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  Burnley
INCUMBENT
  PartyLiberal Democrat
NameGordon Birtwistle
Won05/06/2010
Votes14,932 (35.68%)
Margin1,818 (+4.34%)
Term05/17/2010 - 05/17/2015


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Parliament DETAILS
Parents > United Kingdom > England > North West > North West  
Established 00, 0000
Disbanded Still Active
ContributorRP
Last ModifiedWishful Thinking May 14, 2005 12:58am
DescriptionThe east Lancashire former cotton town of Burnley has only once returned a non-Labour MP since 1918 - it had a National Party Member from 1931-5. Dan Jones represented the seat from 1959 to 1983. His successor Peter Pike won with a majority of just 787, and has been there ever since. He decided to stand down this time. Burnley is in the heart of a rather depressed area, especially in terms of the housing stock - mainly terraced (52%) and very run-down. Seven per cent of the population are Asian and race relations here have been poor. In June 2001 there was a weekend of rioting, just one month after similar disturbances in Oldham. The British National Party regularly stands in elections and in 2003 won five seats, making the BNP the official opposition to Labour and prompting party leader Nick Griffin to predict that the party would take control of the council the following year. This didn't happen. Some new businesses have already been attracted to Burnley, along with encouraging tourists to the visit the town's industrial heritage sites. Attempts are also being made to regenerate the housing and social infrastructure. With 29% of the workforce employed in manufacturing, the main employers here are TRW Automotive Body Systems and Michelin Tyres. The M65 motorway which links the town with other parts of East Lancashire provides both fine views over the adjacent countryside and good communication links to Manchester and Liverpool. Burnley also has a Championship football team which plays at Turf Moor and which is fanatically supported by Tony Blair's former communications chief, Alastair Campbell. In the 2001 General Election, the BNP made a strong showing with 11.3% of the vote, but Labour has a commanding majority of 28.5%.

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