Thursday, May 01, 2008

Manchester Local Election 08: Blogging From Count

Here we go again. Many thanks to Manchester City Council Press Office for squeezing me in once again.

Counts to watch:

Brooklands : Tories always big this up as a prospect. But safe Labour.
Cheetham : Always more exciting when former Deputy Leader Martin Pagel is up. Sham Raja (LD) got hammered last time and Kay Phillips (Respect Renewal) should keep him in his place. Prediction: Comfortable (300-vote) hold for Labour.
Chorlton : Promises to be quite a contest. High turn out. Humungous struggle between well established Cllr Sheila Newman and John Leech's youngster Lianne Williams who has piled a small rain forest of paper through the doors of the ward. Very green I'm sure. Prediction: 150 majority to Labour.
Chorlton Park : Expect a bit of a slump in LD majority thanks to Leech's final retirement from the double job schtick in favour of Bernie "Mad Dog" Ryan. Norman "Shameless" Lewis' girl. It'll still be a weigh in. But there were unprecedented queues at the polling station for the Chorlton part of the ward.
City Centre : Too close to call. If Rob Adlard (Tory) fails here again he'll be out on his ear. Marc Rambo (LD) could take a fall. And Anthony McCaul certainly deserves credit for a great campaign. Green candidate is brand new with no name recognition and may lose votes to Labour. Prediction: Margin of 75 either way LD-Lab. Tories a sad, well beaten third. Increased turnout, particularly from the 4,000students who have barely broken 1% in the past.
Gorton North and South : Potential Labour gains, perhaps not this time, we'll see.
Hulme : Prediction: Labour gain from Green. Good margin (350 votes). After Vanessa Hall cashed in her right-to-buy Council Flat, waved bye bye to her Council Allowance/Maternity Pay, and moved to greener fields.
Longsight : Strongly tipped for a Labour gain.
Miles Platting and Newton Heath : Very odd this one. BNP more or less stodd down their campaign in 2007 and LDs ran Labour within double figures. This time the established BNP candidate has moved elsewhere. Damien O Connor would be back if the LDs win. He has previously been Labour, Independent, and UKIP.
Northenden : Another close run thing. Prediction: Looks like a Labour hold by 100-150 to me. Thanks to the brothers gym in Benchill.
Old Moat : Enlivened by the discovery of 10 (not 12) mysterious proxy voters in a one bedroom flat. Six of them assigned to Cllr Sandiford, Cllr Isherwood, Cllr Cameron; the other four to LD activists. Very strange. The LDs have also fielded Sufiyan N Rana form the Cheetham Hill Ranas. Which is odd given their setting their face against a Muslim candidate in the case of Yasmin Zalzala.
Rusholme : Nahella Ashraf from Left List (Reespect) tries again. Atiha Chaudry may close the gap on Lib Dem Paul B Shannon.
Whalley Range : Fascinating three way struggle between Labour, Lib Dems and Tories each of whom hold one seat. It is the Liberal one that is up. If the Muslim vote breaks three ways as expected the underlying Labour sentiment of the ward should shine through. Prediction: Labour Gain, margin of 150 votes plus.

More BNP action in Higher Blackley (with Derek "Gimp" Adams) and Charlestown (with Stephen "Muppet" Moran).

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