Dartford (UK Parliament constituency)

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Dartford
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Dartford in Kent.
Outline map
Location of Kent within England.
Electorate 74,756 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Dartford
Current constituency
Created 1885
Member of Parliament Gareth Johnson (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from West Kent
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Dartford is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Gareth Johnson of the Conservative Party.[n 2]

History[edit]

The seat was created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, which led to a net addition of 18 seats but the main purpose of which was to achieve a major reallocation by correcting over-representation of minor, often still old boroughs and depopulated county divisions. In their place were enacted new divisions of the country with a larger population. In Kent this finally saw the abolition of Sandwich which sent two MPs until 1885, and no less than four other historic towns seeing their representation halved which allowed for Dartford, the North-Western Division of Kent or North West Kent's creation.

Political history

In the early part of the 20th century, the Dartford result was very much a bellwether, Dartford's results shifted later towards the left and were in 1938 and then in 1951 (as well as the two intervening general elections) for the election of a Labour MP, on those two occasions in opposition.

This was the first seat contested by Margaret Thatcher (then Margaret Roberts), at the 1950 and 1951 general elections. Since 1945, Dartford has been from an analytical perspective a Labour-Conservative marginal seat and it has taken up its former mantle: among Britain's longest-serving bellwether seat — since 1964 the party winning the seat has gone on to form the government.

Boundaries[edit]

Following their review of parliamentary representation in Kent, the Boundary Commission made major changes to the existing constituency boundaries as a consequence of population changes. The existing Dartford constituency has been maintained, with the following electoral wards used in its formation:

Constituency profile[edit]

As its name suggests, the main settlement in the constituency is the town of Dartford, but it also includes a number of other towns and villages, including Swanscombe, Longfield, Greenhithe and Wilmington. These all add up to create a diverse constituency which covers urban and rural areas.

The population of the constituency currently stands at around 90,000 people, around 8,000 of whom live in the borough of Sevenoaks, with the remainder living in the borough of Dartford. The constituency is on the border with the London Borough of Bexley, with which at one time it shared an MP.

Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.9% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[2]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[3] Party
1885 Sir William Hart Dyke Conservative
1906 James Rowlands Liberal
Jan 1910 William Foot Mitchell Conservative
Dec 1910 James Rowlands Liberal
1918 Coalition Liberal
1920 by-election John Edmund Mills Labour
1922 George William Symonds Jarrett National Liberal
1923 John Edmund Mills Labour
1924 Angus McDonnell Conservative
1929 John Edmund Mills Labour
1931 Frank Edward Clarke Conservative
1938 by-election Jennie Adamson Labour
1945 constituency split, with half becoming the new Bexley seat
1945 Norman Dodds Labour Co-operative
1955 Sydney Irving Labour Co-operative
1970 Peter Trew Conservative
Feb 1974 Sydney Irving Labour Co-operative
1979 Bob Dunn Conservative
1997 Howard Stoate Labour
2010 Gareth Johnson Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Dartford[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gareth Johnson 24,428 48.8 +7.6
Labour John Adams 13,800 27.6 −15.5
Liberal Democrat James Willis 7,361 14.7 +4.6
English Democrats Gary Rogers 2,178 4.3 +4.3
UKIP Richard Palmer 1,842 3.7 +0.7
Independent Stephane Tindame 264 0.5 +0.5
Fancy Dress Party Ernie Crockford 207 0.4 +0.7
Majority 10,628 21.2
Turnout 50,080 65.7 +2.4
Conservative gain from Labour Swing 11.6

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Howard Stoate 19,909 42.6 −5.4
Conservative Gareth Johnson 19,203 41.1 +0.5
Liberal Democrat Peter Bucklitsch 5,036 10.8 +2.3
UKIP Mark Croucher 1,407 3.0 +0.8
New England Michael Tibby 1,224 2.6 +2.6
Majority 706 1.5
Turnout 46,779 63.2 1.3
Labour hold Swing −2.9
General Election 2001: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Howard Stoate 21,466 48.0 -0.6
Conservative Bob Dunn 18,160 40.6 +0.3
Liberal Democrat Graham Morgan 3,781 8.5 -0.9
UKIP Mark Croucher 989 2.2 N/A
Fancy Dress Party Keith Davenport 344 0.8 +0.3
Majority 3,306 7.4
Turnout 44,740 61.9 -12.7
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Howard Stoate 25,278 48.6 +12.4
Conservative Bob Dunn 20,950 40.3 -10.6
Liberal Democrat Dorothy Webb 4,872 9.4 -2.8
BNP Paul McHale 424 0.8 N/A
Fancy Dress Party Peter Homden 287 0.5 +0.1
Christian Democrat James Pollitt 228 0.4 N/A
Majority 4,328 8.3
Turnout 52,039 74.6
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1992: Dartford[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Bob Dunn 31,194 51.9 −1.6
Labour Howard Stoate 20,880 34.7 +7.2
Liberal Democrat Peter Bryden 7,584 12.6 −5.6
Fancy Dress Party A Munro 262 0.4 −0.4
Natural Law Angela Holland 241 0.4 N/A
Majority 10,314 17.2 −8.9
Turnout 60,161 83.1 +4.1
Conservative hold Swing −4.4

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Bob Dunn 30,685 53.49
Labour BJ Clarke 15,756 27.46
Social Democrat MG Bruce 10,439 18.20
Fancy Dress Party KJ Davenport 491 0.86
Majority 14,929 26.02
Turnout 78.99
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Bob Dunn 28,199 51.56
Labour D Townsend 14,636 26.76
Liberal J Mills 11,204 20.48
Fancy Dress Party A Crockford 374 0.68
National Front GE Nye 282 0.52
Majority 13,563 24.80
Turnout 76.37
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Bob Dunn 21,195 45.87
Labour Sydney Irving 19,803 42.86
Liberal I Josephs 4,407 9.54
National Front I Nobbs 476 1.03
Fancy Dress Party J Beddowes 328 0.71
Majority 1,392 3.01
Turnout 80.35
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election October 1974: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sydney Irving 20,817 47.64
Conservative G Bright 15,331 35.09
Liberal George H Dunk 6,606 15.12
National Front RH Aldous 939 2.15
Majority 5,486 12.56
Turnout 76.60
Labour hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sydney Irving 19,803 41.98
Conservative Peter Trew 16,149 34.24
Liberal IR Josephs 10,273 21.78
National Front RH Aldous 945 2.00
Majority 3,654 7.75
Turnout 83.44
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1970: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Trew 27,822 45.96
Labour Sydney Irving 27,262 45.03
Liberal JP Johnson 5,453 9.01
Majority 560 0.93
Turnout 74.02
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sydney Irving 29,547 49.84
Conservative Peter Trew 22,638 38.19
Liberal P Loftus 7,094 11.97
Majority 6,909 11.66
Turnout 80.80
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1964: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sydney Irving 27,371 46.46
Conservative JJ Davis 22,496 38.18
Liberal M Janis 9,047 15.36
Majority 4,875 8.27
Turnout 81.48
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sydney Irving 25,323 45.83
Conservative PE Walker 24,047 43.52
Liberal BC Davis 5,881 10.64
Majority 1,276 2.31
Turnout 82.96
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1955: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sydney Irving 25,928 54.40
Conservative PE Walker 21,730 45.60
Majority 4,198 8.81
Turnout 80.98
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1951: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Norman Dodds 40,094 59.09
Conservative Margaret Hilda Roberts 27,760 40.91
Majority 12,334 18.18
Turnout 85.22
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1950: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Norman Dodds 38,128 56.38
Conservative Margaret Hilda Roberts 24,490 36.21
Liberal AH Giles 5,011 7.41
Majority 13,638 20.17
Turnout 85.51
Labour hold Swing

Election in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Norman Dodds 36,665 68.38
Conservative REW Grubb 16,951 31.62
Majority 19,714 36.77
Turnout 74.89
Labour hold Swing
  • 1945 saw radical boundary changes, with half the constituency becoming part of the Bexley seat.

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

By-election 1938: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jennie Adamson 46,514
Conservative G Mitchell 42,276
Majority 4,238
Turnout 68.00
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1935: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Frank Edward Clarke 38,242 51.79
Labour Jennie Adamson 35,596 48.21
Majority 2,646 3.58
Turnout 69.63
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Frank Edward Clarke 34,095 55.49
Labour John Edmund Mills 27,349 44.51
Majority 6,746 10.98
Turnout 79.01
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1922: Dartford[6]

Electorate 47,132

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Liberal George William Symonds Jarrett 16,662 49.6 n/a
Labour John Edmund Mills 14,744 43.9 +6.3
Liberal Miss Alison Vickers Garland 2,175 6.5 -10.3
Majority 1,918 5.7
Turnout 71.2
National Liberal hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election December 1910 Dartford[7]

Electorate 21,398

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal James Rowlands 9,152 50.6 +2.8
Conservative William Foot Mitchell 8,918 49.4 -2.8
Majority 234 1.2 5.6
Turnout 84.4 -3.4
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +2.8
General Election January 1910 Dartford[7]

Electorate 21,398

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Foot Mitchell 9,807 52.2 +10.8
Liberal James Rowlands 8,990 47.8 -10.8
Majority 817 4.4 21.6
Turnout 87.8 +5.4
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +10.8

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906 Dartford[7]

Electorate 19,741

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal James Rowlands 9,532 58.6 n/a
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke 6,728 41.4 n/a
Majority 2,804 17.2 n/a
Turnout 82.4 n/a
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing n/a

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A county 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.
References
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  3. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  4. ^ Dartford, UKPollingReport
  5. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  6. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, F W S Craig
  7. ^ a b c British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)

Coordinates: 51°25′N 0°15′E / 51.417°N 0.250°E / 51.417; 0.250