With voters heading to the polls for today’s by-election in Stretford and Urmston, I thought it would be fun to create a mock-up of how the next general election could look under proportional representation.
I’ve created the large multi-member constituencies based on area clusters, not local authority boundaries.
Manchester and Salford Central
Firstly we have Manchester and Salford Central, made up of Manchester’s University and Hospital district, City Centre wards of Deansgate and Piccadilly, and Salford wards such as Quays, Blackfriars, Ordsall, Broughton Park etc.
With many affluent and gentrified areas included, this would potentially deliver a Tory, if they actually selected someone people had heard of.
Very similar to Sinn Féin’s Belfast West, It would be a very safe area for several Labour MP’s, but also delivering seats for Lib Dems with a profile, such as John Leech who’s very popular in the area.
Secondly we have Manchester West, this constituency is made up mostly of Wigan, Bolton, and a small section of Salford’s Worsley seat (Walkden) due to go into Bolton South.
Thirdly we have Manchester North, comprising of Bury, Rochdale, and a the City of Manchester area of Blackley.
This seat would deliver several tories, with safe affluent areas such as Sedgley, Pilkington Park, Tottignton, Ramsbottom, Bamford, and Littleborough etc.
In my alternate universe the Labour Party de-select the turncoat of Bury South.
This constituency would be made from Cheadle, Ashton, and Oldham, comprising of a mix of working class areas, and affluent villages like Stockport’s Marple and High Lane, Tameside’s Stalybridge, and Oldham’s Saddleworth.
Easily a safe seat for Labour Incumbents, former MP and Stockport Council Leader Mark Hunter for the Liberals, and a couple of seats for the Tories.
Lastly we have Manchester South, the ‘Promise Land’ for all parties, comprising of Urmston, Altrincham, Sale, Wythenshawe, Didsbury, Withington, and Cheadle.
Even under proportional representation, the Tories would be most at risk from losing members in this seat long-term due to changing demographics.
This seat would deliver a diverse range of parties, and potentially Greater Manchester’s first Green Party member, with once affluent areas of Trafford turning away from the Conservatives.
The Liberal Democrats would do very well in this constituency, as would labour, gaining two seats from the large public sector and student population.
Graham Brady’s seat is highly likely to go to Labour at the next election, so the Tories would benefit under PR in this arrangement, likely winning two members.
These results are based on December 2022 polling, which sees the Labour Party win a raft of seats at the expense of the Tories.
Results based on December 2019 GE results would have seen the Tories dominate across Greater Manchester.