Beckenham (UK Parliament constituency)

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Beckenham
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Beckenham in Greater London.
County Greater London
Electorate 66,470 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1950 (1950)
Member of Parliament Bob Stewart (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Bromley
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency London
New wards and boundaries of the Beckenham Parliament constituency (red) within the London Borough of Bromley (yellow)

Beckenham /ˈbɛkəˌnəm/ is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Bob Stewart of the Conservative Party.[n 2]

Constituency profile[edit]

The northernmost third of the constituency is in part contiguous to Penge and Crystal Palace and has similar demographics to the borough to the northwest and to Norwood Junction in having significantly more social housing than the Greater London average.[2] However these wards in 2005 and 2010 voted strongly for the Liberal Democrats, with Labour also competitive.

The remaining half of wards, the three in the south, consist of a larger majority of private housing than the other wards[2] which can be branded as leafy Bromley suburbia in the "BR2 postcode" — one widely known gazetteer summarises this in 2012:

"The properties on these streets typically include a range of styles, from modern to Mock Tudor. However many local residents are wealthy city commuters. Keston Common and Keston Ponds are both popular attractions for locals...The common theme is large, detached houses with substantial land and typically with asking prices of over £1 million. At the lower end of the market, a one bedroom period conversion flat on Turpington Lane near Bromley Common, or a one bedroom flat in a modern block on Homesdale Road, near the Bickley border, would demand an asking price of approximately £160,000."[3]

Also in the southeast is the small town centre of Beckenham itself. These three wards to date have voted between 60-70% for Conservatives which means that, even with Labour leading the national polls, the whole seat has had to date Conservative safe seat status.

Opposition has featured since 1983 a close contest for second place between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Labour's share has kept much greater than in Orpington whereas Liberal Democrat share has kept much greater than in Croydon Central.[n 3]

History[edit]

The constituency has only elected Conservatives as its MPs since 1950.

The closest the Conservatives have ever come to losing this seat was at a by-election in November 1997, at the height of Tony Blair's 'honeymoon period' as Prime Minister, following the resignation of the previous MP Piers Merchant in a sex scandal. Even then, the former MP for Hastings who lost her seat in the earlier 1997 general election, Jacqui Lait, managed to win the seat by just over 1,000 votes.

Between 1957 and 1992 the long-serving MP for Beckenham was Sir Philip Goodhart, who was soon after 1979 discovered by Margaret Thatcher to be a left-of-centre or 'wet conservative' and consequently his career as a junior minister came to a quick end. Goodhart is best known for his book on the workings of the Conservative MPs' 1922 Committee, and for his brother Charles, who was a famous economics professor at LSE and sat for some time on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee.

Before Sir Philip Goodhart, the former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick Buchan-Hepburn represented Beckenham in Parliament.

Boundaries[edit]

Beckenham constituency covers the north-western part of the London Borough of Bromley. Since 2010 it is made up of six electoral wards from the borough:

  • Bromley Common and Keston, Copers Cope, Hayes and Coney Hall, Kelsey and Eden Park, Shortlands, and West Wickham.

Latest boundary review[edit]

Following their review of parliamentary representation in South London, the Boundary Commission for England made revisions to the existing Beckenham constituency. Clock House ward, Crystal Palace ward, and Penge and Cator ward were transferred from Beckenham to help create the new constituency of Lewisham West and Penge. Parts of Bromley Common and Keston ward, Hayes and Coney Hall ward, and Shortlands ward were transferred to Beckenham from Bromley and Chislehurst. A small part of Bromley Common and Keston ward was transferred to Beckenham from Orpington and a tiny part of Bromley Town ward was transferred from Beckenham to Bromley and Chislehurst.

Historic boundaries[edit]

1983-1997: The London Borough of Bromley wards of Anerley, Clock House, Copers Cope, Eden Park, Kelsey Park, Lawrie Park and Kent House, Penge, and Shortlands.

1997-2010: The London Borough of Bromley wards of Anerley, Clock House, Copers Cope, Eden Park, Kelsey Park, Lawrie Park and Kent House, Penge, Shortlands, West Wickham North, and West Wickham South. The local government ward boundaries were then reviewed with effect from May 2002, though this did not affect parliamentary constituency boundaries until the 2010 redistribution.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1950 Patrick Buchan-Hepburn Conservative
1957 by-election Sir Philip Goodhart Conservative
1992 Piers Merchant Conservative
1997 by-election Jacqui Lait Conservative
2010 Bob Stewart Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Beckenham[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Bob Stewart 27,597 57.9 -1.8
Liberal Democrat Stephen Jenkins 9,813 20.6 +4.5
Labour Damien Egan[6] 6,893 14.5 -4.9
UKIP Owen Brolly 1,551 3.3 +0.4
BNP Roger Tonks[7] 1,001 2.1 +2.1
Green Ann Garrett 608 1.3 +1.3
English Democrats Dan Eastgate 223 0.5 +0.5
Majority 17,784 37.3
Turnout 47,686 72 +6.7

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jacqui Lait 22,183 45.3 0.0
Labour Liam K. Curran 13,782 28.1 –6.3
Liberal Democrat Jef W. Foulger 10,862 22.2 +6.2
UKIP James D.C. Cartwright 1,301 2.7 +1.0
Independent Roderick A. Reed 836 1.7 +1.7
Majority 8,401 17.2
Turnout 48,964 65.5 +2.9
Conservative hold Swing +3.1
General Election 2001: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jacqui Lait 20,618 45.3 +2.8
Labour Richard F. Watts 15,659 34.4 +1.0
Liberal Democrat Alexander D. Feakes 7,308 16.0 –2.1
Green Miss Karen A. Moran 961 2.1
UKIP Christopher N. Pratt 782 1.7 +0.8
Liberal Riff Winfield 234 0.5 –0.8
Majority 4,959 10.9
Turnout 45,562 62.6 –11.7
Conservative hold Swing +0.9

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

Beckenham by-election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jacqui Lait 13,162 41.3 –1.2
Labour Robert N. Hughes 11,935 37.4 +4.0
Liberal Democrat Miss Rosemary E. Vetterlein 5,864 18.4 +0.2
Liberal Phil H. Rimmer 330 1.0 –0.3
National Front John C. McAuley 267 0.8 +0.09
Referendum Party Leonard F. Mead 237 0.8 –2.4
Independent John Campion 69 0.2 N/A
Natural Law John D. Small 44 0.1 N/A
Majority 1,227 3.8
Turnout 31,908 43.1 –31.5
Conservative hold Swing –2.6
General Election 1997: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Piers Merchant 23,084 42.5 -14.4
Labour Robert N. Hughes 18,131 33.4 +9.6
Liberal Democrat Miss Rosemary E. Vetterlein 9,858 18.1 +0.7
Referendum Party Leonard F. Mead 1,663 3.1 N/A
Liberal Phil H. Rimmer 720 1.3 -0.1
UKIP Christopher N. Pratt 506 0.9 N/A
National Front John C. McAuley 388 0.71 N/A
Majority 4,953
Turnout 54,350 74.3 -3.3
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1992: Beckenham[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Piers Merchant 26,323 56.9 +0.6
Labour Kenneth G.H. Ritchie 11,038 23.8 +6.0
Liberal Democrat Mrs Mary C. Williams 8,038 17.4 -8.5
Liberal Gerry Williams 643 1.4 -24.5
Natural Law Patrick J. Shaw 243 0.5 +0.5
Majority 15,285 33.0 +2.6
Turnout 46,285 77.8 +4.2
Conservative hold Swing -2.7

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 24,903 56.3 -1.1
Liberal C. Darracot 11,038 23.8 -2.8
Labour K. Ritchie 8,038 17.4 +1.9
Majority 13,464 30.4
Turnout 73.6 +3.6
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 23,606 57.4
Liberal C. Forrest 10,936 26.6
Labour J. Dowd 6,386 15.5
BNP R. Younger 203 0.5
Majority 12,670 30.8
Turnout 70.0
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 24,607 56.85
Labour J.W. Mordecai 10,856 25.08
Liberal C. Forrest 6,450 14.90
Ecology W. Vernon 762 1.76
National Front N. Dickson 606 1.40
Majority 13,751 31.77
Turnout 74.70
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 19,798 47.69
Labour N.J. Sharp 11,140 26.83
Liberal G.D. Mitchell 10,578 25.48
Majority 8,658 20.85
Turnout 69.76
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 22,976 49.08
Liberal G. Mitchell 12,821 27.39
Labour N.J. Sharp 11,018 23.54
Majority 10,155 21.69
Turnout 79.39
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 30,763 57.83
Labour I.G. Bing 13,031 24.50
Liberal P.A. Golding 9,404 17.68
Majority 17,732 33.33
Turnout 68.68
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 28,837 51.53
Labour J.D. Grant 14,972 26.75
Liberal P.A. Golding 12,155 21.72
Majority 13,865 24.77
Turnout 77.78
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Goodhart 30,070 53.48
Labour A.H. Macdonald 13,338 23.72
Liberal H.H. Monroe 12,821 22.80
Majority 16,732 29.76
Turnout 77.35
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Carter Goodhart 36,528 61.61
Labour H Ferguson 13,395 22.59
Liberal Herbert H Monroe 9,365 15.80
Majority 23,133 39.02
Turnout 80.75
Conservative hold Swing
Beckenham by-election, 1957
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Philip Carter Goodhart 29,621
Labour Neville D Sandelson 17,445
Majority 12,176
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Buchan-Hepburn 38,614 68.96
Labour CFA Culling 17,377 31.04
Majority 21,237 37.93
Turnout 76.51
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Buchan-Hepburn 41,282 67.38
Labour AP Magonet 19,982 32.62
Majority 21,300 34.77
Turnout 82.38
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: Beckenham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Buchan-Hepburn 38,102 59.85
Labour WA Bain 18,723 29.41
Liberal Herbert H Monroe 6,834 10.74
Majority 19,379 30.44
Turnout 86.49
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ Both Orpington and Croydon Central are conservative neighbouring seats.
References
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b 2001 Census
  3. ^ Mouseprice area guide - BR2
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  5. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/beckenham
  6. ^ "PPC for Beckenham". Labour. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.londonpatriot.org/londonppcs/
  8. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 Dec 2010. 

Coordinates: 51°23′20″N 0°01′12″W / 51.389°N 0.02°W / 51.389; -0.02