Reading West (UK Parliament constituency)

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Reading West
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Reading West in Berkshire.
Outline map
Location of Berkshire within England.
County Berkshire
Electorate 73,216 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Reading, Theale and Tilehurst
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of Parliament Alok Sharma (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Reading North and Reading South
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Reading West is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Alok Sharma, a Conservative.[n 2]

Boundaries[edit]

The constituency comprises the western part of the Borough of Reading (specifically the wards of Battle, Kentwood, Minster, Norcot, Southcote, Tilehurst and Whitley) together with the villages / civil parishes of Holybrook, Pangbourne, Purley-on-Thames, Tidmarsh with Sulham, Theale and Tilehurst in West Berkshire District. It is bounded by the constituencies of Newbury, Henley, Reading East and Wokingham.[2]

History of boundaries

Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which slightly altered this constituency for General Election 2010 by which Reading West received the previously Reading East shared electoral wards of Whitley and Battle. Whitley was at that date a long Labour-councillor represented area, relatively highly social housing-reliant[3][4] whereas Battle adjoins Reading Station and is an economically mixed ward in terms of income with many 21st-century apartments[5] and improved properties, but with significantly higher unemployment than in more suburban and rural parts of the seat.[6] Overall, the 2010 changes were thought to slightly favour the Labour Party.[1]

History[edit]

The Reading West parliamentary constituency was first contested in 1983, when it was won by a member of the Conservative Party, Tony Durant, the sitting MP for abolished Reading North. He held the seat through two subsequent general elections until he retired before the 1997 election.

The constituency was then won by Martin Salter a member of the Labour Party, as part of the landslide that brought Labour back to power under Tony Blair. Salter held the seat through the Blair-Brown Ministry until Parliament was dissolved in April 2010, but did not stand in the 2010 general election, when Alok Sharma won the seat for the Conservatives.

Constituency profile[edit]

Since its 1983 creation the constituency has been a bellwether and boundary changes have narrowed the seat down gradually and moved it slightly east since 2010. Unemployment is similar to the regional average which is lower than the national average[7] and the constituency has seen a marked increase in properties throughout from 2001–2011.[8]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[9] Party
1983 Tony Durant Conservative
1997 Martin Salter Labour
2010 Alok Sharma Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Reading West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alok Sharma 20,523 43.2 9.6
Labour Naz Sarkar 14,519 30.5 -14.5
Liberal Democrat Daisy Benson 9,546 20.1 4.3
UKIP Bruce Hay 1,508 3.2 0.4
Common Sense Howard Thomas 852 1.8 1.8
Green Adrian Windisch 582 1.2 -1
Majority 6,004 12.6
Turnout 47,530 65.9 +6.0
Conservative gain from Labour Swing 12.1
Source Reading Borough Council,[10] BBC[11]

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Reading West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Salter 18,940 44.9 -8.0
Conservative Ewan Cameron 14,258 33.8 +1.8
Liberal Democrat Denise Gaines 6,663 15.8 +3.0
UKIP Peter Williams 1,180 2.8 +0.8
Green Adrian Windisch 921 2.2 N/A
Veritas Dave Boyle 267 0.6 N/A
Majority 4,672 11.1
Turnout 42,229 61.0 +1.9
Labour hold Swing +5.0
Source Electoral Commission[12]
General Election 2001: Reading West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Salter 22,300 53.1 +8.0
Conservative Stephen Reid 13,451 32.0 -6.9
Liberal Democrat Polly Martin 5,387 12.8 +0.1
UKIP David Black 848 2.0 +1.5
Majority 8,849 21.1
Turnout 41,986 59.1 -11.0
Labour hold Swing -7.5
Source Guardian Unlimited,[13] ONS[citation needed]

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Reading West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Salter 21,841 45.1 +17.3
Conservative Nicholas Bennett 18,844 38.9 -14.0
Liberal Democrat Dee Tomlin 6,153 12.7 -5.4
Referendum Party Steven G Brown 976 2.0 N/A
BNP Ian Dell 320 0.7 N/A
UKIP D M Black 255 0.5 N/A
Majority 2,997 6.2
Turnout 48,389 70.1 -7.9
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -15.7
Source Guardian Unlimited[13]
General Election 1992: Reading West[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Tony Durant 28,048 52.9 −2.4
Labour PM Ruhemann 14,750 27.8 +6.6
Liberal Democrat KH Lock 9,572 18.1 −4.3
Green PJ Unsworth 613 1.2 +0.1
Majority 13,298 25.1 −7.8
Turnout 52,983 78.0 +5.7
Conservative hold Swing −4.5

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Reading West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Tony Durant 28,122 55.30
Liberal KH Lock 11,369 22.36
Labour ME Orton 10,819 21.28
Green EP Wilson 542 1.07
Majority 16,753 32.94
Turnout 72.24
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Reading West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Tony Durant 24,948 51.36
Liberal RJ Day 13,549 27.89
Labour R Evans 9,220 20.42
Independent E Lilley 161 0.33
Majority 11,399 23.47
Turnout 73.51
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.
References
  1. ^ a b "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  3. ^ 2001 Census
  4. ^ List of Reading BC Councillors
  5. ^ Local Planning Policy Statements
  6. ^ 2001 Census
  7. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  8. ^ 2011 census interactive maps
  9. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  10. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated – Notice of Poll – Reading West Constituency". Reading Borough Council. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Election 2010 – Reading West". BBC. 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Electoral Commission – Reading West". Electoral Commission. 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Ask Aristotle – Reading West". London: Guardian Unlimited. 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2005. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 

Coordinates: 51°28′N 0°59′W / 51.46°N 0.99°W / 51.46; -0.99