Tameside Conservatives can see positives from campaigns

TO DESCRIBE general election night as tough for the Conservative Party may be an understatement.

But there are positives to take from it for Tameside Councillor Phil Chadwick, who stood in the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency.

After receiving 6,872 votes, he came in third behind Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds and Reform UK’s Barbara Kaya.

Cllr Phil Chadwick of the Conservative Party

And he told The Correspondent it had been a learning experience, which he can use in future at local level.

He first joked: “I can’t wait to join my colleagues at Westminster!”

But he added: “It’s been a good learning experience, but the result was inevitable if we’re being brutally honest, anyone who thought otherwise was a bit deluded.

“People wanted change and that’s happened.

“But I learned campaigning to be an MP is much different than being a councillor because that’s just focusing on one ward, whereas as an MP, there’s a whole constituency.

“My campaign was a digital-only one, so I did as much as I could. I know people said, ‘They didn’t see me,’ but that came from Conservative HQ and I had to go and help in High Peak a lot.

“But this is something I’d do again. We’d have to wait and see how the land lies in five years’ time, though.”

Across Tameside in the Ashton-under-Lyne constituency, it was a similar picture as Lizzie Hacking finished behind both Labour’s Angela Rayner and Reform UK’s Robert Barrowcliffe.

However, she believes her campaign exposed the now Deputy Prime Minister overlooking her seat.

Lizzie Hacking was the Conservative candidate Ashton-under-Lyne

She said: “Nationally, it was a difficult night but locally, what we found was Labour’s support is really soft.

“It’s certainly one for the future in terms of putting effort into this area and really focussing driving forward the results we can in future elections.

“A lot of people feel let down by Tameside Council and Angela having the position she does in the Labour Party meant she was out on tour a fair bit, when people may have hoped she’d be in the constituency.

“And the role of an MP in a lot of cases can be to hold the council to account and to be raising the profile of some issues, which she has not done.

“Tameside Council needed that. Look at the Levelling Up Funding that was awarded in 2021, nothing has happened.

“It should have been her role to go out there and really fight for that to drive that forward. Residents we spoke to are disappointed that hasn’t happened.

“She has been focussed on her own position rather than the residents of Ashton-under-Lyne.”


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