2012 Manchester Central By-election
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2012 Manchester Central By-election

2012 Manchester Central by-election

← 2010 15 November 2012 2015 →

The Manchester Central seat in the House of Commons
  First party Second party
  Official portrait of Lucy Powell MP crop 2.jpg Blank
Candidate Lucy Powell Marc Ramsbottom
Party Labour Co-op Liberal Democrats
Popular vote 11,507 1,571
Percentage 69.1% 9.4%
Swing Increase16.4% Decrease17.2%

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 (with the Conservatives losing their deposit). 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 which was also held on 15 November 2012.. 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] On 22 October 2012, Tony Lloyd was appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, a device with which resignations from the House of Commons is administered.[8] Lloyd successfully won the PCC election. PCC election candidates did not have to resign their seats in Parliament upon becoming a nominee. However in the event of their victory in the election they would have been obliged to do so.[9] Knowing that his likelihood of victory in a traditionally pro-Labour region was high, Lloyd chose to resign early in order for the Westminster by-election to be able to be held at the same time as the PCC election rather than forcing voters to go to the polls again a few weeks later. The decision to resign upon nomination rather than victory was similarly made by Alun Michael, who had been nominated as a PCC candidate for the South Wales Police area and resulted in the 2012 Cardiff South and Penarth by-election being held on the same day.

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.[10] However, those who qualified as an anonymous elector had until midnight on Thursday 8 November 2012 to register to vote.[11]


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

On 28 March 2012, Labour confirmed a shortlist of eight candidates.[13] Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's Chief of Staff Lucy Powell was selected on 16 April.[14] 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."[15] Powell was also nominated by the Co-operative Party.[16]

The Liberal Democrats chose the former City Councillor Marc Ramsbottom on 18 June 2012, declaring the by-election "a two horse race".[17]

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.[18]

Following a membership meeting[19] the British National Party chose Eddy O'Sullivan as its candidate.

The former Lord Mayor of Norwich[20] Tom Dylan was the Green Party candidate.[21]

Respect initially chose Kate Hudson as its candidate, but she stood down because of George Galloway's comments about rape.[22] Respect then announced Clive Searle would be standing for them.[23][deprecated source] On 30 October 2012, local "community advocate" Catherine Higgins was selected as the Respect candidate.[24]

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.[25]

Pirate Party UK chose their Leader, Loz Kaye.[26]

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.[27] Clifford told The Guardian newspaper on 8 August that "the power of working people... counts more than an election result."[28]

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.[29] Holmes told Mancunian Matters that Manchester politics "represented all that was wrong with British democracy".[30] He admitted to The Guardian that he had never lived in Manchester.[31]

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%) +33.6
Swing: 16.8% from Lib Dem to Lab
Lucy PowellLabour11,50769.1+16.4
Marc Ramsbottom Liberal Democrats1,5719.4−17.2
Matthew Sephton Conservative7544.5−7.3
Chris Cassidy UKIP7494.5+3.0
Tom Dylan Green6523.9+1.6
Eddy O'Sullivan BNP4923.0−1.1
Loz Kaye Pirate3081.9N/A
Alex Davidson TUSC2201.3N/A
Catherine Higgins Respect1821.1N/A
Howling Laud Hope Monster Raving Loony780.5N/A
Lee Holmes People's Democratic Party710.4N/A
Peter Clifford Communist League640.4N/A
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 LloydLabour21,05952.7−6.6
Marc Ramsbottom Liberal Democrats10,62026.6+5.6
Suhail Rahuja Conservative4,70411.8+1.3
Tony Trebilcock BNP1,6364.1N/A
Gayle O'Donovan Green9152.3−1.9
Nicola Weatherill UKIP6071.5−0.3
Ron Sinclair Socialist Labour1530.4−0.2
John Cartwright Independent1200.3N/A
Jonty Leff Workers Revolutionary590.1N/A
Robert Skelton Socialist Equality540.1N/A

See also


  1. ^ "Manchester Central by-election called". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Election Statistics 1918-2007. House of Commons Library Research Paper 08/12, Table 13" (PDF).
  3. ^ By-elections in British Politics Chris Cook and John Ramsden, UCL Press, 1997 ISBN 1857285352
  4. ^ MP Tony Lloyd for police commissioner? Archived 18 January 2013 at Archive.today 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. ^ http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/148743/PCC-Part-1-Can-you-stand-for-election.pdf
  10. ^ The deadline for the receipt of electoral registration applications was the eleventh working day before election day.
  11. ^ 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).
  12. ^ Your Next Election - Manchester Central Archived 30 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Manchester City Council
  13. ^ Manchester Central Shortlist confirmed LabourList
  14. ^ Lucy Powell selected as Manchester Central candidate LabourList
  15. ^ "HP Sauce". Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd (1313): 9. May 2012.
  16. ^ Lucy Powell selected as Manchester Central candidate by Co-operative Party Archived 4 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Marc Ramsbottom chosen as Liberal Democrat candidate in Manchester Central by-election Manchester Evening News
  18. ^ Gay Tory candidate selected to challenge Hazel Blears Pink News
  19. ^ Manchester select Eddy O'Sullivan to stand in parliamentary election Archived 22 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine British National Party
  20. ^ New Lord Mayor for Norwich Archived 31 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Norwich City Council
  21. ^ Linton, Deborah (23 October 2012). "Manchester Central by-election announced for November 15".
  22. ^ http://kate4manchester.org/?p=114 statement from Kate Hudson
  23. ^ "Respect leader reveals she quit after death threats in wake of Galloway's controversial remarks on Assange sex charges".
  24. ^ Speak Up For Manchester Archived 3 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Respect Party
  25. ^ "Anti-austerity candidates selected for November contests".
  26. ^ "Loz Kaye confirmed as PPC for Manchester Central" (Press release). Pirate Party UK. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  27. ^ [1] Mancunian Matters
  28. ^ Clifford, Peter (8 August 2012). "Fights and campaigns by working people are what count" – via The Guardian.
  29. ^ "PDP GB". PDP GB. Archived from the original on 18 April 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ People's Democratic Party by-election candidate: Manchester politics is 'all that is wrong with British democracy Mancunian Matters
  31. ^ Voters want politicians to listen to their basic concerns The Guardian

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