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

Prior to that the seat had been Conservative since 1979.

Mr Hoyle, who is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and presided over the House during the past four Budgets, won with a decreased majority of 2,593 in 2010.

The Conservative challenger is Rob Loughenbury, who currently works in property development in Manchester and has three children.

The Liberal Democrat candidate is Stephen Fenn, UKIP’s hopes rest with Mark Smith, the Green hopeful is Alistair Straw and Independent Adrian Maudlsey is also standing.

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.

The bookies have Labour as 1/14 favourites with the Tories on 8/1.

The candidates are: Stephen Fenn, Liberal Democrat; Lindsay Hoyle, Labour; Rob Loughenbury, Conservative; Adrian Maudsley, Independent; Mark Smith, UKIP; and Alistair Straw, Green.