North West Norfolk (UK Parliament constituency)

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North West Norfolk
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of North West Norfolk in Norfolk.
Outline map
Location of Norfolk within England.
County Norfolk
Electorate 73,269 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Kings Lynn and Hunstanton
Current constituency
Created 1974 (1974)
Member of Parliament Henry Bellingham (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from King's Lynn
18851918
Number of members One
Replaced by King's Lynn
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency East of England

North West Norfolk is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2001 by Henry Bellingham, a Conservative.[n 2]

History[edit]

The constituency was created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election, and abolished for the 1918 general election. It was re-established for the February 1974 general election, replacing the former King's Lynn constituency.

The first MP had gained almost exactly the same wards (in the old seat) in 1970, before which Lynn was held by one of Harold Wilson's government colleagues in the Labour Party, largely as a bellwether. Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler therefore effectively held the seat in the two 1974 elections and in 1979 however by March 1981 he became distanced from the Conservatives and defected to the newly formed Social Democratic Party shortly before the 1983 Conservative Landslide where Brocklebank-Fowler lost his seat to the replacement Conservative candidate Henry Bellingham.

Bellingham increased his precarious lead over Brocklebank-Fowler at the 1987 general election who therefore in the following election chose to contest another area[n 3] and at which Labour's candidate regained second place, almost doubling their share of the vote. Labour gained the seat at the 1997 general election but Bellingham regained the seat at the 2001 general election and increased his majority subsequently in both 2005 and 2010.

The latter election saw political party infighting when the Labour candidate for North West Norfolk, Manish Sood[n 4][2] stated in an interview with the local newspaper Lynn News that Gordon Brown was

"the worst prime minister we have had in this country."

This gained national attention and resulted in Labour disowning their candidate. Sood did not attend the count and stated he would watch it from his home in Leicester,[3] only to finish third, behind Bellingham and the Liberal Democrat candidate William Summers, whose party received their best ever result in the constituency,[4] with an 18.3% swing from Labour to the others.[5][6][7]

Boundaries[edit]

For the general elections from 1997 to 2005 North West Norfolk consisted of 30 wards from the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk. Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which removed Walton, Marshland St. James, Tilney St Lawrence, and Wiggenhall to the South West Norfolk constituency from the 2010 general election since which it has electoral wards:

  • Brancaster; Burnham; Clenchwarton; Dersingham; Docking; Fairstead; Gayton; Gaywood Chase; Gaywood North Bank; Grimston; Heacham; Hunstanton; North Lynn; North Wootton; Old Gaywood; Priory; Rudham; St Margarets with St Nicholas; Snettisham; South and West Lynn; South Wootton; Spellowfields; Springwood; Valley Hill; Walpole; West Winch.[8]

Constituency profile[edit]

Norfolk North West constituency covers an extensive hinterland in the far corner of East Anglia - remote from London, but close to Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, with which the area shares more economic links.

A minority of King's Lynn contain severe poverty marked by unemployment,[9] social housing dependency and social problems - within relatively affluent East Anglia, only Jaywick and Great Yarmouth from 2001-2004 scored higher in deprivation indices. Contrasted with this is the bulk of the area: the tourist resort Hunstanton, retail, military, public sector and commercial activity of Kings Lynn and the royal estate at Sandringham, along with many small villages and more than 50% undulating cultivated farmland — incomes and types of dwelling are close to the national average. The most frequent result has been of a fairly marginal but not negligible majority for a Conservative.

Labour's share of the vote has fallen from a winning 43.8% in the 1997 election to just 13.3% in 2010, marking the steepest decline from the start to end of the Blair-Brown government.[10]

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1885-1918[edit]

Election Member[11] Party
1885 Joseph Arch Liberal
1886 Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck
1892 Joseph Arch Liberal
1900 Sir George White Liberal
1912 by-election Edward George Hemmerde Liberal
1918 constituency abolished: see King's Lynn

MPs since 1974[edit]

Election Member[11] Party
Feb. 1974 Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler Conservative
1981 SDP
1983 Henry Bellingham Conservative
1997 George Turner Labour
2001 Henry Bellingham Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: North West Norfolk[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Bellingham 25,916 54.2 +4.3
Liberal Democrat William Summers 11,106 23.2 +8.5
Labour Manish Sood 6,353 13.3 -18.3
UKIP John William Gray 1,841 3.9 +0.2
BNP David Fleming 1,839 3.8 +3.8
Green Mike de Whalley 745 1.6 +1.6
Majority 14,810 31.0
Turnout 47,800 65.3 +3.7
Conservative hold Swing +11.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: North West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Bellingham 25,471 50.3 +1.8
Labour Damien Welfare 16,291 32.2 -9.5
Liberal Democrat Simon Higginson 7,026 13.9 +5.5
UKIP Michael Stone 1,861 3.7 +2.3
Majority 9,180 18.1 +11.3
Turnout 50,649 61.6 -3.5
Conservative hold Swing +5.7
General Election 2001: North West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Bellingham 24,846 48.5 +7.0
Labour George Turner 21,361 41.7 -2.1
Liberal Democrat Ian Mack 4,292 8.4 -1.2
UKIP Ian Durrant 704 1.4 N/A
Majority 3,485 6.8
Turnout 51,203 65.1 -9.7
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: North West Norfolk[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour George Turner 25,250 43.8 +10.2
Conservative Henry Bellingham 23,911 41.5 -10.6
Liberal Democrat E Knowles 5,513 9.6 -4.2
Referendum Party R Percival 2,923 5.1 N/A
Majority 1,339 2.3
Turnout 74.7 -6.0
Labour gain from Conservative Swing 10.4
General Election 1992: North West Norfolk[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Bellingham 32,554 52.1 +1.6
Labour George Turner 20,990 33.6 +16.1
Liberal Democrat AM Waterman 8,599 13.8 −18.2
Natural Law SRA Pink 330 0.5 N/A
Majority 11,564 18.5 −0.1
Turnout 62,473 80.7 +1.8
Conservative hold Swing −7.3

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: North West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Bellingham 29,393 50.55
Social Democrat Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler 18,568 31.93
Labour Frank Dignan 10,184 17.51
Majority 10,825 18.62
Turnout 78.85
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: North West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Bellingham 23,358 43.49
Social Democrat Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler 20,211 37.63
Labour M. Tilbury 10,139 18.88
Majority 3,147 5.86
Turnout 77.63
Conservative gain from Social Democrat Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: North West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler 33,796 51.01
Labour RL Williams 25,868 39.04
Liberal M Mynott 6,588 9.94
Majority 7,928 11.97
Turnout 79.15
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: North West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler 27,513 43.99
Labour RL Williams 26,170 41.84
Liberal RA Walker 8,862 14.17
Majority 1,343 2.15
Turnout 78.43
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: North West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler 27,823 42.35
Labour JD Page 27,020 41.13
Liberal RA Walker 10,852 16.52
Majority 803 1.22
Turnout 83.07
Conservative win (new seat)

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

Edward Hemmerde
North West Norfolk by-election, 1912[14]

Electorate 12,066

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Edward George Hemmerde 5,613 53.1 -2.8
Conservative Neville Paul Jodrell 4,965 46.9 +2.8
Majority 648 6.2 5.6
Turnout 10,578 87.7 +4.4
Liberal hold Swing -2.8
General Election December 1910: North West Norfolk[14]

Electorate 11,613

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir George White 5,407 55.9 -0.1
Conservative Neville Paul Jodrell 4,264 44.1 +0.1
Majority 1,143 11.8 -0.2
Turnout 83.3 -2.7
Liberal hold Swing -0.1
General Election January 1910 North West Norfolk[14]

Electorate 11,613

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir George White 5,596 56.0
Conservative Neville Paul Jodrell 4,388 44.0
Majority 1,208 12.0
Turnout 9,984 86.0
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906 North West Norfolk[14]

Electorate 11,100

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal George White 5,772 66.0
Conservative William John Lancaster 2,972 34.0
Majority 2,800 32.0
Turnout 8,744 78.8
Liberal hold Swing
George White
General Election 1900 North West Norfolk[14]

Electorate 10,811

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal George White 4,287 52.9
Liberal Unionist Sir William Howell Browne Ffolkes 3,811 47.1
Majority 476 5.8
Turnout 8,098 74.9
Liberal hold Swing

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. ^ South Norfolk constituency
  4. ^ At the time a Leicester councillor
References
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Thousands celebrate Diwali event". BBC News. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  3. ^ PM attack Labour candidate stayed at home [1] Diss Express 6th May 2010
  4. ^ Chris Bishop (8 May 2010). "Henry Bellingham increases his NW Norfolk majority". Norwich Evening News. 
  5. ^ "Election 2010: Brown worst PM says Labour candidate". BBC News. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Brown is 'worst PM ever'". BBC News. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Mason, Trevor (4 May 2010). "Disowned candidate Manish Sood unrepentant over PM blast". The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  8. ^ 2010 post-revision map non-metropolitan areas and unitary authorities of England
  9. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  10. ^ a b Election results 1992-2005, Guardian
  11. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  12. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/norfolknorthwest
  13. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  14. ^ a b c d e British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)