VOTERS in Warrington South will have to wait until next year before finding out who will be standing for the Labour Party.

Earlier this week the national executive council (NEC) for the political party ruled that Warrington South would be under an all female shortlist for the seat.

It follows the announcement in June by current Warrington South Labour MP Helen Southworth that she would be stepping down at the next election.

She cited wanting to spend more time with her family as the reason behind her decision.

Rumours had been circulating that Labour figures in the area had wanted to drop the female only list to open up the possiblity of a person from the town standing in the seat.

A North West Labour Party spokesman said: “The NEC makes decisions on a case by case basis as to whether or not a parliamentary selection process should be an open shortlist or all-women shortlist.

“The NEC Organisational Subcommittee took the decision today that the selection processes for Warrington South should be based on an all women shortlist."

Under usual protocol for selecting a parliamentary candidate it would take 12 weeks from when the consituency group first meets to discuss the decision for the winner to be announced.

That would mean the final hustings for candidate selection by Warrington South Labour members would not take place until into the new year.

The all female shortlist for the Warrington South seat was brought in back in 1997 that saw Helen Southworth elected to Parliament, where she has since served for 12 years.

It would leave the chosen candidate with just months to prepare for a General Election, which has to be held by no later than June.

The successful MP hopeful would have a therotical 7.5 per cent majority to defend in the seat, but would have to battle against two well-established rivals in the Conservative’s David Mowat and Jo Crotty for the Lib Dems.

A opinion poll released last week predicted the Tories were clear favourites to take the seat from Labour.