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Labour Wins West Lancashire Byelection With 10% Swing

Labour has retained the West Lancashire constituency in a byelection called after its MP, Rosie Cooper, resigned last autumn.

Ashley Dalton won with 14,068 votes. The Conservative candidate Mike Prendergast followed in second with 5,742. There was a 10% swing to Labour and nearly 11% away from the Tories. Turnout was 31.36%.

After thanking the Labour team, Cooper and the voters, Dalton said: “Tonight the people of West Lancashire constituency have spoken on behalf of the country. They’ve sent a message to this Conservative government: they do not have confidence in them to govern or the prime minister to lead.

“The people of Lancashire have put their trust in Keir Starmer’s Labour. We’ve provided hope, a hope that we can build a better Britain, which means a better Lancashire.

“These are testing times for our country, I have had hundreds of conversations with voters and I know how hard life has become and the unthinkable choices people are having to face. I have a plan to make West Lancashire a better place to live, work and grow old in.”

Across her campaign, the Labour activist and trade unionist pledged to improve local transport services, to increase policing in the area and to support constituents through the cost of living crisis.

Cooper, who had held the seat since 2005 with an 8,000 majority in 2019, announced her resignation in order to take up the job as chair of Mersey Care NHS foundation trust.

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The decision came a few years after she was targeted in a far-right plot, something she says “undoubtedly took its toll”.

Dalton has worked in grassroots activism for 30 years and before starting her campaign worked part-time for a Lancashire charity. She first became aware of the Labour party when working in her father’s florist shop aged 14, when someone placed an order for 40 red rose buttonholes ahead of a byelection count. She joined the party as a university student.

West Lancashire includes Skelmersdale, Ormskirk, Burscough and a cluster of smaller towns and villages. The constituency was created as the successor to Ormskirk before the 1983 general election.

Labour said the result was the worst for the Conservatives in West Lancashire since the constituency was created. It has been Labour-held since 1992, when Colin Pickthall was voted in to replace the Conservatives’ Ken Hind.

Dalton’s victory in West Lancashire marks the fifth byelection Labour has won since the 2019 general election.

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