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Sir Mark Hendrick remains as Preston’s MP but majority is reduced

Posted on - 5th July, 2024 - 7:18am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News
Sir Mark Hendrick at the Preston count Pic: Blog Preston

Preston stayed red but didn’t follow the national swing to Labour as the city’s MP saw a reduction in his majority.

With ten candidates standing, Sir Mark Hendrick overcame the crowded field to continue as the city’s MP and looks let to potentially nearly make the 30 year mark of serving Preston.

In his 24th year as the city’s MP he will have a four or five year term – despite seeing his majority of more than 12,000 reduced to 5,291. There was a -22% vote share change for Mr Hendrick in the general election.

Read more: Recap all our general election updates from the counts

This was due to the standing of independent candidate Michael Lavelette on a pro-Palestine slate.

Sir Mark said after the result, speaking to Blog Preston: “I’m very pleased. I was fairly confident but I knew it would be a difficult election because of everything that’s going on in the world at the moment.

“I’m glad to get the opportunity and the privilege to carry on for the next four or five years to make a contribution and to improve the lives of people of Preston who for the last 14 years have had to endure some terrible circumstances.

“The Conservative support has collapsed and people are wondering where to go. Obviously we had our problems as well, with some of the Independents who had concerns about global issues.

“But I think the result shows for most Prestonians it’s about putting food on the table, it’s about the NHS, it’s about children’s future – and the issues right here, right now in the city.”

You can listen to the full post-election result interview with Sir Mark below or on Soundcloud.

Speaking before the result, Mr Lavelette said his ‘targets had been met’ for the election.

Michael Lavelette targeted his campaign at the Muslim areas of the city Pic: Blog Preston

He told Blog Preston: “I think what we’ve achieved in a relatively short space of time is quite extraordinary.

“I’ve seen so many young people mobilise and they are talking about the issues that matter to them and supporting each other.

“Our first aim was to not lose our deposit, and then secondly we wanted to beat the established parties – and we did, with the exception of Labour.”

In a number of wards in the city then Mr Lavelette polled more votes than Sir Mark.

Leading the chasing pack was Reform’s James Elliot – taking 14 per cent of the total votes – who told Blog Preston: “We’re only just getting started and I think as people get to find out more about us then this will build even more.”

Meanwhile Conservative candidate, and former Preston Mayor, Trevor Hart was beaten into fourth place – with 5,212 votes.

Mr Hart said: “Look it’s been a torrid time for the Conservatives but I am still upbeat – I’ve had my battles and I gave a good account of myself in this campaign.

“Ten candidates is just unheard of and you can see how the votes have moved around. It’s quite something.”

Read more: Ribble Valley elects first ever Labour MP as massive Conservative majority overturned

Liberal Democrat candidate, and another former Mayor, Neil Darby finished with 8 per cent of the vote, not seeing the Lib Dem bounce that happened elsewhere in the country.

He said: “We focused on the areas we knew to ensure our supporters came out to vote, and we also put a lot of effort into the Lea and Larches by-election.

“So while a general election result would have been nice, for us having that presence and growing that base on the city council is of equal importance locally.”

Watch the election result being announced in the video below and Sir Mark’s victory speech or on Facebook

Multi-millionaire Yousuf Bhailok lost his deposit with 891 votes, as did Rejoin EU’s Joseph O’Meachair, Alliance for Democracy and Freedom’s David Brooks and UKIP’s Derek Killeen and the Greens Isabella Metcalf-Reiner.

Mr Bhailok told Blog Preston: “It is wonderful to be here and see the count. I am proud of having stood and have run the campaign we have.

“But no, I don’t think I would stand again. This was the time, but it wasn’t to be.”

Turnout for the election was down compared to 2019, with 51.86% compared to 56.8%.

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