Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council election, 2000

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The 2000 Oldham Council election took place on 4 May 2000 to elect members of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council in Greater Manchester, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Liberal Democrats gained overall control of the council from the Labour party.[1]

After the election, the composition of the council was

Campaign[edit]

Before the election Labour ran the council with 32 seats compared to 25 for the Liberal Democrats who were the main opposition party on the council.[3] However the 1999 election had seen the Liberal Democrats win more votes than Labour, 42.5% compared to 38%, and they were confident of at least depriving Labour of a majority on the council in the election.[3]

Issues in the election included crime, education, employment, health and litter.[4] Unemployment was down at around 5%, but sill above the national average and was much higher in some of the inner city areas.[4]

In the week before the election Labour suffered a blow when a councillor, Margaret Kelly, defected to the Green party.[4] She had been a Labour member for 30 years, but said that the national Labour government was not what she had fought for in opposition.[4]

Election result[edit]

The results saw the Liberal Democrats gain control of the council from the Labour party.[5] Labour, who had run the council for the previous 20 years, suffered a number of losses including the council leader John Battye in Failsworth East ward.[5] Battye, who had been leader of the council for the previous 15 years, was defeated by 1,605 votes by a 23 year old Liberal Democrat candidate Charles Glover in the most high profile contest in the election.[6]

The swing to the Liberal Democrats was over 8% since 1996,[4] enabling them to gain control of the council for the first time.[6] They now had an overall majority of 2,[7] after they gained seats in Coldhurst, Hollinwood, Royton North and Royton South in addition to Failsworth East.[6] The Liberal Democrats also regained a seat in Crompton, where the independent Liberal Democrat councillor, Michael Hambley, stood down at the election.[6] Meanwhile the Conservatives doubled the number of seats they held on the council to 2, after gaining a seat in Chadderton North from Labour.[6]

The national Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy described the results in Oldham as a "fantastic result, showing the inroads that Liberal Democrats were making into Labour's heartlands".[8] However the local Labour Member of Parliament Phil Woolas said that the election was down to local issues and had "nothing to do with the national political situation".[8]

Following the election there were allegations of vote rigging in the election.[9] After a police investigation, 11 people were convicted of election fraud in July 2001.[9] They were convicted after police found evidence of voters using dead people's names to vote and impersonating other voters.[9] The offences had taken place in the wards of the Coldhurst, St Mary's and Werneth and those convicted were both Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters.[9] Another defendant, Liberal Democrat councillor Mohib Uddin, who had been elected in Coldhurst, was acquitted.[9]

Oldham Local Election Result 2000[2][6][10]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Liberal Democrat 12 6 0 +6 60.0 50.6 27,077 +8.1%
  Labour 7 0 6 -6 35.0 32.1 17,191 -5.9%
  Conservative 1 1 0 +1 5.0 15.5 8,298 -2.8%
  Green 0 0 0 0 0 0.8 433 +0.8%
  Independent 0 0 0 0 0 0.6 333 +0.6%
  BNP 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 229 +0.4%
  Independent Liberal Democrat 0 0 1 -1 0 0 0 -

Ward results[edit]

Alexandra[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Riaz Ahmad 1,171 52.6 -1.3
Liberal Democrat Angela Farrell 629 28.2 -4.1
Independent Robert Anderson 333 14.9 +14.9
Green Susannah Rooney 95 4.3 +4.3
Majority 542 24.3 +2.7
Turnout 2,228 31.8 +1.8
Labour hold Swing
Chadderton Central[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Brownridge 906 41.9 -9.2
Conservative Edward Bennett 639 29.5 +3.3
Liberal Democrat Joyce Mercer 618 28.6 +5.9
Majority 267 12.3 -12.6
Turnout 2,163 25.9 -0.1
Labour hold Swing
Chadderton North[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Curran 1,087 42.3 +3.8
Labour Leonard Quinn 1,032 40.2 -5.1
Liberal Democrat Steven Farrimond 451 17.5 +1.3
Majority 55 2.1
Turnout 2,570 32.1 +0.1
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Chadderton South[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Heyes 761 46.0 -16.5
Liberal Democrat Philip Renold 450 27.2 +11.1
Conservative Marie Curran 444 26.8 +5.5
Majority 311 18.8 -22.4
Turnout 1,655 22.5 -2.5
Labour hold Swing
Coldhurst[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Mohib Uddin 1,571 47.2 +38.7
Labour Kevin Leyden 1,337 40.2 -20.0
Conservative Keith Whitehead 421 12.6 -2.6
Majority 234 7.0
Turnout 3,329 42.7 +4.6
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing
Crompton[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Philomena Dillon 1,589 61.9 +2.2
Conservative David Dunning 615 23.9 +2.8
Labour Joseph Fitzpatrick 365 14.2 -5.0
Majority 974 37.9 -0.7
Turnout 2,569 30.0 -1.9
Liberal Democrat gain from Independent Swing
Failsworth East[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Charles Glover 2,335 73.7 +39.4
Labour John Battye 730 23.1 -42.6
Conservative Graham Drinkwater 102 3.2 +3.2
Majority 1,605 50.7
Turnout 3,167 38.6 +16.5
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing
Failsworth West[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Johnson 1,034 62.1 -12.8
Liberal Democrat David Stanton 631 37.9 +12.8
Majority 403 24.2 -25.6
Turnout 1,665 22.5 -0.2
Labour hold Swing
Hollinwood[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Stephen Barrow 1,367 58.0 +7.4
Labour Ian Thompson 704 29.9 -19.5
BNP William Lockett 229 9.7 +9.7
Green Kevin Moores 57 2.4 +2.4
Majority 663 28.1 +26.9
Turnout 2,357 36.0 -1.3
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing
Lees[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Valerie Sedgwick 1,346 54.7 +2.5
Labour Bernard Fletcher 837 34.0 -5.6
Conservative William Lee 278 11.3 +3.1
Majority 509 20.7 +8.1
Turnout 2,461 33.8 -2.2
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
Royton North[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Karen Evans 2,226 66.6 +41.2
Labour Tony Larkin 760 22.7 -20.7
Conservative Barbara Jackson 358 10.7 -20.4
Majority 1,466 43.8
Turnout 3,344 40.2 +11.0
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing
Royton South[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Dolores Phelan 1,280 41.6 -5.8
Labour Philip Harrison 1,164 37.8 +10.6
Conservative Joseph Farquhar 634 20.6 -4.8
Majority 116 3.8 -16.3
Turnout 3,078 38.5 +3.1
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing
Saddleworth East[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Brian Mather 2,759 64.3 +15.5
Conservative Richard Postle 944 22.0 -13.3
Labour Harold Neild 588 13.7 -2.2
Majority 1,815 42.3 +28.8
Turnout 4,291 41.4 -1.6
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
Saddleworth West[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Christine Wheeler 1,904 58.6 +12.9
Conservative Pam Byrne 742 22.8 -5.6
Labour Jack Schofield 602 18.5 -7.4
Majority 1,162 35.8 +18.5
Turnout 3,248 36.5 +1.9
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
Shaw[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Rod Blyth 1,413 66.5 -4.6
Conservative David Bentley 388 18.3 +6.4
Labour Gertrude Hewitt 323 15.2 -1.7
Majority 1,025 48.3 -5.9
Turnout 2,124 26.6 -1.5
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
St James[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Roger Hindle 1,100 72.3 -7.4
Labour Norman Bennett 299 19.6 +4.2
Conservative Eileen Hulme 123 8.1 +3.3
Majority 801 52.6 -11.7
Turnout 1,522 24.5 -6.0
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
St Mary's[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Mohammed Masud 1,607 50.0 +13.3
Liberal Democrat Bronwyn Thackery 1,327 41.3 -10.2
Conservative David Atherton 279 8.7 -3.1
Majority 280 8.7
Turnout 3,213 44.2 -1.6
Labour hold Swing
St Paul's[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Crowther 881 34.1 -0.3
Conservative John Hudson 820 31.8 -6.0
Liberal Democrat John McCann 681 26.4 -1.3
Green John Roney 199 7.7 +7.7
Majority 61 2.4
Turnout 2,581 33.6 -2.8
Labour hold Swing
Waterhead[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Kay Knox 2,015 74.7 +3.8
Labour Christopher Jones 472 17.5 -6.2
Conservative Kenneth Middleton 211 7.8 +2.3
Majority 1,543 57.2 +10.0
Turnout 2,698 29.2 -0.9
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
Werneth[6][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Shaob Akhtar 1,618 49.1 +7.1
Liberal Democrat Kenneth Stocks 1,385 42.0 -8.0
Conservative Raymond Walmsley 213 6.5 +2.5
Green Peter Robbie 82 2.5 +2.5
Majority 233 7.1
Turnout 3,298 44.8 +0.5
Labour hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oldham". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Election results: local councils". The Times. 2000-05-05. p. 4. 
  3. ^ a b Pike, Alan (2000-04-27). "Poll fears linger, despite Blair's pat on the back: Doubts over its heartland vote mean that Labour faces real concerns in next week's local elections.". Financial Times. p. 6. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Battlground Oldham: Disillusionment and defection may be deciders". Financial Times. 2000-05-05. p. 6. 
  5. ^ a b Jenkins, Russell (2000-05-05). "Lib Dems jubilant at taking Oldham". The Times. p. 4. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Cheetham, Caroline (2000-05-05). "Council stunned as leader Battye is defeated: Time for a change after 20-year rule". Manchester Evening News. p. 29. 
  7. ^ "Conservative revival beats expectations: Local elections results deliver 'substantial blow to Labour morale'". Financial Times. 2000-05-05. p. 6. 
  8. ^ a b "Kennedy leadership boosted by strong results; Lib Dems:". Financial Times. 2000-05-05. p. 6. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Innes, John (2001-07-31). "Eleven guilty of rigging vote in Oldham election". The Scotsman. p. 4. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Oldham Council 2000 Local Elections". Oldham Council. Retrieved 2010-04-10.