There is no fixed definition of a marginal seat in UK politics although it is generally acccepted that the key seats that could be viewed as marginal are the 192 UK constituencies that have a 10% majority or less and therefore would require a 5% swing one way or t’other to produce a change.
Hazel Grove in 2010 produced a 15% majority for Stunnell ( LibDem) over the alliterative Annersley Abercorn ( Conservative ) but there are still elements of this election which suggest it may be more marginal than the numbers suggest. In any event the Tory and Lib Dem strategists obviously think so due to the disproportionate numbers of big players that have hit town.
So far for the Lib Dems , we have had two visits from Nick Clegg and one from Danny Alexander ( Well, nearly, he probably had to drive through the constituency to find his leader in a deserted pub car park on Werneth Low ) and Miriam Clegg girl guiding.
The Conservatives are obviously targetting here with an early foray from Boris Johnson, two visits from David Cameron, one from Education secretary Nicky Morgan and a pep talk for Marple’s burgeoning Bullingdon club boys in the Ring of Bells.
David Cameron in pumped up mode
Nicky Morgan ( on the left , or the right I should say )
George Osborne in the Ring of Bells, Marple.
The other parties seem to be leaving their candidates to fend for themselves, although this may not be the case as the more perceptive may have noticed the following:
Ed Miliband eating a sandwich in the Golden Plate in Marple:
Ed Balls coming on as a substitute for Real Offerton last Sunday:
Nigel Farage in a Newsagent in Bredbury ( Is the shopkeeper indicating the number of UKIP seats? ):
Natalie Bennett of the Green party possibly seen in Etherow Park:
In any event, most of these visits are remarkably stage managed, as observed by Manchester Evening News journalist, Jennifer Williams, in this Spectator article here
No one from the great unwashed has any idea of when these big names are descending upon us. The texts to the party faithful go out, the battle bus appears , the visit done with a chosen and partisan few and the bus leaves before anything embarrassing happens. Another bit of fluff for the TV or National newspaper and all encounters with “Bigoted Women” carefully kept off the Red top front pages or Six o’clock news.