A Bolton seat is set to be one of the “most closely fought and most closely watched” in this year’s crucial general election.

Bolton West, which includes Horwich and Westhoughton, has been held by Conservative MP Chris Green since 2015.

He recently hosted Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden, who visited ahead of May’s the council elections, and hopes this will also shore up his support for the national poll as well.

Mr Green said: “I was delighted that the chairman of the Conservative Party came over to Bolton to support our local election campaign and also ahead of the general election campaign.

“Bolton West has always been one of the closest fought and of course closest watched constituencies in the country during previous general election so we’ve been very glad to have him here.

The Bolton News: Chris Green MP at an older persons fair in WesthoughtonChris Green MP at an older persons fair in Westhoughton (Image: Office of Chris Green MP)

“We’ve been out campaigning and so far we’ve been getting a great reception on the doorstep.”

Mr Green finished nearly 9,000 votes ahead of Labour’s Julie Hilling at the last election.

This was a sharp improvement on his performance at the 2017 election when he defeated Ms Hilling by less than 1,000 votes.

The Bolton News: Labour Party chair Anneliese Dodds with Phil BrickellLabour Party chair Anneliese Dodds with Phil Brickell (Image: Labour North West)


But he faces a tough contest against his new challenger, Labour’s Phil Brickell, who was selected as his party’s candidate in July last year.

Labour chair shadow minister Annalise Dodds visited Horwich, in the heart of the Bolton West constituency earlier this month to open Mr Brickell’s campaign office.

The Bolton News: Mr Green with Cllr John Walsh at Bolton Parish ChurchMr Green with Cllr John Walsh at Bolton Parish Church (Image: Office of Chris Green MP)

Also at the opening event were borough Labour leader Cllr Nick Peel and Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi.

Just days later, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham visited the area where he toured Westhoughton alongside Mr Brickell and Cllr Peel ahead of the local elections.

The Bolton News: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham with Mr BrickellGreater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham with Mr Brickell (Image: Public)

Mr Brickell said: “It was a pleasure to host Andy Burnham the Greater Manchester Mayor and Nick Peel, Leader of Bolton Council.

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“It’s really important that local politicians get out and about and talk to local businesses and residents about local issues and what concerns them.

“This is something which we as Labour politicians seek to do all of the time.”

The Liberal Democrats have now unveiled chartered accountant Donald McIntosh as their candidate.

With just over 2,700 votes the party finished some way behind their Conservative and Labour opponents, but Mr McIntosh says he plans to campaign hard all across the Bolton West area.

The Bolton News: Liberal Democrat candidate Donald McIntoshLiberal Democrat candidate Donald McIntosh (Image: Bolton Liberal Democrats)

He said: "The Liberal Democrats have a philosophy of creating a country where everyone has a chance to reach their personal potential, whilst having a safety net to help those who can not help themselves, and holding those in power to account. These align perfectly with my personal values. 

"I also believe the Liberal Democrat policies also support the green economy, and have well thought out solutions to major issues.

"For example, in the Gaza conflict, we called for an immediate, bilateral ceasefire on 12 November 2023, which would have avoided tens of thousands of civilian deaths and over a million people suffering." 

The Green Party have unveiled climate campaigner Vicki Attenborough as their candidate, while Reform UK have selected Dylan Evans.

The local elections will be held on Thursday, May 2, while the general election is expected to be held at some point this year.

Legally it can be held no later than January 28, 2025.