Ashton Under Lyne

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8610 (22.1%)
Labour: 19366 (49.8%)
Lib Dem: 943 (2.4%)
Green: 1531 (3.9%)
UKIP: 8468 (21.8%)
MAJORITY: 10756 (27.6%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: North West, Greater Manchester. Part of Tameside council area and part of Oldham.

Main population centres: Ashton under Lyne, Failsworth, Droylsden.

Profile: Ashton is in the borough of Tameside, to the East of Manchester, though the seat also takes in two wards from Oldham council. Ashton itself was dominated by the textile industry and, since its decline, has suffered from high unemployment. The seat also includes Failsworth and Droylsden. The area continues to rely upon manufacturing, though significant retail development is also taking place with the opening of the Ashton Retail Park in 2003 and the redevelopment of the centre of Failsworth based around a new Tesco superstore.

Politics: A safe Labour seat, held continuously by the party since 1931.

Current MP
DAVID HEYES (Labour) Born 1946, Manchester. Educated at Blackley Technical High School and Open University. Former manager for Manchester Citizen`s Advice Bureau. Oldham councillor 1992-2004. First elected as MP for Ashton under Lyne in 2001. Active trade unionist and member of UNISON. Generally a low profile MP, Heyes rebelled against the government over the Iraq war and the 2006 Education Act.
Past Results
Con: 9510 (25%)
Lab: 18604 (48%)
LDem: 5703 (15%)
BNP: 2929 (8%)
Oth: 1686 (4%)
MAJ: 9094 (24%)
Con: 7259 (20%)
Lab: 21211 (57%)
LDem: 5108 (14%)
BNP: 2051 (6%)
Oth: 1338 (4%)
MAJ: 13952 (38%)
Con: 6822 (19%)
Lab: 22340 (62%)
LDem: 4237 (12%)
BNP: 1617 (5%)
Oth: 748 (2%)
MAJ: 15518 (43%)
Con: 8954 (19%)
Lab: 31919 (68%)
LDem: 4603 (10%)
Oth: 458 (1%)
MAJ: 22965 (49%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
TRACY SUTTON (Conservative)
CARLY HICKS (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 189 Responses on “Ashton Under Lyne”
  1. Jason H – that’s often said (they could earn far more outside politics…) and is as much of the fault of the London-centric media who repeat it at times. Yes, it’s true of Boris and it was of Hezza or Geoffrey Robinson but you can almost name all of the ones who it is true of out of the 650 MPs.

    In fact, I recall when this was looked it, it wasn’t true – or indeed wasn’t of the 2010 intake.

    From memory the piece looked at 60 new MPs from all Parties.

    Most more than doubled their income pa upon election to the House.

    That’s in part due to the youth of some of the intake (eg Jake Berry was only 32 earning £40k IIRC), but some of the newly elected were earning £20k so tripled their income.

    * Plus remember £70k is just for backbenchers and when the Telegraph looked at the issue re recommendations for IPSA & the Speaker, it turned out to be £110k pa in effect, because they don’t pay for travel, food, mobiles, internet and so on out of their income unlike the rest of the population. That’s apart from the freebies received (although these now do all have to be registered).

  2. JackS – good backstory?

    Unison rep becomes MP is the same backstory as the previous MP here.

    I agree a care worker is unusual and good, but she seems to be focusing on having been pregnant at 16 and leaving school with no qualifications. Again, admirable that she’s made it to the House, but Shadow Education Sec is surely over promoted and before her time.

    I agree with the previous comments upthread that we have too many Ministers and Shadows.

  3. I always have a chuckle when I hear the expression ‘good backstory’. It’s either people turning their lack of ability or personality into a virtue, or exaggerating supposedly ‘ordinary’ aspects of their upbringing.

    It’s one of those phrases that should instinctively make you suspicious.

  4. Or, more simply, self-promoting bull****

  5. I’m not so sure about that, I think a good backroom story can really work with the public, particularly when in contrast to the person’s main opposition.

    But it only really becomes weaponised if the candidate also has the right appeal / abilities for the role they’re auditioning for. It’s not a free pass.

  6. A lot of this is just an attempt by essentially middle-class mediocrities to pretend they have become MPs as the result of some titanic struggle against the world. It’s rubbish and for the most part I think the public aren’t impressed with it.

    We used to get loads of stuff about how Cameron’s background would be an impossible millstone for him. It wasn’t. In the end, it was his lack of judgement that brought him down.

  7. My preference is to vote for people who have a record of achieving concrete things.

    This is actually the bigger problem now – we have relatively few MPs who have done this, outside politics or inside it!

  8. “My preference is to vote for people who have a record of achieving concrete things.”

    Hopefully you can persuade more construction workers to start standing for election . . .

  9. Yes, the SNP have a few who do that (pretend to be working class). Because they have a Scottish accent, they get away with it with most of the media.

    But Andrew Neil has pointed out that they grew up in middle class areas.

  10. Being a greasy-haired SPAD seems to be the ambition of a few posters on this site…

  11. I would hope you had set your sights higher…

  12. I must say I had always thought MPR was headed for SPAD-dom.

  13. And I do not mean that to be an insult.

  14. Yes, me too. Some Tory MP is going to have a lot of smoke blown up his or her (probably his) arse in about 5 years from now.

  15. Failsworth East Ward By-election Result:

    Labour 829 58% down 7%
    Cons 360 25% up 2%
    UKIP 166 12% up 12%
    Green 49 3% down 4%
    LDs 16 1% down 2%

    Labour Hold

  16. Great surge by the Lib Dems there

  17. I’d have thought UKIP would have done better than 12% in Failsworth…

  18. UKIP are just not doing very well at the moment generally… going backwards on their 2013/14/15 performances in most recent local by-elections, and falling back a touch in polls too… my guess is this will also be the case in Copeland and possibly even Stoke.

  19. When I was still a member we did badly in Leeds in 2016 but still had several wards above 20%.

    Failsworth isn’t that different to parts of south Leeds like Beeston or Middleton.

  20. Things may have got a bit worse since May 2016… change of PM, Brexit vote satisfying some people’s urge to protest for the time being, all the internal strife etc.

  21. Also no Farage. That knocks a few percentage points off on its own.

  22. Another seat that Labour Uncut are saying could be gained by the Torries on a very very bad night for Labour. Personally I cant see Rayner’s Majority falling below three thousand.

  23. Once again I call bullcrap, Rayner has literally been campaigning everywhere bar her own seat, that may be complacency but more likely than not its confidence. Also Labour totally killed it in the Greater Mancs Mayoral election in Tameside winning 63% to the Tories 24% and that includes some much more Tory friendly areas in the Stalybridge constituency.

    My guess a very straightforward Lab hold.

  24. Rayner is more impressive than I and others have given her credit for. She is not an intellectual, but she is no fool. She seems solid and dependable at the despatch box. She is way better than Long-Bailey, the other Corbynite successor in the frame.

    I think there is a snobbery which dismisses her out of hand. I have revised my views, which were probably shaped by my innate conservatism and lower middle class snobbishness!

  25. Peter
    Its good to see a non Lab supporter on here finally able to acknowledge Rayner’s capabilities. I’ve railed against what was clearly some quite aggressive snobbery against her from some peeps here who cant see past her accent and background. What makes the situation totally ridiculous though is that the same people who claim she sounds like a dunce and someone of her background isn’t qualified are the same people who claim Lab is dominated by North London Champaign socialists, how they manage to reconcile those two totally incompatible lines of attack I’ll never know.

  26. Peter Crawford- couldn’t agree more. She’s about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but I think many of us on this site- irrespective of political affiliation- underestimate her effectiveness.

  27. I’ve become increasingly more impressed by Angela Rayner over time.

  28. Yes, Rayner is yet another illustration of the obvious, but often ignored, truth, that education and intelligence are not the same thing at all.

    But I’m also agreed with PC about Rebecca Long-Bailey, who seems to be nothing more than an empty vessel. (Which, from a cynical perspective, is quite possibly just what the Milne/McCluskey axis ordered.)

  29. Droylsden East Ward By-election, 26.10.17:

    Labour 1,064 60% (+9%)
    Cons 577 33% (+24%)
    LD 63 4%
    Green 60 3% (-3%)

    Turnout: 19.8%.

    NB No UKIP this time (34% in 2016). This is a WWC ward where the BNP came 2nd in 2002-2008 with 10-20%. I’m told the young Conservative candidate was local and put in an effort – focusing on Tameside council’s record – which may account for the above result. Although essentially it’s back to normality (prior to the decade intervention of the BNP & UKIP here).

  30. * In fact just spotted that the BNP managed as high as 33% here in 2008 and UKIP almost 40% in 2014, although I think it’s remained Labour throughout, although the Tories did win it once under Maggie 40 years ago.

  31. Droylsden has been very loyal to Labour over the years although as you have seen it does have a right-wing WWC vote. It’s still a mainly white area.

  32. Not quite sure why only Droylsden East was reported on so here are the Thursday nights other results…

    Loughborough Hastings (Charnwood) result:
    LAB: 63.1% (+17.7)
    CON: 21.3% (-2.1)
    UKIP: 8.9% (-8.3)
    GRN: 6.8% (-7.3)

    Nicky Morgan should be concerned with results like that, Hastings isn’t even one of Loughborough’s studenty wards were presumably Lab’s improvement has been most dramatic.

    Ashbourne South (Derbyshire Dales) result:
    CON: 46.2% (-7.6)
    LDEM: 31.2% (+31.2)
    LAB: 22.6% (-1.9)

    Nothing really of interest, Libs doing quite well though in an area I wouldn’t have thought would be great for them

    Kings Acre (Herefordshire) result:
    CON: 38.5% (+38.5)
    IND: 20.6% (+20.6)
    IOC: 19.9% (-30.2)
    LDEM: 11.5% (-21.9)
    LAB: 9.6% (+9.6)

    The only ward changing hands on the night but not really of much note, as we know when Independents are involved local factors will be key.

    East Grinstead Imberhorne (Mid Sussex) result:
    CON: 58.5% (-2.0)
    LDEM: 22.3% (+22.3)
    LAB: 11.9% (-8.7)
    IND: 7.3% (+7.3)

    I believe HH revealed that he lives in this ward, perhaps he can offer his insights into this result, on the face of it I’d be a wee bit disappointed if I was a Lib, they might have hoped to sneak this, the results they were getting prior to the GE suggest they could have in what was a Remain voting area.

    Batley East (Kirklees) result:
    LAB: 77.0% (+14.1)
    CON: 12.9% (-13.0)
    IND: 4.1% (+4.1)
    LDEM: 4.0% (-1.5)
    GRN: 2.0% (-2.2)

    Nothing really of note, its Labs best ward in the Batley and Spen seat, racking up votes like this though doesn’t bode well for the Tories winning the constituency in the future.

  33. On the Loughborough result: definitely could be an issue for Nicky Morgan, probably interesting of the results in terms of the next election. Loughborough University has a bit of a Hooray Henry reputation and so may not be as monolithically Labour-voting as other universities.

    On the Mid Sussex result: the Lib Dems’ EU stance, or any other party’s for that matter, counts for the square root of bugger all in the context of a by-election to a borough council. Even more so for the Lib Dems, who I’m sure will have been majoring on bin collections and potholes like they normally do for locals.

  34. I’m not getting to carried away just yet. The last by election in Loughborough was a smaller swing from Con to Lab

  35. I don’t think Loughborough is a particularly Hooray Henry university – from what I hear that applies more to Nottingham University. It’s more sporty than upper-class-drinking-clubby.
    The Labour majority in Batley & Spen at the general election was high enough for it to make it look a virtually safe seat for the foreseeable future though it may be that the Tory vote was somewhat suppressed by them (and the other major parties other than Labour) not standing in the by-election caused by Jo Cox’s murder.

  36. Angela Rayner is now a grandmother:

  37. 37, unsurprisingly is a record for any UK politician.

  38. Blimey! If she looks after herself, she’ll probably be a great great grandmother in her lifetime.

  39. Oh easily.

    At the current rate, she’d only be 72.

  40. I’ve been thinking – since Ms Rayner seems to be accepted by most of us on here as Corbyn’s most natural successor as leader of the Labour Party (granted, it’s a long way off), whether she’s actually another one of those politicians who is highly-rated by the Twitterati but perhaps not all that appealing to the voting public. I seem to recall back in the dim and distant days when it looked like Jeremy Corbyn might be pushed from the leadership, that various left-wing successors were focus-grouped and Angela Rayner came out pretty terribly. The sort of middle-class champagne socialist who quite likes Corbyn (but who also quite liked Tony Blair, at least pre-Iraq) might well not be so hot on Angela Rayner. Those sort of people look favourably upon vegan allotment diggers but would probably be rather more condescending to a working-class teenage mother. And people are very, very shallow. Her unconventional looks and voice sadly wouldn’t do her any favours (cf Ed Miliband).

    In many ways, she could be Labour’s very own Michael Gove. Now there’s a thought…

  41. Yes both herself and Rebecca Long Bailey were polled in Manchester. Voters described her as charity shop lookong which is unkind. My friend think Rayners accent is her biggest problem no one wants to vote for someone who sounds like everyone else. Kind of goes back to that image centric stuff from new labour; the edinburgh bank manager look or the geography teacher in corbyns case

  42. Edinburgh bank manager look – who was that, Darling?

    He polled well on trust with the economy, although not sure it was solely ‘cos he was Scottish. Although from memory Rifkind polled well too back in the day, so maybe posh Scottish is trusted accent.

  43. I think that was John Smith

  44. Could we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have this site updated Anthony? It still has David Heyes as the MP here – I mean, that’s more than 2 years out of date now! I know it’s a lot of work but it needs doing.

  45. Re Rayner like most of Labs potential future leaders she could either be a big hit or a dismal failure. People always say they want a politician that lives in the real world and understands the lives of ordinary people and Rayner clearly accomplishes that with the whole “council estate socialist, rose from poverty” angle but the public are on the whole thick enough to not know what they really want and could very well be put off Rayner for being “too normal” and could well see her as unsuitable for be PM for entirely snobbish reasons. You just cant tell with the public especially these days.

  46. People want “normal”. Whatever “normal” is, being a grandmother in your thirties isn’t it.

    It shouldn’t be a bar – the standard nuclear family has long since ceased to be a universal ideal. The fact that Jeremy Corbyn is on his third wife, or that Emmanuel Macron is married to someone 25 years his senior, doesn’t really faze people at all. But I think there is a specific stigma attached to teenage pregnancy because people assume that it is always an accident or the result of poor life decisions. People will think to themselves, “if you can’t look after your own uterus, how are you going to look after a whole country?”

  47. Lol who has ever said if you can’t look after the uterus you cant look after the country

  48. Okay they won’t use those exact words, but my point is that rightly or wrongly, teenage mothers are generally seen to be irresponsible people.

  49. The leader of Tameside council, Cllr Kieran Quinn (Lab, Droylsden E), has sadly died.

  50. Droylsden East (Tameside) result:

    LAB: 61.5% (+7.4) HOLD
    CON: 30.5% (+30.5)
    GRN: 6.1% (-1.5)
    LDEM: 1.9% (+1.9)

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