Calderdale Conservative leader Scott Benton to become 'full time MP' after winning Blackpool South seat

Leader of the Conservative group on Calderdale Council, Coun Scott Benton, will be heading to Parliament having won Blackpool South for the party.

Mr Benton defeated Labour’s Gordon Marsden in Blackpool South, with a majority of 3,690.

Leader of the Conservative group on Calderdale Council, Coun Scott Benton is now an MP

Leader of the Conservative group on Calderdale Council, Coun Scott Benton is now an MP

For Mr Marsden the result meant the end of his 22 years representing the town in Parliament following his election in 1997 when he became the first ever Labour MP to win the seat.

None of the other parties came close to the main two with Brexit being a key issue for voters.

Mr Benton said a main priority would be building the economy of Blackpool during the next term of office.

He thanked Mr Marsden for his service to the town, and said many people had voted Conservative for the first time “not just because of Brexit” but because of his party’s strong economic record.

Mr Benton pledged to be a “full-time MP” and that his election was “a victory for the decent, hardworking and patriotic people of Blackpool.”

He said he would work towards re-opening Blackpool Airport to commercial passenger traffic which he had put at the forefront of his campaign.

Mr Marsden said it had been a “huge privilege” to represent Blackpool for 22 years as its MP.

He said: “I am proud also to have made a contribution to this town and its regeneration and that includes the Tower, Winter Gardens, tramway and SureStart.

“This result tonight is a reflection of the national situation and that is something Labour will have to reflect on.

“But I also want to make the point that Blackpool is a fantastic town and not somewhere drawn up anonymously by the Boundary Commission.”

Result in full
Blackpool South – turnout 56.9%
Scott Benton (Con) 16,247
David Brown (Brexit) 2,009
Gary Coleman (Independent) 368
Becky Daniels (Green Party) 563
Bill Greene (Lib Dem) 1,008
Gordon Marsden (Lab) 12,557