Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Labour Three

Dominating the political news for the past week has been the charges against the three Labour MP’s over their expenses claims. The electoral situation in their constituencies seems as good a place as any to kick off this blog. All three have been barred from standing leaving Labour to defend three tainted open seats.










Elliot Morley



LAB Hold

North West

Bury North

David Chaytor



CON Gain



Jim Devine



LAB Hold

* By-Election held 29/09/05 – majority 2,680

Elliot Morely won the seat (well, its predecessor Glanford and Scunthorpe) in 1987; one of only a handful Labour gains that year. Labour’s majority is large, and they’ve selected a solid replacement in former council leader Nic Dakin. The Tories have an inexperienced candidate in Caroline Johnson and the Lib Dems have Neil Poole running again after he added 7.6% to their vote in 2005. Labour should hold on here.

Bury North, however, is a different story. David Chaytor won the seat in 1997 but was returned in 2005 with a small majority. It’s Conservatives Target Seat #48 and without any shenanigans the Tories would have been confident of a win here. A swing of 2.75% is required for David Nuttall, who is running for the second time in this constituency (fourth for Parliament in total). Although Nuttall has lost a few elections in his time the first was before Labour candidate Maryam Khan, a Manchester councillor, could vote. The Labour vote collapsed in the North West European Elections last year and the region boasts Nick Griffin as an MEP. The Conservatives, on the other hand, gained control of Bury council in 2008 and it looks likely that they’ll take this seat from Labour.

Jim Devine became MP for Livingston in a 2005 by election following the death of Robin Cook, who held the seat since it’s inception in 1983. So despite winning with the usual reduced majority in the by-election, Devine would have been a shoe in for a return to Westminster. Labour very recently selected Graeme Morrice and the former leader of West Lothian council should hold the seat against the relatively unknown SNP candidate Lis Bardell. Their candidate for both 2005 votes, Angela Constance, was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2007. Labour should hold.


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