2015 Result:
Conservative: 12330 (28%)
Labour: 8468 (19.2%)
Lib Dem: 13652 (31%)
Green: 1230 (2.8%)
UKIP: 7429 (16.8%)
Others: 992 (2.2%)
MAJORITY: 1322 (3%)

Category: Marginal Liberal Democrat seat

Geography: North West, Merseyside. Part of the Sefton council area.

Main population centres: Southport.

Profile: The northern part of Sefton borough council, following the coast up west of South Ribble. Southport is an up-market seaside tourist town, with the second longest pier in Britain and six golf courses. Less brash and more genteel than nearby Blackpool, it has also become a commuter town for Liverpool and Preston.

Politics: A Conservative seat for most of the time since the First World War, it was finally won by the Liberals in 1987 (Ronnie Fearn having previously contested the seat four times) and has since been a marginal Lib Dem/Conservative contest, returning to the Tories in 1992 but being won back by Fearn in 1997.

Current MP
JOHN PUGH (Liberal Democrat) Born 1948, Liverpool. Educated at Prescott Grammar School, Maidstone Grammar School and Durham University. Former RE and philosophy teacher. Sefton councillor 1987-2001, former leader of Sefton councillor. First elected as MP for Southport in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 15683 (36%)
Lab: 4116 (9%)
LDem: 21707 (50%)
UKIP: 2251 (5%)
MAJ: 6024 (14%)
Con: 15255 (37%)
Lab: 5277 (13%)
LDem: 19093 (46%)
UKIP: 749 (2%)
Oth: 827 (2%)
MAJ: 3838 (9%)
Con: 15004 (36%)
Lab: 6816 (17%)
LDem: 18011 (44%)
UKIP: 555 (1%)
Oth: 767 (2%)
MAJ: 3007 (7%)
Con: 18186 (36%)
Lab: 6125 (12%)
LDem: 24346 (48%)
Oth: 571 (1%)
MAJ: 6160 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
DAMIEN MOORE (Conservative) Born Cumbria. Educated at University of Central Lancashire. Supermarket manager. Preston councillor.
LIZ SAVAGE (Labour) Born 1973, Liverpool. Educated at St Bedes RC High School and Bradford University. Teacher. West Lancashire councillor since 2011.
JOHN PUGH (Liberal Democrat) See above.
Comments - 366 Responses on “Southport”
  1. When Labour won Sefton Central easily in 2010, against many predictions on this site (in all modesty that was a seat I got right), there were no Labour councillors until after polling day. I think I’m right in saying that there are no Labour councillors here at the moment, though there must be a great likelihood of some being elected next year.

  2. I must point out that the Lib Dem vote didn’t collapse – McGuire won just 1,000 votes fewer than Pugh did in 2015.

  3. Good points. The Lib Dem vote didn’t collapse, although it did so in 2015 just like almost everywhere else in the country- coupled with continuing local strength that probably limited the decrease this time even without Pugh’s personal vote being available any longer.

  4. I’ve been looking at Southport on Google maps and there seems to be a lot of large detached housing them. I’ve heard that the town centre has suffered from closures but it doesn’t seem down-and-out in the slightest imo.

  5. Not downandout no I agree but I think at the same time you could appreciate the factors at work having made this area a lot worse for the Tories over the last twenty five years or so- I genuinely believe Southport is starting to exhibit strong characteristics of what a Labour voting town looks like, and there are pockets of deprivation scattered throughout the area that should help them- it is after all a large town, much bigger than say my own hometown of Crosby, for example, which once upon a time was considered the Esher of the North- my word those days have long since been a thing of the dim and distant past. My point is, however, that really Southport isn’t any longer a hotbed for the Tories like it was- I think they really hit the self-destruct button in the 70s/80s but it took until 1987 for them to actually lose it to the hugely popular Ronnie Fearn, Mr. Southport himself, and just about the biggest Liberal name in the area by and large responsible for the party’s strength going back to the early 70s. Also maybe not helping the Tories was their choice of candidate to defend the seat following Ian Percival’s retirement- Nigel Thomas had indeed come fairly close in Carmarthen incredibly in both 1979 and 1983, but I’m not sure he had any local connections? I don’t think Matthew Banks did either, but at least he produced the swing necessary to take it back in 1992.

  6. Longstanding LibDem Cllr & Deputy Group Leader Tony Dawson has been suspended by LibDem HQ for bringing the Party into disrepute.

    He was named as an internet troll in 2013, but the latest allegation relates to a different matter.

  7. Two more Southport Cllrs have left the LibDems to sit as Independents.

    Norwood ward Cllrs Bill and Marianne Welsh have joined Tony Dawson.

    Although there are now 9 Ind Cllrs on Sefton MBC, they sit as 3 different groups!

  8. The above mentioned ex-LD Cllrs Bill and Marianne Welsh have now joined the Labour Group on Sefton MBC.

    (Although Merseymike says that both were ex-Labour who left over Blair and Iraq).

  9. Indeed and they will fancy winning that ward in their new colours if selected.

  10. Interesting council by-election happening here tonight in the Dukes ward caused by the resignation on health grounds of the Conservative Councillor.

    The ward is split – it had been two conservatives and one Lib Dem.
    The Lib Dem quit earlier this year.

    The Lib Dem candidate today seeking to gain a seat off the Conservatives is the former Lib Dem MP John Pugh.

  11. LD – 1680 votes – 56.0% (+28.4%)
    Con – 790 votes – 26.3% (-9.4%)
    Lab – 417 votes – 13.9% (-2.3%)
    UKIP – 69 votes – 2.3% (-13.5%)
    Grn – 45 votes – 1.5% (-3.1%)

    Lib Dem gain from Con.

    (Lib Dems also gained Braunton East in North Devon and Arun in Aldwick West, both from the Conservatives overnight)

  12. Former Southport MP Matthew Banks has pleaded guilty to being more than twice over the drink drive limit, after crashing his Jaguar into a parked camper van where a 71-year-old woman was sleeping. (The woman survived, only suffering minor injuries)

    Police arrested Banks after he was found a few hundred yards away, stumbling away from the scene.

    He pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified (after a two year ban was imposed in February); driving without insurance and guilty to fraud for lying in documents to his insurer. The offence of failing to stop and report the RTC was left on file.

    A full psychiatric report has been requested before sentence is passed on December 13th, as Mr Banks, aged 56, has been said to have been behaving erratically of late.

  13. Worrying to hear of his erratic behaviour; we must hope for his sake that it’s nothing serious or incurable

  14. Losing 2017 LibDem PPC here, Cllr Sue McGuire has resigned as Group Leader and put her house on the market for £400k.

    She’s rumoured to be moving abroad with her (Irish) husband, citing Brexit.

    If it happens, I make that the 8th losing LD PPC from a target who will have emigrated, as did Cllr Colin Eldridge after losing Liverpool Wavertree in 2010.

    Perhaps “LibDems Winning Here” should be changed. “Committed To You for 5 Years” certainly should be!

  15. It’s just one disaster for the Libdems after another and it’s not even 2022 yet.

  16. It was changed it now says standing up for you i think

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)