Oldham East and Saddleworth (UK Parliament constituency)

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Oldham East and Saddleworth
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Oldham East and Saddleworth in Greater Manchester.
Outline map
Location of Greater Manchester within England.
County Greater Manchester[1]
Electorate 72,249 (December 2010)[2]
Major settlements Oldham (part)[3]
Shaw and Crompton[3]
Current constituency
Created 1997
Member of parliament Debbie Abrahams (Labour)
Number of members One
Created from Littleborough & Saddleworth and Oldham Central & Royton
European Parliament constituency North West England

Oldham East and Saddleworth is a constituency[n 1] in outer Greater Manchester represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since January 2011 by Debbie Abrahams of the Labour Party.[n 2]

Boundaries and constituency profile[edit]

1997-2010: The Metropolitan Borough of Oldham wards of Crompton, Lees, St James', St Mary's, Saddleworth East, Saddleworth West, Shaw, and Waterhead, and the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale ward of Milnrow.

2010–present: The Metropolitan Borough of Oldham wards of Alexandra, Crompton, St James’, St Mary’s, Saddleworth North, Saddleworth South, Saddleworth West and Lees, Shaw, and Waterhead.

Oldham East and Saddleworth is the largest constituency in Greater Manchester by area[4] and one of three covering the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham. According to the Manchester Evening News it is:

... a juxtaposition of downbeat urban terraces and the rolling Pennine hills.[4]

UK Polling Report describes it as:

A constituency at the eastern side of Greater Manchester, reaching from central Oldham up into the Pennines and Saddleworth Moor.[3]

UK Polling Report specifically characterises East Oldham as "an area of deprived terraces[n 3] and racial tensions", Shaw and Crompton as a "relatively prosperous (and unusually named) town" and Saddleworth as composed of "middle-class villages and hamlets".[3]

Within its bounds are the eastern fringes of Oldham (such as Derker, Glodwick, Greenacres, and Sholver), Shaw and Crompton, Lees, and Saddleworth (the latter of which includes the rural villages of Denshaw, Diggle, Dobcross, Greenfield and Uppermill).[4] Between 1997 and 2010, Oldham East and Saddleworth incorporated the suburban town of Milnrow in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale when boundary changes placed it in the neighbouring Rochdale constituency.[5]

For the 2011 by-election The Guardian described the constituency as:

[Culturally] ... a shotgun marriage [likened to] ... Coronation Street meets Last of the Summer Wine, Salford combined with Holmfirth.[6]


The seat was established for the 1997 general election from parts of the former Littleborough and Saddleworth and Oldham Central and Royton constituencies.[4] Oldham Central and Royton was a safe Labour seat whereas Littleborough and Saddleworth had had a Conservative MP[n 4] since its creation until a 1995 close three-party fought by-election where it was lost to a Liberal Democrat. Ahead of the 1997 general election the seat was notionally Conservative, however since 1997 the seat has been a Labour/Liberal Democrat marginal.[n 5][4] Although Phil Woolas of the Labour Party (defeated candidate in the mentioned 1995 by-election) was victorious in all three general elections since, his majorities have not been substantial and the Conservative vote increased from 16% to 24%.

The constituency "gained notoriety" at the 2001 general election, when the British National Party gained over 5,000 votes (an 11.2% share), retaining their deposit partly as Nick Griffin stood in the neighbouring West seat.[1] Along with the BNP's showing in the neighbouring Oldham West and Royton constituency, this was interpreted as a reaction to the 2001 Oldham race riots.[citation needed] At the 2005 election the BNP's share of the vote dropped to 4.9%.[1]

For the 2010 General election the seat lost the Milnrow and Newhey ward to the neighbouring Rochdale constituency and gained part of Alexandra ward from Oldham West and Royton.[5]

After losing the 2010 election by 103 votes, Liberal Democrat candidate Elwyn Watkins submitted a petition for a hearing by an election court, claiming that campaign literature issued by his Labour opponent Phil Woolas breached the Representation of the People Act 1983 by making false statements about his personal character.[7][8] On 5 November 2010, the election court[n 6] upheld the petition and declared the election void after finding Phil Woolas guilty of making false election statements.[9][10][11] Woolas sought a judicial review of the decision in the Administrative Division of the High Court, which upheld the decision of the Election Court in relation to two statements, whilst quashing the decision in relation to a third.[12] As a result, the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, 2011 was needed,[13] by which time the tuition fees backtrack from the Liberal Democrats was known however one non-mainstream media report stated the seat was "ultra-marginal between Labour and the Liberal Democrats".[3] The by-election took place on 13 January 2011 and was contested by ten candidates.[14] The Labour Party candidate Debbie Abrahams won the largest percentage majority since the seat's creation before 1997.[15]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[16] Party
1997 Phil Woolas Labour
2011 by-election Debbie Abrahams Labour


Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
General Election 2015 [17][18]
Turnout: 44,483 (61.8%) +0.6
Labour hold
Majority: 6,002 (13.5%) +13.3
Swing: +4.0% from Con to Lab
Debbie Abrahams Labour 17,529 39.4 +7.5
Sajjad Hussain Conservative 11,527 25.9 −0.5
Peter Klonowski UKIP 8,557 19.2 +15.4
Richard Marbrow Liberal Democrat 5,718 12.9 -18.8
Miranda Meadowcroft Green 1,152 2.6 N/A
By-election, 2011 [10][14][19][20][21]
2010 result voided on petition
Electorate: 72,788
Turnout: 34,930 (48.0%) −13.1
Labour hold
Majority: 3,558 (10.2%) +10.0
Swing: 5.0% from Lib Dem to Lab
Debbie Abrahams Labour 14,718 42.1 +10.2
Elwyn Watkins Liberal Democrat 11,160 31.9 +0.3
Kashif Ali Conservative 4,481 12.8 -13.6
Paul Nuttall UKIP 2,029 5.8 +1.9
Derek Adams BNP 1,560 4.5 -1.2
Peter Allen Green 530 1.5 N/A
Nick "The Flying Brick" Delves Monster Raving Loony 145 0.4 N/A
Stephen Morris English Democrats 144 0.4 N/A
Loz Kaye Pirate 96 0.3 N/A
David Bishop Bus-Pass Elvis 67 0.1 N/A
General Election 2010 [22][23]
Electorate: 72,557
Turnout: 44,520 (61.2%) +4.4
Labour hold
Majority: 103 (0.2%) –10.2
Swing: 5.1% from Lab to Lib Dem
Phil Woolas Labour 14,186 31.9 −10.7
Elwyn Watkins Liberal Democrat 14,083 31.6 −0.5
Kashif Ali Conservative 11,773 26.4 +8.7
Alwyn Stott BNP 2,546 5.7 +0.8
David Bentley UKIP 1,720 3.9 +1.8
Gulzar Nazir Christian 212 0.5 N/A
General Election 2005 [24]
Electorate: 75,540
Turnout: 43,367 (57.3%) −3.7
Labour hold
Majority: 3,590 (8.3%)
Swing: 1.1% from Lib Dem to Lab
Phil Woolas Labour 17,968 41.4 +2.8
Tony Dawson Liberal Democrat 14,378 33.2 +0.6
Keith Chapman Conservative 7,901 18.2 +2.1
Michael Treacy BNP 2,109 4.9 −6.3
Valerie Nield UKIP 873 2.0 +0.5
Philip O'Grady Independent 138 0.3 N/A
General Election 2001 [25]
Electorate: 74,511
Turnout: 45,420 (61.0%) −13.0
Labour hold
Majority: 2,726 (6.0%) −0.3
Swing: 0.13% from Lib Dem to Lab
Phil Woolas Labour 17,537 38.6 −3.1
Howard Sykes Liberal Democrat 14,811 32.6 −2.8
Craig Heeley Conservative 7,304 16.1 −3.6
Michael Treacy BNP 5,091 11.2 N/A
Barbara Little UKIP 677 1.5 N/A
General Election 1997 [25]
New constituency
Electorate: 73,189
Turnout: 73.92%
Labour Gain from Conservatives
Majority: 3,389 (6.3%)
Phil Woolas Labour 22,546 41.7 +11.5
Chris Davies Liberal Democrat 19,157 35.4 +1.0
John Hudson Conservative 10,666 19.7 −15.7
Douglas Findlay Referendum 1,116 2.0 N/A
John Smith Socialist Labour 470 0.9 N/A
Ian Dalling Natural Law 146 0.3 N/A

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ British terraced houses are occasionally at social extremes with seaside, spa town and West End terraces among the most expensive properties in the country and certain two-up two-down terraces in poorest parts of cities and ports still occasionally regenerated under slum clearance measures in rare instances where dilapidation, rampant crime or squatting exists.
  4. ^ Geoffrey Dickens
  5. ^ The phrase comes from the estimated size of the winner's majority.
  6. ^ Determined by High Court of England and Wales Judges Mr Justice Nigel Teare and Mr Justice Griffith Williams
  1. ^ a b c "Oldham East & Saddleworth: Constituency - Telegraph". London: Ukpolitics.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  2. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "UKPollingreport – Constituency Guide » Oldham East and Saddleworth". Ukpollingreport.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Oldham East and Saddleworth - Manchester Evening News". Menmedia.co.uk. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  5. ^ a b "Greater Manchester: New Constituencies Ward Breakdown". Electoralcalculus.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  6. ^ Michael White (7 January 2011). "Oldham byelection race remains too close to call | Politics". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  7. ^ "Losing candidate challenges Oldham election result". BBC. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  8. ^ Election Petition submitted to the High Court - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Parts 2 and 3 includes copies of the election literature challenged. (Oldham Council website. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Watkins v Woolas 2010 EWHC 2702 (QB)". British and Irish Legal Information Institute. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Oldham East and Saddleworth UK Polling Report
  11. ^ Judges order election re-run in ex-minister's seat BBC News. 2010-11-05
  12. ^ "R on the application of Woolas v The Parliamentary Election Court and others (2010) EWHC 3169 (Admin)". British and Irish Legal Information Institute. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "Judges order election re-run in ex-minister's seat". BBC. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  14. ^ a b "Ten Candidates To Fight By-Election". Saddleworth News. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  15. ^ Oldham East and Saddleworth, London: Guardian.co.uk, archived from the original on 4 July 2008, retrieved 2011-01-21 
  16. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "O" [self-published source][better source needed]
  17. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Election 2015 - Oldham East & Saddleworth". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  19. ^ "BNP's Nick Griffin in bid for Phil Woolas' Oldham seat". thejc.com. Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  20. ^ "Three On Labour's Saddleworth Shortlist". Saddleworth News. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  21. ^ "Official Monster Raving Loony Party Homepage". Omrlp.com. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  22. ^ "Election 2010 - Oldham East & Saddleworth". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  23. ^ "UK General Election results May 2010". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  24. ^ "UK General Election results May 2005". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "Oldham East & Saddleworth, 1997 and 2001". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 

Coordinates: 53°36′N 2°06′W / 53.6°N 2.1°W / 53.6; -2.1