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20 February 2010
Tameside Eye is reporting that ultra-Blairite MP James Purnell has given a big fuck off to Stalybridge and Hyde, and will leave the Commons at the next election. The Eye reports that this will come as a relief to his constituents who are sick of an MP who only shows up for photo ops.

Since being parachuted into the seat at Tony Blair's insistence, Purnell has managed to turn a division that has always consistently voted Labour as long as anyone can remember into a marginal.



Labour first gained Stalybridge and Hyde in the 1945 landslide and have held it ever since.

It was a marginal seat (relative to the rest of the UK) in the 1945, 1950 and 1951 elections. But from the 1955 election up to 1992 it increasingly became a safer seat for Labour relative to the national result.

In the past three elections it has been roughly 20% more Labour than their national margin over the Tories. It has hardly become more marginal recently. The Tories would have to win in a landslide to gain in.

22 February 2010 at 10:10  

Rihght, since anyone can remember, since '45 was 65 years ago.

I lived just the other side of Daisy Nook from the constituency so I know what it is like. It survived 1983 intact and anything that could do that is OK in my book.

The problem is this git Purnell - and it isn't just me who thinks that, consider Thameside Eye as a case in point. Those buggers actually live in the division and think he is nothing more than a Blairite carpetbagger who has fucked it up.

22 February 2010 at 22:18  

Thameside Eye? They have labelled the seat as a marginal on the basis of the 2008 local elections. I doubt this will be repeated in the forthcoming general election.

I see the Lib Dems have chosen one of my councillors in Macclesfield!

Well as he is no longer standing, any electoral damage to Labour should be minimised if they choose a local candidate as they did in Denton and Reddish in 2005 and Ashton-Under-Lyne in 2001.

Labour won S&H in 1983 by just over 9%. It is worth remembering the Tories controlled Tameside council from 1976-1979 but that didn't result in any General Election breakthrough in the area. In their recent strong years in local government they haven't come close to taking control.

23 February 2010 at 09:34  

Yeah, but the 70s elections were under the then new Heath-Walker reforms which created the abortion known as Thameside in the first place. Many places elected Tory councillors in those days because folk did not realise that the boundaries had changed and that their old urban district council had been abolished.

23 February 2010 at 23:20  

Well Labour did control Tameside from 1973 to 1976 in its first years.

25 February 2010 at 01:00  

If memory serves me right Heath-Walker was 1974. I am convinced that the first elections were in May that year.

25 February 2010 at 02:26  

The new authorities took over in April 1974, but were elected in 1973 as shadow authorities.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_local_elections,_1973

26 February 2010 at 23:25  

That's OK - I either trust you or don't really care all that much.

Nostalgia eh? Not what it was in my day you know...

27 February 2010 at 01:18  

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