Labour look set to hold the Oldham East & Saddleworth seat rather more comfortably than they did at the general election. For all the speculation, this by-election was always Labour’s to lose.
The Liberal Democrats, Labour’s closest local challengers, have lost well over half their national support since last May. The idea of the Conservatives springing to victory from third place in a Greater Manchester constituency at a time of tough spending cuts from a Tory-led government always seemed unlikely. It would take some explaining, then, were Ed Miliband to let this seat slip through his fingers.
Voting intentions are 46% Labour, 29% Lib Dems, and 15% Conservatives. Barring a substantial shift in the last few days of campaigning – which seems unlikely given that 91 per cent of Labour voters say they probably will not change their minds – we can expect a swing from the Liberal Democrats to Labour of around 8 per cent since the general election.Read more