This predominantly middle class constituency which embraces both Crosby and Formby was considered a safe Tory seat until Clare Curtis-Tansley (now Curtis-Thomas) increased Labour’s share of the vote by 22% to oust Tory Sir Malcolm Thornton in 1997.
Lying north of Liverpool on the way to Southport, Crosby is a residential constituency. It has a comparatively low unemployment rate of 3.5% with most of its residents commuting into Liverpool to work in the service industries. Formby is home to a high number of retired people.
The seat has its own ‘Millionaires' Row’ in the Freshfield neighbourhood of Formby, whilst Blundellsands in Crosby is a much-sought after residential area. Moreover, Merchant Taylor’s School, Waterloo Rugby Club, the Northern Cricket Club and Marine FC are all local institutions which consider themselves elite. Their presence and the desirable real estate confirm Crosby as one of the wealthier constituencies in Merseyside.
Labour was forced into third place when Shirley Williams famously took the seat for the SDP in the 1981 by-election.