Cooper in­creases Labour ma­jor­ity

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @jamie_lopez1

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.

Rosie Cooper, Labour MP for West Lan­cashire has seen her over­all ma­jor­ity in­crease

The Con­ser­va­tive MP for South Rib­ble, Seema Kennedy, has ex­tended her ma­jor­ity

West Lan­cashire Con­ser­va­tive candidate Sam Cur­rie, and Lib­eral Demo­crat Jo Bar­ton

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