LibDems Can Give Manchester Gorton a Go

Manchester Gorton is an ultra-safe Labour seat where Gerald Kaufman leaves behind a 24,000 majority and no one else has won for 80 years. The LibDems are keen to downplay their chances of an upset, though there are a few factors which could make it interesting. First, there are rumblings that the by-election will be held on the same day as the Manchester mayoral elections. The LibDem mayoral candidate Jane Brophy is running on an “unapologetically pro-EU” ticket and has publicly said she will do anything she can to block Brexit. Manchester Gorton voted 62% to Remain, could the LibDems benefit from a joint anti-Brexit mayoral and by-election campaign?

Second, while the LibDems came fifth in Manchester Gorton in 2015, they came second here in 2010 and 2005. There is a large Muslim and student population, which benefited the LibDems until the coalition. In 2004 the LibDems won 19 of the 21 council seats in the constituency, so it is quite a Lib-Demmy area. Those on the ground say that while Kaufman was a strong local MP, they detect growing dissatisfaction with Corbyn among voters. A Labour loss here is unthinkable – it would make Copeland look like a good result…




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