Labour tightens grip in Lancashire despite national bloodbath

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Labour has tightened its grip across Lancashire, despite an election bloodbath throughout the United Kingdom.

The party strengthened its control in constituencies across the county with swathes remaining or turning red.

But the victories in the North West did not reflect the national picture.

In Preston, the incumbent Labour candidate was returned to Westminster as the city’s MP with a majority of more than 12,000.

Mark Hendrick secured 18,755 votes, and increased his majority by more than 50 per cent.

In Chorley, Labour politician Lindsay Hoyle tightened his grip on the seat with an increased majority of 1,807.

It wasn’t straight forward through the night, but Mr Hoyle eventually romped to victory and sealed his fifth term in parliament.

Rosie Cooper held her seat for Labour in West Lancashire, taking almost half of the votes.

She polled 24,474, with a majority of 8,360.

And in East Lancashire, Labour snatched Burnley from the Liberal Democrats.

Julie Cooper took 14,951 votes, and unseated incumbent Gordon Birtwistle, who received 11,707, in a 6.3 per cent swing.

But the night looked set to be disappointing for both Labour and the Liberal Democrats across the country.

In South Ribble, Labour candidate Veronica Bennett failed to take the seat from the Conservatives.

Conservative Seema Kennedy won in the constituency with 24,313 votes to Labour’s 18,368.

UKIP came in third with 7,377, and the Liberal Democrats polled 2,312.

Conservatives also held on in Ribble Valley, with Nigel Evans keeping the seat with a reduced majority.

Further afield, prominent Labour and Liberal Democrat incumbents were unseated.

Vince Cable lost his Twickenham seat to the Conservatives, while Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg narrowly held on in Sheffield, Hallam.

Labour were virtually wiped out north of the border, with the SNP taking almost every seat in Scotland.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy lost his East Renfrewshire seat to the SNP’s Kirsten Oswald.

Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander was also unseated in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.