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Results & Constituencies
 
 Leigh
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Andrew Burnham Labour 22,783 64.5 -4.4
Andrew Oxley Conservative 6,421 18.2 +2.6
Ray Atkins Liberal Democrat 4,524 12.8 +1.6
William Kelly Socialist Labour 820 2.3  
Chris Best UK Independence 750 2.1  
Majority 16,362 46.4
Turnout 35,298 49.7 -16.0
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 3.5% from Labour to Conservative

Description
Nestled between Manchester and Liverpool to the South West of Wigan lie the eponymous town and small working-class communities that make up the parliamentary constituency of Leigh. Lawrence Cunliffe, MP here since 1979, currently enjoys a majority of 24,496 - the largest of his career so far.

1995 boundary changes lessened Mr Cunliffe’s notional majority by 2,000 to 16,855 but the national surge towards Labour in 1997 more than compensated for local changes. Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council is almost wholly composed of Labour members so it is no surprise that every ward in this seat elected at least one Labour councillor in 1999.

Although this seat has suffered as much as any in the region through the decline of traditional mining and textile industries, it is far from being poverty-stricken. Light industry for instance, in the form of printing and electronics, is now well established in Leigh, Atherton and Hindley. Unemployment is below average and 70% of homes are owner-occupied. The name itself, meaning "meadow" reveals Leigh’s rural origins and, until the late 1800s, the district was noted for its dairy produce, especially cheese.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Leigh
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Lawrence Cunliffe Labour 31,652 68.9
Edward Young Conservative 7,156 15.6
Peter Hough Liberal Democrat 5,163 11.2
Roy Constable Referendum 1,949 4.2
Majority 24,496 53.3
Turnout 45,920 65.7
 
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