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Warrington South Preview

A scene of great political activity

The below information was supplied by Jim Hancock.

Warrington South will be the scene of great political activity come the election. The constituency is 8th on the Conservative target list in the North West and 85th nationally. David Cameron needs 116 gains to have an overall majority of just one in the House of Commons, so taking this constituency is essential, but can it be done?

Warrington South was taken by Labour for the first time in 1992. Mike Hall won the seat on a tiny majority and soon departed for the safer constituency of Weaver Vale around Northwich. But he needn't have worried as his successor, Helen Southworth swept in on the Tony Blair landslide in 1997 with a five figure majority.

That has been whittled away in the two subsequent General Elections. Southworth's majority was just 3515 last time.

Don't be confused if during the campaign you hear that the Labour majority in Warrington South is a “notional” 4337. Bewsey and Whitecross have now been wholly included in the constituency and the election experts will put together how people voted in 2005 with the new boundaries. They believe the change slightly helps Labour.

At least three parties have a realistic chance of winning the seat. Labour might hang on. The Conservatives are mounting a very active campaign; glossy leaflets have been issued every couple of months for at least two years. Then there are the Lib Dems. Although they were in third place with a quarter of the votes in 2005, they have 22 councillors in the Warrington South area compared to 4 each for Labour and the Conservatives. The big question is will people vote the same way for an MP as they do for councillors.

The U.K Independence Party has a formidable candidate in the field. They did well last year in the European elections when our membership of the EU was a campaign issue. It is less so in a Westminster election but UKIP believe they can maintain their momentum.

The coldest winter for years and controversy over the climate change figures may not help the Green Party who are contesting the seat as well, but they believe eventually their time will come.

Let's meet the candidates!

Nick Bent- Labour Party

Nick was selected in January following the planned retirement of the sitting MP Helen Southworth.

Born and brought up in Altrincham, he is a brainy lad having degrees from both Oxford and Harvard universities.

For 4 years he was a Special Advisor to Tessa Jowell when she was a Minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

View more details on Nick Bent.

David Mowat- Conservative Party

David is originally from Rugby but has lived for the past 20 years in Cheshire with his wife and four children.

David studied Civil Engineering at Imperial College before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. Subsequently, he led a £500 million business at Accenture, the Technology Firm, employing over 15,000 staff.

For the last two years he has been Chairman of a Salford based charity dedicated to improving the life chances of young people in the inner city.

View more details on David Mowat.

Jo Crotty- Liberal Democrat Party

Like her Labour opponent Jo is a bit of a brain box. A university lecturer she has a PhD in Russian Economic Transition and Pollution Control. There aren't many of them about! She also has a first class degree in Business Studies.

She worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and is married to Chris, a materials engineer.

She is a councillor for the Bewsey and Whitecross ward and is on the board of Golden Gates Housing.

Like me she is a fan of The West Wing, but has she got the complete box set?

View more details on Jo Crotty.

James Ashington- United Kingdom Independence Party

James was a Conservative councillor for Lymm for 15 years and Chairman of the Parish Council three times. He left because a promise to hold a referendum on European Union membership was not kept.

In 1999 he originated and ran the Lymm Festival and has been a Governor of Lymm High and Cherry Tree Primary School.

Serving in the RAF, James then ran a Financial Services Practice. He is married with 4 children and seven grandchildren.

View more details on James Ashington.

Steph Davies- Green Party

Steph has lived in Great Sankey for 5 years and founded the Warrington Green Party. Prior to that she was an active member of the Green Party in Halton.

Steph has a 2 year old daughter and is active in a number of environmental and conservation groups.

Other Candidates may stand before the close of nominations after the election is called.

View more details on Steph Davies.

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