IT WAS Ladies Day in the Wigan election.
Victorious Lisa Nandy and her canvassing team had knocked on almost 10,000 doors across the constituency to shore up the Labour message.
She said there was “never any question” of taking anything for granted.
The 30 year old charity worker, whose agent was retiring sitting MP Neil Turner, refused to allow the plunge in Labour support nationally to take the shine off her victory, which, at 21,404, was 9.6 per cent down on their share in 2005.
She said: “The result in Wigan is a resounding re-affirmation by voters in traditional Labour values and our policies of promoting social justice, equality and fairness and hardwork.
“Having spoken to thousands of people on the door steps over the last few week and what they have told us is that they recognise the change that a Labour government has brought to Wigan and they want to keep services like Sure Start and new health centres and they don’t want to return to the mass unemployment and inequality of the 1990’s.
“Regardless of what the people of the country as a whole have decided, it remains very clear what the people of Wigan themselves.”
She was also “very proud” to become Wigan’s first ever woman MP.
Miss Nandy said: “There are so many very strong women in Wigan who have supported their husbands through the years in the mining industry and heavy engineering and all the things that Wigan has every right to be proud of over the years and I think that my victory is also a victory for them.
“But what matters now is what I do next and I can guarantee that I am going to work hard and deliver for the people of Wigan.”
Tory candidate Michael Winstanley, leader of the opposition on the Metro council, hailed his vote which was up by almost six per cent.
He said: “I’m very, very pleased with the result.
“I set myself a target of getting over 10,000 votes and we have more than achieved that and to get a 7.7 per cent swing to the Conservatives in a constituency like Wigan is certainly no mean achievement.
“We put together a positive campaign and that has been very well received on the door steps.”
He said that the main issue raised with him was “immigration again and again” and the state of the economy.
Lib Dem Agent Trevor Beswick insisted that the Clegg factor had bought new Wigan party workers and volunteers, even if this hadn’t been mirrored in a surge in votes.