The last two links to the local paper give a better insight into the split in Leigh politically as it has comments from, well regular commentators. How local to Leigh they are is unknown but as sure as the sun rises, you can guarantee that anything story remotely political on that website will have the same commentators have their little spats, its like Twitter but on a diet of lobby.
The above articles give some good insight and my title it’s exactly a massive gamble as it is such a narrow “victory” by the 2019 Tories that only a few votes either way would swing it, the whole point being of course, how has it got to this and again the linked pieces go into some detail.
I personally think that Labour will still win quite strongly though if you look at the trend according to wikipedia the swing has been more “to the right” since the Blair years but the Labour majority seems to swing fairly consistently between 10,000-16,000 over the election cycles.
It is also worth noting that from the high turnouts of 70%+ in the 70’s and 80’s (when you factor in an anti-Tory, pro-mining sensibility) they have plummeted since, barely scratching 60% over recent elections.
The local wisdom being anything with a red rosette wins.
The Conservative candidate is well known locally and a local councillor as far as I’m aware who my sources tell me (i.e. my mates who are actually on Facebook), that he is campaigning hard, so he clearly thinks he is in with a shot.
Current Labour incumbent Jo Platt, on the other hand is a form councillor herself who it’s exactly well liked locally.
But probably liked enough to be voted for because her rosette is red and not blue.
As you may note there are 6 candidates standing this time around. If we take Labour and the Lib Dems to represent a vote to continue to remain in the EU, then the other 4 are to leave the EU and then the possibility of vote splitting comes into play.
As the graphic above predicts, the Brexit Party could get almost 12%, costing the Conservatives victory? Probably not. Anyone who wants to vote Tory will vote Tory, the Brexit party votes will be, in the vast majority, disgruntled Labour voters who just can’t ever vote Conservative.
And that is where I was going to leave this totally amateur look into local politics until the news today that Labour wish to cut rail fares by 75%
The running joke about Leigh as a town, especially in the rugby league community and general banter between the local towns, is that “Leigh is the biggest town in the UK without a train station.”
There are talks locally to open Golborne station, which would do nothing for Leigh. The original rail lines from Leigh now had the guided bus way on it, which just makes Leigh a commuter hub for Manchester rather than bringing anything into the town.
So the question is, would the train-less residents of Leigh really wish to pay out extra money in taxes just to fund those with rail stations, like the pie-eaters in Wigan and would it be enough to stop any of them voting Labour?
No. I doubt it. And if the Tories get in then “I’ll show my arse at Turnpike.”*
Thanks for reading.
*This is a local phrase; I won’t actually be engaging in acts of public nudity should something highly unlikely actually occur.