Warrington South (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Warrington South in Cheshire
Location of Cheshire within England
|Major settlements||Great Sankey, Penketh, Warrington|
|Member of Parliament||Andy Carter (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Warrington, Runcorn and Newton|
The seat has been relative to others a marginal seat since 2001 as well as a swing seat as its winner's majority has not exceeded 7.5% of the vote since the 16.3% majority won in that year. The seat has changed hands three times since that year.
1983–1997: The Borough of Warrington wards of Appleton and Stretton, Booths Hill, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Great Sankey North, Great Sankey South, Heatley, Latchford, Lymm, Penketh and Cuerdley, Statham, Stockton Heath, and Walton and Westy, and the Borough of Halton wards of Daresbury and Norton.
1997–2010: The Borough of Warrington wards of Appleton, Stretton and Hatton, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Great Sankey North, Great Sankey South, Howley and Whitecross, Latchford, Lymm, Penketh and Cuerdley, Stockton Heath, and Walton and Westy.
2010–present: The Borough of Warrington wards of Appleton, Bewsey and Whitecross, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Great Sankey North, Great Sankey South, Hatton, Stretton and Walton, Latchford East, Latchford West, Lymm, Penketh and Cuerdley, Stockton Heath, and Whittle Hall.
The constituency is one of two in Warrington, the other being Warrington North. It covers the parts of the town lying south of the River Mersey, including Appleton, Grappenhall and Stockton Heath, the town centre and the Penketh and Sankey areas in the west of the town. It also includes the village of Lymm.
The constituency was created in 1983 before which the Warrington constituency covered the central part of the town and its immediate surrounds, while the southern fringes were in the Runcorn constituency and certain close northern settlements now in Warrington North were covered by the Newton constituency.
The original boundaries were revised at the 1997 general election, the Fourth Periodic Review nationally, when the number of constituencies in Cheshire were increased and the new Weaver Vale seat was created.
The current boundaries were introduced at the 2010 general election, the Fifth Periodic Review. The new boundaries were considered to be slightly more favourable to the Labour Party according to an academic, non-partisan election analysis.
- Political history
Warrington South is considered the more volatile of the two Warrington seats. While Warrington North is a safe seat for the Labour Party, Warrington South is often a bellwether and is regarded as a marginal constituency; it has been won by the largest party in each Parliament at every election with the exception of 1992, when it was taken by Labour's Mike Hall, and 2017. Hall moved to the new Weaver Vale seat in 1997, but the seat was retained for the Labour party by Helen Southworth who represented the seat until her retirement at the 2010 election and successor candidate's defeat.
- Prominent frontbenchers
Despite its short history, this seat was served by a former Secretary of State for Education during part of the Thatcher ministry, Mark Carlisle, who before the seat's creation had represented Runcorn.
On 15 June 2009, Helen Southworth announced her intention to retire the next year. Largely because of its close result in 2005, the seat was considered to be one of the key seats which the Conservative Party would have to win to become the largest party in Parliament. The BBC ranked Warrington South as the 85th most marginal seat.
The Liberal Democrats had also identified Warrington South as a target seat. On election day the Liberal Democrat party held 22 of the 30 Borough Council seats in the wards which made up the constituency. The importance of the Warrington South seat was underlined when Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat party leader, chose to visit the constituency the morning after the first of the televised "leaders' debates", which he had been widely perceived as having won.
While all three parties made strenuous efforts to win the seat, it was the Conservative candidate David Mowat who was elected, although fewer than 5,000 votes separated all three parties.
In 2015 and 2017, the seat was considered an important Labour-Conservative marginal, the Liberal Democrats losing substantial ground here in both elections. The 2015 election saw Mowat re-elected with an increased majority; in 2017, it was regained by Labour's Faisal Rashid on a 4.4% swing. It was retaken for the Conservatives in 2019 by Andy Carter. In all three cases, the victory margin between first and second was smaller than overall vote of the third-placed Liberal Democrats, although the latter were a long way behind the top two parties.
Members of Parliament
Warrington is a historic and industrious town which grew significantly in economy and in population in the 20th century. Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers, were in November 2012 lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 3.3% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian. This contrasted with Warrington North at 4.3% of its population.
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Ryan Bate||5,732||9.3||+3.9|
|Brexit Party||Clare Aspinall||1,635||2.6||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+3.7|
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Barr||3,339||5.4||-0.2|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+4.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Barr||3,335||5.6||-21.9|
|Liberal Democrats||Jo Crotty||15,094||27.5||+3.5|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+6.0|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Ian Marks||11,111||23.7||+7.4|
|Independent||Paul Kennedy[n 3]||453||1.0||+1.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Roger J. Barlow||7,419||16.3||+3.2|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Walker||7,199||13.1|
|Natural Law||Steve Ross||166||0.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Walker||7,978||12.5||−9.7|
|Natural Law||Stephen Benson||321||0.5||N/A|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.2|
Elections in the 1980s
|Conservative win (new seat)|
- A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer).
- 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.
- Later, in 2006 Paul Kennedy joined the Conservative Party and became a local councillor in May 2008.
- "England Parliamentary electorates 2010-2018". Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- "'Warrington South', June 1983 up to May 1997". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- Electoral Calculus South
- "BBC NEWS - Election 2010 - Battlegrounds - Conservative Party Targets". bbc.co.uk.
- "2009 - 2010 > Full Council". warrington.gov.uk.
- "Nick Clegg makes first post TV debate appearance in Warrington". Warrington Guardian.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 1)
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF).
- "General Election 2017: who is standing for election". Liverpool Echo. 11 May 2017.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Warrington South". BBC News. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Results & Constituencies Warrington South - 2001". news.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
- "UK General Election results April 1992". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.