters with those views do exist in this seat.

  44. Lancs
    “As I suggested, I’d fully expect at least half of the UKIP vote to go to him here if they turnout”
    Really? To avidly pro EU Danczuk? Seems unlikely.

    “Er yes, there is a very real ‘anti-corruption’ issue alive in Rochdale and Greater Manchester”
    Small cheese (at least as far as publicity goes) I’m talking Tatton 97.

    “But equally that doesn’t harm him in other parts”
    As I stated before such people are very unlikely to back an avidly pro EU ex Lab politician. They’ll either stick with UKIP, drift to the Tories or not vote. I don’t deny such voters exist its just that Danczuk probably wont be the biggest recipient of their support.

  45. LANCS OBSERVER – I’m really baffled by the degree of you Danczuk love-in (unless you really are, as I jokingly suggested earlier, really him).

    Yes, he was popular during the early part of his incumbency, due to the work he did to expose historical abuse. Yes, he may prel off a few antiestablishment UKIPPERS from last time (despite his views on the EU). But both those points pale into insignificance against the fact that he will not have a red rose by his name. He also, like it or not, has been badly tainted by the various sexual misdemeanors (and his previous record arguably makes this more of a breach of trust). Finally, Danczuk is now a hated man amongst the majority of labour members, and he has alienated many labour voters because of the way he has laid into Corbyn’s leadership, and been one of a select gaggle of those MPs who have systematically fed the media with an anti-Corbyn narrative. Given all thise votes he’s lost, do you really think that his personal rating is so good that he can overcome the perception (and to bear your blushes, I won’t express my opinion on this point) that he is a pervert?

  46. “Spare”, not “bear”!

  47. When the allegations of his not-technically-paedophilia-because-she-was-seventeen-but-it’s-still-irresponsible-behaviour-for-an-MP first surfaced, there were protests outside his constituency office calling for him to resign – and not just from the usual suspects who protest against everything, a lot of people who barely even notice politics were there too. I personally don’t believe people’s private lives are fair game in politics but for most people, including hoards of Rochdale voters, these things do matter.

    I’d say it’s touch and go whether he holds his deposit.

  48. Friends in Rochdale describe Danczuk as a markets figure.
    Has some admiration for exposing Smith & others, but also regarded as an embarrassment to the town for his various relationships.

  49. ^ Marmite, not markets

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