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New constituency boundaries and candidates in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble for the 2024 general election

Posted on - 26th May, 2024 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - Chorley News, Fylde News, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
The skyline of Preston Pic: Mick Gardner
The skyline of Preston Pic: Mick Gardner

With the general election campaign now well under way, this is how the contests are shaping up in each of the constituencies around Preston, South Ribble and Chorley ahead of the big vote on 4th July (candidate lists are incomplete as the deadline for nominations is 7th June, while references to incumbent or current MPs refer to the holders of the seat up until 30th May when Parliament will be dissolved and there will be no MPs).

Some of the constituencies we have included in here no longer include areas in and around Preston – but did previously so have been included for clarity.

Preston

State of play

Labour’s Sir Mark Hendrick – who has represented the constituency since 2000 – will be seeking to extend his stay as the city’s MP beyond the 25-year mark at this summer’s poll.  At the last election in 2019, he secured a 12,146 majority – and a  61.8 percent share of the vote – over his Conservative rival, who trailed in a distant second place.   The Brexit Party – which has since morphed into Reform UK – took just over five percent of the total votes cast.

Candidates so far announced for the 2024 vote include the deputy Liberal Democrat group leader on Preston City Council, Neil Darby, and former Preston city councillor Michael Lavalette, who previously sat on the authority for parties including the Socialist Alliance and the Respect Party, but will be standing at the election as an independent.

Read more: Prominent Preston City Council Labour councillor David Borrow resigns triggering by-election for Lea and Larches

The consistency has been held by Labour since it emerged in something close to its current form in 1983.

Major boundary changes

On the western edge of the city, the Preston seat will gain from the Fylde constituency those parts of the Ingol and Cottam and Lea and Larches wards that it does not already contain – which is the majority of them.

Elsewhere, Garrison and Cadley will join the Preston constituency from the soon-to-be-defunct Wyre and Preston North seat, a move which will put the whole of Cadley in the same parliamentary patch – only a small western portion currently sits in the Preston voting area for general elections.

Candidates

Yousuf Bhailok – Independent

David Brooks – Alliance for Democracy and Freedom

Neil Darby – Liberal Democrats

James Elliot – Reform UK

Trevor Hart – Conservative

Sir Mark Hendrick (incumbent) – Labour and Co-operative Party

Derek Killeen – UKIP

Michael Lavalette – Independent

Izzy Metcalf-Riener – Green Party

Joseph O’Meachair – Rejoin EU

South Ribble

State of play

The seat, which includes western parts of the Chorley Council area, is currently held by Conservative politician Katherine Fletcher who was first elected in 2019.  Back then, she enjoyed a 11,199 majority – a 55.8 percent vote share – and is standing again in the hope of securing a second term as the constituency’s representative.

She will be challenged this time by the Labour leader of South Ribble Borough Council, Paul Foster, who has run the authority for the past five years.  The seat is 95th on Labour’s target list nationally, as determined by the degree of swing needed towards the party to win it – 8.65 percent.  Liberal Democrat borough councillor Ange Turner is amongst the other candidates who will be vying for votes.

Since its formation in 1983, the seat has mirrored the national election result – being Tory-held from 1983 until 1997, taken by Labour between 1997 and 2010 and then returning to the Conservatives in and since 2010.

Major boundary changes  

The seat will gain the Farington East and Farington West wards from the Ribble Valley constituency, as well as the parts of the Eccleston, Heskin and Charnock Richard ward that it does not already cover.

Meanwhile, Hesketh-with-Becconsall, North Meols and Tarleton will all be subsumed into an expanded Southport seat.

Candidates

Katherine Fletcher (incumbent) – Conservative Party

Paul Foster – Labour Party

Andy Hunter – Reform UK

Stephani Karyim Mok – Green Party

Ange Turner – Liberal Democrats

Chorley

State of play

For the second election in a row, Chorley’s current MP is the Speaker of the House of Commons, putting the constituency in a unique position.   The tradition is that the major parties do not contest the parliamentary seat held by the Speaker.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been in that role since 2019, but has represented Chorley since 1997 – initially for Labour before having to renounce party affiliation when he ascended to the Speaker’s chair.

At the 2019 poll, he snapped up a majority of 17,362 votes and the largest vote share in Lancashire at 67.3 percent, ahead of a Green Party and an independent candidate who challenged him for his seat.   Sir Lindsay will again face a contest from the Greens, the only party to have announced a candidate in Chorley so far.

Major boundary changes 

The whole of the Eccleston, Heskin and Charnock Richard ward will move to within the South Ribble seat – a total of almost 6,000 voters. Currently, only Eccleston is in the South Ribble voting area, while Heskin Green, Charnock Green and Charnock Richard are all in the Chorley constituency.

Candidates

Ben Holden-Crowther – Democracy for Chorley

Sir Lindsay Hoyle (incumbent) – Speaker seeking re-election

Graham Moore – English Constitution Party, Independence for England

Martin Powell-Davies – Trade Union and Socialist Coalition

Mark Tebbutt – Green Party

Ribble Valley

State of play

The Ribble Valley constituency has been significantly redrawn for the forthcoming election – losing the Clitheroe and Whalley areas which currently sit at the heart of it.

The seat – which includes eastern parts of the South Ribble Borough Council area, including Bamber Bridge and Walton-le-Dale – has been represented by veteran Conservative MP Nigel Evans for the past 32 years. Mr. Evans, a deputy speaker of the Commons, is seeking re-election once again.  On the current boundaries back in 2019, he secured the largest numerical majority in Lancashire – 18,439 votes – and a 60.3 percent vote share.   Amongst his challengers this time are the Liberal Democrat group leader on Preston City Council, John Potter.

Apart from a brief period when it was held by the Liberal Democrats in 1991/92 following a by-election, the constituency has been a Tory stronghold since its formation in 1983.

Major boundary changes

In the east of the constituency, the Chatburn, East Whalley, Read & Simonstone, Edisford and Low Moor, Littlemoor, Primrose, Sabben, Salthill, St. Mary’s, Whalley and Painter Wood, and Wiswell and Barrow wards are all decanted into the new Pendle and Clitheroe seat.

Meanwhile, on the western side, the Farington East and Farington West wards will move into the South Ribble constituency.  The new Ribble Valley seat acquires the Preston City Council wards of Greyfrairs, Sharoe Green, Preston Rural North and Preston Rural East.

Candidates

Qasim Ajmi – Independent

John Carroll – Reform UK

Maya Ellis – Labour Party

Nigel Evans (incumbent) – Conservative Party

Caroline Montague – Green Party

John Potter – Liberal Democrats

West Lancashire

State of play

The seat – which has had the moniker Lancashire West at recent polls – has been Labour held since 1992, having been secured by the Conservatives for the first nine years after its formation in 1983.

It was won by the long-serving MP Rosie Cooper back in 2019, but she stepped down in 2023 to move into an NHS role and a by-election returned Labour’s Ashley Dalton as the new MP.  The latter’s majority – of 8,326 votes  – was almost identical to that of Ms. Copper, in spite of the by-election attracting approximately half the turnout of the 2019 poll.

Major boundary changes

Rufford moves into a broadened Southport seat.

Known candidates (as at 25th May, source: whocanivotefor.co.uk)

Ashley Dalton (incumbent) – Labour Party

Simon Evans – Reform UK

Charlotte Houltram – Green Party

Mike Prendergast – Conservative Party

Graham Smith – Liberal Democrats

Lancaster and Wyre

State of Play 

A reformed constituency for the 2024 election – having previously existed between 1997 and 2010 – it will absorb parts of the current Wyre and Preston North and Lancaster and Fleetwood seats, which are both being abolished.

The sitting Wyre and Preston North Conservative MP Ben Wallace – who was first elected in 2005 to the old Lancaster and Wyre seat and was defence secretary between 2019 and 2023 – is not standing for election again this year.  He won by a comfortable majority of 16,781 votes at the last election in 2019.    The current Lancaster and Fleetwood Labour MP Cat Smith is contesting the redrawn constituency.  She enjoys a majority of 2,380 in her present seat.

Wyre and Preston North has been Conservative held since it was formed in 2010, while Lancaster and Fleetwood was also taken by the Tories when it was created the same year, but was snatched by Labour in 2015 and retained by them since.

The new Lancaster and Wyre seat is 30th on Labour’s target list by virtue of the size of the swing needed to gain it from the Conservatives.  That calculation – made on behalf of the Press Association and major broadcasters – is based on a notional result from the 2019 election, had the constituency existed then.

Major boundary changes

In the Preston City Council area, the Greyfrairs, Sharoe Green, Preston Rural North and Preston Rural East wards – totalling more than 23,000 residents – will all shift into the revamped Ribble Valley constituency from their current home in Wyre and Preston North. The Garrison and Cadley wards will move from that constituency into the Preston seat.

The Skerton East and Skerton West wards will move into the new Lancaster and Wyre constituency from their present home in Morecambe and Lunesdale.

New seat’s boundaries 

The full list of wards which fall under the new Lancaster and Wyre seat is:  Brock with Catterall, Calder, Garstang, Great Eccleston, Hambleton and Stalmine, Pilling, Preesall and Wyresdale – all in the Wyre Council area – and Bulk, Castle, Ellel, John O’Gaunt, Marsh, Scotforth East, Scotforth West, Skerton East, Skerton West, and University and Scotforth Rural, in the Lancaster City Council area.

Candidates

Nigel Alderson – Reform UK

Peter Cartridge – Conservative Party

Jack Lenox – Green Party

Matthew Severn – Liberal Democrats

Cat Smith (incumbent in Lancaster and Fleetwood) – Labour Party

Fylde

State of play 

Incumbent MP Mark Menzies – who has represented the seat since 2010 – announced last month he was standing down after an investigation by the Conservative Party found he had shown a “pattern of behaviour” that fell below the standard expected of MPs – although he was cleared of claims he had misused party funds.  He had already resigned the Tory whip and has since sat as an independent.

Mr. Menzies secured a healthy majority of 16.611 back in 2019 and a 60.9 percent vote share in a seat that has been won only by the Tories in a history which dates back to 1918.  The constituency disappeared in 1950, before being reformed in 1983.

Major boundary changes

The Breck, Hardhorn with High Cross and Tithebarn wards will join from the axed Wyre and Preston North constituency.

The parts of the Ingol and Cottam and Lea and Larches wards that currently sit in Fylde will move into the Preston seat.

Candidates

Anne Aitken – Independent

Tom Calver – Labour Party

Mark Jewell – Liberal Democrats

Cheryl Morrison – Alliance for Democracy and Freedom

Andrew Snowden – Conservative Party

Brenden Wilkinson – Green Party

Brook Wimbury – Reform UK

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