Almost all the areas visited by Brown, Cameron & Clegg during the election campaign have been marginal constituencies. The safer seats have been left undisturbed. The rock-solid seats have been treated like embarrassing relatives; it's already been noted elsewhere that the Liverpool Walton seat, bequeathed by Peter Kilfoyle to Steve Rotheram, has seen vitually no leaflets or posters. Apathy goes both ways. The parties can be just as dismissive of the whole business as the voters.
Another seat long taken for granted is neighbouring Bootle. A solid Labour seat since anyone can remember, the local party assumes nothing will change tomorrow, as does its MP, Joe Benton. Which may explain his decision not to attend a meeting of the candidates called in the constituency on Tuesday of last week (http://icseftonandwestlancs.icnetwork.co.uk/icbootle/news/tm_headline=joe-benton-does-not-attend-sefton-tuc-hustings-meeting%26method=full%26objectid=26338475%26siteid=60252-name_page.html ).
Also absent was the Tory candidate, Sohail Quershi. However, given that the Tories' chances in Bootle are minimal, his decision not to turn up could be understood.
Benton knows that as Labour MP for the seat (Cherie Blair was approached about succeeding Benton last year, but turned it down), his position won't be seriously challenged by any other party. Such certainty morphed into arrogance long ago & it goes some way to explaining why he presumably felt a public meeting in the seat he's supposed to represent was beneath him.
Walton, Bootle & other such constituencies are the 21st century versions of rotten boroughs.