Election 97

VRML animation
Mersey killing

Robert Waller sums up the situation in North West England. VRML by Fin Fahey

VRML English North West

North West England is dominated by the huge, largely Labour-voting areas around Merseyside and Manchester. There is scant comfort here for the Conservatives, already embroiled in a pre-general election by-election in South Wirral, in the North West - it was their worst region in 1992.

But things did not go so badly for the Tories in the last election that they have nothing left to lose in the North West in 1997. This a region with many marginals and there is much residual bitterness over the poll tax coupled with a long-term swing to Labour around Merseyside. Labour will be targeting critical marginal Bolton West, and boundary changes will surely lead to them taking Bolton North East. Both seats in Bury could easily fall to Labour, along with Chester and Chorley, and the new seat of Weaver Vale in Cheshire must be counted as safe for Labour.

The Lib Dems have a shopping list, too. Though the reduction of Liverpool to five seats - David Alton's Liverpool Mossley Hill has gone - has eliminated one of their safe prospects, they have high hopes in Manchester's Hazel Grove, although their challenge to the Tories is threatened by a resurgent Labour. Southport and Oldham East and Saddleworth are also highly vulnerable to the Lib Dems.

Labour regional targets
Conservative regional targets
Liberal Democrat regional targets
3D Electoral density