Cooper increases Labour majority
LABOUR retained the West Lancashire seat with an increased majority of 11,695 in last week’s General Election. Rosie Cooper will now serve as the area’s MP for another term after first being elected in 2005.
Early in the election campaign, it looked as though the Conservatives were eyeing up the seat as one they could claim.
Theresa May’s visit to Ormskirk last month highlighted the party’s position.
But Labour has held the seat since 1992 and it was always going to be big task for Sam Currie, the Conservative candidate, to change that.
Some Tory members who attended the count argued that the national campaign had badly affected their chances in West Lancs, while “Brand Cooper” was credited by Labour sources.
Turnout was up to nearly 75%, a 4% improvement on 2015, with anecdotal reports pointing to a huge increase in the number of young voters.
Speaking after her re-election, Ms Cooper attributed her victory to her team’s hard work.
She said: “It’s down to hard work, absolute hard work. In the campaign, but more for the people of West Lancs every week, day in, day out over the years.
“I want to thank the voters of West Lancashire for once again giving me the honour and privilege of representing them in Parliament.
“I have always committed to being West Lancashire’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in West Lancashire.
“I also want to thank every single person who supported this campaign by speaking to voters on the doorstep and on the phone, those who delivered leaflets, put up garden stakes and posters, and who sent messages of support.
“Without them we couldn’t have had such a successful campaign.
“We fought a campaign that was focused on a range of issues important to West Lancashire including the NHS and social care, school funding, policing numbers, and transport provision and about who was prepared to fight West Lancashire’s corner on each of these issues.
“The Conservatives wanted to make this a one-issue election. The voters of West Lancashire sent a strong and clear message that their future is about much more than just one issue.
“Local residents are concerned about the future of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital. They want to see investment in flood prevention to better protect their homes. We need a railway station for Skelmersdale and let’s see if the Tories honour their promises on the Burscough Curves.
“I stood on my record of delivery with the promise of more and I remain committed to fighting for a better deal for West Lancashire and its residents.”
Tory candidate Sam Currie said: “I am very humbled to have got the highest vote numbers and percentage in West Lancashire since 1992.
“Having the shot at representing the constituency I live in is an honour and I wish to thank everybody who voted for me.
“I will carry on as borough councillor here, I’m only 27 and this was my first shot at becoming a MP. I think it would be foolish to second guess what may happen next – we are seeing all of the time you cannot predict anything at the moment.”
Liberal Democrat Jo Barton claimed third place, followed by the Green Party and David Oswald Braid, standing in his 21st election, of the War Veterans ProTraditional Family Party in fifth.