Manchester Central by-election, 2012
Boundary of Manchester Central in Greater Manchester.
Lucy Powell of the Labour Party won with 69% of the vote (it has historically been a safe Labour seat), with the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives losing significant numbers of votes compared with the 2010 general election. In terms of loss of share of the vote it was the Lib Dems' worst result in a parliamentary by-election since the Second World War. There was an unusually low turnout of just 18.2%, the lowest in a Parliamentary by-election since the War.
On 14 February 2012, the incumbent Member of Parliament for Manchester Central, Tony Lloyd, announced his intention to resign to seek the Labour Party nomination for the inaugural Police and Crime Commissioner elections for the Greater Manchester Police area. The England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner elections were on the same day. On 17 March 2012, Lloyd was selected by Labour unopposed, necessitating the Parliamentary by-election.
All registered Parliamentary electors of the Manchester Central constituency (i.e. British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK and British citizens living overseas) who were aged 18 or over on 15 November 2012 were entitled to vote in the by-election. The deadline for voters to register to vote in the by-election was midnight on Wednesday 31 October 2012. However, those who qualified as an anonymous elector had until midnight on Thursday 8 November 2012 to register to vote.
Nominations closed and 12 candidates confirmed on the 31 October
On 28 March 2012, Labour confirmed a shortlist of eight candidates. Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's Chief of Staff Lucy Powell was selected on 16 April. The satirical magazine, Private Eye, reported on Powell's selection noting that "the previous favourite to succeed Lloyd had been Mohammed Afzal Khan, the first ever Asian lord mayor of Manchester, with a good deal of popular local backing and a city councillor since 2000. But nothing could be left to chance and Khan was mysteriously dropped from the Labour party's candidate shortlist - in order to gift the seat to Powell." Powell was also nominated by the Co-operative Party.
The Liberal Democrats chose the former City Councillor Marc Ramsbottom on 18 June 2012, declaring the by-election "a two horse race".
On 17 October 2012, the Conservative Party chose Matthew Sephton, Chairman of LGBTory and Deputy Chairman of the party in Altrincham and Sale West, as their candidate. Sephton had previously stood as the Conservative candidate in Salford and Eccles during the 2010 general election.
Respect initially chose Kate Hudson as its candidate, but she stood down because of George Galloway's comments about rape. Respect then announced Clive Searle would be standing for them. On 30 October 2012, local "community advocate" Catherine Higgins was selected as the Respect candidate.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition announced its intention to contest this by-election (and a council by-election in Liverpool and the election for Mayor of Bristol on the same day) with the PCS Union's North-West vice-chair Alex Davidson chosen on 10 October.
Local factory worker Peter Clifford announced on 21 July that he intended to stand as the Communist League candidate. Clifford told The Guardian newspaper on 8 August that "the power of working people... counts more than an election result."
On 29 August 2012, the newly formed People's Democratic Party announced that its candidate would be the party leader and former Conservative and anti-Iraq War activist, Lee Holmes. Holmes told Mancunian Matters that Manchester politics "represented all that was wrong with British democracy". He admitted to The Guardian that he had never lived in Manchester.
|Manchester Central by-election
Resignation of Tony Lloyd
Turnout: 16,648 (18.2%) −28.5
Majority: 9,936 (59.7%) +33.6
Swing: 16.8% from Lib Dem to Lab
|Marc Ramsbottom||Liberal Democrat||1,571||9.4||−17.2|
|Howling Laud Hope||Monster Raving Loony||78||0.5||N/A|
|Lee Holmes||People's Democratic Party||71||0.4||N/A|
|Peter Clifford||Communist League||64||0.4||N/A|
|General election 2010
Turnout: 39,927 (46.7%) +4.9
Majority: 10,430 (26.1%)
Swing: 6.1% from Lab to Lib Dem
|Marc Ramsbottom||Liberal Democrat||10,620||26.6||+5.6|
|Ron Sinclair||Socialist Labour||153||0.4||−0.2|
|Jonty Leff||Workers Revolutionary||59||0.1||N/A|
|Robert Skelton||Socialist Equality||54||0.1||N/A|
- "Manchester Central by-election called". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- Election Statistics 1918-2007. House of Commons Library Research Paper 08/12, Table 13
- By-elections in British Politics Chris Cook and John Ramsden, UCL Press, 1997 ISBN 1857285352
- MP Tony Lloyd for police commissioner? Blottr
- Manchester MP Tony Lloyd to stand for police commissioner BBC News
- Police and Crime Commissioners Home Office
- Labour chooses Tony Lloyd to bid to become Greater Manchester police commissioner Manchester Evening News
- Press Release 22 October 2012 Cabinet Office
- The deadline for the receipt of electoral registration applications was the eleventh working day before election day.
- The deadline for the receipt and determination of anonymous electoral registration applications was the same as the publication date of the notice of alteration to the Electoral Register (i.e. the fifth working day before election day).
- Your Next Election - Manchester Central Manchester City Council
- Manchester Central Shortlist confirmed LabourList
- Lucy Powell selected as Manchester Central candidate LabourList
- "HP Sauce". Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd (1313): 9. May 2012.
- Lucy Powell selected as Manchester Central candidate by Co-operative Party
- Marc Ramsbottom chosen as Liberal Democrat candidate in Manchester Central by-election Manchester Evening News
- Gay Tory candidate selected to challenge Hazel Blears Pink News
- Manchester select Eddy O'Sullivan to stand in parliamentary election British National Party
- New Lord Mayor for Norwich Norwich City Council
- http://kate4manchester.org/?p=114 statement from Kate Hudson
- Speak Up For Manchester Respect Party
-  Socialist Party article
- "Loz Kaye confirmed as PPC for Manchester Central" (Press release). Pirate Party UK. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
-  Mancunian Matters
- Fights and campaigns by working people are what count The Guardian "NorthernerBlog"
- People's Democratic Party
- People's Democratic Party by-election candidate: Manchester politics is 'all that is wrong with British democracy Mancunian Matters
- Voters want politicians to listen to their basic concerns The Guardian