West Lancashire (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 53°33′36″N 2°49′05″W / 53.560°N 2.818°W / 53.560; -2.818

West Lancashire
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of West Lancashire in Lancashire.
Outline map
Location of Lancashire within England.
County Lancashire
Electorate 73,028 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Rosie Cooper (Labour)
Number of members One
Created from Ormskirk and Ince
European Parliament constituency North West England

West Lancashire is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Rosie Cooper, a member of the Labour Party.[n 2]


The constituency covers the borough of the same name except for the northern parishes,[n 3] which are in the South Ribble constituency. The main towns in the constituency are the historic market town of Ormskirk and the new town of Skelmersdale. The third largest settlement is Burscough which is also surrounded by rural townships and villages and is close to the resort of Southport, just outside of the modern administrative county.

Since 1997 the seat has electoral wards:


The seat was established under the third periodic review of Westminster constituencies of 1983 following the first such review, after the Representation of the People Act 1918, in 1945. The new seat took in parts of the former ones of Ormskirk[n 4] and Ince.

Political history

Both forerunner seats were last represented by Labour MPs, with Ince having been served by only four such members since 1906, however with Ormskirk having a mixed and longer history as a more marginal seat.

The first member, Ken Hind held the seat for two terms and was a Conservative, winning the first election in the landslide Conservative result of 1983. In 1992 the seat was won by Colin Pickthall of the Labour Party who then gained a majority of 17,119 votes in 1997 and was succeeded by Rosie Cooper in 2005. The 2010 result was more marginal, a 9.0% majority, but not within the 50 most narrowly won seats for Cooper's party.[2]

Constituency profile[edit]

As outlined in geography in the boundaries section above, the seat is primarily green-buffered settlements. West Lancashire is home to a significant proportion of those working at managerial and professional levels and an above average retired age quotient,[3] as such the local economy is allied to the international successes of nearby industrial and world trading sectors, primarily Liverpool and its trading estates in Merseyside as well as the economy of Greater Manchester. The new town of Skelmersdale is strongly Labour, whereas Ormskirk and the surrounding rural and agricultural towns and villages are more inclined to vote Conservative.[4] Since 2012, both jurisdictions have seen UKIP making substantial electoral gains. Although UKIP only had paper candidates in Aughton and Ormskirk in the 2010 general election, they finished second behind Labour in two Skelmersdale council elections, as well as second behind only the Conservatives in Aughton.[5]

Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 3.5% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[6]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[7] Party
1983 Ken Hind Conservative
1992 Colin Pickthall Labour
2005 Rosie Cooper Labour


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: West Lancashire[8][9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Green Ben Basson
Independent David Oswald Braid
Labour Rosie Cooper
Conservative Paul Vincent Greenall
Liberal Democrat Daniel George Lewis
UKIP Jack Sen
General Election 2010: West Lancashire[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Rosie Cooper 21,883 45.1 −2.9
Conservative Adrian Owens 17,540 36.2 +2.2
Liberal Democrat John Gibson 6,573 13.6 −0.5
UKIP Damon Noone 1,775 3.7 +1.6
Green Peter Cranie 485 1.0 N/A
Clause 28 David Oswald Braid 217 0.4 −0.3
Majority 4,343 9.0
Turnout 48,473 63.8 +6.1
Labour hold Swing −2.6

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: West Lancashire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Rosie Cooper 20,746 48.1 −6.4
Conservative Alf Doran 14,662 34.0 +2.0
Liberal Democrat Richard Kemp 6,059 14.0 +2.4
UKIP Alan Freeman 871 2.0 N/A
English Democrats Stephen Garrett 525 1.2 N/A
Clause 28 David Oswald Braid 292 0.7 0.0
Majority 6,084 14.1
Turnout 43,155 57.7 −1.1
Labour hold Swing −4.2
General Election 2001: West Lancashire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Colin Pickthall 23,404 54.5 −5.8
Conservative Jeremy Myers 13,761 32.0 +2.9
Liberal Democrat John Lestock Thornton 4,966 11.6 +4.4
Independent David Hill 523 1.2 +0.5
Independent David Oswald Braid 317 0.7 N/A
Majority 9,643 22.4
Turnout 42,971 58.8 −15.8
Labour hold Swing −4.4

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: West Lancashire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Colin Pickthall 33,022 60.3 +13.2
Conservative Chris J. Varley 15,903 29.1 −14.8
Liberal Democrat Arthur R. Wood 3,938 7.2 −0.4
Referendum Party Michael Carter 1,025 1.9 N/A
Natural Law John D. Collins 449 0.8 +0.3
Independent David Hill 392 0.7 N/A
Majority 17,119 31.1
Turnout 54,729 74.6 −8.0
Labour hold Swing +12.1
General Election 1992: West Lancashire[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Colin Pickthall 30,128 47.1 +5.6
Conservative Ken Hind 28,051 43.9 +0.2
Liberal Democrat Peter F. Reilly 4,884 7.6 −7.2
Green Philip J. Pawley 546 0.9 N/A
Natural Law Bevin H. Morris 336 0.5 N/A
Majority 2,077 3.2 +1.0
Turnout 63,945 82.6 +2.9
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +2.7

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: West Lancashire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ken Hind 26,500 43.7 −2.5
Labour Colin Pickthall 25,147 41.5 +7.7
Social Democratic Robert Jermyn 8,972 14.8 −5.2
Majority 1,353 2.2 −10.3
Turnout 60,619 79.7 +5.3
Conservative hold Swing −5.1
General Election 1983: West Lancashire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ken Hind 25,458 46.3 N/A
Labour Josie Farrington 18,600 33.8 N/A
Social Democratic Andrew D. Sackville 10,983 20.0 N/A
Majority 6,858 12.5 N/A
Turnout 55,041 74.4 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ Tarleton, Rufford, Hesketh Bank and North Meols
  4. ^ Its MPs had included twice Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Lab) (1945–1950) and Robert Kilroy-Silk (1974–1983) (after 1983 Kilroy-Silk won the western successor to the Ormskirk seat, Knowsley North).
    Somewhat marginal, Ormkirk was served by four Conservatives in the intervening years.