While it would be folly to claim victory prematurely in Oldham East and Saddleworth, there’s no doubt it’s looking good for Labour. The latest polls point to a comfortable Labour victory and by a margin much larger than that achieved at the 2010 general election.
Polls conducted by ICM and Populus both placed Labour 17 points ahead of the Liberal Democrats. ICM put Labour on 44%, the Lib Dems on 27%, the Tories on 18% and others on 12%. Populus put Labour on 46%, the Lib Dems on 29%, the Tories on 15% and others on 10%.Labour selects candidate for Oldham East & Saddleworth by-election
And Labour has a woman candidate, Debbie Abrahams who was Labour’s candidate in Colne Valley at this year’s general election. If and when elected she will be a huge asset in Westminster. A public health consultant, a former director of public health research at Liverpool University and the former chair of Rochdale primary care trust she is set to make a truly valuable contribution. Health is, after all, Labour’s flagship policy area where we must do all we can to fight the Tory-led coalition’s cuts.
What is more, Debbie lives in Oldham who has promised to deliver the best possible deal for local people.
There are currently 95 female Labour MPs – three times the number of those in all other parties put together. However, according to the Fawcett Society it would still take Labour 20 years to get an equal gender split in the House of Commons.
If you think that’s bad, the Liberal Democrats would need twice that amount of time. But, as ever, it’s the Tories who have the real problem; they would need 400 years before they had the same number of women as male MPs.