Preston remained in the red on election night with the Labour party increasing their majority hold in the city after gaining another two seats in the local elections.Advertisement
The first win, was in the College ward, which covers a central and eastern area of Fulwood near Preston’s College.
And it was a fresh-faced, first-time Labour campaigner who managed to steal the much-coveted seat from the Tories grasp, with 734 votes to the Conservative’s 500.
Freddie Bailey, 22, became the first Labour candidate to take a College Ward seat – although he may only hold it for a year as the ward disappears with the 2019 boundary review.
Read more: Recap all the action as it happened from the Preston local elections 2018 count
He said: “It feels great to have won!
“We thought it would be close, and we had a really good campaign in the run up to the election, and a really good day today, but we didn’t think we would win by that much of a majority.”
Freddie teamed up with Councillor Frank DeMolfetta during the campaign, taking his advice and working alongside the Lancashire County Council Labour councillor to try and meet as many people as he possibly could in the College Ward area.
He continued: “We worked together to try to meet as many voters as possible and we tried to be honest with them on their doorsteps and encourage them to vote.
“What we found helped was the Preston Model.
“People aren’t as involved with the local elections as they are with the general elections, so I wanted to tap into that using the Preston Model.
“The win feels quite fulfilling; we just need to repay the residents now.”
Labour also picked up a seat in the Garrison Ward, with Anna Hindle winning the majority of the votes in what she earlier predicted would be a close battle between the parties.
Anna received 881 votes to Paul Whalley’s 774 meaning the Tories were stripped of another hotly contested seat.
Read more: Full ward-by-ward breakdown of Preston City Council election results
Councillor Neil Cartwright, Conservative group leader in Preston, said: “We knew College would be the key battleground but Labour’s discipline won it there.
“They were out on a Sunday night and canvassing for it. We had calls about that.
“They have more boots on the ground [Labour] than we did, and it’s up to us to rebuild and come back in 2019.
“There is a more level playing field next year and with the ward boundaries there is all to play for.
“We need to analyse what’s happened in Garrison ward.”
Read more: Here’s the new ward boundaries for Preston in 2019
What did you make of the election results? Let us know your views in the comments below