Poll is good reading for Rowen

September 22, 2008 12:00 AM

Paul Rowen MP with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg MPRochdale MP Paul Rowen would hold his Rochdale seat if a general election was to be held now, according to the largest ever study of marginal seats.

Rochdale is one of few seats where the Liberal Democrats are close challengers to Labour, with support mainly swinging from Labour to the Conservatives in constituencies where the Lib Dems posed a realistic challenge.

Paul Rowen MP said: "I usually take polls with a pinch of salt. This however is different as it has been done speaking to residents in Rochdale, rather than looking at nationwide, often volatile opinion polls. I am pleased that our positive work has been reflected, I am not taking anything for granted and I will continue to represent Rochdale, a town I was born and bred in with the same enthusiasm as when I was first elected."

The poll also states that the Conservatives would currently march convincingly into Downing Street with a majority of 146, with eight Labour cabinet ministers, including the Home Secretary and the Justice Secretary, all losing their seats.

Responding, Rochdale's Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Simon Danczuk dismissed the latest study, arguing that it did not show an accurate picture of the political situation in Rochdale.

"I don't take much notice of polls that ask people who they would vote for if there was an election tomorrow because there isn't going to be a General Election tomorrow," he said.

"My opponent, Paul Rowen, has refused to debate with me publicly on three occasions now and when a General Election is called he will have to break his silence and defend a record of failing to deliver for Rochdale. There will be a much greater level of debate and the public will be able to see that on Paul Rowen's watch, regeneration has ground to a halt, deprivation has increased and more people are leaving Rochdale than ever before. Compare that to neighbouring areas where regeneration is well under way and better public services are being delivered and it is clear that we are lagging behind.

"Rochdale needs stronger political leadership to recover from its current position and I will be putting a strong case to the electorate for change."

The poll gives a sample of almost 35,000 people over 238 marginal constituencies and was based on fieldwork carried out by YouGov, giving an idea of what would happen if a general election were held now.

The results can be viewed online here.