The people of West Lancashire will soon have a new MP after constituents went to the polls in a by-election.
The vote was triggered when Labour veteran Rosie Cooper, who represented the seat for 17 years, resigned in November to become chair of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Having eased to victory by 8,336 votes in the 2019 general election, Labour is widely expected to comfortably retain the seat.
The result is expected early on Friday.
If Labour were to win, it would be the party’s third by-election victory in recent months, after it easily held both the Stretford and Urmston and the City of Cheshire seats in December.
Bordering both Merseyside and Greater Manchester, the West Lancashire constituency lies in a part of the North West traditionally dominated by Labour.
It has pinned its hopes on Ashley Dalton, who has previously been beaten in Rochford and Southend East.
The Conservative candidate for the seat is the former Tory group leader on nearby Sefton Council, Mike Prendergast.
The other candidates are Jo Barton for the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party’s Peter Cranie, Reform UK’s Jonathan Kay, and Howling Lord Hope for the Monster Raving Loony Party.
By Mike Stevens, BBC Radio Lancashire political reporter
Nestled perfectly between Merseyside, Greater Manchester and the rest of Lancashire, the 73,000 voters within the West Lancashire constituency are spread out across the three population centres of Skelmersdale, Ormskirk and Burscough.
Surrounding them are dozens of smaller towns and villages, many of which are involved in the farming and agricultural sectors.
The Westminster constituency was created in 1983 following a boundaries review.
While West Lancashire’s first MP was a Conservative, Ken Hind, it has been held since 1992 by Labour, who will be hoping to build on its current majority of more than 8,000.
Source : BBC