Andy, I'm not sure where you got the idea that Trafford would be an "easy Tory hold". From what I've heard, Labour were hopeful of NOC this year - in the end they made only one extra gain over what they won last year. Yes, the majorities in those Tory holds were small but this result is a massive disappointment for Labour.
Next election here should be interesting to see whether labour make any further progress. If labour repeat the performance on this year, they will only gain 1 extra seat (Broadheath). If they are looking at getting becoming the largest party then the seats of St Mary's, both Davyhulme seats and Flixton should be within their sights.
NOC with the conservatives as the largest party is the most likely outcome if labour do well in 2014.
From the 2010 elections:
Labour: Bucklow St Martins Clifford Gorse Hill Longford Priory Sale Moor Stretford Urmston
Conservative: Altrincham Ashton Upon Mersey Bowdon Broadheath Brooklands Davyhulme East Davyhulme West Flixton Hale Barns Hale Central St Mary's
Lib Dem: Timperley Village
Last Edit: May 14, 2012 11:27:25 GMT by thirdchill
A conservative who has always lived in labour areas.
This looks like a solid Conservative hold. I expect the Labour chatter to come to nothing, as it did last year when a few Labour activists got carried away on Twitter and blogs. All that did was alert the Conservatives to the added threat in Broadheath ward.
I am personally pleased that Broadheath turned Labour this year. I was part of a delegation who on a couple of occasions went over to help Andrew Leask in his innovative grassroots campaign in 2011, which saw the sitting Conservative Lord Mayor of Trafford come within 122 votes of losing his seat. It was an incredible effort, running all the latest campaign techniques (the campaign organiser had been part of the Ohio Democrats 2008 team) and with a great local candidate, really attuned to his community.
I have to confess though that I may have been partly responsible for some of the press the campaign got which tipped the Tories off... but it is hard to run an open and inclusive activist-intensive, community-based campaign without at least some of the opposition noticing!