General election candidates for Heywood and Middleton North constituency confirmed

Date published: 10 June 2024

The candidates who will be fighting it out to become the new MP for Heywood and Middleton North have been announced.

The general election will take place on 4 July, following the shock announcement from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the end of May. A total of 650 seats are up for grabs across the country in the first nationwide election since 2019 – 27 of those seats are in Greater Manchester.

The MP for the area before parliament dissolved for the election, Chris Clarkson, announced last year he would be standing down due to constituency boundary changes dividing the seat into two. Prior to his election in 2019, Heywood & Middleton had always been represented by Labour in Parliament since the constituency was created in 1983.

Mr Clarkson has recently been confirmed as the Conservative candidate for Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire. Former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi was last elected to that seat – which the Tories have won at every election for more than 100 years – with a majority of 19,972.

Constituency borders have changed since the last election, meaning that the Rochdale borough is now be covered by three parliamentary constituencies instead of two.

Two wards in Middleton - East Middleton and South Middleton - are now part of the Blackley & Middleton South constituency.

Spotland & Falinge ward is no longer a part of the Rochdale constituency and has moved into the renamed Heywood & Middleton North constituency which already included Castleton, Norden and Bamford wards.

The changes mean that there are now nine council ward areas in the Rochdale constituency and nine in the new Heywood & Middleton North constituency compared with ten in each previously.

Hoping to turn the constituency of Heywood & Middleton North back to Labour will be Rochdale councillor Elsie Blundell. The Balderstone and Kirkholt ward representative is hopeful of becoming the area’s next MP.

The Conservatives have selected Rossendale councillor Laura-Beth Thompson as their candidate to replace Chris Clarkson.

Former councillor Chris Furlong announced last year that he will be running as an independent candidate for Heywood & Middleton North. Mr Furlong was a Labour councillor for North Middleton ward between 2014 and 2018, but was not re-selected to stand in the May 2018 local election.

Here is the full list of candidates for the Heywood and Middleton constituency:

  • Elsie Blundell (Labour)
  • Chris Furlong (Independent)
  • Steve Potter (Reform)
  • Tom Shaw (Liberal Democrats)
  • Laura-Beth Thomspon (Conservatives)

Residents have until 18 June to make sure they are on the electoral register and entitled to vote in the election. To register, go to

The closing date for requesting a postal vote is 19 June: go to, Remember voters need photo ID to vote in person on election day. Acceptable forms of ID are listed here: or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

Voters who do not have suitable photo ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate by 26 June – go to or call the helpline 0800 328 0280.

George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online