Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Fighting Oldham West

This and other posts on the subject of a welcome change in Liberal Democrat parliamentary by-election tactics were very cheering. It helps that the parties said to be the front-runners in Oldham West And Ryton have their difficulties. UKIP has declined sharply in the opinion polls (though I note that BBC has been giving Nigel Farage the oxygen of publicity in the wake of the "Dear Donald" letter). Labour is more publicly divided than I can remember since the Gaitskell/Bevan splits of the 1950s. Indeed, their candidate is said to be opposed to Corbyn's leadership. (Has he been asked which side he would have taken on the Welfare Vote, one wonders?)

On the face of it, Oldham West is a "safe" Labour seat. However, there is a strong Liberal tradition in the town and the late Michael Meacher - a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, by the way - must have had a large personal vote. A well-known local campaigner has been selected for the Liberal Democrats and Great George Street is actually putting resources in. The signs are good.

What a contrast with Barnsley Central in 2011!

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

Gwynoro Jones lists the factors exacerbating UKIP's cash-flow difficulties.