John Ottewell writes for the Manchester Evening News and also posts on their political blog. His is an informed and relatively neutral (the paper ran a campaign against the BNP during the European elections, which he has defended) voice on the politics of Greater Manchester.
But what of the many candidates for Manchester seats?
There are 28 constituencies in Greater Manchester, to become 27 in this year’s election.
Let’s start where I live-
Manchester Withington’s MP is John Leech, the first Liberal or Liberal Democrat to win a Manchester seat since 1929. His blog is johnleechmp.wordpress.com.
The Conservative candidate is Chris Green. I can’t find a blog from him.
Lucy Powell, the Labour candidate, has a website with a news feed. Which is almost a blog.
James Alden is the Green candidate. No blog though.
Bob Gutfreund-Walmsley is standing for UKIP.
Yasmin Zalzala is a former Lib-Dem now standing as an independent who has claimed that she was run out of the party by racists.
There may be other candidates, from parties even more minor than UKIP, but these are the ones I found listed.
Manchester Gorton, where I used to live.
The incumbent is Gerald Kaufman. No blog, or even website as far as I can tell.
Caroline Healy is the Conservative candidate.
Qassim Afzal is the Lib Dem candidate. He has an official site, but it’s a bit sparse.
Justine Hall is standing for the Greens.
Oddly enough, the BNP don’t seem to have a candidate in the constituency that includes Longsight. I guess even people who are that stupid aren’t that stupid.
This is, unsurprisingly, taking a while to compile. Let’s round out this post with the constituency of another high profile MP. I work in Hazel Blears’ constituency, and end up reading the Salford Advertiser more often then my own local paper, so it’s probable I know more about what’s going on there than here. As part of the boundary changes, Salford becomes Salford and Eccles this year.
Hazel Blears is an odd looking little woman best known for causing trouble for Gordon Brown. Nothing that looks like a blog on her official site, but there’s an RSS feed so maybe the news items will get pulled in by my reader as they update.
Matthew Sephton is the Conservative candidate.
Norman Owen is a Lib Dem councillor standing for MP.
Robert Wakefield is the UKIP candidate. The Salford UKIP blog‘s one and only post dates from 2007 AND IS ALL CAPS AND TOO PAINFUL TO READ. It’s possible that Mr. Wakefield is the author of a novel about the crusades. He should talk to my UKIP candidate, who’s a bookseler.
Tina Wingfield is the BNP candidate. No site or blog that I could find, but I did subscribe to the BNP blog, because the ulcer doesn’t make me feel queasy enough.
Steve Morris is standing for the English Democrats. I don’t think the Steve Morris I’ve found results for is the same person.
David Henry has been chosen to stand on the Hazel Must Go platform. His site’s minimalist at the moment.
Joe O’Neill is standing as an Independent, though he’s a Lib Dem councilor. He hasn’t even bothered to write over the placeholders on his official Salford Council page, so I’m not expecting any web presence.
Last, and certainly least, is Richard Carvath. He’s standing as an Independent, on the More Self Righteous and Homophobic Than Anyone Else platform judging by his blog. Everything’s a conspiracy, it would seem, intended to turn our children into French speaking Muslim homosexual perverts or something.
I’ve subscribed to the feeds I’ve found, but I’m using Bloglines, which can be temperamental, so I don’t know how many of them I’ll be able to follow reliably. I’m not a wonky political blogger, I won’t be loading Spinneyhead down with policy discussion. It’s more likely to be anything outrageous that candidates say that’ll make it here.
Further constituencies may be added, these are the three that mean the most to me. If you’d like me to look at yours please tell me. Likewise if you know of any candidates I’ve missed out.