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Preston is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commonsmarker of the Parliament of the United Kingdommarker. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.


The current seat of Preston was confirmed in time for the 1997 Election. The seat crossed the River Ribblemarker to include Bamber Bridgemarker and Walton-le-Dale from South Ribblemarker District Council. Prestonmarker, which was then not a city, lost the north-eastern Fulwood area to Ribble Valleymarker and the western areas of Ingol, Tanterton, Lea and Cottam to Fylde.

From the 1950 to the 1983 general elections, Preston was divided into the constituencies of Preston North and Preston South. In time for the 1983 general election, the boundaries on which the current seat is drawn were confirmed. From the then Preston North and South seats, all but one component - the Fulwoodmarker area - forms the unified Preston seat.

Boundary review

Following its review of parliamentary representation in Lancashiremarker which reported in 2004, the Boundary Commission for England recommended that, in time for the next election, Preston will lose the towns of Bamber Bridge and Walton-le-Dale and gain the Preston electoral ward of Ingol. This means the electoral wards which are used to create the new constituency of Preston are all within the city council's boundaries.

The ward of Leamarker is within the constituency of Fylde.

The wards of Preston Rural Northmarker, Preston Rural Eastmarker and the Fulwoodmarker wards (Cadley, College, Garrison, Greyfriars and Sharoe Greenmarker) are within the constituency of Wyre and Preston Northmarker

Members of Parliament



Year First member First party Second member Second party
November 1640 Richard Shuttleworth Parliamentarian Thomas Standish Parliamentarian
November 1642 Standish died November 1642 - seat vacant
1645 William Langton
December 1648 Shuttleworth excluded in Pride's Purge - seat vacant Langton not recorded as sitting after Pride's Purge
1653 Preston was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 Colonel Richard Shuttleworth Preston had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Colonel Richard Standish
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Alexander Rigby Richard Standish
August 1660 Edward Rigby Edward Fleetwood
1661 Geoffrey Rishton
1667 John Otway
February 1679 Sir Robert Carr
April 1679 Sir John Otway
1681 Sir Robert Carr Sir Gervase Elwes
April 1685 Sir Thomas Chicheley Edward Fleetwood
June 1685 Hon. Andrew Newport Tory
1689 James Stanley Thomas Patten
March 1690 Lord Willoughby de Eresby Christopher Greenfield
December 1690 Sir Edward Chisenhall
1695 Sir Thomas Stanley Thomas Molyneux
1698 Henry Ashhurst
January 1701 Edward Rigby
December 1701 Thomas Molyneux
1702 Charles Zedenno Stanley Sir Cyril Wyche
1705 Francis Annesley Edward Rigby
1706 Arthur Maynwaring
1708 Henry Fleetwood
1710 Sir Henry Hoghton
1713 Edward Southwell
1715 Sir Henry Hoghton
1722 Daniel Pulteney Thomas Hesketh
1727 Sir Henry Hoghton
1732 Nicholas Fazackerley
1741 James Shuttleworth
1754 Edmund Starkie
1767 Sir Peter Byrne Leicester
April 1768 Sir Frank Standish
November 1768 Brigadier John Burgoyne Whig Sir Henry Hoghton Tory
1792 William Cunliffe Shawe
1795 Sir Henry Philip Hoghton Whig
1796 Lord Stanley Whig
1802 John Horrocks Tory
1804 Samuel Horrocks Tory
1812 Edmund Hornby Whig
1826 Hon. Edward Geoffrey Smith Stanley Whig John Wood Whig
1830 Henry Hunt Radical
1832 Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood Conservative Hon. Henry Stanley Whig
1837 Robert Townley Parker Conservative
1841 Whig Sir George Strickland Whig
1847 Charles Pascoe Grenfell Whig
1852 Robert Townley Parker Conservative
1857 Charles Pascoe Grenfell Liberal Richard Assheton Cross Conservative
1862 Sir Thomas Hesketh Conservative
1865 Hon. Frederick Stanley Conservative
1868 Edward Hermon Conservative
1872 John Holker Conservative
1881 William Farrer Ecroyd Conservative
February 1882 Henry Cecil Raikes Conservative
November 1882 William Tomlinson Conservative
1885 Robert William Hanbury Conservative
1903 John Kerr Conservative
1906 John Thomas Macpherson Labour Harold Cox Liberal
January 1910 Major the Hon. George Stanley Conservative Alfred Aspinall Tobin Conservative
1915 Urban H. Broughton Conservative
1918 Thomas Shaw Labour
1922 James Philip Hodge Liberal
1924 Alfred Ravenscroft Kennedy Conservative
1929 Sir William Jowitt Liberal
1929 by-election Labour
1931 Adrian Charles Moreing Conservative William Kirkpatrick Conservative
1936 Edward Charles Cobb Conservative
1940 Randolph Churchill Conservative
1945 John William Sunderland Labour Samuel Segal Labour
1946 by-election Edward Shackleton Labour


Election Member Party
1983 Stanley Thorne Labour
1987 Audrey Wise Labour
2000 Mark Hendrick Labour Co-operative


The borough and now city of Preston has been represented by Labour MPs since 1983. The former Preston North and Preston South seats were amongst the most marginal in the country - in 1979, Robert Atkins won Preston North by 29 votes for the Conservatives.

With the suburban and "small c" conservative Fulwood area within Ribble Valley and from 2009 Wyre and Preston Northmarker constituencies, the southern portion has awarded MPs with much healthier and secure majorities. Almost all of Preston's representatives up to the creation of two constituencies in 1946, and since its recreation as a single constituency in 1983, have been Labour candidates.

In 1997, Audrey Wise secured a majority of over 18,000. The collapse of the Conservative vote - 10 percentage points down from 1992 - was firmly with the pattern of the Tory fortunes in that year.

The death of Audrey Wise in 2000 triggered a by-election. In the Preston by-election, former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Lancashire Central constituency, with Preston at its heart, Mark Hendrick secured a victory with a 4,400 majority. The surprise of the night was the result of the fledgling Socialist Alliance, for whom Terry Cartright saved his deposit.

Less than a year later, the 2001 general election returned Mark Hendrick with a much healthier 12,200 majority, up against South Ribblemarker councillor Graham O'Hare for the Conservatives and local Liberal Democrat leader Bill Chadwick. In real terms, all three main parties lost support from 1997 - Labour down by over 8,000 votes, Conservatives reduced by over 2,200 and LibDems 2,300 lower. One notable candidate in 2001 was David Braid, also a candidate in a number of other seats that year, who had been the "Battle for Britain" candidate in the previous year's by-election.

The 2005 general election election was notable for the changes in share of the vote of the minor parties. The first ever Respect candidate, local councillor Michael Lavalette, firmly saved his deposit with nearly 7% of the vote. The Liberal Democrats, who had chosen former Conservative County Councillor William Parkinson, had their best result since 1997. Fiona Bryce, for the Conservatives, remained in second place and saw her share of the vote remain stable despite the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) polling over 1,000 votes. These results meant that Mark Hendrick secured another term as MP, but his vote number was 3,000 less than 2001 and 12,000 less than Audrey Wise in 1997.

Boundary changes to be put in place for the next election remove Bamber Bridgemarker and Walton-le-Dalemarker from the constituency, and bring in the city council ward of Ingol. The South Ribble elements are Labour/Tory dogfight wards, whilst Ingol has a LibDem/Tory preference. These moves should cancel each other out, ultimately helping Labour, but it should be remembered that local factors can be more important than boundary reviews in fighting elections.

Election results

Elections of the 2000s

Elections of the 1990s

Elections of the 1980s

Elections of the 1940s

(See Preston by-election, 1946)

In 1940, Conservative candidate Randolph Churchill was election unopposed on the death of Conservative MP A.C Moreing

Elections of the 1930s

(See Preston by-election, 1936)

Elections of the 1920s

(See Preston by-election, 1929)

See also


  1. Chicheley was also elected for Cambridge, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Preston
  2. On petition, Leicester and Standish were adjudged not to have been duly elected and their opponents, Burgoyne and Hoghton, were declared to have been duly elected in their place
  3. Major-General from 1772, Lieutenant-General from 1777
  4. Later adopted the surname Fermor-Hesketh
  5. Created a baronet, 1902
  • Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [129696]
  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [129697]
  • The Constitutional Year Book for 1913 (London: National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, 1913)
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949 (Glasgow: Political Reference Publications, 1969)
  • Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
  • J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
  • Henry Stooks Smith, The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847 (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig - Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)

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