PAT Merrick cut a disappointed figure after the Eddisbury election announcement confirmed Labour had slipped to third place behind the Conservative Party and now the Liberal Democrats.
Rumours of a surge in Lib Dem votes were rife throughout the count at Winsford Lifestyle Centre this morning and Labour fears were realised as returning officer Julie Gill confirmed Mrs Merrick received just short of 20% of the vote with a total of 9,794.
She revealed that prior to the election, she was surprised to have learned that the Liberal Democrats were claiming to be regular runners-up in the largely working-class town of Winsford.
She also called upon the younger generation to fight for what they believe in across the constituency but she singled out those living in Winsford as having the responsibility for any future fightback.
She said: "At least they can now claim truthfully that they are second in Winsford. The Lib Dems now sit on the left side of Labour and that should not be the case.
"I now urge all the young people of Winsford, who believe in their futures, must join the Labour party and stop leaving it to an increasingly ageing generation. It's their town after all."
In her speech, Mrs Merrick thanked her supporters and those who voted Labour in Eddisbury although she admitted that: "Everyone is tired and wants to go home."