Salford & Eccles

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8823 (20.4%)
Labour: 21364 (49.4%)
Lib Dem: 1614 (3.7%)
Green: 2251 (5.2%)
UKIP: 7806 (18%)
TUSC: 517 (1.2%)
Others: 886 (2%)
MAJORITY: 12541 (29%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Salford, Swinton, Pendlebury.

Profile: An inner-city seat in Greater Manchester, sandwiched between the river Irwell and the Manchester Ship canal and pushing right up towards Manchester City Centre itself (the boundary between Manchester and Salford is the river Irwell, or parts of the this seat would undoubted be in Manchester). This is a constituency of decline and redevelopment. The towns of Swinton and Pendlebury in the North were once thriving cotton mill and coal mining towns, the factories that LS Lowry (who lived and worked here, and is now remembered by the huge new Lowry arts complex in the redeveloped docks) were there, but had closed by the 1990s. The old Pendlebury colliery and power station have been partially replaced by a business park and a private prison. Between the wars Salford was home to massively overpopulated back-to-back slums, they were cleared in the 1960s, being replaced by housing estates that by the 1990s had in turn also devolved into slums cursed by unemployment, shootings and gang violence. Since then there has been another round of redevelopment: the vacant rows of terraced houses in Langworthy have been redeveloped for young professionals and the old Salford Docks on the ship canal are the core of the massive Salford Quays redevelopment, which as well as the Lowry Centre includes the new MediaCity which has become the home of BBC`s sport and children`s television departments since 2011.

Politics: Generally a very safe Labour seat, in various guises Salford has consistently returned Labour MPs since 1945, although Hazel Blears` majority fell sharply in 2010 after she became embroiled in the expenses scandal and was targetted by a hostile "Hazel Must Go" campaign. Blears retired in 2015 and was replaced by Rebecca Long Bailey.

Current MP
REBECCA LONG-BAILEY (Labour) Educated at Manchester Metropolitan University#. Former solicitor. First elected as MP for Salford & Eccles in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 8497 (20%)
Lab: 16655 (40%)
LDem: 10930 (26%)
BNP: 2632 (6%)
Oth: 2819 (7%)
MAJ: 5725 (14%)
Con: 3440 (15%)
Lab: 13007 (58%)
LDem: 5062 (22%)
UKIP: 1091 (5%)
MAJ: 7945 (35%)
Con: 3446 (15%)
Lab: 14649 (65%)
LDem: 3637 (16%)
Oth: 782 (3%)
MAJ: 11012 (49%)
Con: 5779 (17%)
Lab: 22848 (69%)
LDem: 3407 (10%)
Oth: 162 (0%)
MAJ: 17069 (52%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Salford

2015 Candidates
GREG DOWNES (Conservative) Born Lancaster. Educated at Oxford University. Church of England minister.
REBECCA LONG-BAILEY (Labour) Educated at Manchester Metropolitan University#. Solicitor.
CHARLIE BRIGGS (Liberal Democrat) Burnley councillor, former Lancashire county councillor.
PAUL DOYLE (UKIP) Former serviceman.
SAM CLARK (Pirate) Educated at Sheffield Hallam University. Technology consultant.
MARK "BEZ" BERRY (Reality) Born 1964, Salford. Dancer and percussionist with the Happy Mondays.
Comments - 167 Responses on “Salford & Eccles”
  1. Can’t see Greens getting 4% from nowhere, but otherwise looks reasonable.

  2. Looking on Twitter, seems that Labour has confirmed their shortlist of S&E would-be candidates. Rebecca Long Bailey, Sue Pugh and Sophie Taylor.

  3. Prediction for 2015-
    Labour- 55%
    UKIP- 16%
    Conservative- 14%
    Liberal Democrat- 12.5%
    Green- 1.5%
    Others- 1%

  4. I’d say that’s not unreasonable.

  5. The Lib Dems will probably collapse here, and the Tories will also fall back a bit, with UKIP taking votes off them in this seat in the urban North West. I would be amazed if Labour didn’t manage above 50% here.

  6. There’s no doubt Labour will poll above 50% here. The Lib Dems have no representation and Tory support is only in small parts of Worsley & Eccles South.

    UKIP could mop up nearly all the BNP vote from 2010 and squeeze the life out of the Tory vote which was high last time after the Blears expenses row.

  7. Definitely an increased Labour majority here.

    I also think of all the constituencies in the country this will perhaps have the highest proportion of 2010 LDs voting for UKIP in 2015. I’m sure there will be higher swings, but in other places it’s more likely to be a “double shift”: the LDs losing support to one of the main parties, and that main party in turn losing support to UKIP.

  8. Re Labour selection

    Long Baily has the highest number of ward branches nominations (I believe 7), Pugh has 4 and Taylor only 1.

    Sarah Brookes had 4 noms too but the selection committee left her out from final shortlist. She’s threatening a legal challenge.

    But I can’t see it going far. Procedures say that there should be at least 3 women and that contenders with noms from wards covering more than half of the CLP membership should be shortlisted (in this case Long Bailey). The rest is up to the selection committee after interviews….it becomes subjective, they can argue “we though she was crap” (regardless if she is)

  9. Rebecca Long Bailey is the new Labour candidate

  10. If Coronation Street were in a constituency, it would be here, and thus Labour.

    Of course the social mix is more representative of Manchester as a whole I’d say.

    Is all of the Quays redevelopment in the Ordsall ward? I wonder if that gentrification would have an effect on the voting patterns of the seat, but the make-up of young professionals would be more of the Labour type I reckon. I also doubt many of the new BBC staff would live in Salford itself so that wouldn’t have an effect.

  11. They have sometimes had local elections in the soaps & the writers always have Independents winning them. In real life the ward which contained Coronation Street would elect Labour councillors by very large majorities.

  12. I think people who’ve never been involved in an election campaign don’t realise just how big a city council or county council ward can be and just how much work is required to win. But then I suppose a realistic depiction of an election would be rather boring to watch.

  13. Arthur Daley had the right idea (he too was elected as an Independent). He simply gave voters boxes of chocolates.

  14. Actually, Len Fairclough was the local Labour councillor.
    Alf Roberts was the Independent Councillor and, when first mayor, Conservative-voting Annie Walker was his mayoress. In real life, Bryan Mosley (who lived in Ordsall ward) and Doris Speed were strong Labour supporters.
    I always remember being baffled by Deidre Barlow’s election as an Independent, never mentioned since.

  15. Electoral law makes is very difficult, if not impossible, for Parties to be named in soap storylines of course.

  16. Yes, I did wonder about those things – I used to watch the soaps religiously but I was a bit younger and uninterested in politics.

    Barnaby, I imagine you’re right. The street Coronation Street was modelled on Archie Street in Ordsall (now gone). Tony Warren grew up in Swinton/Irlams o’ th’ Height which is a bit Coronation Street in places. Bit of a never ending discussion though, some say it was based on Langworthy. Either way, all Labour.

    To my surprise, there are three Tory councillors in Salford – more than Manchester! They won Worsley, Walkden South and Boothstown & Ellenbrook.

    Yes, somewhat ironically Doris Speed was staunch Labour, and Margot Bryant was staunch Tory, leading to heated discussions. Didn’t know about Bryan.

  17. “I think people who’ve never been involved in an election campaign don’t realise just how big a city council or county council ward can be and just how much work is required to win.”

    I think this is also true of party activists who haven’t lived in big urban areas. In major cities and metropolitan boroughs, although not London ones, it’s quite common for winning candidates to get 3-4,000 votes even on very poor turnouts. That is massively different to the less than 300 votes that sometimes wins district council seats in many areas of the country. It also explains why it’s far harder for third parties or independents to make inroads in major urban areas.

    I have no idea how large county council electoral divisions tend to be these days, having not lived in such an area since I campaigned unsuccesfully in the Mid Glamorgan county council elections in 1977. Plaid Cymru gained the seat I lived in from Labour that year, while I voted for a successfully re-elected Labour candidate for Avon County Council in Bath, who represented 2 district council wards, where he was also a district councillor for one of them.

  18. No-one visiting either Worsley or Boothstown would be surprised that they elect Tory councillors. Walkden is slightly more of a surprise, though as a community in total it is indeed strongly Labour. Of course these areas are all in the Worsley & Eccles S constituency, not this one.

  19. I’m surprised that Labour managed to hold a seat in Bath in 1977. It was a rotten year for Labour.

  20. Thanks for the info Barnaby. So Hazel’s seat has a full slate of Labour councillors.

  21. Worsley is a very smart Lancashire town with a heavily managerial/professional population.

  22. “I’m surprised that Labour managed to hold a seat in Bath in 1977. It was a rotten year for Labour.”

    Although not as bad as in the district council elections in 1976, when the tories won almost every major town going, as there were all up elections in many of them. Even in South Wales Labour got hammered by a mixture of the tories, Plaid Cymru, rateparyers, residents and independents, depending on which district it was.

    Bath re-elected 2 Labour county coouncillors that year. Roy Hiscocks was in Bloomfield/Oldfield, and Ray Rosewarn was in East Twerton/West Twerton.

    They both have streets named after them now Rosewarn Row, and Hiscocks Drive in the wards they used to represent on the city council which must reflect the length of time they served and the esteem in which they were held.

  23. If you were in the Bath Labour Party you must have known the Scotford family. I used to visit their house quite often & was friendly with one of their daughters.

  24. Although I joined the Labour Party in Bath, I wasn’t really part of it that much because I was away at university in Cardiff, and afterwrds atarted work in the south wales valleys. However, I did manage to get the full time organiser to call the first branch meeting in my ward for a number of years in summer 1976. This was at the time many right wing labour heartland constituencies used to tell applicants to join that they were full up.

    I wouldn’t join until after the EEC (Common Market), referendum was held, because I was voting yes to stay in and the party policy was to vote no and withdraw.

    Back in those days Labour won all 4 wards in the south west of the city every elecxtion without fail, my own ward of Bloomfield, which was adjacent to those wards, whenever there was a tory govt, and promptly lost it again as soon as they were the government, and sometimes Kingsmead, which had a reasonable amount of council hosuing including a couple of tower blocks, just to the west of the city centre.

    The Liberals always held Come Down and Newbridge even in the 60s and 70s, and often had 3 or 4 other councillors, so the tories often struggled to get the 24 councillors needed to control the council. NOC held was probably a pretty apt description.

  25. Although this is of interest to no-one else except Ian, so apologies to the rest of you, I remember that Muriel Scotford was a Labour candidate in Bloomfield ward. She didn’t win but one of her running-mates (I remember it was an all-out election, in 1978 I think) was a sitting councillor & was re-elected.

  26. Bez from Happy Mondays is standing here on an anti-fracking platform may actually get elected here especially if he is co-opted as a Green

  27. He’ll be lucky to save his deposit

  28. I have no idea who Bez from happy Mondays is and I do not care to research him. I’ll presume he’s standing for the greens.

    This area looks like a similar profile to mine so I think I’ll predict it.

    Prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 47%
    UKIP- 19%
    Con- 17%
    Lib- 9%
    Green- 5%
    TUSC- 2%
    Green- 1%

    I think the TUSC would be wise to stand here. I mean they could, in theory be looking half way to saving their deposit. I don’t know though, 2% is a good day to parties to the left of labour although it has to be said that the TUSC, socialist alternative and scottish socialist are slowly on the rise, gradually , ever so slightly eroding labour. Literally one vote at a time.

    This seat looks good for rougher UKIP votes. A healthy failed BNP vote to scrounge off is in place for them.

    The liberals will also fall down a great deal. Obviously.

  29. “I have no idea who Bez from happy Mondays is”

    Kids today…

  30. I’d predict the combined Lab / UKIP vote will be higher than 66% Robbie, probably 72% +, bit hard to guess just what shares though.

  31. I didn’t know there were 2 Green candidates standing here Robbie…?

  32. I agree with the consensus that we should see a healthy Labour increase here following the departure of the unpopular Hazel Blears, together with UKIP taking second and sharp declines in Tory and Lib Dem support.

  33. I said green, I meant others.

    So can two from a party actually stand? It’d be an awful awful idea but theoretically?

  34. No.

  35. Norman Owen, the 2010 Lib Dem candidate here, has left the party and joined Labour, according to the MEN.

  36. Just seen D.Alex’s comment claiming that the bloke from Happy Mondays “could get elected” here. True to form.

  37. In that he will be on the ballot paper, that is not inaccurate in the strictest sense of the word.

  38. Perhaps it will even say “Known as Bez – out of the Happy Mondays”.

  39. It definitely won’t – you only get six words as a description 😉

  40. His Party emblem will be interesting.

  41. Are my eyes decieving me or are the Lib Dems and UKIP not standing here?

  42. MrNameless
    Norman Owen, the 2010 Lib Dem candidate here, has left the party and joined Labour, according to the MEN.

    I didn’t know this as I’ve not lived in Salford for a few years but I’m glad to hear that. From what I remember he was always a very dedicated councillor.

    Incidentally he was the LD candidate in 1997, 2001 and 2005 as well! That’s dedication.

  43. And in 1992 in Salford East as well believe it or not!

  44. Crikey, I wasn’t even 1 back then!

  45. Surprisingly full slate of candidates, when you bear in mind that Blears is standing down and that several better known fringe parties aren’t on the list as of yet.

  46. I wonder if Bez knows how to complete Nomination papers etc? No doubt the BBC will show the declaration. The Pirate Party NW leaflet in the Euros amused me!

  47. Hilariously, Ben is second favourite with Ladbrokes to win here! (25/1)

  48. Labour Hold. 13,000 majority. Tories 2nd.

  49. Thought some of you (MrNameless?) might find this interesting – according to the unlinkable newspaper Norman Owen was seen buying a Corbyn t-shirt this Saturday.

  50. Which wards was Irwell Riverside ward created from? I believe it was created for the 2004 local elections (earliest reference to it I could find on Wikipedia anyway).

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