Election Prediction Project
British General Election
West Lancashire

Current Prediction:
Election Profile:

Labour Party:
Colin Pickthall
Conservative Party:
Jeremy Myers
Liberal Democratic Party:
John Bridges

Colin Pickthall

97 Result:
Colin Pickthall
Chris Varley
Arthur Wood
Total Vote Count / Turnout

92 Result: (Redistributed)
Total Vote Count / Turnout

Demographic Profile:
< 1621.6%
65 <16.0%

Ethnic Origin:
Other non-white0.3%

Full Time61.8%
Part Time15.2%
Self Employed11.4%
Government Schemes1.7%

Household SEG:
I - Professional7.5%
II - Managerial/Technical32.1%
III - Skilled (non-manual)11.9%
IIIM - Skilled (manual)26.8%
IV - Partly Skilled14.9%
V - Unskilled3.6%

Own Residence69.3%
Rent Residence28.9%
Own Car(s)71.0%
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05/05/01 JR Email:
A very divided seat. It includes the market town of Ormskirk and lush arable farmland that is rich with Tory votes. For example the wards of Aughton Town Green and Aughton Park regularly produce 80%+ of the vote for the Tories in district council elections. However, it also includes Skelmersdale (or Skem as it is known to the locals). Skelmersdale was built as a new town in the sixties, to house 'overspill' population from Liverpool. However, most of the jobs in the town were wiped out in the eighties and it is now extremely deprived. Labour can often win more than 90% in some of the wards in the town. There is very little marginal territory (only three of the 25 district council wards produce close contests - Derby, Burscough and Lathom) so turnout can play a vital role. Given Labour's difficulties in mobilising its heartland vote in recent local elections - some of the wards in Skelmersdale only produced turnouts of 10-15% last year - Colin Pickthall's majority may be notably reduced, but it would take a nationwide catastrophe to completely remove his 17000 vote cushion. There is local embarrassment for Labour in the form of Frank McKenna, the ambitious former deputy leader of Lancashire county council. McKenna was Pickthall's agent last time and ran his constituency office. He is now facing criminal charges with regard to campaign expense returns. The local Labour party is being torn apart by feuding that has some element of Old Labour versus New Labour, but actually has much more to do with personalities, McKenna being one of the main protagonists. None of that will help Pickthall. On a lighter note, West Lancs is something of a stronghold for the Natural Law Party, who have a yogic flying training centre in the area. They ran candidates in every ward in the 1999 district council elections and actually finished second with 234 votes in the Labour stronghold of Birch Green!

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Last Updated 7 May 2001
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