Oldham by-election

Pundits and politicians are gearing up for the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election next week.

The constituency was forced to run another race after Labour MP Phil Woolas' victory was negated by a special court judgement which found he had knowingly misled voters in his campaign literature.

The Liberal Democrats are expected to suffer at the hands of voters for their cooperation with the Tories in government, despite coming close to winning the vote at the election.

Labour is widely tipped to win the race as the opposition capitalises on discontent with the deficit reduction programme.

David Cameron has been accused of running a 'soft' campaign. The prime minister does not want his coalition partners humiliated in the contest - a development which would heap further pressure on Nick Clegg.

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