Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Abrahams’

Oldham by-election: how furious will the Tory right be if the Lib Dems come third?

24/12/2010, 02:00:20 PM

Mike Smithson over at PoliticalBetting asks this morning, “why are Labour talking down the Tories in Oldham East & Saddleworth”? His contention is that Labour must be bonkers to downplay the Tories’ chances.

His thinking is: a) Labour will win, unless blues switch to yellows; b) the blues think so, and are therefore lining up behind the yellows; c) the reds must be stupid to encourage more blues to give up hope.

He quotes Iain Wright, Hartlepool MP and by-election gaffer, talking down the Tories – essentially to say, “what’s this guy doing? This strategy is mental”.

Now Mike knows more about betting markets than most. But something doesn’t smell right.

Iain Wright is not a fool. Yes he’s got a twinkle in his eye and boyish looks – but under that cheeky chappy persona is an experienced politician who won a brutal by-election himself.

At the last election, Oldham East and Saddleworth became an old school three way marginal. The Lib Dems a shade over a hundred votes behind Labour with the Tories in a not so distant 3rd place. With the national trend seeing the Lib Dems falling to pieces, in some polls down as low as single figures, why do we assume their vote will hold up in Oldham? More importantly: how were the Conservatives convinced that it was the Liberal rather than Conservative candidate they should throw their weight behind?

On the ground, the Liberals, and their disgustingly smug candidate appear to be tanking, big time – and the by-election looks to be coming down to an old fashioned punch up between Labour and Conservative. (more…)

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Labour selects candidate for Oldham East & Saddleworth by-election

12/12/2010, 04:40:38 PM
Debbie Abrahams

Debbie Abrahams has been selected to fight Oldham East & Saddleworth

Labour has selected Debbie Abrahams as its candidate in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election which follows the disqualification of former MP, Phil Woolas. She beat Riaz Ahmed and Cllr Abdul Jabbar, who were also shortlisted yesterday, in a selection by members at a count at Queen Elizabeth Hall in Oldham.

Abrahams was Labour’s candidate in Colne Valley at this year’s general election, coming third behind the Tories and Lib Dems. She is a public health consultant, a former director of public health research at Liverpool university and is the former chair of Rochdale primary care trust. She lives in Oldham with her husband, a former professional cricketer who now coaches the England under 19s, and their two daughters.

On winning the selection she said:

“It’s an honour and a privilege to have been selected as Labour’s candidate. Now I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting as many residents as possible in the next few weeks to listen to their concerns.

It’s important that the real issues and concerns of people in the borough are not lost during this by-election campaign. People feel let down by the LibDem-Tory broken promises on police cuts, tuition fees and VAT.  It doesn’t have to be this way, there is an alternative.

This is an opportunity for people to send a message to the government. Oldham East and Saddleworth needs a Labour MP who will stand up and fight for them. I’m determined to keep my promises and deliver the best possible deal for people in this borough”.

The writ is expected to be moved in the new year, with Labour looking to hold the by-election on February 3rd.

UPDATE: Debbie has just recorded this message..

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