Maidstone and The Weald (UK Parliament constituency)

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Maidstone and The Weald
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Maidstone and The Weald in Kent.
Outline map
Location of Kent within England.
County Kent
Electorate 70,576 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Maidstone, Staplehurst and Cranbrook
Current constituency
Created 1997
Member of Parliament Helen Grant (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Maidstone, Mid Kent, Tunbridge Wells
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Maidstone and The Weald is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Helen Grant, a Conservative.

Boundaries[edit]

1997-2010: The Borough of Maidstone wards of Allington, Barming, Boughton Monchelsea, Bridge, Coxheath, East, Farleigh, Heath, High Street, Loose, Marden, North, South, Staplehurst, and Yalding; and the Borough of Tunbridge Wells wards of Benenden, Cranbrook, Frittenden and Sissinghurst, Hawkhurst, and Sandhurst.

2010-present: The Borough of Maidstone wards of Allington, Barming, Bridge, Coxheath and Hunton, East, Fant, Heath, High Street, Loose, Marden and Yalding, North, South, and Staplehurst; and the Borough of Tunbridge Wells wards of Benenden and Cranbrook, Frittenden, and Sissinghurst.

The largest settlement is the central county town of Maidstone in Kent in south-east England with smaller settlements spread throughout agriculture-rich Maidstone borough and partly wooded Tunbridge Wells borough.

History[edit]

The constituency was created for the 1997 general election, after the previous Maidstone constituency was split in two: its southeast wards of Shepway and Park Wood of the town itself and the rural wards east of the town joined Faversham in the new Faversham and Mid Kent constituency. The remaining two-thirds of the electorate in west/central Maidstone were reunited with the town wards that had been lost to Mid Kent in 1983 (which was abolished), and joined by a rural part of the Weald to the south of the town, previously in the Tunbridge Wells constituency.

History of members

The MP for the seat from its creation in 1997 was Ann Widdecombe of the Conservative Party. Widdecombe was MP for the former seat of Maidstone 1987-97, and served as a Home Office Minister (of State) in the government of John Major from 1995 to 1997, and as Shadow Home Secretary from 1999 to 2001. She stood down at the 2010 general election, to be succeeded by its winner, who was Helen Grant, also a Conservative.

Constituency profile[edit]

Most of the electorate live in urban Maidstone, which has some light industry but whose economy is increasingly dominated by the service sector (including care, hospitality and insurance). The south of the constituency is rural with significant orchards and market gardens. Many residents commute to London, with the relevant terminus being London Bridge.[n 2] To summarise this is an urban-rural seat in a prosperous part of Kent.[2]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[3] Party
1997 Ann Widdecombe Conservative
2010 Helen Grant Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Maidstone and the Weald [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Jasper Gerard[5]
Conservative Helen Grant
UKIP Eddie Powell
Labour Allen Simpson[6]
National Health Action Dr Paul Hobday
General Election 2010: Maidstone and the Weald[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Helen Grant 23,491 48.0 -3.8
Liberal Democrat Peter Carroll 17,602 36.0 +13.8
Labour Rav Seeruthun 4,769 9.7 -12.6
UKIP Gareth Kendal 1,637 3.3 +0.3
Green Stuart Jeffery 655 1.3 +0.4
National Front Gary Butler 643 1.3 N/A
Christian Heidi Simmonds 131 0.3 N/A
Majority 5,889 12.0 -18.5
Turnout 48,928 68.9 +3.7
Conservative hold Swing -8.5

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Maidstone and the Weald
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ann Widdecombe 25,670 52.7 +3.1
Labour Beth Breeze 10,814 22.2 -4.8
Liberal Democrat Mark Corney 10,808 22.2 +2.3
UKIP Anthony 'Felix' Robertson 1,463 3.0 +0.9
Majority 14,856 30.5
Turnout 48,755 65.8 4.2
Conservative hold Swing +3.9
General Election 2001: Maidstone & The Weald
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ann Widdecombe 22,621 49.6 +5.5
Labour Mark Davis 12,303 27.0 +0.8
Liberal Democrat Allison Wainman 9,064 19.9 -2.5
UKIP John Botting 978 2.1 +1.5
Independent Neil Hunt 611 1.3 N/A
Majority 10,318 22.6
Turnout 45,577 61.6 -12.1
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Maidstone and the Weald[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ann Widdecombe 23,657 44.13
Labour J Morgan 14,054 26.22
Liberal Democrat J Nelson 11,986 22.36
Referendum Party S Hopkins 1,998 3.73
Socialist Labour Maureen Cleator 979 1.83
Green P Kemp 480 0.9
UKIP R Owen 339 0.63
Natural Law J Oldbury 115 0.22
Majority 9,603 17.91
Turnout 53,605 73.7

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ With some services going further past this and terminating at Blackfriars station, Cannon Street station and Waterloo East station, useful for certain destinations
References

Sources[edit]

  • T. H. B. Oldfield, The Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1816)
  • Robert Waller, The Almanac of British Politics (1st edition, London: Croom Helm, 1983; 5th edition, London: Routledge, 1996)
  • Frederic A Youngs, jr, "Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol I" (London: Royal Historical Society, 1979)

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 51°12′N 0°33′E / 51.200°N 0.550°E / 51.200; 0.550