Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council election, 1998

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Map of the results of the 1998 Wigan council election.

Elections to Wigan Council were held on 7 May 1998. One third of the council was up for election. Following the previous election there had been three by-elections held - in Aspull-Standish, Ince and Hope Carr - with all three successfully defended by Labour.

Candidate numbers improved dramatically from the preceding election, thanks mostly to the first concerted effort by the Greens, having only tested the waters previously. The Liberal Democrats fielded were, on the other hand, the sparsest from them since 1978, following a similarly poor effort the previous year - perhaps reflecting the party giving up on its previous ambitions. There were also an Independent (formerly a Conservative candidate for Bryn in the 1995 election) and the first UKIP candidate fighting Ashton-Golborne. In total all wards but Tydlesday East were contested.

Far from recovering, turnout plummeted to new depths at 17.4%. There was a general apathy emerging across the country during this period, as well as a disillusionment among Conservative voters, but with Labour's complete dominance and the only competitive party standing in less than a quarter of seats, there were evidently other factors for the lack of enthusiasm.

The dire turnout understandably had implications for the party votes, with Labour recording their second lowest vote (the lowest being 1975), the Conservatives sinking below their rock-bottom set in 1995, and the Lib Dem gaining their worst vote since the aforementioned 1978 election - falling to fourth behind the Greens, who comfortably achieved their best vote. Voter shares were less dramatic for Labour and the Conservatives, however the Lib Dem's share of 6.7% was their poorest since 1979 and the Greens' share was more than two and a half times larger than their previous peak.

Labour survived substantial challenges against from the Independent in Ashton-Golborne and the Greens in Hope Carr, making the only gain of the night from the Lib Dems in Beech Hill. This reduced the Lib Dems to a sole councillor, losing their status as main opposition for the first time in near twenty years. With only a Liberal Democrat in another Beech Hill seat and an Independent Labour in Hindley remaining as opposition, Labour commanded a record majority of 68.[1]

Election result[edit]

Wigan Local Election Result 1998
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Labour 24 3 0 +1 100.0 69.3 26,962 -6.1%
  Conservative 0 0 0 0 0.0 13.3 5,179 -1.5%
  Green 0 0 0 0 0.0 8.7 3,375 +8.7%
  Liberal Democrat 0 0 1 -1 0.0 6.7 2,618 -3.1%
  Independent 0 0 0 0 0.0 1.8 694 +1.8%
  UKIP 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.2 66 +0.2%

This result had the following consequences for the total number of seats on the Council after the elections:

Party Previous council New council
Labour 69 70
Liberal Democrat 2 1
Independent Labour 1 1
Conservative 0 0
Green 0 0
Independent 0 0
UKIP 0 0
Total 72 72
Working majority   66    68 

Ward results[edit]

Abram[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour E. Smethurst 936 86.5 -4.1
Conservative J. Cartwright 146 13.5 +4.1
Majority 790 73.0 -8.2
Turnout 1,082 11.8 -5.0
Labour hold Swing -4.1
Ashton-Golborne[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Bullen 1,042 52.8 -27.1
Independent W. Holmes 694 35.1 +35.1
Conservative D. Norris 172 8.7 -11.4
UKIP J. Venables 66 3.3 +3.3
Majority 348 17.6 -42.2
Turnout 1,974 19.4 -3.9
Labour hold Swing -31.1
Aspull-Standish[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour J. Hilton 1,494 66.4 +0.0
Conservative E. Mather 458 20.3 +5.6
Green J. Maile 298 13.2 +13.2
Majority 1,036 46.0 -1.4
Turnout 2,250 19.3 -7.8
Labour hold Swing -2.8
Atherton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour S. Loudon 1,111 72.0 -13.3
Conservative N. Isherwood 261 16.9 +2.3
Green C. Clarke 170 11.0 +11.0
Majority 850 55.1 -15.6
Turnout 1,542 17.4 -7.7
Labour hold Swing -7.8
Bedford-Astley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour F. Walker 1,020 75.9 +11.3
Green P. Murphy 323 24.0 +24.0
Majority 697 51.9 +22.7
Turnout 1,343 15.7 -7.5
Labour hold Swing -6.3
Beech Hill[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour G. Rankin 1,280 53.8 +6.1
Liberal Democrat T. Beswick 1,099 46.2 -2.6
Majority 181 7.6 +6.4
Turnout 2,379 26.6 -7.1
Labour gain from Liberal Democrat Swing +4.3
Bryn[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Melling 1,346 75.8 -10.7
Conservative M. Green 259 14.6 +1.1
Green L. Maile 170 9.6 +9.6
Majority 1,087 61.2 -11.8
Turnout 1,775 17.8 -5.2
Labour hold Swing -5.9
Hindley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour W. Shaw 945 67.2 N/A
Green C. Littler 460 32.7 N/A
Majority 485 34.5 N/A
Turnout 1,405 14.1 N/A
Labour hold Swing N/A
Hindley Green[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour W. Simmons 1,147 75.0 -7.2
Conservative C. Butterworth 282 18.4 +0.6
Green S. Clarke 101 6.6 +6.6
Majority 865 56.5 -7.9
Turnout 1,530 13.9 -4.9
Labour hold Swing -3.9
Hindsford[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour E. Smith 1,214 62.7 N/A
Liberal Democrat R. Bleakley 641 33.1 N/A
Green S. Clarke 82 4.2 N/A
Majority 573 29.6 N/A
Turnout 1,937 18.2 N/A
Labour hold Swing N/A
Hope Carr[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour K. Anderson 1,270 49.1 -10.4
Green C. Maile 873 33.8 +33.8
Conservative A. Oxley 442 17.1 -1.6
Majority 397 15.3 -22.5
Turnout 2,585 25.7 -4.1
Labour hold Swing -22.1
Ince[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour J. Hurst 981 90.1 -2.5
Conservative H. Topping 108 9.9 +2.5
Majority 873 80.2 -5.1
Turnout 1,089 14.1 -8.7
Labour hold Swing -2.5
Langtree[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour J. O'Neill 1,360 69.4 +1.2
Liberal Democrat F. Graham 491 25.1 +4.0
Green E. Kismul 108 5.5 +5.5
Majority 869 44.3 -2.8
Turnout 1,959 16.8 -8.4
Labour hold Swing -1.4
Leigh Central[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour P. Smith 1,233 80.6 N/A
Green S. Critchley 164 10.7 N/A
Conservative T. Matthews 133 8.7 N/A
Majority 1,069 69.9 N/A
Turnout 1,530 17.4 N/A
Labour hold Swing N/A
Leigh East[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Turnock 1,158 73.7 -8.9
Conservative D. Davies 298 19.0 +1.6
Green J. Critchley 114 7.2 +7.2
Majority 860 54.8 -10.5
Turnout 1,570 14.9 -5.6
Labour hold Swing -5.2
Lightshaw[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour T. Sherratt 1,798 73.3 -9.2
Conservative N. Culshaw 541 22.1 +4.6
Green N. Howarth 113 4.6 +4.6
Majority 1,257 51.3 -13.8
Turnout 2,452 21.3 -7.2
Labour hold Swing -6.9
Newtown[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour C. Hitchen 949 75.2 -10.6
Conservative T. Peet 143 11.3 +3.1
Liberal Democrat J. Beswick 136 10.8 +4.9
Green P. Brown 33 2.6 +2.6
Majority 806 63.9 -13.8
Turnout 1,261 14.5 -6.7
Labour hold Swing -6.8
Norley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour N. Turner 943 91.3 N/A
Green V. Cutrupi 90 8.7 N/A
Majority 853 82.6 N/A
Turnout 1,033 14.3 N/A
Labour hold Swing N/A
Orrell[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour G. Seaward 1,038 59.6 -11.4
Conservative M. Winstanley 593 34.0 +5.0
Green N. Stout 110 6.3 +6.3
Majority 445 25.5 -16.4
Turnout 1,741 18.9 -7.0
Labour hold Swing -8.2
Swinley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour S. Turner 1,077 53.5 -5.2
Conservative J. Davies 608 30.2 -0.2
Liberal Democrat A. Robinson 251 12.5 +1.6
Green D. Saunders 76 3.8 +3.8
Majority 469 23.3 -5.1
Turnout 2,012 23.0 -9.4
Labour hold Swing -2.5
Tyldesley East[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour B. Wilson Unopposed N/A N/A
Labour hold Swing N/A
Whelley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour W. Pendleton 1,150 84.3 -4.7
Conservative T. Sharpe 124 9.1 -1.9
Green D. Schanzl 90 6.6 +6.6
Majority 1,026 75.2 -2.8
Turnout 1,364 16.8 -6.4
Labour hold Swing -1.4
Winstanley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour W. Evans 1,385 78.1 -5.5
Conservative F. Parkinson 388 21.9 +5.5
Majority 997 56.2 -11.1
Turnout 1,773 14.5 -5.4
Labour hold Swing -5.5
Worsley Mesnes[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour W. Rotherham 1,085 82.9 -6.2
Conservative T. Sutton 223 17.0 +6.2
Majority 862 65.9 -12.4
Turnout 1,308 13.4 -7.6
Labour hold Swing -6.2

By-elections between 1998 and 1999[edit]

Beech Hill By-Election 5 November 1998[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat T. Beswick 849 49.4 +3.2
Labour 795 46.3 -7.5
Conservative 39 2.3 +2.3
Green 35 2.0 +2.0
Majority 54 3.1 -4.5
Turnout 1,718 19.2 -7.4
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing +5.3

References[edit]

  • "Council poll results", The Guardian 9 May 1998 page 16
  1. ^ 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 "Wigan Council results from 1973 to 2008". wigan.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  2. ^ "Local Authority Byelection Results". gwydir.demon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-06-13.