Update, July 3rd: Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services Sarah Hall has been selected as the Labour candidate for Warrington South.
Warrington South will undoubtedly be a target for Labour at the next general election. The incumbent Conservative MP Andy Carter won the seat by a majority of 2,010 votes in 2019, and the constituency’s recent electoral history is very mixed.
The seat was won by Labour’s Faisal Rashid with a majority similar to that of Carter in 2017. It was held prior to that by Tory David Mowat, who was elected to represent the constituency in 2010 and 2015 by a fairly small majority on both occasions. For most of the 1990s and 2000s, however, the seat was held by Labour – first by Mike Hall from 1992 to 1997 and then by Helen Southworth from 1997 to 2010.
It is one of the first 14 seats in which the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) had been allowed by the central party to get started with their selection processes early, demonstrating its significance as a target Labour hopes to win. A shortlist has now been finalised and hustings are scheduled for July 3rd – after which local members will vote for who they want to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate.
Emma Fox is one of the three to have made the shortlist. Fox is a qualified science teacher and vice-chair of governors at a local primary school. She has experience working as a parliamentary researcher and constituency caseworker and has held several roles within different CLPs, including secretary and campaign committee co-lead. Fox is the daughter of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle and granddaughter of Labour peer and former Warrington North MP Lord Hoyle. Launching her campaign on social media, Fox said: “I want to be the fresh face to win Warrington South and make it a strong Labour seat.”
Sarah Hall has been shortlisted. Hall is a councillor on Warrington Borough Council and has represented the ward of Bewsey and Whitecross since 2016. She currently serves as cabinet member for children’s services. She also volunteers at community food organisation The Bread and Butter Thing and runs a school uniform swap shop. Announcing her candidacy with a video on social media, Hall said: “I’ll work tirelessly to be your next local Labour MP, fighting for every vote and fighting for every single person in Warrington South.”
The final candidate is Luke Joseph. Joseph was born and raised in Warrington. He has worked for various Labour MPs in their constituency offices and in parliament and ran Judith Cummins’ online campaign during the 2019 election. In a video shared on Twitter after he made the longlist, Joseph said: “I will be an effective MP from day one, which is what we need in a swing seat like Warrington South.”