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7th May 2022

Local Elections 2022: Fallowfield has lowest turnout across Manchester

Turnout has fallen across the city – here’s everything you need to know from the student wards.
Local Elections 2022: Fallowfield has lowest turnout across Manchester
A Polling Station at dusk in Withington WardPhoto: Joe McFadden @ The Mancunion

Greater Manchester, like the rest of the country, went to the polls yesterday (May 5) to vote in the 2022 Local elections. 32 seats across the city were up for election out of a total 96 seats. 

In this election, candidates are elected to the Manchester City Council – comprised of the following wards:

Charlestown, Cheetham, Crumpsall, Harpurhey, Higher Blackley, Anocats and Beswick, Ardwick, Clayton and Openshaw, Deansgate, Hulme, Miles Platting and Newton Heath, Moss Side, Moston, Piccadilly, Fallowfield, Gorton and Abbey Hey, Levenshulme, Longsight, Rusholme, Whalley Range, Burnage, Chorlton Park, Didsbury East, Didsbury West, Old Moat, Withington, Baguley, Brooklands, Northenden, Sharston, and Woodhouse Park.

The electorate was comprised of 380,735 voters, with turnout across the city varying from 44.61% in Didsbury East and Didsbury West to just 15.22% in Fallowfield. 

Labour held 92 of their previous 93 seats in the Manchester council, losing one to the Green Party. This means that the overall makeup of the council is 92 seats held by Labour, 2 held by the Liberal Democrats and 2 held by the Green Party. 

Here’s a breakdown of the results in the ten wards with the highest concentration of student residents: 


Ardwick: Labour hold

Tarjuah Tina Hewitson has been elected the Councillor for Ardwick, representing the Labour Party. 

Hewitson has held the seat since a by-election in 2012 following the death of former Lord Mayor Tom O’Callaghan, managing to gain re-election in 2018 with 72% of the vote. 

2022 saw Hewiston re-elected with 1936 votes – a decrease from 2018’s 2012. Turnout was also down with only 18.99% of eligible voters casting a ballot compared to 20.3% last year.

Hewitson sits on multiple committees, including the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee and the Overview and Scrutiny Ofsted Subgroup.

Her ward of Ardwick is located one mile south-east of Manchester city centre.

The candidate closest to Hewistson was Callum Patrick Wood of the Conservative Party, who received 201 votes. The Green’s George Joshua Morris received 199 votes whilst the Liberal Democrat candidate Melvin Nii Adjei Sowah received 104 total votes.


Deansgate: Labour hold

Labour Councillor, Joan Davies, has managed to keep their seat for this ward. Davies kept the ward in a landslide victory. 

Her closest competitor was John Richard Bridges of the Liberal Democrats. Bridges, however, only got 292 votes as compared to Davies’ 1033.

Davies had been first elected as the councillor of the city centre in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. Since the wards were changed in 2018 she has been the councillor of Deansgate.

She has been sitting on the Resources & Governance Scrutiny Committee and the Planning & Licensing Committee.

This ward is the western half of the city centre and includes student accommodations such as River Street Tower and Vita. 

Here the voter turn-out was 20.05%. This was a huge fall in voter turnout as the previous elections saw 28.9% turnout. 


Hulme: Labour hold

Lee-Ann Igbon has been re-elected Councillor for Hulme, receiving 1902 votes from a total electorate of 13,192. 

The overall turnout in Hulme was 20.09%, a decrease from 2018’s turnout of 22.3% of the electorate.

Igbon’s seat was contested by the 3 other major parties with her closest rival being Green Party Candidate Chris Ogden, who received 401 votes. The Liberal Democrats and Conservative Party candidates, Gary McKenna and William Watermeyer, received 173 votes and 151 votes, respectively.

Interestingly, Watermeyer is the Chair of Manchester Young Conservatives. 

Igbon also chairs the Environment and Climate Change Scrutiny Committee.

Hulme sits directly south of the city centre.


Fallowfield: Labour hold

Labour Councillor Ali Raza Ilyas has held his seat in a landslide victory as well. He won 1,157 votes, while his closest competitor Hannah Charter of the Green Party won just 245 votes.

Ilyas is the assistant executive member of skills at the Manchester City Council. He has been the councillor in Fallowfield since 2017.

Ilyas has also introduced key changes to Manchester, such as stopping Manchester Christmas markets from using single-use plastics.

This ward comprises of the Fallowfield Campus of the University as well as multiple private accommodations.

However, the turnout in this ward was very low. Out of more than 10,000 residents who could have voted, only 15.22% actually did. This is a 4% drop in turn-out from last year. 


Longsight: Labour hold

Labour Councillor Abid Latif Chohan keeps his seat in Longsight. He received 83% of the votes in the ward. He won against the Conservatives’ Shanana Choudhury, who received a mere 6.3% of the vote. 

Chohan, from May 15 2022, will be the new Lord Mayor of Manchester. He was born in Pakistan and has helped in founding many Pakistani heritage organisations in the city. 

He has also sat on multiple committees in the council. This includes Children and Young People, Communities, Neighbourhoods, Environment, and the Planning and Highways Committee.  

He has served as the Licensing and Appeals committee’s deputy chair. 

This ward contains many student accommodations, as it lies in the Manchester neighbourhood of Victoria Park. 

Voter turnout here was at 23.18%. Here too turn-out has fallen as compared to previous elections. The previous elections saw a turnout of 30.17% in this ward. 


Moss Side: Labour hold

Erinma Bell has been elected for the first-time as a Labour Councillor. Bell was elected with 20.49% of the vote – a total of 2343 votes. 

Bell was made an Honorary Professor at the University of Salford after her charity work and peace activism led her to receive an MBE. Partnering with her husband, Bell started the charity CARISMA (Community Alliance for Renewal, Inner South Manchester Area) to tackle gun violence in Moss Side.

Moss Side is located near to the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, being home to many students from both universities. 


Old Moat: Labour hold

Labour Councillor Suzannah Mary Reeves keeps her seat in Old Moat. She received 71.86% of the vote in the ward.

Her closest competitor was the Green Party candidate, Stace Wright. Wright received 12.2% of the vote. 

Reeves serves as the Labour Party Whip in Manchester. By being the Whip, her job is to ensure that all elected members of the Labour vote a certain way.  Along with this she is also the Associate Principal of the Oldham Sixth Form college. 

Reeves has been the elected councillor from Old Moat since 2010. She has also been a part of the Constitutional and Nomination committee, as well as the Health Scrutiny committee. 

Old Moat too saw a drop in voter turn-out. In 2021, the turn-out was at 29.99%, however on Thursday it fell to 24.19%.


Piccadilly: Labour Hold 

Labour party candidate Adele Nicola Douglas, won the 2022 local election. Douglas pipped the Green Party candidate who came in a distant second, 622 votes behind. Turnout was down significantly, from 28.7% in 2021 to 21.47% this year.

The Liberal Democrat candidate Allison Jayne Harrison and Conservative candidate Alexander Braham, came in third and fourth respectively.

 Douglas will balance becoming a councillor with her studies at MMU, studying Peterloo and collective memory.

She ran on a campaign to protect the city’s heritage, tackle litter and graffiti and make the city safer for women, among other policies.

In 2021, Labour’s Jon-Connor Lyons won the Piccadilly election, winning by a large margin of 957 over Green Party candidate Chris Perriam. Chris Northwood finished third and Siqi Lin finished fourth, running for the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives respectively. 


Rusholme: Labour hold

Labour Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar has kept his seat in this election. He received 86.9% of the vote in Rusholme ward. 

Akbar beat out the Liberal Democrats candidate Mohamed Belal Sabbagh. Sabbagh received 6.2% of the vote. 

Akbar has been the Executive Member for Neighbourhoods at the Manchester City Council. However, in 2021 he was suspended for this role due to allegations of ‘public disorder.’

These allegations have been suspected to be due to an internal debate within Manchester Labour on who the leader of the council will be.

Akbar has been involved in the community of his ward, along with attending many Eid celebrations.

Like other wards, in Rusholme too the turnout has fallen. The turn-out this year was 22.33% which is a 4% drop from last year’s turn-out.


Withington: Labour Hold

Labour candidate Angela Gartside won the 2022 Withington local council election, narrowly beating Liberal democrat April Preston, by 246 votes. 

Gartside’s key policies involve making Withington safer by looking to decrease anti-social behaviour and improving pavements. She is also looking to increase funding for Ladybarn Park. 

There were two other candidates in the Withington local election: Sam Easterbury-Smith of the Green Party, Michael Charles Barnes of the Conservative party, who finished third and fourth respectively. 

Turnout was 29.39%, meaning the number of those who voted was down from 34.08% in the previous election.

The Withington local council was previously headed by Labour Councillor Chris Willis. Willis won the 2021 election with 2146 votes, almost 900 votes more than the runner-up, Liberal Democrat April Preston.

Joe McFadden

Joe McFadden

Managing Editor (2022/23) | Highly Commended for Outstanding Commitment in the North (SPA Regional Awards 2023) | Highly Commended Best Arts & Culture piece in the UK (SPA National Awards 2023) | Shortlisted for Best Reporter in the UK (SPA National Awards 2021)

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