Labour look to create 'history' as campaign launches in Merseyside seat they've never held

Labour have launched their campaign in Southport. Left to right: Bill Esterson (Sefton Central MP), Ashley Dalton (West Lancashire MP), Patrick Hurley (Southport candidate) and Steve Rotheram (Metro Mayor)
-Credit: (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)


Labour's candidate declared "the path to Downing Street goes through Southport" as the party launched their campaign to win the seat for the first time ever.

Sir Keir Starmer's opposition party boasts a considerable lead in opinion polls as the country prepares for the general election on July 4. Labour need to win 121 seats on top of those they already possess to claim a majority and Southport is among those it is targeting.

However, Labour have never held Southport. The seat's incumbent MP is Conservative Damien Moore, who has represented the town since 2017, when the Tories gained it from the Liberal Democrats.

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Since the constituency was created in 1885, Southport has been represented by Liberal, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs. Patrick Hurley believes he can be its first Labour representative.

Latest polling from Electoral Calculus suggests this will be the case. It gives Labour a 96% chance of winning the seat, predicting the party will win 50.8% of the vote in the Sefton town.

On Monday (May 27), as the party launched its campaign at Southport FC's Big Help Stadium, candidate Mr Hurley told the told the ECHO: “We're hoping first of all to take the seat for Labour - the seat has never been held by the Labour Party in its history but we've got the best chance ever of taking the seat for our party and making sure that Southport turns the page on 14 years of Tory decline and faces the future.

"We're hoping that we can build the way to a better future for the whole country and make sure that we get Britain's future back."

Mr Hurley added: "It (Southport) is a target seat. The path for Labour to Downing Street goes through Southport. We hold every other seat around Merseyside and this is the last piece of the jigsaw.

"The people who live in Southport are representative of the UK at large. They can feel that after 14 years of Tory failure and chaos that they want a change.

Labour launch Southport campaign with candidate Parick Hurley. Photo by Colin Lane
Labour launch Southport campaign with candidate Parick Hurley. Photo by Colin Lane -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

"They have fears for their children's future and they can see that the message we're offering the country this time around - stability, investment, growth, change - is precisely what they need.

"We've seen in the past that Southport has previously voted in Lib Dem MPs and Conservative MPs, but there's been demographic change, there's been attitudinal change for people who live in Southport and what I'm saying to people locally is 'lend me your vote on July 4' and we can hopefully together make sure that Southport's best days lie ahead of it.

"Southport has got great potential. It's just that potential hasn't been fulfilled in recent years."

Mr Hurley was joined by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, West Lancashire MP Ashley Dalton and Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson, who addressed a crowd of Labour members.

Mr Rotheram said: "It's not often that you get to speak to people where there's a genuine chance that all of us will become history makers. As we all know, Southport has never been red.

The Metro Mayor added: "This is our chance to turn this into a Labour constituency. It's great for Southport, because Southport needs a stronger voice, I believe, in the Liverpool City Region, but we also need somebody like Patrick to be standing up in parliament and representing people here."

Damien Moore will once again run in the seat for the Conservatives. Andrew Lynn will stand for Reform UK, Erin Harvey will run for the Liberal Democrats, Sean Halsall will stand as an independent and Edwin Black is the Green candidate.

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