Labour’s Oldham by-election nerves
If you want to know who is going to win the Oldham West and Royton by-election next Thursday, don’t listen to the bookies or people like me. Instead consult the weather forecast.
For the outcome of this poll will most likely be determined by which voters are prepared to turn out on a dank, dark December day.
For Labour, this seat should be as safe as Oldham’s red-bricked terraced houses. The constituency has been Labour for most of its existence. The late Michael Meacher bequeathed a majority of more than 14,000 after a 45-year incumbency.
The party’s candidate is a dynamic young council leader with a strong power base and a moderate background. “He’s definitely not a Maoist,” one senior UKIP figure told me with a sigh.