Rochester and Strood (UK Parliament constituency)

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

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 Mark Reckless (UKIP)
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 2010 by Mark Reckless.[n 2]

Reckless was elected in 2010 as a Conservative, but on 27 September 2014 announced his defection to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).[2] Reckless resigned his seat, triggering a by-election and sought re-election as a UKIP candidate. Reckless won the by-election on 20 November 2014 and now sits as a UKIP member in the House of Commons.


Rochester and Strood constituency is an urban area in north Kent situated alongside the River Medway, which joins the Thames Estuary, becoming a wide salty and sea-like waterway at its northern river mouth. It spans two of the five Medway Towns: Rochester and Strood, and the villages in Strood Rural Ward and on the Hoo Peninsula.

Medway (or Medway Towns) is the collective name for the municipal area, one of the largest conurbations in South East England outside London that encompasses the towns of Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham, Kent, Rochester, Strood and a surrounding narrow buffer: included among these are various rural villages on the Hoo Peninsula and on the west bank of the River Medway.

Chatham town centre is an important sub-regional shopping centre and in the 2010s benefited from a £1 billion regeneration programme transforming it into Medway's central business district. Rochester and Strood Riversides are the names of large urban brownfield sites, and are 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 has ancient origins dating to the 16th century, but it has seen 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 in 1998 to form, then confusingly, a unitary authority named Medway, the parliamentary constituency of Medway only covered part of the new borough, so since the boundary changes before the 2010 election the seat was renamed to more accurately reflect the area of Rochester and Strood which it now covers.


The electoral wards incorporated within the parliamentary 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 comprises a population whose earnings are 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 by-election UKIP


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Rochester and Strood
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Prue Bray[9]
TUSC Dan Burn[10]
Green Clive Gregory[11]
Labour Naushabah Khan[12]
UKIP Mark Reckless
Conservative Kelly Tolhurst[13]

The English Democrats announced Steve Clegg as a candidate here,[14] but he is now standing in Sheffield Hallam.

Rochester and Strood by-election, 20 November 2014[15][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UKIP Mark Reckless 16,867 42.1 N/A
Conservative Kelly Tolhurst 13,947 34.8 −14.4
Labour Naushabah Khan 6,713 16.8 −11.7
Green Clive Gregory 1,692 4.2 +2.7
Liberal Democrat Geoff Juby 349 0.9 −15.5
Monster Raving Loony Hairy Knorm Davidson 151 0.4 N/A
Independent Stephen Goldsborough 69 0.2 N/A
People Before Profit Nick Long 69 0.2 N/A
Britain First Jayda Fransen 56 0.1 N/A
Independent Mike Barker 54 0.1 N/A
Independent Charlotte Rose 43 0.1 N/A
Patriotic Socialist Party Dave Osborn 33 0.1 N/A
Independent Christopher Challis 22 0.1 N/A
Majority 2,920 7.3
Turnout 40,065 50.6 −14.3
UKIP gain from Conservative Swing N/A
General Election 2010: Rochester and Strood[17]
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)
  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.

External links[edit]