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Oldham East and Saddleworth

2010 Results:
Conservative: 11773 (26.44%)
Labour: 14186 (31.86%)
Liberal Democrat: 14083 (31.63%)
BNP: 2546 (5.72%)
UKIP: 1720 (3.86%)
Christian: 212 (0.48%)
Majority: 103 (0.23%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 17209 (42.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 13122 (32.3%)
Conservative: 7367 (18.1%)
Other: 2983 (7.3%)
Majority: 4087 (10%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 7901 (18.2%)
Labour: 17968 (41.4%)
Liberal Democrat: 14378 (33.2%)
BNP: 2109 (4.9%)
UKIP: 873 (2%)
Other: 138 (0.3%)
Majority: 3590 (8.3%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 7304 (16.1%)
Labour: 17537 (38.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 14811 (32.6%)
UKIP: 677 (1.5%)
BNP: 5091 (11.2%)
Majority: 2726 (6%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 10666 (19.7%)
Labour: 22546 (41.7%)
Liberal Democrat: 19157 (35.4%)
Referendum: 1116 (2.1%)
Other: 616 (1.1%)
Majority: 3389 (6.3%)

Boundary changes:

Profile: A consistuency at the eastern side of Greater Manchester, reaching from central Oldham up into the Pennines and Saddleworth Moor. It covers the East of Oldham itself, an area of deprived terraces and racial tensions, the relatively prosperous (and unusually named) town of Shaw and Crompton and the more middle-class villages and hamlets of Saddleworth.

There are racial tensions here – Oldham has a large Muslim population, concentrated in particular areas. In 2001 there were race riots in Oldham and the BNP performed strongly in 2001, getting over 10% of the vote. BNP support has declined, but some of the underlying problems remain – remaining concerns were visible in Phil Woolas’s literature at the 2010 election, which claimed that Woolas was being targetted by Muslim extremists.

Electorally the seat is an ultra-marginal between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems are strongly represented in local government and narrowly missed winning the seat in 2010. Following the general election the Liberal Democrat candidate, Elwyn Watkins, submitted a petition for an election court, claiming Labour’s election literature had broken the Respresentation of the People Act.

portraitCurrent MP: Debbie Abrahams (Labour) Born Sheffield. Educated at Salford University. Public health consultant and former health authority chairman. Contested Colne Valley 2010. First elected as MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth at 2011 by-election.

2011 By-election

Phil Woolas’s election as Member of Parliament was overturned by the courts on the 5th November 2010 after he was found to have broken the Representation of the People Act by making false statements about his opponent in election literature. The by-election will be held on the 13th January, in a break with convention the Liberal Democrats moved the writ for the election. This was the first by-election fought following the formation of the coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and their was speculation that the Conservatives deliberately ran a low key campaign to help their coalition partners. In the event Labour won relatively comfortably, with polls suggesting that while the Liberal Democrats had lost a large proportion of their support it was made up for by tactical voting by Conservative supporters.

By-election result
Debbie Abrahams (Labour): 14,718 (42.1%)
Elwyn Watkins (Liberal Democrat): 11,160 (31.9%)
Kashif Ali (Conservative): 4,481 (12.8%)
Paul Nuttall (UKIP): 2,029 (5.8%)
Derek Adams (BNP): 1,560 (4.5%)
Peter Allen (Green): 530 (1.5%)
The Flying Brick (Loony): 145 (0.4%)
Stephen Morris (English Democrat): 144 (0.4%)
Loz Kaye (Pirate): 96 (0.3%)
David Bishop (Bus Pass Elvis): 67 (0.2%)

Majority: 3,558 (10.2%)

By-election candidates:
portraitKashif Ali (Conservative) Born Oldham. Educated at Oldham Hulme and Oxford University. Barrister. Contested Oldham East and Saddleworth 2010.
portraitDebbie Abrahams (Labour) Born Sheffield. Educated at Salford University. Public health consultant and former health authority chairman. Contested Colne Valley 2010.
portraitElwyn Watkins (Liberal Democrat) Born Rochdale. Educated at the LSE. Financial analyst. Rochdale councillor 2004-2010. Contested Oldham East and Saddleworth 2010.
portraitPaul Nuttall (UKIP) Born 1976, Liverpool. Former university lecturer. MEP for North West since 2009. Contested Bootle 2005, 2010
portraitPeter Allen (Green) Advice worker. Contested High Peak 2010.
portraitDerek Adams (BNP) Publican, formerly ran a plant hire company. Contested Rochdale 2005, North West 2009 European election, Blackley and Broughton 2010
portraitStephen Morris (English Democrat) Born 1966, Manchester. Educated at Wardley High School and Salford College of Technology. Union branch official at Metrolink public transport. Contested North West region 2009 European elections, Salford and Eccles 2010.
portraitLoz Kaye (Pirate) Composer, musician and teacher.
portraitThe Flying Brick (Official Monster Raving Loony) Real name Nick Delves. Shadow Minister for the Abolition of Gravity. Contested Derbyshire West 1997, 2001, 2005, Crewe and Nantwich by-election 2008, Derbyshire Dales 2010.
portraitDavid Bishop (Church of the Militant Elvis) Painter, decorator and poet – writing under the pen name of Lord Biro. Contested Tatton 1997, Brentwood and Ongar 2001, Erewash 2005, Haltemprice and Howden by-election 2008, Kettering 2010.

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2010 election candidates:
portraitKashif Ali (Conservative) Born Oldham. Educated at Oldham Hulme and Oxford University. Barrister.
portraitPhil Woolas(Labour) Born 1959, Scunthorpe. Educated at Nelson Grammar School and Manchester University. Prior to his election was President of the NYS, head of communications for the GMB and a BBC TV producer. Contested Littleborough and Saddleworth by-election 1995. First elected as MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth 1997. Government whip 2001-2003, Deputy leader of the House of Commons 2003-2005, Minister of State for Local government 2005-2007, Minister for the Environment 2007-2008, Minister of State for Immigration 2008-2010. He contested Oldham East and Saddleworth 2010 election and initally won by 103 votes, but the election was later voided after an election petition by Elwyn Watkins. An election court found Woolas has made false statements of fact about Watkins, and the election was overturned (more information at They work for you)
portraitElwyn Watkins (Liberal Democrat) Born Rochdale. Educated at the LSE. Financial analyst. Rochdale councillor 2004-2010.
portraitDavid Bentley (UKIP) Consultant in the aviation industry. Former Conservative.
portraitAlwyn Stott (BNP)
portraitGulzar Nazir (Christian Party) Born 1968, Pakistan. Nurse

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 97212
Male: 48.2%
Female: 51.8%
Under 18: 25.3%
Over 60: 18.7%
Born outside UK: 6.5%
White: 89.1%
Black: 0.6%
Asian: 9%
Mixed: 1.1%
Other: 0.2%
Christian: 74.6%
Muslim: 8.5%
Full time students: 2.7%
Graduates 16-74: 15.6%
No Qualifications 16-74: 34.6%
Owner-Occupied: 70.3%
Social Housing: 20.5% (Council: 17.3%, Housing Ass.: 3.3%)
Privately Rented: 6.1%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 7.2%

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