Kamis, 13 Januari 2011

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Wednesday 12 January 2011 at 10.30pm on BBC 2
Presented by Emily Maitlis

Tonight we're in Oldham East and Saddleworth, and joined by a live studio audience and top politicians to mark this first electoral test of the Coalition.

I've just walked into a tea dance in the very room in which former Labour minister Phil Woolas was ejected from his seat.

There, to the strains of a sequence waltz, Oldham's rather sprightly seniors are showing that even on the greyest day of year this place does not conform to the nickname bestowed on it by (largely southern) journos. Old and Sad it ain't.

Tomorrow the dancers and the rest of this Pennine-nestled town will be asked to vote in the first by-election of the year, and of the Coalition government.

Luminous orange works well in the dark and, if the poster campaign is anything to go by, the Lib Dems have won that contest at least.

But they might not get the same glow from the voters themselves this time - by-elections tend to be much less cuddly when you're in government.

Tonight a studio audience of local voters from across the political spectrum get to put their questions to Conservative Baroness Warsi, President of the Lib Dems Tim Farron, and the shadow work and pensions secretary, Douglas Alexander.

Michael Crick reports from the ground, plus we bring you the latest from PMQs, and new revelations about the government's plans to curb bankers' bonuses.

Will Oldham's MP be voted in on local issues? Or will the politics of Westminster, the issues of trust and the grievances that people feel more widely with their leaders define the result?

It's all to play for here on the last day of the campaign.

Join me at 10.30pm on BBC Two from Oldham.


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