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General election 2024: Bolton West area profile

Residents of Bolton West will take to the voting booth on 4 July to decide who represents them in Parliament. 

Who is standing?

Candidates in this upcoming election include Vicki Helen Attenborough for the Green Party as the only woman standing in this constituency. Manchester City councillor Phil Brickell will stand for the Labour Party and Chris Green will stand for the Conservative Party in Bolton West for his fourth consecutive election campaign.

Dylan Evans stands for Reform UK, Patrick Robert McGrath for the English Democrats and Donald Mcintosh for the Liberal Democrats.

Political history

The constituency of Bolton West consists of areas including Blackrod, Heaton, Horwich, Westhoughton and Atherton. 

The aforementioned are generally affluent towns in the Bolton area, but in 2010 Atherton was added to the constituency as a Labour-leaning, former coal-mining town. 

Bolton West is often referred to as a bellwether seat in that it follows the national trend of voting. 

Since 2015 the town has been held by Conservative MP Chris Green who won the largest majority (8,855) of any Conservative in Greater Manchester in the 2019 general election. 

Key issues in Bolton West

In 2023 sewage was dumped into the waterways across Bolton West for 6,100 hours according to data from Rivers Trust.

This is an issue that is likely to factor into candidates’ campaigning over the upcoming weeks. 

Both Labour candidate Phil Brickell and Conservative candidate Chris Green spoke to Bolton News about the issue.

Mr Brickell said: “I’m a white water kayaker and I’ve spent countless hours enjoying our inland waterways.

“I know how poor water quality impacts our environment and I won’t tolerate it.

“People across Bolton West deserve better.”

Mr Green said: “Back in 2010 the Labour policy was not to monitor discharges, now that we’ve introduced some honesty into the system we can see the changes that need to be made.

“This is why a huge aspect of this is to control rainfall to prevent it from overflowing into the sewage system.”

Another key issue to residents of Bolton West is sustainable development of housing in the area.

There has been an influx of property development in the area leading to congestion on main roads and pressure on community services.

Voting intention and turnout

The town is predicted to elect Phil Brickell into the seat currently with Labour having an 89% chance winning the constituency according to Electoral Calculus.

Voter turnout is marginally higher than the national average in Bolton West with 67.4% of people voting in the town in 2019 compared to 67.3 nationally. 

In 2017, 70.1% of people voted in the general election in Bolton West compared to 68.8% nationally.

Political visitors to the constituency

Towns in Bolton West have a history with politicians, as Boris Johnson abandoned a planned visit to Westhoughton in 2018 after protests caused a ‘security risk’ for the prime minister at the time.

Reform Party leader Nigel Farage also held a Brexit rally in Bolton in 2019 at the Whites Hotel in Horwich – where a milkshake was thrown at him.

Councillor for Little Lever & Darcy Lever Sean Hornby said that Farage has a “very soft spot” for Bolton. 

He said: “The moment he felt the Brexit vote was turning was when he visited Bolton.”

More recently Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also visited Bolton to face questions about migration in a cafe in The Haulgh. 

Election information

In order to vote in the upcoming election the requirements are that you have to be:

  • Over 18. 
  • A British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen living in the UK, or a British citizen living overseas who has resided in the UK within the previous 15 years.
  • Registered at an address in Bolton West.

Registration to vote is still open but the deadline is Tuesday 18 June and you have to apply for a postal vote by Wednesday 19 June.

Polling day is on 4 July and you can cast your vote between 7am and 10pm.

If voting at a polling station you will need a valid form of photo ID. 

Results will be announced on 5 July usually in the early hours of the morning. 

Featured image credit: Olivia Hughes

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