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. RBL has been moved to Shadow Business Secretary, replacing Clive Lewis

    Rest of reshuffle here:

  2. This MP is a totally obscure nonentity. After being in Parliament for less than two years, she holds a pretty senior shadow cabinet job and is being mentioned as the possible next Labour leader.

    Some new party leaders, in the last generation, have increasingly had little experience when chosen but Long-Bailey would represent a new low.

  3. You could argue that having achieved nothing in two years as an MP is not as bad as having achieved nothing in *thirty*-two years as an MP.

  4. What exactly would you classify as “achieving something” out of interest?

  5. sounds really mean i know , but this woman has done absolutely nothing in her career…she’s 37 years old! what would one expect.

    two generations ago, the labour front bench had (say 1970) Wilson, Barbara Castle, Roy Jenkins, Denis Healey, Richard Crossman, Tony Benn, Tony Crosland, Michael Foot etc.

    Today we are wondering about whether Clive Lewis or Rebecca Long-Bailey should be leader of the party.

    This is a total collapse.

    My own view is that Labour have been hoist on their own petard. by engorging the public sector and boosting pay in that world, they have created alternative careers for the likes of Simon Stevens (ex Balliol Oxford, President of the Union and Lambeth Labour Councillor), James Purnell and Tristram Hunt,

    Anyone very able on the social democrat fabian left under the age of 35 would literally have to be insane to become an MP, when they can earn so much in public sector politics/management/ arts.

    As a consequence, the talent pool for labour mps in the house diminishes, and you have a wholly hollowed out husk of a parliamentary party. there are no real leaders….it’s a vicious circle, as the more labour looks unlikely to win, the less able people want to play the parliamentary game.

  6. Call me naive, but why doesn’t someone like Hilary Benn not get talked up about the Leaders job ? In my opinion he’s one of the best they’ve got ?

  7. Juckster

    To answer your question: because the party currently doesn’t have the appetite for him, their membership on the whole consider him too rightwing, etc.

    (I’ll decline to comment on whether he’s one of the best they have or not, in an attempt to be impartial)

  8. Kersal Ward By-election Result:

    Cons 850 +6%
    Labour 553 -20%
    Ind 354
    UKIP 182 -2%
    Green 48 -2%
    LD 39

    Con Gain from Labour

    Indeed this is the first time the Tories have won this ward since 1992.

    This is the most Jewish ward in the UK @ 41% and follows on from the loss in neighbouring Sedgley ward which was also a first for the Tories since 1992.

    Unsurprisingly the victorious candidate is a Rabbi. Apparently the Tory victory would have been even more substantial but for the Ind candidate who is also Jewish and well known locally.

  9. Britain Elects has the Tory vote down 1.4%, Lab down 21.5; I guess it depends on what you do the comparison to

  10. I think I just looked at the last locals. They probably compare it with when the 55-year-old Cllr who died was last elected.

  11. Lance,
    It looks like the Independent mopped up the left-leaning part of the Jewish vote while the Tory vote stayed more or less static (with some churn due to UKIP standing).
    The Labour vote fragmenting is becoming a bit of a pattern though, reminiscent of what happened to the Lib Dems in 2015, giving the Tories a bunch of seats without much change in vote share. And of course it already happened to them in Scotland…

  12. Tory landslide territory if repeated around the NW and midlands.

  13. Apparently both sides say the Jewish vote turned strongly against LAB… not very surprising really… as a Barnet local my thoughts naturally turn to the implications for the council elections next year, but the truth is it might not make a whole lot of difference as the most Jewish wards in Barnet are all safe Tory anyway…

    According to this study ( Kersal has the largest Jewish population of any ward outside Barnet

  14. Word is that this might not necessarily have been Labour voters moving to the independent re: anti-Semitism, rather the independent campaigned heavily against the Salford City FC stadium development, which had a large chunk of voters up in arms.

    Could well be a case of “move along, nothing to see here” therefore.

  15. It’s also true that the ex-Tory Rabbi (who came within a recount of winning this ward in 2006) didn’t stand here for UKIP this time.

    Jason that’s true re the Ind (although he’s also well known in the Jewish community), but the Labour share still fell by 20%.

  16. Why, then, did the independent attract Labour votes more than Conservative votes? Not sure this is an easy one to spin, though I do think we should be careful with over-interpreting local by-election in general.

  17. As I said, I’m told – and local Cllr Lindley says the same on the Vote 2012 site – that without the Ind the Tory victory would have been even greater, as he dented the Tory vote in a couple of boxes, so I don’t automatically accept your premise.

    Labour voters could, of course, have switched to Cons and stayed at home compared with the past 25 years when Labour won here.

  18. Plus this isn’t now just one example.

    It’s the fifth from memory of a Lab > Con swing in an area with Jewish voters.

  19. @Jason Harcourt has the right of it.

    Don’t get too excited here, this was an election fought largely on the issue of Salford City FC, although a well-respected Tory candidate certainly helped.

    Not 100% convinced that a non-league football vanity project is really one that has much national salience, although locally the perception that Corbyn is weak on left-wing anti-Semitism has cut through.

  20. Even if this IS a shift for the Tories in this ward it’s not going to make a blind bit of difference to the seat being solidly Labour at Westminster level. The best the Tories can hope for is the ward becoming a blue oasis in the borough.

  21. ”Even if this IS a shift for the Tories in this ward it’s not going to make a blind bit of difference to the seat being solidly Labour at Westminster level.”

    Indeed but it is worth noting that Kersal is not in this seat it is in Blackley and Broughton where the Tories are even weaker than they are on this seat.

  22. Which is why it won’t make a blind bit of difference to this seat πŸ˜‰

  23. Why aren’t we posting in Blackey & Broughton in that case?

  24. Just a quick reflection on RLB – whilst I’ve seen worse Labour representatives, the notion that she is leadership material does sadly – and I do mean sadly as a potent opposition is important – show how far Labour has descended.

  25. Hazel Blears (former Security Minister):

    “I want to make it very clear that I agreed with every word that the PM said.

    No, Jeremy is wrong. We need to recognise this evil ideology and it is not at time for petty point scoring.”

  26. Lancs Observer, would you care to clarify that last post, the date and time of what looks like a quote that you are giving, only I can’t find it…..

  27. An hour ago on Sky.

  28. Claremont Ward By-election, 05.10.17:

    Labour 46% (+1%)
    Cons 29% (+ 9%)
    Ind 11% (+11%)
    LD 10% (+11%)
    Green 3% (-3%)

    No UKIP this time (22%)

  29. “LD 10% (+11%)”

    So no repeat of the minus 1% share the Lib Dems got last time?


  30. Aye, at least they beat the Bus Pass Ellis party on this occasion.

  31. Cllr Howard Balkind has defected from Labour to Ind.

    He represents Swinton South ward and was deselected to be replaced by the equally unfortunately named Stuart Dickman (a part-time PR student).

  32. He’s a former Tory. Only 2 people voted to reselect him at the meeting.

  33. Langworthy ward by-election, 14.12.17:

    Labour 601 58% (+9%)
    Cons 183 18% (+11%)
    LD 125 12%
    Green 72 7% (+1%)
    Ind 55 5% (+5%)

    No UKIP (25% last time)

    Turnout: 11.8% [not quite managing to beat the lowest ever, as 3 in Merseyside were 10% or lower, although today’s may have been on the day as those 3 were all pre-postal voting on demand]

  34. I’ve been thinking about Rebecca Long-Bailey’s plan to “save the high street”, a perennial cry from generally non-political Brits.

    Now, obviously, I like a high street as much as the next person, and I have noticed with a tinge of regret over the past few years that, while they may not be dying, they are filling more and more with coffee shops, hairdressers, and other businesses which sell services rather than products. In short, shops which can’t move online.

    But here’s what gets me so confused – this is entirely a function of consumer choice. The primary reason shops are moving online is because people prefer to do their shopping there. I don’t understand how people can be simultaneously such enthusiastic online shoppers and so upset at the death of the high street. There doesn’t need to be government intervention to save the high street, it just needs more people to make a conscious effort to shop there – and encourage your friends to do the same. That is economic democracy in action.

    I do concede that the market is largely tilted in favour of Amazon. Some of this due to their dubious labour practices and their exemption from business rates. (Though, it must be said, many high street shops, Primark for example, have even worse labour practices which are never commented upon because the labour is not sourced in Britain.) But the vast majority of Amazon’s advantage comes from sheer economies of scale, and there’s not a lot you can do about that. Even a strictly-regulated Amazon would still far outrun the traditional high street. At that point, people have to ask themselves, “Is it worth paying a little bit more, and taking a little bit more time, to buy from the high street?” And if the answer is “no”, then they have no-one but themselves to blame when it’s gone and they miss it.

  35. I think this is something that prodominately affects the older generation. I remember a labour party meeting about 6 years ago where some of the older members just spent an hour an half talking about the old thoroughfare running through the ward. How upmarket it was, etc. I dont remember this but high street seems far more recent. It seems half dead now and it’s alright for me with the internet but its like when they cut buses loads of us can drive but those who cant are stuffed. Same with people without internet access which is quite common most people I work with cant use the internet

  36. Rebecca Long-Bailey is being seen more and more as Corbyn’s preferred successor as leader of the Labour Party.
    Through Brexit could change the deyanmic and split a lot of 2015/2016 Corbyn voters to someone more pro European.

  37. Even Labour wouldn’t be stupid enough to elect a leader who constantly sounds like she’s auditioning for a chav part on Corrie. Suspect she’d get minimal support in London compared with McDonnell, and that’s where the members increasingly are.

    Not much evidence yet of Remainers abandoning Labour, Corbyn’s been very shrewd on that.

  38. A lot of 2015/2016 Corbyn voters are supporters of a second vote. Long-Bailey is seen as very skeptical of that while Thornberry is clearly in favor but remaining genuinely loyal to Corbyn.
    But if Corbyn backed her RLB would still have a fair chance.

  39. Bookies odds are certainly very odds-on on the next Labour Leader being a woman. Just a shame for them that none of them are any good!

  40. ‘Bookies odds are certainly very odds-on on the next Labour Leader being a woman. Just a shame for them that none of them are any good!’

    Jesus H Christ…Lancs and I actually agree on something. The Tories woes have temporarily distracted from how crap the Lab front bench is.

  41. Though not sure Lancs has ever thought Labour leaders were any good

  42. “Though not sure Lancs has ever thought Labour leaders were any good”

    Labour leaders in my lifetime – I’ve liked/respected Callaghan, Brown, Smith and Blair (in that order)

    Miliband, Foot, Kinnock in descending order of uselessness

    I really dislike much of Corbyn’s political platform but he’s proved a very canny leader having been dealt a very bad hand

  43. Why did you put Ed above Foot?

  44. Because Foot was an accomplished senior minister with many lasting legislative achievements to his name. The health & safety at work act 1974 for example, which improved working conditions for all of us immensely, secured despite Labour having no majority. Yes Foot was a bad leader but in the circumstances of 1981-83 anybody would have failed. Certainly Militant would have eaten Ed Miliband for breakfast.

  45. That’s fair enough and it is often forgotten how Foot probably did avoid what could have been a worse split. Though Ed too was an accomplished cabinet minister having risen up through Environment as minister and then secretary of state. Not quite the same experience as Foot though

  46. I suppose a real difference between Foot and Corbyn was it was often said of Foot that he was aware he was not going to be leader forever and so he pushed his policies; unilateralism, exit from the ECC, etc. whereas Corbyn who too knows his time will come is quite happy to compromise particularly on unilateralism, nato, his eurosceptism, etc. if it means more popular domestic policies are adopted and cotinued when he’s gone and not dropped by a new labour esk project in the future

  47. Being a minister in the Blair and Brown governments was easy, given the comfortable majorities, there was very little chance of legislation being defeated if it was formulated properly.

    Being a minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments with minimal or no majority and trying to steer through controversial legislation required was a different thing entirely. Foot was very good at keeping the unions and employers on side and cajoling things through the commons (he was leader of the house too remember).

    Neil Kinnock – when I was young my dad was one of those right-wing old Labour trade unionist types which were still very numerous in mining areas in the 80s. Every time Kinnock popped up on the telly, more often than not giving one of his famously waffly speeches, my dad said “oh God it’s Neil bloody Pillock again”. And I assure you that was repeated in millions of historically Labour households through the 80s. He really was seen as that Welsh Windbag that The Sun had christened him. Though in fairness he had improved a lot by the 92 election and in different circumstances might have won it (even my Dad voted for him then, after gong SDP in 83 and 87).

    John Smith is the only Labour leader I’ve ever met in person. He was much shorter and smaller than he looked on telly (that was true of Maggie as well) and he came across as a nice decent guy.

  48. Matt: I see a lot of sense in the Corbyn-Foot comparison, but if I might be allowed to put a slightly more cynical spin on it, what you see as a willingness to compromise, I see as a motte-and-bailey strategy, the “motte” being the kooky things he and his movement really believe, and the “bailey” being the more mainstream opinions they hide behind whenever they come under attack.

    This strategy is everywhere in modern discourse, but the Corbynistas have mastered the game better than anyone else.

  49. Motte: “I’m literally a communist”
    Bailey: “We just want to be a bit more like Scandinavia”

  50. Salford is a not-psephologically-interesting safe Labour council, but one notable ward was Kersal, which the Tories took from them on a huge 20% swing.

    Kersal is the only majority-Jewish ward in the country…

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