“The big story of the local elections in Southport, for yet another year, has been the consistently low turnout of around 31-34% in most wards. In some wards, such as Norwood, turnout was as low as 26%. Admittedly, this is slightly better that the truly atrocious turnout in elections for the so-called “Liverpool City Region” mayor, but it is still shamefully low. In many cases, therefore, candidates are getting elected with only around 15% (or less) of those eligible to vote actually voting for them. While of course we must congratulate those who have been elected, nevertheless, at participation levels this low, it is really questionable whether they have much of a mandate at all.

It is totally wrong to assume that the low turnout implies satisfaction or even apathy. What it really reflects is a quiet exasperation and quiet desperation. I myself come from a longstanding Southport family whose members, like so many people across the town, rarely if ever voted in local elections, for the precise reason that Southport is unable to effect any real change in Sefton. Absent a political earthquake of some kind, we will always be governed by a Labour-controlled council in Bootle, with all that this brings, whether we like it or not.

The forthcoming general elections are a different matter. Turnout for these in Southport has often been at around the 70% mark, sometimes getting to around 75%. This is respectable and indicates that Sandgrounders, sensibly, know that in the general election their vote really does count.

Reform UK will most certainly be contesting the next general election in Southport, and I will be your Reform UK candidate here. I am not a career politician like others, imposed on the town by central party committees from outside Southport, but a legal professional who has experience in private sector both in the UK and overseas, and someone who was genuinely born and brought up in Southport, and now returned to make it home once again.

For many years now the Tories, Lib Dems, and Labour have been virtually indistinguishable – they all want to push forward on the track we are currently on.

What we stand for is genuine change: a chance not only to reinvigorate our economy but also to bring back British democracy by implementing fundamental reform of our government, civil service, House of Lords, BBC, reversing some of the most pernicious and subversive of the Blair-era reforms, and leaving the ECHR in order to protect our borders and right of self-determination. We will reduce taxes on ordinary people and small businesses and get the NHS into order by making sure funding follows the patient and by reducing bureaucracy.

This is the first time in many years that you will have a real alternative at the general election. But we cannot succeed unless each and every one of you to take the time to understand our policies and share your support of us. Please do what you can and, most importantly, however dejected you may feel, step out on polling day and send the biggest surprise to Westminster it has had in generations.

And, if we do that, as your MP I would start a consultation process to make sure that Southport residents have proper accountable local government, as well, whether inside Sefton or out.”

– Andrew Lynn, Reform UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Southport