Wythenshawe    and    Sale    East    By election    2014

The by-election was caused by the death of Paul Goggins, who died on the 7th January 2014 after suffering a brain haemorrhage while out running in December 2013. The by-election was held on 13th February during the middle of the 2014 floods and resulted in Labour holding the seat with an increased majority. UKIP took second place and the Liberal Democrats lost their deposit.

Mike Kane (Labour) 13261 55.3% (+11.2%)
John Bickley (UKIP) 4301 18.0% (+14.5)
Daniel Critchlow (Conservative) 3479 14.5% (-11.0%)
Mary di Mauro (Liberal Democrat) 1176 4.9% (-17.4%)
Nigel Woodcock (Green) 748 3.1% (n/a)
Eddy O'Sullivan (BNP) 708 3.0% (-0.9%)
Capt Chaplington-Smythe (Loony) 288 1.2% (n/a)
MAJORITY 8960 37.4% (+18.8%)
Turnout 28.2% (-26.1%)
Mike Kane (Labour) Former teacher. Former Manchester councillor
Mary Di Mauro (Liberal Democrat) Manchester councillor
Daniel Critchlow (Conservative) Born in Manchester. Educated at Bury Church of England High School. Church of England vicar
John Bickley (UKIP) Born 1953. Businessman
Nigel Woodcock (Green) Higher education lecturer
Edward O'Sullivan (BNP) Driving teacher and former army technician. Contested North West region 2009 European election, Salford mayoral election 2012
Captain Chaplington Smythe (Loony) Real name Mark Chapman
Comments - 269 Responses on “Wythenshawe and Sale East By Election”
  1. Don’t know my precise prediction, but probably Labour 50-60%, UKIP 10-20%, Tory 8-15%, LD 2-6%, GRN 0-3%, BNP <2%, OMRLP <1% (sadly).

  2. Are we trying to out-LibDem the LibDems? Picking a vicar who only talks about picking up dogshit seems a strange choice for the governing party…

  3. ‘Are we trying to out-LibDem the LibDems? Picking a vicar who only talks about picking up dogshit seems a strange choice for the governing pary’

    Presumably you’d rather see some pin-stiped banking type Joe – exactly the type of candidates that hgave out people so off the Tory party in places like this

    It does seem an odd choice for a profoundly unChristian government though, I will concede that

  4. “… a profoundly unChristian government though…”

    Pompous shite.

  5. Ha amused to hear Tim Jones say that, as it’s the type of thing Reform (evangelical Christians) say.

  6. And yet you still don’t support an opposition party. I find you very, very hard to understand.

  7. There was no insult, Tim. I merely expressed my opinion about what you said.

    You’ve posted in this fashion before, and it’s your lack of intellectual empathy that so disappoints me. You simply cannot conceive how someone can see the problems in society that you see and not support the solutions you support. In your view anyone that does that is guilty of being indifferent to those problems.

    Similarly you take your interpretation of what constitutes being Christian as being a given, with anyone who deviates from that interpretation being classed as “unchristian” or a “Christian basher”.

    Re your allusion to gay marriage, personally I see nothing Christian about failing to grant people full equality before the law on the basis of their sexuality. But then unlike you I see no reason to seek the help of God or religion to fight political battles. Such a tactic, as Lancs Observer alludes to above, is reminiscent of a nutjob fundamentalist.

  8. Tim, you could look at it from another perspective and say what’s so Christian about trapping people in welfare dependency and giving them no hope for the future.

    But I agree that on the whole, the current government doesn’t have Christian values at heart. Gay marriage and refusing to give Parliament a free vote on abortion and embryo research says everything about Cameron’s attitude towards Christian values.

    And I wish David Cameron wouldn’t keep stating that we’re a Christian county; the fact is we’re not. It doesn’t mean anything that more than 50% of people stated their religion as Christian on the last census. The vast majority of people who did that are people who consider themselves as Christian just because they went to a CofE school or had their children baptised 30 odd years ago. In reality, fewer than 2% of the population regularly attend church services other than for civic or family occasions or at major festivals. Although contrary to popular believe, overall Church attendance fingers reached a low point in about 1990 and there has been some modest growth sine then, particularly in charismatic Churches, and it’s not all down to immigration.

  9. In my humble opinion, all this conversation proves is the variance and malleability of “Christianity” – which is of course a vast religious spectrum where the commonalities are mostly abstract and theological and the differences in terms of practical beliefs are vast.

    After all, whilst current anglican clerics tend to be on average (at least economically and in some cases socially) to the left, this is certainly not a long-standing and traditional phenomenon. In any case it seems (this being conjecture on my part as I don’t have polls to hand to back me up) like the clergy in general are considerably less respected than they were along with most other traditional authority figures (politicians, academics, etc); I don’t see any real significance in picking a vicar in this by-election, the Conservatives aren’t contemplating a defence or win and are likely to have few wishes other than to keep the result as low-key as possible.

  10. “you could look at it from another perspective and say what’s so Christian about trapping people in welfare dependency and giving them no hope for the future”

    That might depend (in part) on what denomination and/or political leaning a Christian belongs to/has. Pope Francis has made various pitches already about inequality, etc.

    Priests and other religious leaders in this country are more palatable to the public than a dyed-in-the wool Trot to discuss austerity et al too.

  11. Got a feeling the BNP might do better than expected, they are working the streets well.

  12. The way I see it, political viewpoints from both the left and right of the spectrum are compatible with Christian teachings so long as you’re broadly working for the greater good of humanity.

  13. Paul Goggins was a Catholic and a man of the left, as is Mike Kane. Jacob Rees-Mogg is a Catholic and very right-wing.

    Christianity is an ancient and vast branch of human thought, and as with debates on gay rights and divorce, its teachings can be taken to promote or denounce almost any given ideological system as desired. The best approach to me seems to be to follow the most coherent collection of Christian teachings that fit your ideological view.

  14. Maybe some of us don’t give a monkeys about Christianity or its nannying messages designed to put people in their place.

  15. ‘Maybe some of us don’t give a monkeys about Christianity or its nannying messages designed to put people in their place’

    I’m sure many people do feel like that Joe and I guarantee you that a clear majority of them would vote Consrervative – which was kind of my point in the first place

  16. Cough- cough, comments policy.

  17. Shame to see so many of you still calling the Green manifesto unrealistic. I guess if folks are blind to the constant boom and bust of capitalism, the limits to growth of the eco-system and the loss of bio-diversity and replacement by bio-science then I hope you find a good bit of the British Isles that is not underwater by 2050. Yes, people can respond to crisis some time and I’m sure will adapt to some degree but we could have avoided the war in the first place.

  18. Joe, with all due respect, anyone who calls them-self a Christian would take offence at your remark that the Christian message is designed put people in their place.

  19. I also would not that I could take considerable offence as a leftwing atheist at the implication that my dislike of religion somehow should predispose me to right-wing beliefs that I find equally distasteful. Unlike in certain other countries, anyhow, religious voting patterns are rarely an issue in mainland Britain and so we should probably get off this subject.

    Eartheart: You exemplify my point perfectly. I do not disagree with you that there are inherent problems with our current economic system, and given my family’s heritage in nature conservation the implication that I am blind to biodiversity issues is absurd. I am more noting that the Green Party’s ideas and policies are often either wholly counter to established scientific evidence (homeopathy and genetic modification are two huge issues here that stop many otherwise environmentalist electors such as myself voting for many if not most green candidates) or the numbers quite simply don’t add up (energy policy, which is doubly awkward as it’s more or less the Green flagship/raison d’etre). I am very much a proponent of the idea that radicalism in politics by no means makes success less probable in and of itself; it is the impression and reality of disconnection from evidence that I think hurts the Greens most. If the Greens took a much more science-centred, evidence based approach to their radicalism I think they would be considerably more successful in a number of university seats and areas.

  20. I know I’ve said this before, but this is a site about elections. If your beef is Christianity, there are plenty of other forums out there where you can debate it. Otherwise, since we have this by-election is only 2 days now, perhaps we can keep the going off-topic to a minimum. Thanks.

  21. Yeah, this probably isn’t the right forum to be debating matters of peoples spiritual belief, a topic people can get emotive about.

  22. Yeah, let’s talk politics instead – a topic we all know people of course get far less emotive about. 😛

  23. AW – would it be possible to add the 2010 result to this page too? Just easier to compare it with people’s predictions. No prob if no room or time!

  24. Bugger – what have I missed?

  25. I think everything is still up CL

  26. James – Not sure what your view is on Homeopathy – it has had dramatically positive impacts for me when aliopathic treatments have failed and saved me a hospital operation and cured my son of a horrible ongoing issue. However, the Green Party don’t support it any way other than they do other medicines. Strangely the Greens are very much a science based party, For the record here is a bit on homeopathy http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/13-04-2011-greens-science.html

  27. My prediction

    Labour: 12,350 53%ish
    UkIP 4,200 18%
    Conservatives: 3,052 13%
    Greens 1,200 5.%
    Lib Dems 1,119 5%
    BNP 1118 5%
    MRL 231 1%

  28. I now think that Nigel Farage is just plain anti-democratic. There is no evidence that the postal votes are fixed, just sour grapes and excuses. Where is the evidence?
    Democracy survives on trust – if the trust is blown away by wild accusation then Lord help us.

  29. I notice that Damian Thompson hedges by saying Labour is likely to win come what may and says there is no proof or wrongdoing, but it is stupid whispering campaigns like this that undermine democracy.
    The description given by Farage of an “old dear” getting visited by a Labour Party worker within a few minutes of the postman delivering the postal vote is almost beyond parody. Given that he claims 17,000 postal votes – how many Labour Party workers are there?
    Dangerous and pathetic nonsense.

  30. Assuming Labour wins, I’d say about 10,000 votes would be needed for it to be regarded as a fairly good endorsement.

  31. I must say I agree with CL. It’s one thing to debate how many people get to use postal votes, but a whole other thing to say what Nigel did. To infer, and infer he did, that somehow we’re in cahoots with the postmen to time our canvass sessions perfectly, stinks. And then there’s, ‘Do you want some help with that? Can I take that from you?’. As a Labour activist, I’d know I’d be strung up for such talk if I said that on the doorstep. Farage can play sore loser as much as he likes in the postal vote battle, but to infer that our expected win is basically down to dirty tricks is sickening.

    This actually rather reminds me of another sickening episode before the general. The Tories, and I believe the LDs as well, jumped on us because some people who’d received Labour leaflets covering cancer treatment in the NHS happened to be cancer sufferers themselves. They were trying to imply we were targeting said leaflets, when of course that was a load of rubbish, and they knew it. Inevitably, any leaflet covering any issue will find itself in the house of someone with a direct connection with said issue. Not rocket science.

  32. And to clarify, does postal vote fraud sometimes happen. Yes. I’ve read the same stories you guys have. But I know it’s isolated. Quite apart from the fact that the vast majority of people in our party respect the law, it doesn’t take much common sense to know this stuff will more than likely come round to bite you. Especially in as high-profile a campaign as a parliamentary by-election! If he has any proof to his allegation, he’d better bring it forward, otherwise this whispering campaign really is an affront.

  33. Okay, move aside now.

    By absolutely no demand at all I’ve decided to give you all the benefit of my unrivalled expertise…

    Six of you have made predictions so far and you’ve all overestimated Labour and underestimated UKIP.

    Remember this is a BY-ELECTION, folks!

    People love to protest in by-elections and the Kippers are the current repository for that protest vote.

    An average of your six estimates gives Labour 55% and UKIP just under 20% but surely the momentum which the Ashcroft poll will give the Kippers is worth more than a mere 5%..?

    The crucial thing to understand (and I tried to explain this to you before, during the Oldham East & Saddleworth campaign) is that by-elections develop their own set of quickly changing dynamics. True, the Ashcroft poll only showed UKIP on 15% (against 14% for the Tories) and that is easily within the margin of error. But that 1% is crucial for it enables UKIP to claim they are the main challengers to Labour.

    Remember Bermondsey? For weeks it was unclear whether Simon Hughes (of the Liberal/SDP Alliance) or John O’Grady (of ‘Bermondsey Real Labour’) would be the main challengers to Peter Tatchell… But crucially two polls came along each giving Hughes a wafer-thin 1% margin over O’Grady. The rest is history.

    The difference is that Labour will still win here, for enough people in this constituency are genetically Labour to withstand the UKIP challenge and overcoming a 4:1 margin is simply asking too much, especially given the limited time remaining. But Labour could easily be pulled down to around only half the vote.

    As for UKIP, don’t be surprised if they get up as far as the low 30s. (I’m not going to do anything as vulgar as offering precise percentages).

    Now please don’t disagree with me, because I’m always right.

    P.S.:- Here’s another prediction: expect the Kippers to blame the postal vote when they fail to win. (As if votes are any less valid simply because they’re sent in via the Royal Mail).

  34. Here’s my prediction:

    Labour: 46%
    UKIP: 20%
    Conservative: 18%
    Liberal Democrat: 6%
    Green: 5%
    BNP: 4%
    OMRLP: 1%

  35. I question how the LDs will get 6% if they only got 5% in the poll and of them only 28% will definitely vote! I’d put the Lib Dems nearer 3%.

  36. Excellent post Robbin Hood. It may turn out that I’ve underestimated UKIP support because at the start of the campaign I still thought there was a good chance the Tories could still get second place. But since then, polls and (the still very limited media coverage) show that UKIP might be doing better on the door steps than I first thought and are in line for another second place finish and will become the main dumping ground for protest votes.

    I don’t think the Tory vote will completely collapse though. The improving economy may stop some votes going UKIP’s way, especially in the Trafford wards which everyone seems to have forgotten about. I think it’s unlikely the Tories will get second place, but I won’t be totally shocked if they do.

    And I also think the Lib Dems will just about save their deposit and maybe the Greens too.

  37. I started this campaign saying anything over 40% for Labour, given the likely low turnout and energised Ukip voters, would do me. I reckon Labour will do somewhat better than that but am still unconvinced it’ll be over 50%.
    I’d be amazed if Ukip didn’t get over a quarter of the vote given the anti-politics mood and low vote, but I’ve been wrong before.

  38. Anecdote time, but as a former resident of the constituency I was there last night visiting a number of friends who are current residents. They’re largely left-leaning but they are mostly intending to vote UKIP.

    Now, the reasons are interesting. They want Labour to win, but their motivation is loathing of the Tories, and they believe that a resounding second place for UKIP will precipitate a Tory panic.

    They have no time for UKIP at all, and if there was even the slightest danger of the party actually winning they’d vote against them.

  39. Mr Farage’s on UKIP’s hopes (before the Ashcroft poll):

    “We’re trying to come second, from the 3 per cent we won in 2010”, explained Farage to us last week. “And if we achieve that, we’ll have done well. If we get anything over 15 per cent it will be very, very, very good. Anything over 20 per cent would be ‘bloody hell!’ If we get below 10 per cent, we’d be very disappointed, but we won’t get below 10 per cent.”


  40. My prediction for the By-election:-

    Lab 45%
    Con 24%
    UKIP 15%
    Lib Dem 12%
    Green 3%
    Rest 1%


  41. I don’t think that an improvement of that amount by the Tories over the poll for the by-election is likely. I think Adam is nearer the mark but suspect that UKIP will end up further ahead of the Tories than that.

  42. BR

    Not sure where that 12% for the Lib Dems is going to come from!

    Also I’m curious – what’s with the white background?

  43. The amount of excuses UKIP are putting out is making me think that they might not be comfortably infront of the tories.

  44. I’m in agreement with RH, Barnaby and most here.

    Labour will hold comfortably enough with UKIP in second place and the Tories a close third.

  45. The Tories will not be a close third.

    Come on, LBernard. Look at the direction of travel…

    The Tories polled 26% in this seat in the 2010 General Election, against 3% for UKIP.

    Yet the Ashcroft poll already shows UKIP ahead of the Tories, and that was now several days ago.

    Remember the key by-election word: MOMENTUM!

  46. Mind you, I’m not sure UKIP are going to be helped much by this sort of thing…


  47. @Joe R

    UKIP are portraying themselves as Establishment outsiders trying to make themselves heard against vested interests trying to silence them.

    Naturally, an important part of this strand of campaigning is to complain that they are being silenced by their competitors and thus the will of the people is being denied.

  48. Robin is in a sense right to point to past by-elections and speak of momentum. But momentum has to have an underlying reason behind it, and I don’t think Bermondsey is a very accurate comparison. Just look at what the political situation at the time both nationally and within that constituency. Labour were very unpopular and thought to be extremely ill-led (one would have to say that given the election results such thoughts were borne out). Their candidate, though very local (still is) to that area, was for a number of reasons a sitting duck for attack by opponents (the Conservatives, represented by the rather affable Bob Hughes, much to their credit refrained from personal attacks, restricting their attacks to purely political ones), first John O’Grady then as Robin says Simon Hughes & the Liberals. People of the white working class just didn’t want Peter Tatchell as their MP, and were extremely sceptical about Labour as a whole, and flooded into Hughes’s camp when it became clear he had the best chance of beating Tatchell. Here however Labour are not unpopular nationally or locally, and there is nothing as far as we can tell remotely controversial about Mike Kane. Therefore, the momentum will be far less stupendous than was Hughes’s in 1983 – it will be more of a trickle of anti-Labour votes switching from the Tories to UKIP than a flood of defections. Yes there will be some protest votes but the pool of possible switchers to UKIP is not all that large. Their campaign as Robin has alluded hasn’t been entirely smooth either, and while I am pretty certain they will be second I don’t see them doing as well as they’d no doubt like to.

  49. @ Barnaby

    I cited Bermondsey as an extreme example, and yes you are right that there will not be anything like the same flood of defections against Labour here.

    But I think my suggestion that Labour could fall to around 50% (down around 10 points on the Ashcroft poll) is realistic when you consider that they only actually polled 44% here in the General Election… And who will be the beneficiary of that fall?

    Also the Tories will struggle to hold 10% and any votes they lose in the closing stages of the campaign will also go to UKIP.

    I will be genuinely surprised if the Kippers fail to poll at least 25%.

    Are they counting tomorrow night or on Friday..?

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