LATEST: Count starts in Chorley - Hoyle not confident

Lindsay and Cath Hoyle
Lindsay and Cath Hoyle
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The count is now underway in the Lancastrian Suite at Chorley’s Town Hall.

The first ballot box entered the town hall shortly after 10pm and verifying was completed at 2pm.

The amount of votes cast in Chorley were 51,608 and the turnout was 69.11 per cent.

The turnout in Chorley is down 0.89 per cent.

Officers are expecting a final result to be confirmed shortly after 4am.

The Chorley seat has been in Labour hands since 1997 when current incumbent Lindsay Hoyle was elected.

Mr Hoyle won with a decreased majority of 2,593 in 2010, defeating the Conservative’s Alan Cullens.

Going into the this general election, Chorley is the 94th most marginal constituency, the Conservatives requiring a swing from Labour of 2.6 per cent to take the seat, based on the result of the 2010 poll.

Mr Hoyle admitted he wasn’t confident ahead of the count, in a subdued town hall.

“I’m never confident, I wasn’t when I first won the seat 1997,” he said.

“The word on the street is people are pleased to see me, hopefully the ballot box tells a good story.

“I’m actually disappointed by this campign, I’ve seen things that I’ve never seen before, posters have been stolen and campaign shops have been vandalised.

“I hope this side of politics never repeats itself.”

Conservative party members are anticipating a recount in Chorley.

Rumours are rife in Chorley’s Town Hall that Conservative candidate Rob Loughenbury could scoop the seat.

But Mr Loughenbury is refusing to make any predicitions.

“It will be very close, but I don’t know what will happen,” he said.

“There could be a recount, who knows?

“Everyone has put in a lot of effort over the past two years.”

Earlier in the night, UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candiate Mark Smith felt his party have an excellent chance of finishing third in Chorley.

Mr Smith is anticipating a bumper vote for UKIP and he feels it is an excellent result if his party gain more votes in the Chorley borough.

He said: “I expect to definitely improve on the 2010 election, I think we have a great chance of coming third.

“It’s hard to say how many votes we will get, but I think we may get six to 10 thousand votes.

“It will be a huge result for us in a difficult seat like Chorley.”

The Independent candidate Adrian Maudsley has yet to show his face while the Liberal Democrat’s Stephen Fenn and the Green Party’s Alistair Straw are looking over the counter’s shoulders.