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Results & Constituencies
 
 Pendle
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Gordon Prentice Labour 17,729 44.6 -8.7
Rasjid Skinner Conservative 13,454 33.9 +3.6
David Whipp Liberal Democrat 5,479 13.8 +2.2
Chris Jackson BNP 1,976 5.0  
Graham Cannon UK Independence 1,094 2.8  
Majority 4,275 10.8
Turnout 39,732 63.2 -11.4
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 6.1% from Labour to Conservative

Description
Labour’s famous capital punishment reformer Sidney Silverman held the seat from 1934 until his death in 1968. Since then, Pendle has become far more marginal and has alternated between Labour and the Conservatives with the 3 elections between 1974 and 1979 failing to produce a majority greater than 700. Junior Minister John Lee seemed to break the trend in 1983 with a majority above 6,000, but this advantage was steadily eroded by rekindled support for Labour, culminating in Gordon Prentice’s 1992 victory with a majority of 2,000.

Although composed of working-class towns and villages which grew up during the 19th century textile industry, Pendle is far from the gritty, northern Labour enclave one might expect and the seat offers some hope for all three parties.

In recent years, the town’s ethnic population has grown, with more than half of residents in the central Nelson Ward of Whitefield being non-white. In fact, Pendle’s Asian population makes up almost 10% of the electorate.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Pendle
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Gordon Prentice Labour 25,059 53.3
John Midgley Conservative 14,235 30.3
Tony Greaves Liberal Democrat 5,460 11.6
Damian Hockney Referendum 2,281 4.8
Majority 10,824 23.0
Turnout 47,035 74.6
 
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