Voters go to polls in Oldham West and Royton

The usual suspects are lilkely to say that the Oldham West and Royton by-election is a test of public support for Jeremy Corbyn, especially in the light of yesterday’s Commons vote on air strikes. It isn’t.

It’s simply the election of a representative to succeed the hugely-respected left-wing Labour MP Michael Meacher.

This Writer has seen comments saying Labour will hold the seat comfortably, or UKIP will take it, or that the Monster Raving Loony candidate has a chance. They’ve all been made by representatives of the same organisations, so I hope they’ll forgive me for taking those claims with a pinch of salt.

I have also seen commentators claiming that any reduction of Labour’s majority will be an indictment against Mr Corbyn. That suggestion is nonsense.

Michael Meacher was hugely respected, if not loved, by many of his constituents. It is only to be expected that much of his vote was personal support for the man, rather than the party.

By contrast, although he is a councillor, Jim McMahon has not (yet) built up such a stellar reputation. He’ll have a following, and there will be Labour tribalists, but it would be foolish to suggest that any reduction in the number of people voting Labour is a comment on anything other than the support of the late Mr Meacher.

Voters are going to the polls on Thursday in a by-election to elect a new MP for Oldham West and Royton.

The election was triggered by the death in October of Labour’s Michael Meacher, who had represented the constituency for 45 years.

Mr Meacher held the seat with a majority of 14,738 in May’s general election.

The result of the first by-election of the current Parliament is expected to be declared early on Friday morning.

Source: Voters go to polls in Oldham West and Royton by-election – BBC News

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  1. Mr.Angry December 3, 2015 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    It will take one hell of a person to replace Michael Meacher an icon for his party and will be missed by many.

  2. Andy December 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    It rather depends on the a) the result and b) the size of the Labour vote; there is a limit to how much of any possible reduction can be attributed to the personal following any former MP, including the late Michael Meacher, had.

  3. hilary772013 December 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    You can bet your bottom dollar if Labour lose or win with a minority it will be Corbyn’s fault everything else is according to the right wing media that is. Michael Meacher was well liked & respected far beyond his constituency, I only voted for Angela Eagle for deputy because Michael had endorsed her.
    I do hope Labour wins with a majority that will show them but fear they would find something wrong with that, Jeremy just can’t win with them, no matter what.
    I think it is because they are frightened of him or why else would they bother so much?

  4. mohandeer December 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    It would be very difficult for anyone trying to fill Michael Meacher’s shoes. The candidate would have very limited opportunity to show Mr. Meacher’s supporters that they possessed the integrity and strength of purpose and ideals that made Michael Meacher a man of such notable moral calibre. Pity the poor soul trying to sway Oldham’s voters.

  5. Guy Ropes December 3, 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    If the Labour man does lose votes, it may be something to do with the fact that a company of which the Labour candidate is a director has a parent company which takes advantage of very advantageous tax regulations in Luxembourg (sounds like a man of the people) or the segregated meeting of Labour supporters held in Oldham recently.

    • Mike Sivier December 13, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      Is this like the allegation about Theresa May’s husband?

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