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Results & Constituencies
 
 Lancashire West
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Colin Pickthall Labour 23,404 54.5 -5.8
Jeremy Myers Conservative 13,761 32.0 +2.9
John Thornton Liberal Democrat 4,966 11.6 +4.4
David Hill Independent 523 1.2  
David Braid Independent 317 0.7  
Majority 9,643 22.4
Turnout 42,971 59.0 -15.6
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 4.4% from Labour to Conservative

Description
The seat is starkly divided between (usually) super-loyal Conservative wards centred around the town of Ormskirk such as Aughton Park and Aughton Town Green and the New Town of Skelmersdale which have provided Labour with greater, if not fanatical, support. In 1997 there was no doubt which face of the seat won the day.

Lancashire West was created in 1983 when the old Ormskirk seat was split in two to form this seat and Knowsley North. The Conservative Ken Hind won the first two contests in this constituency in 1983 and 1987, but eventually lost to Colin Pickthall in 1992, who won by more than 2,000 votes on a 2.7% swing.

Skelmersdale, thought of by many visitors as bleak, windy and hilly, has never been one of the more successful New Towns. Besides chronic levels of unemployment, there have been major problems in attracting and keeping a population and a large number of houses stand empty despite attempts to sell them at rock bottom prices - under 3,000 in some cases. Situated in the south west corner of Lancashire, the seat borders the seaside resorts of Formby and Southport to the east and the Merseyside towns of Kirkby and Maghull to the south.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Lancashire West
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Colin Pickthall Labour 33,022 60.3
Chris Varley Conservative 15,903 29.1
Arthur Wood Liberal Democrat 3,938 7.2
Mike Carter Referendum 1,025 1.9
John Collins Natural Law 449 0.8
David Hill Independent 392 0.7
Majority 17,119 31.3
Turnout 54,729 74.6
 
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