Labour’s landslide victory in Oldham’s council election last night cast a dark shadow on the Conservatives meagre outcome.
Labour saw a gain of ten seats taking their grand total up to 15, and the Conservative’s one seat gain took their grand total to…one.
This means Labour now has a grand total of 43 seats, while the Conservatives now have two.
The Liberal Democrats now have a total of 14 seats, having held on to four, while one seat remains vacant.
Oldham’s Labour leader Councillor Jim McMahon thanked the voters for believing in his parties promises.
“We hope that people in Oldham have seen that we have got real ambition for the town and take it somewhere,” he said.
“We want Oldham to become a destination people come to.”
Members of the victorious Labour council seem thrilled to have won their respective seats, but the wider feeling of their victory is that they will now be able to take on the current coalition government with more ardour.
The key Labour plan is to kick-start regenerating some parts of Oldham, in particular Union Street and Yorkshire Street.
Cllr McMahon said he believes that genuine improvements can be made in the next few years under Labour.
“The most important thing now is that we deliver the plans we put in place that we hoped would attract people to vote Labour,” he said.
“You will start to see the town centre redevelop, you’re going to start to see the cinema that you’ve been crying out for.
“It’s been a big night with ten gains, and overall, we expected to do pretty well.”
Brian Ames, Labour’s success story in Hollinwood, heaped praise on his party while slamming the current coalition government.
“Obviously I’m very pleased with tonight’s result,” he said.
“The national government is a demolition government.
“I plan to redevelop us as the gateway to Oldham, because redevelopment equals jobs.”
Successful Liberal Democrat candidate Garth Harkness in Saddleworth North told MM of his mixed emotions of the evening.
“On a personal note, I am delighted to be elected,” Harkness said.
“But on the other hand, it was a disappointing night for our party.”
Cllr Harkness suggested that the under-fire coalition government had some part to play in this local election result.
“It seems that the national agenda has come into play again, and I don’t think that has done us justice for the work our party has done in Oldham,” he added.
“We are a hard-working team but we lost a couple of seats tonight, which was not good for us.”
The Conservatives were clearly not in the mood to speak about their crushing defeat in Oldham; MM received a stony reply of “no comment”.
Labour celebrates, the Tories are disconsolate, and the Lib Dems deliberate about the evening’s proceedings.
Oldham, judging by last night’s commanding victory, is looking rosy-red for the next four years.