COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2011: Nine wards to watch tonight

By Joshua Powling

Greater Manchester’s council election results should all provide an exciting picture, but there are a few results that will really set the tone as they come in tonight.

*Altrincham and Timperley (Trafford)*

Councillor Matt Colledge, Council Leader for Trafford has changed wards from Timerpley, which is solidly Liberal Democrat to Altricham, which is solidly Conservative. Trafford is solidly Conservative and is unlikely to shift much, but it will be interesting to see if the seat Cllr Colledge abandoned will indeed be swallowed up by the Lib Dems.

*Chadderton North (Oldham)*

Councillor Len Quinn has recently defected from the Conservatives to Labour in February of this year, which is unsurprising considering he switched from Labour to the Tories in 2000. He took the seat from Labour back in 2007, but with Quinn’s defection, the seat has gone back to Labour. Since he is not standing, it will be up to new candidates to scrap for the seat. Labour will look to overturn a 400 seat deficit to take it.

*Droylsden East (Tameside)*

Councillor Kieran Quinn, the Executive Leader for Tameside, is standing for reelection in the ward, but in the absence of any Liberal Democrat challenger, and the Conservatives unlikely to unseat Councillor Quinn this year.

*Reddish North (Stockport)*

Labour have two seats to defend in Reddish North, and if they want to gain enough seats to steal overall control away from the Lib Dems and turn Stockport to no overall control they will have to hold both these seats.

*East (Bury)*

No party may be in control, but Labour leader Councillor Michael Connolly is up for election in the ward and will want to keep his seat. Bury shades Conservative, but this year may see the start of a shift back to Labour with the unpopularity of both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

*Spotland & Falinge (Rochdale)*

This ward is one of several where Lib Dem Councillors have defected to the Independent Alliance Ratepayers. Among these was Councillor Greg Couzens, who lead the IAP in Rochdale. He has stood down this year and is not standing in the election, but will the Lib Dems take the seat back, or is the door open for Labour?

*Weaste & Seedley (Salford)*

The Lib Dems have not had a good time with defections, and Salford has been no exception. Geoff Ainsworth who won the seat in 2007 for the Lib Dems, left the party and joined the Salford City Independents. Can he hold the seat under pressure from both his former party and Labour?

*City Centre (Manchester)*

Once again the Lib Dems held this seat, winning it in 2007, with Ken Dobson winning the seat. He is now running as an independent in a ward with a very small electorate. He may well hold onto his seat, another blow for the Lib Dems.

*Whalley Range (Manchester)*

Councillor Faraz Bhatti was the only Conservative on Manchester City Council, but he is not seeking re-election after switching from the Lib Dems after standing for them back in 2007. If the Conservatives do not win here, it will mean no Tory councillors, a sorry state for a major political party.


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