Ericsson may sell two UK factories earmarked for closure in September, possibly saving 1200 jobs, following efforts by Trade and Industry Minister Stephen Byers.
The Labour Party has been criticised for not doing enough to save manufacturing jobs following its failure to persuade Motorola to keep its Bathgate plant open, and the losses of other IT manufacturing jobs in Scotland's so-called Silicon Glen.
However, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Byers been closely involved in efforts to find buyers for the two Ericsson plants.
Should a sale be agreed before the election, it would boost Labour's credentials as champions of manufacturing.
But industry observers have felt that Labour has become increasingly indifferent to job losses in the manufacturing sector.
Ericsson said in March that it planned to close plants at Carlton in Nottinghamshire - an area hit hard by the decline of the coal industry - and Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire.
The manufacturer decided earlier this year to outsource all handset production to Singapore-based Flextronics, and then decided to team up with consumer giant Sony in a new venture to sell phones under the name Sony Ericsson.
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