The Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints
I hope there's room for me.

Welcome all - especially Mancunians.

Hello anybody lost in the blogosphere. Welcome to the ruminations of a politically left of centre, Man United supporting, blues loving, history-fixated, Catholic wanderer. Be warned, I am a bit of a curmudgeon.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Review of the Stockport Council election results

So, the votes have been counted and the people have spoken and it is time to reflect a little on what has happened In Stockport, 2 parties have something to be happy about - Labour gained 4 seats and again topped the poll in terms of votes cast (33.39%) and the Liberal Democrats avoided a meltdown, coming second in terms of votes (31.02%) and, whilst they lost three seats that they had held in 2008 (including the Councillor leader, David Goddard's seat in Offerton), they managed to regain Cheadle and Gatley and hold on in Hazel Grove and Bredbury Green and Romiley.
The big losers were the Conservatives who came third in vote share (25.33%) and lost two of their seats (Cheadle and Gatley and Heatons North).

Present Council Composition: (compared to 2008)

Liberal Democrats            28 (-3)
Labour                             21 (+4)
Conservative                    10 (-1)
Independent Ratepayer      3
People Matter                   1

Control of the Council is now open to debate but I would guess that the Liberal Democrats will retain control with the support of the Independent Ratepayers and the People Matter councillor who supported the Liberal Democrat deputy leader (new leader?) in her slim hold in Manor. Of course, I could be wrong.

Brinnington and Central:

This was an easy gain for Labour but the collapse in the Liberal Democrat share of the vote is truly catastrophic, coming third behind UKIP. The Lib Dem's John Reid took only 8.23% of the vote, down by 38.69% since 2008 and it is very much back to the drawing board for the party here. UKIP's Phil Lewis garnered a decent 11.8% of the vote to take second place whilst the former UKIP candidate in 2010, John Heginbotham, managed only 2.94% in his Independent tilt at the seat. The Conservatives' Stephen Holgate will be disappointed to have come in fourth and their vote share slipped compared with 2008 and last year suggesting that, even among their small base in this ward, they have suffered a post-budget backlash.
Labour's Andy Sorton will doubtless battle to prevent Labour losing its heartland seat in the future having achieved a stunning 35.82% swing from the Liberal Democrats since 2008.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Andy Sorton Lab 1677 70.4% (+32.95)
Phil Lewis UKIP 281 11.8% (+11.8%)
John Reid Lib Dem 196 8.23% (-38.69%)
Stephen Holgate Con 158 6.63% (-2.98%)
John Heginbotham Ind 70 2.94% (+2.94%)
(Green - 6.01%)
Labour Majority: 1396 (58.6%)
Swing - LD to Lab 35.82%

Bredbury and Woodley:

I feel fairly pleased with myself with this result as it pretty much turned out as I predicted - Labour's Roy Driver managed to increase the Labour vote by an impressive 6.1% since last May and Labour's vote is up by 26.08% since 2008, the highest vote in this area that Labour has achieved since the creation of the Borough (I am happy to be corrected here) and higher than even Labour's Bill Prince achieved in 1980 when he was elected as Labour's one and only councillor in Bredbury.

The Liberal Democrat's Christine Corris managed to hold on with a massively decreased majority from 2008 and a swing against the Liberal Democrats and to Labour of 22.92% in that period. Whilst 2008 was a disaster for Labour nationwide, this is still pretty stunning in the context of this ward. The Lib Dem vote fell sharply from last May (-7.7%) and the continued collapse of the Tory vote has probably helped Cllr Corris to hold on with a comfortable-ish majority of 181.

The Conservatives will be pretty dumbstruck by their continuing fall in support in this area where a mix of Lib Dem targeting of the vote and the reaction to the Budget has led them to be out of the race for this ward. Their vote share has more than halved since 2008 and this is the worst showing they have had since the present ward was created.

The BNP's Andy Webster took a fairly impressive share of the vote and, as ever, it isn't too easy to speculate where it would have gone if he hadn't stood; many of his supporters wouldn't have voted at all, a few would be Tories but evidence seems to show that BNP voters are often from a disproportionately Labour supporting background so this intervention may have helped Cllr Corris.

The Liberal Democrats are probably delighted that there are no elections in this ward for a couple of years to give them time to rebuild their voter base but if Mr Driver stands again, I see him winning here.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Christine Corris LD 1333 41.19% (-19.76%)
Roy Driver Lab 1152 35.6% (+26.08%)
Chris Kelly Con 469 14.49% (-15.04%)
Andy Webster BNP 282 8.71% (+8.71%)
Liberal Democrat Majority: 181 (5.59%)
Swing - LD to Lab 22.92%

Bredbury Green and Romiley:

I got this one completely wrong and I hold my hands up. I was sure that the Conservatives would gain this seat and that Labour would begin to build up their vote share but, when I produced my predictions, the evidence of the post-Budget Conservative collapse wasn't clear and I did not take into account the impressive campaign machine of Councillor Lees who managed to get the vote out whilst the turnout overall for the ward fell sharply. The Lib Dem's 1594 votes were only 14 more than they achieved last year when they were roundly beaten by the Tories, but the turnout in this ward has fallen by a fifth since last May (913 voters less) and the Conservatives voters seem to be the ones who mainly stayed at home with their number of votes down by 906. This is what is known as the rule of differential turnout and the Liberal Democrats have worked it impressively in this ward. Whilst Cllr Lees share of the vote has fallen by 6.82% since 2008, the large fall by the Tories has meant there has been a swing to the Liberal Democrats of 2.06%.

This has got to be very disappointing for the Conservatives who nearly took this seat from Cllr Lees in 2008, coming within 119 votes last time she defended the seat, so I guess there will be a post-mortem asking why they could not enthuse the base to turn out and vote.

Labour's Kathryn Priestly held the vote share from last year (a slight increase of 0.13%) but I expect she will be very disappointed not to have held onto the voters from last year. Nevertheless, Labour has achieved a 13.66% rise in their vote since 2008.

The BNP's Tony Dean achieved 4.1% of the vote and that will have probably have had a similar effect to what I described in Bredbury and Woodley.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Hazel Lees LD 1594 41.14% (-6.82%)
Sally Bennett Con 1332 34.37% (-10.94%)
Kathryn Priestly Lab 790 20.39% (+13.66%)
Tony Dean BNP 159 4.1% (+4.1%)
Liberal Democrat Majority: 262 (6.77%)
Swing - Con to LD 2.06%

Cheadle and Gatley:

I am glad I posted last Wednesday night that I was putting this in the Liberal Democrat gain column instead of my initial belief it was a toss-up but a probable Tory hold. Too much was going wrong for the the Tories to see them hold this and congratulations to the new Liberal Democrat councillor Keith Holloway on his victory.

Compared to last year, there was another depressing drop in the turnout here but Cheadle and Gatley managed one of the best turnouts in the borough with 41%. It seems that the Lib Dems managed to get their vote out better than the Conservatives who, despite only losing a small share of the vote on last year (-1.42%) saw their hopes of retaining this seat for Mick Jones fall from their fingers. I guess there will be a lot of blame laid at the hands of the Government's recent budget shambles but that didn't stop the Lib Dems from getting their vote out. As it happens, the turnout was very similar to that of 2008.

The leaflet targeting of Labour voters by the Lib Dems (including quoting attacks on Labour by their former councillor in Manor) to get the Tories out may have had some success as the Labour vote fell back slightly from 2011 by 0.93% and all this added to the margins to make last year's very marginal ward slightly safer for the Liberal Democrat's and produce a gain for them.

Labour's Colin Owen will be disappointed to have not progressed this year, especially given the Coalition government's troubles, but he still managed to improve Labour's vote share since 2008 from 8.77% to 20.4%.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Keith Holloway  LD  2030 42.52% (-2.92%)
Mick Jones       Con  1770 37.08% (-8.71%)
Colin Owen       Lab   974  20.4% (+11.63%)
Liberal Democrat Majority: 260
Swing - Con to LD 2.895%

Cheadle Hulme North:

Now, I put this ward in my Toss Up column whilst predicting a Lib Dem hold, the result shows my foolhardiness and I will take the newly re-elected Cllr Pantall's good-natured comment on that post as a well-needed hand slap.

It must be said though that nobody could have foreseen (at least until the few days) the remarkable drop in the Conservative share of the vote, especially given the absence of a UKIP candidate whose voters were unlikely to rush across to Labour or the Liberal Democrats. It would appear that they mostly stayed at home, which must be very worrying for the Conservatives. If they had stood this year, the evidence suggests that UKIP would  have increased its share of the vote.

The voter turnout was depressingly low in Cheadle Hulme North at just 33% but Councillor Pantall managed to get out his vote and, whilst only increasing the number of votes the Lib Dems got in 2011 by 9 votes, he increased the vote share by 10.83%.  The Conservatives share fell by 5.12% whilst Labour's Emily Hewson increased the vote from last May by 1.1%.

So, whilst Councillor Pantall's share of the vote has dropped by over 4% since 2008, he can be pleased with his comfortable majority and the success of his campaign. For Labour, a wonderful increase of over 22% since 2008 with a hefty swing to them from the Lib Dems, but disappointment that they haven't done better and a need to look at how it targets those voters resistant to them.

As for the Conservatives' Chris Green, just thank your lucky stars that UKIP didn't stand or things could have been much worse.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

John Pantall   LD  1762  52.44% (-4.39%)
Emily Hewson Lab 985  29.32% (+22.79%)
Chris green    Con  613  18.24% (-13.02%)
(UKIP - 5.37%)
LD Majority: 777
Swing - LD to Lab 13.59%

Cheadle Hulme South

I predicted a solid Lib Dem victory here but guessed at a reduced majority for Cllr Grice - I was wrong as he managed to hold onto a fairly comfortable majority which, whilst his vote share fell in relation to 2008, the drop in the Conservative vote made more impressive than it could have been. Compared to 2008, the Lib Dem vote fell by 4.47%, the Conservative vote fell by 12.56%,  whilst the Labour vote rose by 11.42% and UKIP vote rose by 6.85%.

Compared to last May however, Labour's Theo Smith saw his vote fall slightly (-1.36%) but this is not a great ward for Labour and it was always going to be a struggle for him. Councillor Grice will be delighted to see his party's vote rise to 46.86% after last years drop but much of this, on a reduced turnout, seems to be based on the Lib Dems managing to get their vote out whilst the Conservatives (28.9%) suffered an anti-Coalition backlash with UKIP rising and many voters staying at home so dropping by 6.76% since 2011.

Other than Cllr Grice, the big winner was UKIP's Cyril Peake who is the only candidate to actually increase his number of voters (up by 108) on 2011 and saw his vote share rise by 3.93% overall. This was bad news for the Conservatives' Julie Smith-Jones and will cause some serious soul-searching in the Tory camp.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Len Grice             LD  1876 46.86% (-4.47%)
Julie Smith-Jones Con  1157 28.9%  (-10.54%)
Theo Smith          Lab   579 14.46% (+11.42%)
Cyril Peake         UKIP 391 9.77% (+6.85%)
(Green -3.27%)
LD Majority: 719
Swing - Con to LD 3.035%

Davenport and Cale Green:

Despite a good campaign by sitting Councillor Ann Smith, this was always going to be a difficult battle for the Liberal Democrats after the seat swung heavily to Labour last year and, with the ward being the place where two LD councillors (Roy Driver and David White) defected to Labour out of frustration with the Coalition government and local cuts, has become a fairly safe Labour seat. On the face of it, the majority that Labour's Wendy Wild has achieved looks fairly low (267, 8.22%), but this is actually a swing to Labour and without a sitting councillor for the Lib Dems in a couple of years, I suspect the Labour majority will be closer to that of last May.

Davenport and Cale Green had a higher turnout than 4 years ago although it dropped pretty dramatically from last year, which seems to have benefited the Liberal Democrats who also managed successfully to squeeze the Conservative vote which fell by 7.26% since last May and by 10.15% since 2008. Without question, a good result for the Lib Dems but only in terms of where they were last May. In terms of 2008, the Labour share of the vote has risen by 17.19% and the Lib Dem share has fallen by 7.39%, a swing to Labour of 12.29%. The healthy looking Lib Dem share of 38.01% would probably not have looked as good if the Tory vote hadn't so spectacularly collapsed.

The Green Party's Phil Shaw managed a respectable 6.34% of the vote, although it is down since last May (-2.02%) and the Liberal's Graham Ogden left no mark on this contest with only 37 votes (1.14%).

Whilst it is probably of little comfort to former Cllr Smith, I congratulate her on holding onto a personal vote that made things look slightly better than they could have done for her party.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Wendy Wild     Lab   1492   45.92% (+17.19%)
Ann Smith         LD    1235   38.01% (-7.39%)
Jackie Jones     Con    279      8.59% (-10.15%)
Phil Shaw         Green 206      6.34% (+6.34%)
Graham Ogden Lib       37      1.14% (+1.14%)
(BNP - 7.13%)
Lab Majority: 257
Swing - LD to Lab 12.29%

Hazel Grove:

Another seat where I wrongly guessed a Conservative gain, although it was very close and the Conservatives, unlike in other parts of the borough, managed to increase their share of the vote compared to their successful campaign last May. The past few weeks' unmitigated bad news for the national party surely depressed the potential Conservative vote and, as with the rest of the borough, the turnout fell quite steeply. Councillor Hogg managed to get the Lib Dem vote out and is undoubtedly very relieved to see their vote share rise by 5.9% since last May.

The result is actually worse for the Tories than it looks - this year there was no UKIP candidate and, when I first made my prediction of a Tory gain, I believed this would help them. The fact that it hasn't and that UKIP's vote seems to have stayed at home is very worrying for the Conservatives and their losing candidate, Oliver Johnstone. Interestingly, the Conservatives got exactly the same number of votes as in 2008 (1668) but, on a lower poll, have increased their vote share.

Labour's Catherine Sheppard will be disappointed to have not made progress on last year but they can certainly be pleased to have escaped the worst of a squeeze - the vote since last year fell by only 0.61%.

Congratulations to a relieved Councillor Hogg, he held on despite a big drop in his vote share since 2008, most of which has gone to Labour on a huge 12.105% swing.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Kevin Hogg             LD  1736  42.05%   (-12.8%)
Oliver Johnstone      Con 1668  40.41%  (+1.39%)
Catherine Sheppard Lab   724  17.54%  (+11.41%)
LD Majority: 68
Swing - LD to Con 7.905%

Heatons North:

I predicted this one correctly with the share of the vote for the Conservatives and Labour fairly similar to last year but with a slight rise for both parties and Labour enjoying an additional swing from the Tories of 0.625%.

It must be difficult for the Conservatives to know what has happened in this seat which used to be a fairly safe (at one time, very safe) bet for them. Whilst there have been demographic changes, it still has a demographic that should favour them but it seems that they are destined to be the most likely to succeed when Labour is doing badly.

The Conservative candidate, Barbara Judson, can be pleased that she managed to increase the vote share by 1.2% since last May but, in a straight fight with Labour, they will need to be achieving in the mid 40's to be sure of a gain. Compared to 2008 when former Councillor Jones stood, the Tory vote has fallen by 14% whilst Labour's has risen by 22.34% (admittedly, 2008 was a terrible year for Labour), a swing of 18.17% to them.

Labour will be delighted to have taken this seat and Councillor Sedgwick will be particulary pleased to have raised the Labour vote share since last year by 2.46%.

The Green's veteran candidate, Janet Cuff, will be pleased that she didn't suffer a squeeze and saw her share of the vote rise compared to 2008 and 2011.

For the Liberal Democrats and their candidate, Andrew Rawling, this is probably a result they would like to forget. Never a good seat for them, they were squeezed in this race and forced into 4th place.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

David Sedgwick  Lab 1913   47.9%   (+22.34%)
Barbara Judson   Con  1553  38.88% (-14%)
Janet Cuff            Grn  364     9.11%  (+0.52%)
Andrew Rawlings  LD 164     4.11%  (-5.04%)
(UKIP -3.83%)
Labour Majority: 360
Swing - Con to Lab 18.17%


I got this one wrong but I did wonder (and added to my original post) what the effect of the intervention of the now 'People Matter' Cllr McAuley might be on behalf of Cllr Derbyshire. To be honest, I don't really think that it has made much difference to the result as Labour held its share compared to last year and it was the successful squeeze that the Lib Dems managed to put on the Tory vote that seems to be the main reason for this hold. I suppose he may have convinced a dozen or so people and that would be responsible for the hold, but it is not too worthy of consideration as it can't be quantified.

Compared to last year, the Conservative vote share has fallen by 7.06%, some of that may have stayed at home but some will be the result of a 'keep Labour out' campaign.

The Deputy Leader of the Council, Sue Derbyshire has worked very hard with her party on this campaign and managed to get her vote out very successfully and she deserves congratulations for this whilst others were losing out. Compared to 2008, her share of the vote has fallen by only 1.06% (remarkable really) and this is the reason for her victory.

Labour's Walter Barrett will be deeply disappointed to have failed to take this seat by only 24 votes and will need to go to the drawing board to work out how to get former Tories to switch to Labour let alone gain even more former Liberal Democrat voters. However, the Labour vote compared to 2008 has risen by a stunning 20.19% and holding on to that share will be the basis of future victory hopes for Labour.

The BNP's Duncan Warner again stood and his vote continued to decline.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Sue Derbyshire  LD 1415 44.32% (-1.06%)
Walter Barrett   Lab 1391 43.56% (+20.19%)
Leslie Judson     Con 235  7.36%  (-10.07%)
Duncan Warner BNP 152 4.76%  (-9.06%)
Lib Dem Majority: 24
Swing - LD to Lab 10.625%


I predicted last year that Labour would take this seat at these elections and I guessed it would be a nailbiter - and it was: Labour's Laura Booth claiming the scalp of Council Leader, Dave Goddard, by just 45 votes. From all reports, this was a real battle and it came down to who could get the vote out and whether Labour could convince enough tactical Lib Dems that they could win. Equally, Dave Goddard had to convince Tories to vote for him to keep Labour out.

In the end, Labour were successful and managed to increase their vote compared to last year by 5.13% whilst the Liberal Democrat's vote slipped by 0.41%. I don't doubt that some Tory supporters may have gone straight across to Labour, but it is more likely that they went to the Lib Dems at about the same rate as voters switched from the Lib Dems to Labour. Only 140 less voted than last year and it is all these slight margins which excite psephologists and frustrate party activists - it is the 'if only' rule: "if only I had got that vote out, if only I had canvassed that street again."

The Conservative vote held up fairly well but, given they were the main opponents to the Lib Dems until last year, they will be concerned that they are clearly third here and weren't able to capitalise on the defection to them of Councillor Smith.

UKIP's Harry Perry would have hoped to have gained at the expense of the Tory troubles nationally, but failed to do so and saw their vote slip back slightly. In such an interesting and close contest, it is hard to be an also-ran.

In the end, it has been Labour's ability to crawl back from the doldrums of recent years and to make themselves a challenger in this ward which is the real story. It was always likely that if Labour re-established itself in Offerton then the main losers would be the Liberal Democrats. Since Mr Goddard last stood in 2008, the Labour share of the vote rose by an extraordinary 26.82% and the Lib Dem share has fallen by 12.47%, a swing of 19.645%.

The disappearance of the BNP has added to the political weather - where has that vote gone? Evidence suggests that many are former Labour voters and the party was most successful here when Labour was nowhere, but the BNP voters are a mixed bunch and a lot will be voting UKIP and a few will stay at home.

So, Stockport has lost its Council Leader and the Lib Dems have lost their party boss, it will be interesting to see what happens now but, for Mr Goddard, after 20 years as a councillor (many as a Labour representative), I suspect a bit of a deep breath and a sitdown is in order.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Laura Booth       Lab 1346  36.81% (+26.82%)
Dave Goddard   LD  1301  36.57% (-12.47)
Steve Rodriguez   Con 661 18.07% (-4.41%)
Harry Perry       UKIP 349  9.54% (+9.54%)
(BNP -18.79%)
Labour Majority: 45
Swing - LD to Lab 19.645%

Stepping Hill:

I put this in my Toss Up column and wasn't sure who would win, but (again) I had not taken into account the effect of the 'omni-shambles' budget on Conservative-inclined voters and the Lib Dems successful campaign. Compared to last year, The Lib Dem vote fell only slightly (-0.37%) whilst the Conservative vote share fell by 4.81% giving the Lib Dems a more comfortable majority than last year though somewhat worse than 4 years ago when Councillor Orrell last stood.

The Conservative candidate, John wright, will be disappointed not to have been able to hold or increase the Tory vote share and must be frustrated by the national picture which depressed the Tory vote, but UKIP's Izzy Bolton managed to increase their share of the vote (+2.98%) compared to last May and much of that must have come from the Conservatives. The veteran Green candidate, Ken Pease, will be pleased that he saw his vote share rise by 2.6%.

Labour's Janet Rothwell  managed to avoid a squeeze and increased her vote share since last May by 1.74%. I am sure that she will feel some disappointment not to have made a significant move forward and to be establishing the Labour Party as realistic challengers for the ward but, compared to 2008, the vote share is up by 16.38%.

Councillor Orrell will be fairly pleased with the result but will be concerned at the low turnout and the fact that, compared to when she last stood for election (2008), her party's share of the vote fell by 14.39%.

2012 result (in relation to 2008):

Wendy Orrell  LD 1422   39.07% (-14.39%)
John Wright     Con 955   26.24% (-10.34%)
Janet Rothwell Lab  815   22.39% (+16.38%)
Izzy Bolton     UKIP 229  6.29% (+6.29%)
Ken Pease     Grn   219    6.02 (+2.07%)
LD Majority: 467
Swing - LD to Con 1.975%

So - the story is that where there was a competitive battle, the turnout was quite good, and the Liberal Democrats did better than many predicted (including themselves, I would have thought) due to the fall in the Conservative vote compared to last year. It is probably why the Lib Dems managed to hold onto Hazel Grove, Bredbury Green and Romiley along with Manor whilst gaining Cheadle and Gatley.

A lot of Conservatives will be very unhappy with David Cameron but I suspect a lot of Liberal Democrats, when the relative relief fades, will be concerned at the effect that being part of the Coalition has had on their local activist base. Across the north of Stockport and in the old Lancashire wards, the Lib Dems vote has collapsed as disastrously as it has in large parts of Manchester and Rochdale. It is amazing to see how their vote has disappeared in Brinnington and Central (won by the Lib Dems in 2008), Edgeley and Cheadle Heath (once a Lib Dem seat) and the best they achieved was 9.63% in Reddish South.

As Labour discovered to its cost, you cannot wither away in wards or you may find that the way to recovery is a long one.

For the Conservatives, a series of bitter blows when they had hoped for better - they are reduced to only 10 Councillors and are only able to rely (in fairly good times) on the Bramhall wards to return councillors in the Conservative cause. Third in terms of vote share across the Borough and a distant third in terms of the number of Councillors, there needs to be a lot of soul-searching in the Stockport Conservative camp.

For Labour, not-quite unalloyed joy but joy nonetheless; for the third year in a row, Labour has increased its number of seats on the council and, for a successive year, have the highest number of votes cast across the borough. Whilst there will be disappointment at just missing out on taking Manor from the Liberal Democrats, there will be a lot of satisfaction at gaining 4 seats and finally getting a toe-hold in Offerton with the added bonus (for them) of removing David Goddard from his seat. Labour's success in pushing the Liberal Democrats close in Bredbury and Woodley offers them a strategy for becoming the largest party in Stockport with a successful rebuilding of their support in the east of the borough.

So - much to contemplate.


  1. I really hope we ditch the appalling LibDems in Stockport soon. Goddard, Derbyshire, Weldon, Pantall, Bodsworth, Candler, Smith et al wanted to keep quiet the fact they were putting the school in North Reddish on unremediated toxic waste. They wanted to keep quiet about the circa £5 million financial anomaly and the circa quarter of a million one too. Don't trust them with your votes; don't trust them with your money and don't trust them with your children's lives either

  2. King Billy of Stockport14 May 2012 at 12:38

    Your Manor analysis is bias to the extreme "squeezing the Tory vote to keep Labour out" how is this quantifiable in a statistically significant way, thats right it isn't. Manor was won by 28 votes and the Labour vote was down by just over 200 from last year. I suspect Walter Barrett just couldn't get the support the way Laura Booth could illustrated by the Labour Leaders comments in the MEN that he got what he wanted and Offerton was a bonus. Why put up a candidate you don't support? From speaking to nieghbours I think Cllr McAuley is more respected than you give him credit for. It was a flawless campaign from the Lib Dems to win by the margin they did, skillfully using McAuley's situation to their advantage. Clearly Labour need to get better at strategy apparently people where campaigning in brinnington while they were losing Manor, I think this has more to do with it.

  3. I am a statician and stand by my analysis - the stats never lie
    Labour's vote share, on a reduced turnout, is nearly the same as last year. The Tory vote was squeezed. In my analysis, I congratulate Councillor Derbyshire on her campaign.
    So, what is the issue? I still do not believe Cllr McAuley's situation shifted that many votes although, as I noted in my analysis, it may have been enough to swing the seat in such a close election.
    You are welcome to your opinion which, to be honest, considerably mirrors mine - I agree that the Lib Dems have played Cllr McAuley's situation well and that their campaign was, where is the bias? Oh, the margin was 24 votes, not 28.

  4. King Billy of Stockport16 May 2012 at 11:13

    I'm affraid the stats do lie as on the Stockport website it says turnout was up from last year. This is of course wrong, but I still contest your analysis that the McAuley factor had little impact for the following reasons. While turnout was down nationally in Stockport the Liberal vote in terms of numbers has remained relatively consistant over the last two years and actually in manor consistant outside of GE over the last few years. Hazel Grove, Bredbury Green and Romiley and Manor the variance was minimal. This is quite obviously down to working on a core vote quite successfully however Labour could not maintain the 200 votes that came out to vote the last time despite two very prominant media campaigns and a alot more campaigning over the year. Cheadle and Gately the Labour vote went down almost parallel to the Lib Dem vote. so simply putting this down simply to a national trend does not give sufficent attention to the local circumstances. While I agree it shifted few votes. I think it kept enough at home. An issue for Labour in the future when they contest the seat.

  5. 30.35% 34.66%
    I didn't get my statistics from the Stockport Council website - what I have analysed are the votes cast and they are correct. The turnout in Manor fell from 34.66% last May to 30.65% this time and that accounts for the Labour vote share fall.
    I agree that the turnout is consistent with a normal year but compared with 2008 only the Labour vote has risen.
    I admire your defence of Councillor McAuley and I have no issue with that, but the evidence is as I present it and, from what you write, you agree.

    1. King Billy of Stockport17 May 2012 at 02:31

      In terms of the percentages you've obviously done your sums however your conclusion is muddled. On the one hand you say the Lib Vote has remained consistant while on the other your saying it is being proped up by a sucessful Tory squeeze its one or the other. Also while the Labour vote is the only one out of the two that has gone up over the last 2 years it is also the only one out of the two to have gone down numerically as well. Infact I think I''m right in saying the Liberal vote in Manor is the only one to have numerically gone up in Stockport compared with last year, which is significant in terms of what the mood amongst voters in that ward campared with other wards in the area. Also don't forget that the Leader of the Council could not hold on to his seat in Offerton which was safer than Manor and the Tory vote went down while the Libs stayed roughly the same and the Labour vote went up. This would indicate that tories in that area are more likey to turn Labour than Liberal. I think this illustrates the point that a more qualitative understanding of the McAuley factor is significant in any analysis of the Stockport election as it is not known what the feeling within the Labour Party was toward the candidate who by all accounts was not very supportive and even the Labour Leader claimed he got what he wanted on the night even with Derbyshires election and Offerton was a bonus. So my orginal point stands that a statistical interpretation of the results which leads to the Tory squeeze (which was also affected by national discontent) conclusion is more inductive than a the argument I put to you. Its not a defence of Cllr McAuley its a reasonable conclusion to reach with a more detailed look at the results.

  6. We will agree to differ; I have taken the same approach to all the wards I have reviewed. It is up to local politicians to decide what interpretation to place upon the results.
    As for Offerton, it is much more in line with normal vote movement to suggest that Cllr Goddard lost votes to Labour at a greater rate than he managed to gain them from Conservatives. I do not doubt that some Tories may have switched to Labour but it is likely to be a small minority compared to those who would switch to the Lib Dems to keep Labour out.
    To accept your argument one would need to fly in the face of all evidence to the contrary.
    I haven't just 'done my sums', I have researched voting patterns for many years and demographic shifts seldom happen in a vacuum.
    When it comes to Manor and Offerton, you have your view and you are welcome to share it, I happen to disagree.

  7. King Billy of Stockport17 May 2012 at 12:46

    The actual numerical evidence is not to the contrary at all. As I said in the beginning your reductionist approach is leaving out and reducing key variables as insignificant anomolies that ultimately squew your analysis toward developing along the lines of a good night for Labour. Furthermore your suggesting that voters appear to be following some kind of national trend or confused model based broadly on a national swing suggesting the electorate and local campaigners are incapable of rational thought in relation to local issues and simply follow a national trend. The reality is that it is this kind of analysis that cost Labour the bradford By election. The out of touch senario that Mr Miliband likes to pontificate about. I'd be weary of your statistics if you ever decide to run for office yourself you may come a cropper.

  8. Sigh.

    I am not a politician or member of any political party, I fell out with the Labour Party a long time ago.

    Election results in Stockport from 2003:

    2003 Lib Dem: 41.3%, Con: 30.1%, Lab: 22.2%
    2004 Lib Dem: 38.8%, Con: 28.9%, Lab: 20.6%
    2006 Lib Dem: 39.1%, Con: 32.8%, Lab: 18.3%
    2007 Lib Dem: 40.4%, Con: 31.8%, Lab: 17.5%
    2008 Lib Dem: 39.6%, Con: 35.2%, Lab: 15.9%
    2010 Lib Dem: 40.0%, Con: 30.3%, Lab: 22.9%
    2011 Lib Dem: 29.3%, Con: 30.2%, Lab: 31.6%
    2012 Lib Dem: 31.0%, Con: 25.3%, Lab: 33.4%

    These are the statistics for Stockport - Labour got its highest share of the vote in many years in May (even up on 2011), the Liberal Democrats got their second worst result in recent memory and the Conservatives fell back very badly.

    Exactly how could this be described as a bad night for Labour (because none of my Lib Dem and Conservative supporting fellows see it as such)?

    You are angry with someone but it isn't (or shouldn't be) me. I suggest you look back at my original reflection on Manor and notice that I congratulated Cllr Derbyshire on her win because when things are close local variables do count and, in her case, her long service as councillor and hard working campaign is likely to be the major reason she has held her seat(along with everything else I suggest).

    My original predictions were based on the local makeup of each ward and I am sure I have never impuned anybody's ability to think rationally - indeed, the whole point of tactical voting, which I posit as being one of the reason for Cllr Derbyshire's victory, is that it is a decision based upon a person's choice.

    To deny that national issues effected the results goes against the opinion of most politicians and political commentators and I dare say that the closeness of the result in Manor will be mostly put down to that by the local Liberal Democrats than any failings on their part as the local administration.

    Thankfully, I will never run for election - if you have a response to my specific point about whether Labour's best share of the vote in Stockport Borough counts as a good night for them, I will respond, otherwise, this is getting really daft.

  9. King Billy of Stockport18 May 2012 at 09:51

    :\ Angry? I'm merely stating a point of view about your analysis basis being flawed because the percentages do little to elucidate the Liberals overall managed to buck the national trend in terms of their capacity to maintain a critical mass of voters turning out. The issue for me with the analysis is purely academic. I suggest that Labour needed to take Manor in order to achieve status as the Boroughs Largest Party in the next two years and for the Tories to take hazel grove. My contention is that the narrow results are significant in appreciation of the information released by Cllr McAuley across the borough. As a consequence what I'm saying is to suggest the McAuley factor is insignificant does not reflect in the real data i.e. the numerical evidence. If Labour are to progress in Stockport they will have to hope the economy remains flatlined and that they can get the same 40 tamesiders out in Manor as well as in Offerton at the next election. Furthermore if they aren't the biggest party by the time they are in Government at the next general election then they will never achieve largest party status in Stockport. On that basis it can hardly be regarded as a good night for Labour.

  10. Read each of my comments on the wards, I have remarked on the success of the Lib Dems where it was exceptional. I have no axe to grind.

    Amyway, your opinion has now been expressed so I think it is best to move on.

    Os a chionn agus ar aghaidh!

  11. nice posting.. thanks for sharing..

  12. Labour made a hugh mistake in May not targeting Cllr Derbyshire she is by far the most able of the LiB Dem bunch and is already setting her stamp on the Town Hall