BATTLE lines have been drawn and pledges made in the marginal seat of Morecambe and Lunesdale.

The Conservative Party’s David Morris, who has held the seat since 2010, believed Brexit would open up new opportunities for the port of Heysham, and said he had been told by the ministry it would be made into a free port, existing outside of traditional tax and customs rules.

He said a free port would “unlock” the land around the port and “be attractive for expansion and a business park.”

Lizzi Collinge, of the Labour Party, is looking to overcome the 1,399-vote victory which Mr Morris achieved in 2017.

Mrs Collinge said parents were “really concerned” that teachers were not getting what they needed “to deliver an excellent education”, with her party planning to give UK schools a funding boost.

She said: “Cuts to other public services mean that schools are picking up more and more non-educational problems too.”

She added: “Every child deserves a great education and the repeated cuts to school budgets are endangering that for a whole generation.”

David Morris rebuffed these suggestions, however, and said there was more money going into education in the constituency than in previous years. He also described the upcoming vote as “the Brexit election”, but this was not something all of his opponents agreed with.

Owen Lambert, of the Liberal Democrats, said: “Brexit is an issue that will come and go, but these local issues that have been ignored for years and years need sorting out now more than ever.”

Mr Lambert cited mobile connectivity and rural transport as issues which he would be looking to address as MP.

He added: “In terms of Morecambe town itself, it desperately needs investment. The sea front and promenade need mass revitalisation, especially to turn it into a tourism area.”

The climate also looks set to be a major point of discussion in the constituency as well as nationwide.

Indeed, Lizzi Collinge said her party’s plans for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ would create “good quality” jobs as well as help tackle the climate crisis.

Dr Chloe Buckley, of the Green Party, said: “The climate crisis will affect everyone and it’s literally on our doorstep in Morecambe.

“The whole neighbourhood’s going to be underwater by 2050 if we don’t reduce carbon emissions, so I feel it’s a really present issue.”

She added: “None of the other main parties are campaigning to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 which is what we need to do.”

Dr Buckley said she wanted to give people a “choice” to vote “with their principles”, and hoped that, by standing candidates, the Green party could remind other parties the climate needed to be “number one” while encouraging the introduction of proportional representation.

Independent candidate Darren Clifford is another who is hoping to offer an alternative to the more traditional parties.

He said: “I want the best for our area irrespective of political allegiances and will work night and day for the benefit of our home.”

He added: “Our area has many challenges, not least inequality and poverty, which as a working class lad I’ve experienced first- hand.”

According to Mr Clifford, the constituency holds many possibilities for development, for example the Eden Project, which he said could be a success for local businesses and workers.

The Renew Party, which had initially put forward a candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale, has since announced that Emma Rome had been stood down to avoid splitting the ‘remain’ vote. Nationally, the party also stood down 47 of its 51 candidates.