Newbury (UK Parliament constituency)

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Newbury
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Newbury in Berkshire.
Outline map
Location of Berkshire within England.
County Berkshire
Electorate 77,898 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford
Current constituency
Created 1885 (1885)
Member of Parliament Richard Benyon (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Berkshire
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Newbury is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Richard Benyon, a Conservative.[n 2]

Profile[edit]

The constituency consists of most of West Berkshire and includes Newbury, Thatcham and Hungerford. To the east, the rest of West Berkshire is incorporated into the Wokingham and Reading West constituencies.[n 3]

Since its creation it has been a Liberal, Liberal Democrat or Conservative seat, sometimes seemingly marginal and sometimes seen as a safe seat, with a tendency towards being Conservative.[n 4] West Berkshire which is similar to its neighbours has a rather thriving economy with the headquarters of the communications company Vodafone that has created a cluster of around 80 mobile phone related businesses in Newbury,[2] while the Lambourn area is the second most important centre for the racehorse industry in Great Britain, employing over 800 people directly, and producing an annual income of £20 million.[3]

West Berkshire is also home to Atomic Weapons Establishment, near Aldermaston, Wolseley plc, Bayer and Pepsico. Around 65% of people live and work in West Berkshire, with the vast majority of jobs in Newbury. and high proportions of detached and semi-detached housing, and lower than average dependency on social housing.[4][5] The seat includes the former family home of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in Bucklebury.

Neighbouring constituencies

The constituencies bordering Newbury (clockwise from north) are: Wantage, Henley, Reading West, Wokingham, Basingstoke, North West Hampshire and Devizes.

Boundaries[edit]

A graph plotting the election results for Newbury.
(larger version and key)

As West Berkshire is a unitary authority and not a county, as is the rest of Berkshire, the Boundary Commission treats Berkshire as a whole, they are not constrained by the borders of a unitary authority.

Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which slightly altered this constituency for General Election 2010 since which it has electoral wards: Aldermaston; Basildon; Bucklebury; Chieveley, Clay Hill, Cold Ash, Compton, Downlands, Falkland, Greenham, Hungerford, Kintbury, Lambourn Valley, Northcroft, St Johns, Speen, Thatcham Central, Thatcham North, Thatcham South and Crookham, Thatcham West and Victoria.[6]

Historic boundaries[edit]

1918-1945: "The rural districts of Hungerford and Newbury, the part of the rural district of Bradfield which is not included in the Abingdon Division, the part of the rural district of Wokingham which is not included in the Windsor Division, and the municipal boroughs of Newbury and Wokingham."

History[edit]

The Newbury constituency in 1954

Originally, Newbury was part of a larger constituency of Berkshire, which returned two Members of Parliament (MPs), increased to three in the Reform Act of 1832. In the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 Berkshire was divided into three county constituencies, Northern (Abingdon), Southern (Newbury), and Eastern (Wokingham), returning one member each and one borough constituency, Reading and two members per constituency ceased, as with most of the country.

The constituency in 2010 produced the third lowest share of the vote for Labour (4.3%), one of five lost deposits for Labour nationally), below the 5% of the vote deposit threshold.[7][n 5]

Members of Parliament[edit]

An incumbent MP has been defeated just four times, in the elections of 1906, 1923, 1924, and 2005.

Election Member[8] Party
1885 William George Mount Conservative
1900 William Arthur Mount Conservative
1906 Frederick Coleridge Mackarness Liberal
1910 William Arthur Mount Conservative
1922 Howard Clifton Brown Conservative
1923 Innes Harold Stranger Liberal
1924 Howard Clifton Brown Conservative
1945 Anthony Hurd Conservative
1964 John Astor Conservative
Feb 1974 Michael McNair-Wilson Conservative
1992 Judith Chaplin Conservative
1993 by-election David Rendel Liberal Democrat
2005 Richard Benyon Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Newbury[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Richard Benyon 33,057 56.4 +7.4
Liberal Democrat David Rendel 20,809 35.5 -7.1
Labour Hannah Cooper 2,505 4.3 -1.7
UKIP David Black 1,475 2.5 +0.9
Green Adrian Hollister 490 0.8 +0.8
Independent Brian Burgess 158 0.3 +0.3
Apolitical Democrat David Yates 95 0.2 +0.2
Majority 12,248 20.9 +14.6
Turnout 58,589 70.2 -2.4
Conservative hold Swing 7.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

In the UK general election of 2005 David Rendel's small majority was overturned by Richard Benyon for the Conservative Party. It was their 30th target seat.

General Election 2005: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Richard Benyon 26,771 49.0 +5.5
Liberal Democrat David Rendel 23,311 42.6 −5.6
Labour Oscar Van Nooijen 3,239 5.9 −1.0
UKIP David McMahon 857 1.6 +0.3
Independent Nick Cornish 409 0.7
Independent Barrie Singleton 86 0.2
Majority 3,460 6.3 N/A
Turnout 54,673 72.0 +4.7
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat Swing

The 2001 general election saw David Rendel returned with a smaller majority of 2,415. Turnout was above average at 67.3%.

General Election 2001: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat David Rendel 24,507 48.2 −4.7
Conservative Richard Benyon 22,092 43.5 +5.7
Labour Steve Billcliffe 3,523 6.9 +1.4
UKIP Delphine Gray-Fisk 685 1.4 +0.9
Majority 2,415 4.8 −10.3
Turnout 50,807 67.3 −9.0
Liberal Democrat hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

In the 1997 general election, contrary to many expectations, David Rendel managed to keep hold of his seat.

General Election 1997: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat David Rendel 29,887 52.9 +15.8
Conservative Richard Benyon 21,370 37.8 -18.1
Labour Paul Hannon 3,107 5.5 -0.6
Referendum Party Ted Snook 992 1.8
Green Rachel Stark 644 1.1
UKIP R Tubb 302 0.5
Socialist Labour Katrina Howse 174 0.3
Majority 8,517 15.1 −23.1
Turnout 56,476 76.3 +5.0
Liberal Democrat hold Swing

The Newbury by-election of 1993 was held after Judith Chaplin died. It was won by David Rendel with an impressive swing of 28.4%. However, turnout was down on the previous year at 71.3%. The by-election in Newbury was the first in a string of by-election losses for the Conservative Party. It is also famed for having a very long ballot paper.

By-election 1993: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat David Rendel 37,590 65.1 +27.8
Conservative Julian Davidson 15,535 26.9 −29.0
Labour Steve Billcliffe 1,151 2.0 −4.0
Anti-Federalist League Alan Sked 601 1.0
Conservative Candidate Andrew Bannon 561 1.0
Commoners' Party Stephen Martin 435 0.8
Monster Raving Loony Screaming Lord Sutch 432 0.7
Green Jim Wallis 341 0.6 −0.2
Referendum Party Robin Marlar 338 0.6
Conservative Rebel John Browne 267 0.5
Corrective Party Lindi St Clair 170 0.3
Maastricht Referendum for Britain Bill Board 84 0.1
Natural Law Michael Grenville 60 0.1
People & Pensioners Party Johnathon Day 49 0.1
21st Century Independent Foresters Colin Palmer 40 0.1
Defence of Children's Humanity Bosnia Mladen Grbin 33 0.1
Social Democrat Alan Page 33 0.1
Communist (PCC) Anne Murphy 32 0.1
Give the royal billions to schools Michael Stone 21 0.1
Majority 22,055 38.2
Turnout 57,399 71.3 −11.46
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing 28.4

In the 1992 general election the new Conservative Party candidate won the seat with an absolute majority. The turnout was 82.76%, higher than the nationwide average. Labour achieved their fifth worst result of the 1992 election in Newbury with only a 6.0% share of the vote.

General Election 1992: Newbury[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Judith Chaplin 37,135 55.9 −4.2
Liberal Democrat David Rendel 24 778 37.3 +5.6
Labour Richard J E Hall 3,962 6.0 −2.1
Green Jim Wallis 539 0.8 N/A
Majority 12,357 18.6 −9.8
Turnout 66,414 82.8 +4.8
Conservative hold Swing −4.9

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael McNair-Wilson 35,266 60.1 +0.8
SDP–Liberal Alliance (Liberal) David Rendel 18,608 31.7 −3.3
Labour Robert Stapley 4,765 8.1 +2.5
Majority 16,658 28.4 +4.1
Turnout 58,639 78.0 +2.8
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael McNair-Wilson 31,836 59.3 +6.2
SDP–Liberal Alliance (Liberal) Anthony Richards 18,798 35.0 −1.0
Labour Richard Knight 3,027 5.6 −5.2
Majority 13,038 24.3 +7.2
Turnout 53,661 75.2
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael McNair-Wilson 33,677 52.8 +10.4
Liberal Anthony Richards 23,388 36.7 −3.9
Labour Joan Ruddock 6,676 10.5 −6.2
Majority 10,289 16.1 +14.3
Turnout 63,741 79.3 +3.0
Conservative hold Swing

After the 1970 general election, Newbury's boundaries were altered to reduce the size of the electorate which had grown to over 85,000. After the boundary changes, the electorate numbered around 72,000 people. This came into effect for the first general election in February 1974.

General Election October 1974: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael McNair-Wilson 23,499 42.4 +0.1
Liberal Dane Clouston 22,477 40.6 +0.3
Labour Celia Fletcher 9,390 16.7 −0.6
Majority 1,022 1.8 −0.2
Turnout 55,366 76.3 −4.6
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael McNair-Wilson 24,620 42.4
Liberal Dane Clouston 23,419 40.3 +19.0
Labour Celia Fletcher 10,935 17.3
Majority 1,201 2.1
Turnout 58,974 80.8 +8.2
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Astor 30,380 48.8 +3.5
Labour Timothy Sims 18,647 29.9 −8.1
Liberal Dane Clouston 13,279 21.3 +4.6
Majority 11,733 18.8 +11.6
Turnout 55,392 72.6 −6.5
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Astor 25,908 45.3 −0.1
Labour Ronald Spiller 21,762 38.0 +3.6
Liberal Stanley Clement Davies 9,571 16.7 −3.5
Majority 4,146 7.2 −3.7
Turnout 57,241 79.1 −0.2
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Astor 24,936 45.3 -14.6
Labour David Stoddart 18,943 34.4 +5.5
Liberal Denis Egginton 11,124 20.2
Majority 5,993 10.9 −9.1
Turnout 55,003 79.3 +0.6
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anthony Hurd 29,703 60.0 +2.0
Labour David Stoddart 19,787 40.0 −2.0
Majority 9,916 20.0 +4.0
Turnout 49,490 78.7 +0.4
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anthony Hurd 29,703 58.1 −1.7
Labour Jon Evans 18,843 41.9 +1.7
Majority 7,237 16.0 −3.6
Turnout 48,546 78.3 −0.4
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anthony Hurd 20,102 59.8 +7.0
Labour Colin Jackson 13,507 40.2 +5.5
Majority 6,595 19.6 +1.5
Turnout 33,609 78.7 −2.4
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anthony Hurd 18,150 52.8
Labour Colin Jackson 11,914 34.7
Liberal E. Burrows 4,284 12.5
Majority 6,236 18.1
Turnout 34,348 81.1
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anthony Hurd 24,463 52.4 −20.6
Labour Mrs I. Brook 15,754 33.7 +6.7
Liberal E. D. T. Vane 6,052 13.0 N/A
Common Wealth George Suggett 424 0.9 N/A
Majority 8,709 18.7 −27.3
Turnout 46,693 65.4 −0.4
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Howard Clifton Brown 24,642 73.0
Labour Richard Russell 9,125 27.0
Majority 15,517 46.0
Turnout 33,767 65.5
Conservative hold Swing

In the 1931 general election, Howard Clifton Brown of the Conservative Party was re-elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Howard Clifton Brown 17,800 51.0 −4.9
Liberal E. Harold Brooks 13,604 39.0 −0.5
Labour F. M. Jacques 3,471 10.0 +5.4
Majority 4,196 12.0 −4.4
Turnout 34,875 78.3 −2.6
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1924: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Howard Clifton Brown 14,759 55.90 +6
Liberal Innes Harold Stranger 10,444 39.50 −10.6
Labour F. M. Jacques 1,219 4.60 +4.60
Majority 4,315 16.40 N/A
Turnout 26,422 80.90 +9.6
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1923: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Innes Harold Stranger 11,226 50.1 +7.5
Conservative Howard Clifton Brown 11,185 49.9 −7.5
Majority 41 0.2 N/A
Turnout 22,411 71.3 +1.6
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +7.5
General Election 1922: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Howard Clifton Brown 12,322 57.4
Liberal Innes Harold Stranger 9,144 42.6
Majority 3,178 14.8
Turnout 21,466 69.7
Conservative hold Swing

The by-election of 10 June 1922 saw Howard Clifton Brown returned as Newbury's MP unopposed.

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

The 1918 general election saw William Arthur Mount returned unopposed.

General Election December 1910: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Arthur Mount 6,485 60.3 +0.3
Liberal Captain Lisle March-Phillipps 4,278 39.7 −0.3
Majority 2,207 20.5 +0.5
Turnout 10,763 82.4 -8.0
Conservative hold Swing
General Election January 1910: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Arthur Mount 7,081 60.0 +14.9
Liberal Thomas Hedderwick 4,723 40.0 −14.9
Majority 2,358 20.0 N/A
Turnout 11,804 90.4 +2.9
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

In the 1906 general election the Liberal candidate, Frederick Mackarness won with a majority of 402 votes. Nationally there was also a large swing to the Liberal party, with the Conservatives losing 246 seats in total.

Frederic Mackarness
General Election 1906: Newbury

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Frederick Mackarness 5,338 52.0 +8.7
Conservative William Arthur Mount 4,936 48.0 −8.7
Majority 402 3.9 N/A
Turnout 10,274 87.5
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +8.62

In the 1900 general election William Arthur Mount (Conservative) was returned as Newbury's MP unopposed.

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1895: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William George Mount 4,936 56.7 +2.9
Liberal Sir John Swinburne 3,776 43.3 −2.9
Majority 1,160 13.3 +5.7
Turnout 8,712
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1892: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William George Mount 4,588 53.8 +2.7
Liberal T. Stevens 3,938 46.2 −2.7
Majority 650 7.6 +5.4
Turnout 8,526
Conservative hold Swing +2.7

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

In the general election of 1886 William George Mount (Conservative) was returned as Newbury's MP unopposed.

In the first general election in the Newbury constituency William George Mount for the Conservative Party won with a small majority of 202 votes over his Liberal opponent, G. Palmer.

General Election 1885: Newbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William George Mount 4,631 51.1
Liberal G. Palmer 4,429 48.9
Majority 202 2.2
Turnout 9,060

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.
  3. ^ Burghfield, Mortimer and Sulhamstead; and, respectively Burch Copse, Calcot, Pangbourne, Purley on Thames, Theale and Westwood
  4. ^ The total period served by either a Liberal or Liberal Democrat MP is 17 years, Conservative MPs have served for the remaining 110 years (to the end of 2012)
  5. ^ Other lost Labour deposits took place in Eastbourne, Somerton & Frome, Cornwall North and Westmorland & Lonsdale
References

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]