Rochester and Strood (UK Parliament constituency)

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Rochester and Strood
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Rochester and Strood in Kent.
Outline map
Location of Kent within England.
County Kent
Electorate 75,001 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 2010
Member of Parliament Vacant
Number of members One
Created from Medway
European Parliament constituency South East England

Rochester and Strood is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since its 2010 creation by Mark Reckless.

Reckless was elected as a member of the Conservative Party, but on 27 September 2014 announced his defection to the UK Independence Party.[2] Reckless has said he will resign his commons seat, triggering a by-election.


Rochester and Strood constituency is a developed part of north Kent alongside the River Medway estuary, with a wide salty and sea-like part of the Thames Estuary on its north border. It spans two of the five Medway Towns: Rochester and Strood and the villages of Strood Rural and the Hoo Peninsula.

Medway or Medway Towns are the collective names for the single conurbation, the largest conurbation in South East England outside London that compasses the towns of Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham, Kent and a surrounding narrow buffer. Included among these are several rural settlements on the Hoo Peninsula and on the west bank of the Medway valley.

Chatham town centre is an important sub-regional shopping centre and in the 2010s is subject to a £1 billion regeneration programme to transform it into Medway's unquestionably main centre. Rochester and Strood Riversides are the names of large urban brownfield sites, and one of the main development projects in the Thames Gateway. A substantial new mixed use developments will include some 3,000 plus new mixed tenure homes, offices and shops, two new hotels, restaurants, river walks and open spaces and links to historic Rochester.[3]


The Rochester constituency is an old one, going back to the 16th century, but it saw many changes in the 20th century. From 1885–1918 the wider area was split between Chatham, Gillingham and the "old", rural, Medway constituency. The Chatham seat joined Rochester to form Rochester and Chatham in 1950, which formed the core of Medway in 1983.

When the boroughs of Rochester upon Medway and Gillingham merged to form, then confusingly, a unitary authority named Medway in 1998, the Parliamentary constituency of Medway only covered part of the new borough, so from the 2010 election the seat was renamed to the more precise and narrow division it covered and now covers, Rochester and Strood.


The electoral wards used to create this seat are as follows:

  • Cuxton and Halling, Peninsula, River, Rochester East, Rochester South and Horsted, Rochester West, Strood North, Strood Rural and Strood South[4]

Constituency profile[edit]

Rochester and Strood has a working population with close to the national average income,[5][6] low unemployment compared to the national average (3.5% at the end of 2012)[7] and can be considered aside from significant sources of employment, professions and trades in Kent as part of the London Commuter Belt. Levels of reliance on social housing are similar to most of the region in this seat.[5]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[8] Party
2010 Mark Reckless Conservative
2014 TBD TBD


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

This seat was fought for the first time at the 2010 general election.

General Election 2010: Rochester and Strood[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Mark Reckless 23,604 49.2 +6.6
Labour Teresa Murray 13,651 28.5 −13.7
Liberal Democrat Geoff Juby 7,800 16.3 +3.9
English Democrats Ron Sands 2,182 4.5 N/A
Green Simon Marchant 734 1.5 N/A
Majority 9,953 20.7
Turnout 47,971 64.9 +2.5
Conservative hold Swing +9.8

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°24′N 0°30′E / 51.400°N 0.500°E / 51.400; 0.500