By Davie Heaton
Oldham Election Preview
Oldham was pinpointed as a key battleground before the election and is currently controlled by a Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition.
Unlike Westminster, it is the Liberal Democrats who are the senior partner with 27 seats to the three held by the Conservatives.
Labour hold 27 seats will be hopeful of taking overall control tomorrow as the Liberal
Democrats are defending small majorities in a number of wards.
It also has to be noted that there are no BNP candidates standing in Oldham for the first time since the 2001 race riots.
The current Lib Dem council is defending its tenure on the grounds of reduced anti-social behaviour and financial stability.
However, it has come in for heavy criticism for its role in the collapse of plans for Oldham Athletic’s new stadium in Failsworth.
Lib Dem Cabinet members Kay Knox and Mark Alcock are defending their seats in Waterhead and Shaw respectively, while Labour leader Jim McMahon is up for Failsworth East.
Wards to watch are the particularly fragile Lib Dem held Hollinwood and Coldhurst, while veteran former Lib Dem mayor Jim McArdle has stood down from St James – leaving it up for grabs.