Manchester Central by-election, 2012

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Manchester Central by-election, 2012
United Kingdom
← 2010 15 November 2012 2015 →
Candidate Lucy Powell Marc Ramsbottom
Party Labour Co-op Liberal Democrat
Popular vote 11,507 1,571
Percentage 69.1 9.4

Boundary of Manchester Central in Greater Manchester.
Boundary of Manchester Central in Greater Manchester.

MP before election

Tony Lloyd

Subsequent MP

Lucy Powell

The Manchester Central by-election was a by-election for the House of Commons of the United Kingdom constituency of Manchester Central held on Thursday 15 November 2012.[1]

Lucy Powell of the Labour Party won with 69% of the vote (it has historically been a safe Labour seat), with the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives losing significant numbers of votes compared with the 2010 general election. In terms of loss of share of the vote it was the Lib Dems' worst result in a parliamentary by-election since the Second World War.[2][3] There was an unusually low turnout of just 18.2%, the lowest in a Parliamentary by-election since the War.

The by-election was held on the same day as the Cardiff South and Penarth and Corby by-elections, and the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner elections.


On 14 February 2012, the incumbent Member of Parliament for Manchester Central, Tony Lloyd, announced his intention to resign to seek the Labour Party nomination for the inaugural Police and Crime Commissioner elections for the Greater Manchester Police area. The England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner elections were on the same day.[4][5][6] On 17 March 2012, Lloyd was selected by Labour unopposed,[7] necessitating the Parliamentary by-election.

On 22 October 2012, Tony Lloyd was appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, a device with which resignation from the House is administered.[8]

All registered Parliamentary electors of the Manchester Central constituency (i.e. British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK and British citizens living overseas) who were aged 18 or over on 15 November 2012 were entitled to vote in the by-election. The deadline for voters to register to vote in the by-election was midnight on Wednesday 31 October 2012.[9] However, those who qualified as an anonymous elector had until midnight on Thursday 8 November 2012 to register to vote.[10]


Nominations closed and 12 candidates confirmed on the 31 October[11]

On 28 March 2012, Labour confirmed a shortlist of eight candidates.[12] Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's Chief of Staff Lucy Powell was selected on 16 April.[13] The satirical magazine, Private Eye, reported on Powell's selection noting that "the previous favourite to succeed Lloyd had been Mohammed Afzal Khan, the first ever Asian lord mayor of Manchester, with a good deal of popular local backing and a city councillor since 2000. But nothing could be left to chance and Khan was mysteriously dropped from the Labour party's candidate shortlist - in order to gift the seat to Powell."[14] Powell was also nominated by the Co-operative Party.[15]

The Liberal Democrats chose the former City Councillor Marc Ramsbottom on 18 June 2012, declaring the by-election "a two horse race".[16]

On 17 October 2012, the Conservative Party chose Matthew Sephton, Chairman of LGBTory and Deputy Chairman of the party in Altrincham and Sale West, as their candidate. Sephton had previously stood as the Conservative candidate in Salford and Eccles during the 2010 general election.[17]

Following a membership meeting[18] the British National Party chose Eddy O'Sullivan as its candidate.

The former Lord Mayor of Norwich[19] Tom Dylan was the Green Party candidate.[20]

Respect initially chose Kate Hudson as its candidate, but she stood down because of George Galloway's comments about rape.[21] Respect then announced Clive Searle would be standing for them.[22] On 30 October 2012, local "community advocate" Catherine Higgins was selected as the Respect candidate.[23]

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition announced its intention to contest this by-election (and a council by-election in Liverpool and the election for Mayor of Bristol on the same day) with the PCS Union's North-West vice-chair Alex Davidson chosen on 10 October.[24]

Pirate Party UK chose their Leader, Loz Kaye.[25]

Howling Laud Hope, party leader, stood for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party under the description Monster Raving Loony William Hill Party.

Local factory worker Peter Clifford announced on 21 July that he intended to stand as the Communist League candidate.[26] Clifford told The Guardian newspaper on 8 August that "the power of working people... counts more than an election result."[27]

On 29 August 2012, the newly formed People's Democratic Party announced that its candidate would be the party leader and former Conservative and anti-Iraq War activist, Lee Holmes.[28] Holmes told Mancunian Matters that Manchester politics "represented all that was wrong with British democracy".[29] He admitted to The Guardian that he had never lived in Manchester.[30]

By-election result

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
Manchester Central by-election
Resignation of Tony Lloyd
Turnout: 16,648 (18.2%) −28.5
Labour hold
Majority: 9,936 (59.7%)
Swing: 16.8% from Lib Dem to Lab
Lucy Powell Labour 11,507 69.1 +16.4
Marc Ramsbottom Liberal Democrat 1,571 9.4 −17.2
Matthew Sephton Conservative 754 4.5 −7.3
Chris Cassidy UKIP 749 4.5 +3.0
Tom Dylan Green 652 3.9 +1.6
Eddy O'Sullivan BNP 492 3.0 −1.1
Loz Kaye Pirate 308 1.9 N/A
Alex Davidson TUSC 220 1.3 N/A
Catherine Higgins Respect 182 1.1 N/A
Howling Laud Hope Monster Raving Loony 78 0.5 N/A
Lee Holmes People's Democratic Party 71 0.4 N/A
Peter Clifford Communist League 64 0.4 N/A
Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
General election 2010
New boundaries
Turnout: 39,927 (46.7%) +4.9
Labour hold
Majority: 10,430 (26.1%)
Swing: 6.1% from Lab to Lib Dem
Tony Lloyd Labour 21,059 52.7 −6.6
Marc Ramsbottom Liberal Democrat 10,620 26.6 +5.6
Suhail Rahuja Conservative 4,704 11.8 +1.3
Tony Trebilcock BNP 1,636 4.1 N/A
Gayle O'Donovan Green 915 2.3 −1.9
Nicola Weatherill UKIP 607 1.5 −0.3
Ron Sinclair Socialist Labour 153 0.4 −0.2
John Cartwright Independent 120 0.3 N/A
Jonty Leff Workers Revolutionary 59 0.1 N/A
Robert Skelton Socialist Equality 54 0.1 N/A

See also


  1. "Manchester Central by-election called". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2012-10-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Election Statistics 1918-2007. House of Commons Library Research Paper 08/12, Table 13
  3. By-elections in British Politics Chris Cook and John Ramsden, UCL Press, 1997 ISBN 1857285352
  4. MP Tony Lloyd for police commissioner? Blottr
  5. Manchester MP Tony Lloyd to stand for police commissioner BBC News
  6. Police and Crime Commissioners Home Office
  7. Labour chooses Tony Lloyd to bid to become Greater Manchester police commissioner Manchester Evening News
  8. Press Release 22 October 2012 Cabinet Office
  9. The deadline for the receipt of electoral registration applications was the eleventh working day before election day.
  10. The deadline for the receipt and determination of anonymous electoral registration applications was the same as the publication date of the notice of alteration to the Electoral Register (i.e. the fifth working day before election day).
  11. Your Next Election - Manchester Central Manchester City Council
  12. Manchester Central Shortlist confirmed LabourList
  13. Lucy Powell selected as Manchester Central candidate LabourList
  14. "HP Sauce". Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd (1313): 9. May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Lucy Powell selected as Manchester Central candidate by Co-operative Party
  16. Marc Ramsbottom chosen as Liberal Democrat candidate in Manchester Central by-election Manchester Evening News
  17. Gay Tory candidate selected to challenge Hazel Blears Pink News
  18. Manchester select Eddy O'Sullivan to stand in parliamentary election British National Party
  19. New Lord Mayor for Norwich Norwich City Council
  21. statement from Kate Hudson
  23. Speak Up For Manchester Respect Party
  24. [1] Socialist Party article
  25. "Loz Kaye confirmed as PPC for Manchester Central" (Press release). Pirate Party UK. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. [2] Mancunian Matters
  27. Fights and campaigns by working people are what count The Guardian "NorthernerBlog"
  28. People's Democratic Party
  29. People's Democratic Party by-election candidate: Manchester politics is 'all that is wrong with British democracy Mancunian Matters
  30. Voters want politicians to listen to their basic concerns The Guardian