LiveRamsbottom by-election

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Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

This live event has finished


  • Live updates from tonight's Ramsbottom by-election.
  • The election, which has been taking place today, was triggered by the resignation of Labour councillor Joanne Columbine, who resigned "for family reasons".
  • Five candidates will stand, with Sarah Southworth representing Labour, Robert Hodkinson for the Conservatives, David Foss for the Liberal Democrats, Glyn Heath for the Green Party and Dave Barker for the UK Independence Party.
  • The counting action is due to start at about 9.30pm at St Andrew's Primary School.


Right, after a long night tweeting and blogging that is all from me folks.

A full story is now on the Bury Times website for you're reading pleasure.

For full reaction see next Thursday's paper.

Thank you all for following and goodnight!


Votes as follows: labour 1033, Tory 1398, UKIP 351, green 157, lib dem 38


Confirmed- tory win


Mike Kelly has asked agents and candidates in, result imminent now


While we are waiting, quick comparison on turnout. This years 32.56 % compares with 35% in 2012, 43% in 2011 and 69% in 2010, a general election year


Tories and Labour now in huddles waiting for confirmation


Sounds like the Tories have got a 350 majority


Still waiting for official confirmation but it seems the Tories have won


Result is imminent


Counting now finished


Sounds like the Tories will win this. Some unhappy Labour faces


Both Labour and Tory leaderships in closely knit huddles. Iam keeping my ears peeled!


We are getting there slowly but surely. You can feel the tension in the room


Mike Connolly says he thinks it's very close


Tories very confident. Cllr bevan says he thinks they are well ahead


Final counting checks being made


Labour seem quite resigned to defeat


Seems like we might be getting a result fairly soon


Tories seem confident. Cllr bevan just raised his eyebrows at me and smiled


I sound like a broken record, but all indications are that it is too close to call. Several Councillors think there may be a recount


Ramsbottom cllr Luise Fitzwalter says she thinks UKIP has taken votes from them and the Tories


The total electorate in Ramsbottom is 9206


1900 postal votes were sent out' with 1249 returned


That is regarded as a high turnout for a by election, Cllr Gartside says he thinks it is because of local feeling about the anaerobic digestion plant


There were 1249 postal votes


Tory leader Cllr Iain Gartside says he thinks his party may have edged it or that there may be a recount


Turnout is 32.56%


Voting papers have now been verified and the count is now starting properly


The last box is now being opened, not clear how long it will be before we get a result yet


General consensus is that it will be very tight. No word yet though


Speaking to Mike Connolly, Labour leader of Bury council, who also thinks it will be very close. 


Nicole Haydock of the Green Party is downbeat about early thoughts of the polls, says the party needs to publicise their efforts better


Just speaking to Robert, he says he hopes there is no repeat of 2011 when he lost the election by the drawing of lots


I spoke too soon, Robert Hodkinson has now arrived


Still no sign of Tory candidate Robert Hodkinson and Green Party candidate Glyn Heath


The word at the count at the moment is that it is very close, too close to call


Lib dem candidate David Foss has now arrived


Labour candidate Sarah Southworth is here now


Deputy Tory leader Cllr James daly is whinging about the cold. The door has been left open


Ballot boxes are starting to arrive


The room is getting busier now, the Tories and UKIP are here now


Returning officer, bury council chief executive Mike Kelly is just going through some housekeeping


The count is now underway


I am now in Ramsbottom at St Andrews waiting for polls to close at 10pm


Here is a bit of background information on the five candidates vying to take the seat.

Labour’s representative Sarah Southworth is a chartered accountant and has a wedding dress business with branches in Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. She is married and has a 12-year-old son.

In addition she works as a finance manager for a not-for-profit digital arts organisation based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Dr Glyn Heath will represent the Green Party and is a lecturer in prosthetics and orthotics at Salford University. He is currently involved in developing new artificial limbs and has previously set up for clinics for amputee refugees in war zones.

He has lived in Bury North for 21 years, is married and has a daughter who works as a midwife.

He previously served as a Labour councillor in Elton ward from 1995-1999, and lost his seat shortly after quitting Labour to join the local Environment and Wildlife party.

Conservative candidate Robert Hodkinson lives in Whittingham Drive, Ramsbottom, with his wife, Mary-Ann. They have two daughters. Rob and his wife established their small independent business in Bridge Street many years ago and continue to have a thriving local business.

He spends most of his spare time volunteering with Ramsbottom Business Group, where he is treasurer, and helps organise a variety of events and festivals in the town.

David Barker will represent the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

The 64-year-old is a retired firefighter who has lived in Bury for 18 years, and is married with four children and six great- grandchildren.

David Foss is the Liberal Democrat candidate.

Mr Foss is a retired teacher, whose career included 11 years’ service at Woodhey High School.

He is a former magistrate and a lay preacher for the Bury and Heywood Methodist Circuit of churches



Hi everyone, it's Andrew Bardsley here and I will be reporting from he election count this evening.

To give you some background, in 2011 Joanne Columbine was elected as a Ramsbottom councillor representing Labour after lots were drawn, with votes coming in as a dead heat.

This Labour win was significant, as it gave them overall control of Bury Council from the Conservatives.

Mrs Columbine has now resigned, and the Conservative candidate she fought off to win the election in 2011, Robert Hodkinson, is standing for the Tories again.


Bury Times: St Andrew's Primary School, Ramsbottom, where the by-election count is taking place. Picture from Google Maps.

This is where the action will be happening - St Andrew's Primary School


Good evening. Watch this space to find out what's happening in the Ramsbottom by-election tonight. The action is due to start at about 9.30pm.


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