UK 2010 – North West England

Post-redistribution boundaries of North West constituencies

The North West covers the counties of Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire, as well as the former metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside (including Liverpool). A majority of the population lives in a single urban area encompassing Manchester and Liverpool, and also including Bolton, Wigan, St Helens and a number of other boroughs. Outside of this metropolitan area, this region also covers Chester, Lancaster, Blackpool and Carlisle.

The Labour Party is dominant in the Northwest, having won a majority of seats even during the last Conservative government. Labour holds almost all seats in Greater Manchester and Merseyside. They also hold most seats in Lancashire and a majority of seats in Cheshire and Cumbria. The Conservatives hold one seat in Manchester, a number of seats in rural Cheshire and Lancashire, and one seat on the Scottish border in Cumbria. The Liberal Democrats hold four seats in the Greater Manchester area, as well as Southport in Merseyside and Westmorland & Lonsdale in Cumbria.

Most of Greater Manchester’s Labour seats are contests between Labour and the Tories, although a cluster of four seats in inner Manchester and another in Oldham are all Labour-Lib Dem contests. Ten of Labour’s 13 seats in Merseyside are Labour-Lib Dem contests, with the Tories only prominent on the edges. Four of the six Lib Dem seats are historic Conservative seats, while most Tory seats are Tory-Labour contests.

The redistribution saw one Labour seat abolished in Greater Manchester, and another in Merseyside. Another Merseyside seat, Wirral West, is now notionally Conservative, and a new Labour seat was created in Lancashire.

Recent history

Result of the 1997 general election in the North West.
  • 1987 – 38 LAB, 35 CON, 3 LIB
  • 1992 – 47 LAB, 27 CON, 2 LD
  • 1997 – 64 LAB, 9 CON, 2 LD, 1 other (Martin Bell)
  • 2001 – 64 LAB, 9 CON, 3 LD
  • 2005 – 61 LAB, 9 CON, 6 LD

At the 1987 election, even when Labour was devastated nationally, they managed to win half of the seats in the North West. In 1992, Labour won eight seats off Labour and Southport off the Liberal Democrats.

The 1997 election saw Labour win a massive majority of seats in the North West, winning 64 out of 76 seats. Both sitting Liberal Democrats, one in Liverpool and the other in Rochdale on the outskirts of Greater Manchester, were defeated by the Labour Party. However, the Lib Dems won back Southport and gained Hazel Grove off the Conservatives. In addition, the seat of Tatton was won by independent candidate Martin Bell. A former BBC journalist, Bell stood against sitting Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, who had been accused of accepting cash in order to ask questions in the House of Commons. Labour and the Lib Dems withdrew their candidates in the seat, allowing Bell to win a large majority in the seat. The Conservatives managed to hold on to only nine of their seats, including two in Greater Manchester and none in Merseyside.

In 2001, Labour managed to hold on to their 64 seats. The Liberal Democrats gained the seat of Cheadle off the Conservatives, and the Conservatives regained Tatton, where Martin Bell stood down after one term.

The Liberal Democrats gained three seats in 2005, gaining the Manchester seats of Rochdale and Manchester Withington off Labour and the Cumbria seat of Westmorland & Lonsdale off the Conservatives. The Conservatives offset their loss by gaining Lancaster & Wyre off Labour. Since the 2005 election the Conservatives gained a tenth seat in Crewe & Nantwich at a 2008 by-election.

Result of the 2001 general election in the North West.
Result of the 2005 general election in the North West.

The key seats

Elsewhere: profiles of the election in the North West at The Guardian and UK Polling Report.

Constituencies in the North West. Seats with margins of less than 10% are highlighted.
Seats in the North West, showing the parties that are defending and challenging. Labour-Tory seats are coloured red, Labour-LibDem seats are coloured pink, Tory-Labour seats are coloured dark blue, Tory-LibDem seats are coloured light blue, LibDem-Labour seats are coloured orange, LibDem-Tory seats are coloured yellow.


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