Reading West (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Reading West in Berkshire.
Location of Berkshire within England.
|Electorate||73,216 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Reading, Theale and Tilehurst|
|Member of parliament||Alok Sharma (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Reading North and Reading South|
|European Parliament constituency||South East England|
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.
History of boundaries
Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which slightly altered this constituency for the 2010 General Election. In this alteration Reading West received the electoral wards of Whitley and Battle, previously shared with Reading East. Whitley had long been represented by Labour councillors, and was relatively highly reliant on social housing. In contrast Battle adjoins Reading Station and is an economically mixed ward in terms of income, with many 21st-century apartments and improved properties, but with significantly higher unemployment than in more suburban and rural parts of the seat. Overall, the 2010 changes were thought to slightly favour the Labour Party.
The Reading West parliamentary constituency was first contested in 1983, when it was won a member of the Conservative, Tony Durant, the sitting MP for the abolished Reading North constituency. He held the seat through two subsequent general elections until he retired at the 1997 election.
The constituency was then won by Martin Salter for Labour, 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.
Since its 1983 creation the constituency has been a bellwether. Boundary changes have narrowed the seat down[clarification needed] and moved it slightly east since 2010. Unemployment is close to the regional average, which is lower than the national average and the constituency has seen a marked increase in properties throughout from 2001–2011[clarification needed].
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 2010s
|General Election 2015: Reading West|
|Liberal Democrat||Meri O'Connell||2,355||4.9||-15.2|
|General Election 2010: Reading West|
|Liberal Democrat||Daisy Benson||9,546||20.1||4.3|
|Common Sense||Howard Thomas||852||1.8||1.8|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||12.1|
|Source Reading Borough Council, BBC|
Elections in the 2000s
|General Election 2005: Reading West|
|Liberal Democrat||Denise Gaines||6,663||15.8||+3.0|
|Source Electoral Commission|
|General Election 2001: Reading West|
|Liberal Democrat||Polly Martin||5,387||12.8||+0.1|
|Source Guardian Unlimited, ONS|
Elections in the 1990s
|General Election 1997: Reading West|
|Liberal Democrat||Dee Tomlin||6,153||12.7||-5.4|
|Referendum Party||Steven G Brown||976||2.0||N/A|
|UKIP||D M Black||255||0.5||N/A|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||-15.7|
|Source Guardian Unlimited|
|General Election 1992: Reading West|
|Conservative||Sir Tony Durant||28,048||52.9||−2.4|
|Liberal Democrat||KH Lock||9,572||18.1||−4.3|
Elections in the 1980s
|General Election 1987: Reading West|
|Conservative||Sir Tony Durant||28,122||55.30|
|General Election 1983: Reading West|
|Conservative||Sir Tony Durant||24,948||51.36|
Notes and references
- "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- 2001 Census
- List of Reading BC Councillors
- Local Planning Policy Statements
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- 2011 census interactive maps
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
- "Parliamentary results 2015". Reading Borough Council.
- "Statement of Persons Nominated – Notice of Poll – Reading West Constituency" (PDF). Reading Borough Council. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Election 2010 – Reading West". BBC. 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Electoral Commission – Reading West". Electoral Commission. 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "Ask Aristotle – Reading West". London: Guardian Unlimited. 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2005.[dead link]
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.