Southport: The runners and riders for popular north-west target seat

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A series of experienced Labour activists will tonight battle it out for the right to take on the Tories in a key marginal in north west England.

Labour officials hope Southport can be taken at the next election as Jeremy Corbyn aims to win the 64 extra seats necessary to enter Downing Street.

A councillor and the PPC from the last two elections are among the shortlist as activists trade endorsements from local MPs, unions and celebrities with roots on Merseyside.

Damien Moore, the Tory MP elected this year, has a majority of 2.914 in Southport after sitting MP Lib Dem John Pugh decided not to stand again.

Here are the activists thought to feature on the all-women shortlist:

Mandy Clare

The activist from the Tory seat of Eddisbury in Cheshire is an outspoken supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and is said to have joined the party on the day the leader was elected in 2015.

Janet Harrison

She describes herself as a “longtime supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell” and quotes a string of endorsements from local activists and councillors. She also has backing from Janice Connolly, a star of Phoenix Nights who has also appeared in Coronation Street.

Anna Rothery

The Liverpool city councillor and Warwick University graduate is the lead on equalities for Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, and vice-chair of Unite in the north west.

Liz Savage

The candidate at the last two election has backing from GMB and Unite, which both have a significant number of members in the north west in the manufacturing sector. Savage also has support from Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton, and Steve Rotheram, mayor of Liverpool city region.

Carla Thomas

The Unite activist and Sefton councillor is a graduate of Liverpool University. She sits on the Merseyside police and crime panel and has backing from Emily Spurrell, Merseyside’s deputy police and crime commissioner.

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