By-election could decide Opposition

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WIGAN goes to the polls again today.

Booths opened this morning for the Metro’s Wigan Central by-election and will continue until to accept voters from among the 9,358 constituency until 10pm this evening.

The four-cornered fight was triggered by the removal of sitting Conservative councillor Henry Cadman from the council because of his battle with ill-health.

The eventual winner of the hustings will only stand until the end of former Wigan and Leigh College engineering lecturer Mr Cadman’s term of existing term of office in May 2012.

However the result could have a direct bearing on the political complexion of the council over the next 15 months.

If the Conservatives successfully hold the seat they will be the official opposition group to ruling Labour at the Metro, which will also give them the right to representation on outside bodies.

They have had to share this with the Independent Group – each ha sseven councillors – since the defection of Hindley Green’s Coun Bob Brierley from the Independents last month.

There are six polling stations in operation: Woodfield Junior and Infants School, Tax Offices Car Park, Wigan Scout Headquarters, Crompton Street Social Centre, St Michael’s Parish Hall and Whitley Methodist Church Hall.

l The full list of candidates for the by-election: Robin Gibson (Con); Gareth Fairhurst (Ind Cons); Lawrence Hunt (Lab); Keith Davies (UKIP).