South Dorset (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 50°34′00″N 2°27′15″W / 50.5666°N 2.4541°W / 50.5666; -2.4541

South Dorset
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of South Dorset in Dorset.
Outline map
Location of Dorset within England.
County Dorset
Electorate 73,499 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Weymouth and Swanage
Current constituency
Created 1885
Member of Parliament Richard Drax (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Dorset
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South West England

South Dorset is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Richard Drax, a Conservative.[n 2]

Boundaries[edit]

1983-1997: The Borough of Weymouth and Portland; the District of Purbeck wards of Bere Regis, Castle, Langton, St Martin, Swanage North, Swanage South, Wareham, West Purbeck, Winfrith, and Wool; and the District of West Dorset ward of Owermoigne.

1997-2010: The Borough of Weymouth and Portland; the District of Purbeck wards of Castle, Langton, Swanage North, Swanage South, West Purbeck, Winfrith, and Wool; and the District of West Dorset ward of Owermoigne.

2010-present: The Borough of Weymouth and Portland; the District of Purbeck wards of Castle, Creech Barrow, Langton, Swanage North, Swanage South, West Purbeck, Winfrith, and Wool; and the District of West Dorset ward of Owermoigne.

Constituency profile[edit]

The seat includes the coastal areas to the south of the county of Dorset, plus some rural Purbeck territory further inland. The port of Weymouth is one of the few large towns in Dorset and its suburbs extend onto the Wyke Regis peninsula and the isle of Portland, connected to the mainland by road (and, in the past, rail).

The constituency includes Bovington army camp, and further east, Corfe Castle, connected by the preserved Swanage Railway steam railway to the holiday resort of Swanage. This part of the seat is closer to Poole and Bournemouth than to Weymouth.

Workless claimants were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.8% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[2]

History[edit]

In the 1997 election, this seat was won by a Conservative by a margin of only 77 votes, one of the smallest margins in the UK.

2001 and 2005

The following election saw the second Labour win in its history (in the 2001 election), but with Labour's smallest majority in England, at 153. In the 2005 election this constituency was one of the few in which Labour significantly increased their majority. Labour may have been helped by the fact that Tony Blair started his official campaign in this seat. A more significant factor perhaps was that Conservative candidate Ed Matts was found to have doctored an image which was part of his campaign material. Matts changed a photo of a protest against the deportation of a South Dorset resident, so that it appeared to be a protest against "uncontrolled immigration".

In both elections, the left-wing singer-songwriter Billy Bragg led an anti-Conservative tactical voting campaign in Dorset constituencies.[citation needed]

2010

This election saw a Richard Drax a former soldier, from a long line of Dorset representatives (stretching back four centuries), and a Conservative, defeating the incumbent, Jim Knight which ended his final year in parliament as the Minister (of State) for Employment and Welfare Reform.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[3] Party
1885 Henry Parkman Sturgis Liberal
1886 Charles Joseph Theophilus Hambro[4] Conservative
1891 by-election William Ernest Brymer Conservative
1906 Thomas Scarisbrick Liberal
1910 Angus Valdemar Hambro Conservative
1918 Coalition Conservative
1922 Robert Yerburgh Conservative
1929 Viscount Cranborne[5] Conservative
1941 by-election Viscount Hinchingbrooke[6] Conservative
1962 by-election Guy Barnett Labour
1964 Evelyn King Conservative
1979 Viscount Cranborne Conservative
1987 Ian Bruce Conservative
2001 Jim Knight Labour
2010 Richard Drax Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: South Dorset [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Simon Bowkett[8]
Green Jane Burnet[9]
Conservative Richard Drax
UKIP Tom Rubython
General Election 2010: South Dorset[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Richard Drax 22,667 45.1 +7.1
Labour Jim Knight 15,224 30.3 -11.4
Liberal Democrat Ros Kayes 9,557 19.0 +3.2
UKIP Mike Hobson 2,034 4.0 +0.8
Green Brian Heatley 595 1.2 +1.2
Movement for Active Democracy Andy Kirkwood 233 0.5 +0.5
Majority 7,443 14.8
Turnout 50,310 68.1 -1.3
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +9.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jim Knight 20,231 41.6 −0.4
Conservative Ed Matts 18,419 37.9 −3.7
Liberal Democrat Graham Oakes 7,647 15.7 +1.3
UKIP Hugh Chalker 1,571 3.2 +1.2
Legalise Cannabis Vic Hamilton 282 0.6 N/A
Respect Berny Parkes 219 0.5 N/A
Personality and Rational Thinking? Yes! Party Andrew Kirkwood 107 0.2 N/A
Wessex Regionalist Colin Bex 83 0.2 N/A
Socialist Labour David Marchesi 25 0.1 N/A
Majority 1,812 3.7
Turnout 48,584 68.7 +3.2
Labour hold Swing +1.7
General Election 2001: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jim Knight 19,027 42.0 +6.0
Conservative Ian Bruce 18,874 41.6 +5.5
Liberal Democrat Andy Canning 6,531 14.4 -5.8
UKIP Laurie Moss 913 2.0 +0.3
Majority 153 0.4
Turnout 45,345 65.5 -8.5
Labour gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Bruce 17,755 36.10
Labour Jim Knight 17,678 35.94
Liberal Democrat Michael Plummer 9,936 20.20
Referendum Party Patrick C. McAndrew 2,791 5.68
UKIP Malcolm Shakesby 861 1.75
Natural Law Gerald T.H. Napper 161 0.33
Majority 77 0.16
Turnout 73.97
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1992: South Dorset[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Bruce 29,319 50.3 −4.5
Liberal Democrat Brian E.J. Ellis 15,811 27.1 −0.3
Labour Alan Chedzoy 12,298 21.1 +3.8
Independent Mrs JW Hagel 673 1.2 N/A
Natural Law MRF Griffiths 191 0.3 N/A
Majority 13,508 23.2 −4.2
Turnout 58,292 76.9 +1.4
Conservative hold Swing −2.1

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Bruce 30,184 54.84
Liberal Brian E.J. Ellis 15,117 27.47
Labour B Dench 9,494 17.25
Independent A Hayler 244 0.44
Majority 15,067 27.38
Turnout 75.55
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 28,631 57.10
Social Democratic S Head 13,533 26.99
Labour D Hewitt 7,831 15.62
Independent B Smith 151 0.30
Majority 15,098 30.11
Turnout 72.68
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 32,372 55.67
Labour Alan Chedzoy 17,133 29.46
Liberal P St. J Howe 8,649 14.87
Majority 15,239 26.20
Turnout 78.33
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 24,351 45.88
Labour Alan Chedzoy 17,652 33.26
Liberal C Sandy 11,075 20.87
Majority 6,699 12.62
Turnout 75.38
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 26,933 46.93
Labour Alan Chedzoy 18,318 31.92
Liberal DT Broomfield 12,140 21.15
Majority 8,615 15.01
Turnout 82.19
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 27,580 52.06
Labour Richard George May 20,716 39.10
Liberal Keith Searby 4,680 8.83
Majority 6,864 12.96
Turnout 78.98
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 22,997 46.01
Labour Frederick W Morgan 21,120 42.26
Liberal Geoffrey Maxwell Goode 5,862 11.72
Majority 1,877 3.76
Turnout 81.00
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 21,209 43.66
Labour Nicolas Guy Barnett 20,274 41.73
Liberal Terence Patrick Bourke 7,100 14.61
Majority 935 1.92
Turnout 81.02
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
South Dorset by-election, 1962
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Nicolas Guy Barnett 13,783 33.51 -1.16
Conservative Angus Edmund Upton Maude 13,079 31.79 -17.99
Liberal Lawrence I Norbury-Williams 8,910 21.66 +6.11
Anti Common Market Sir Piers Kenrick Debenham 5,057 12.29 N/A
Independent P. Burn 181 0.44 N/A
Independent M. Fudge 82 0.20 N/A
Independent J.C. O'Connor 45 0.11 N/A
Majority 704 1.71
Turnout 41,137
Labour gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 22,050 49.78
Labour Conrad F Ascher 15,357 34.67
Liberal Lawrence I Norbury-Williams 6,887 15.55
Majority 6,693 15.11
Turnout 78.82
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 22,119 50.71
Labour Frederick N Stacey 16,702 38.29
Liberal Geoffrey Maxwell Goode 4,798 11.00
Majority 5,417 12.42
Turnout 79.25
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 21,679 48.25
Labour Frederick N Stacey 18,244 40.61
Liberal Wilfred E Ward 5,005 11.14
Majority 3,435 7.65
Turnout 83.98
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 20,014 45.51
Labour Frederick N Stacey 17,471 39.73
Liberal WTR Rawson 6,489 14.76
Majority 2,543 5.78
Turnout 84.38
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Dorset Southern
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 14,626 42.72
Labour PS Eastman 12,460 36.40
Liberal Lt. Wilfred E Ward 7,149 20.88
Majority 2,166 6.33
Turnout 73.60
Conservative hold Swing
South Dorset by-election, 1941
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke unopposed n/a n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

General Election 1939/40: Another general election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Dorset Southern

Electorate 41,062

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 17,637 57.88
Labour Arthur William Wiltshire 8,580 28.16
Liberal FW King 4,255 13.96
Majority 9,057 29.72
Turnout 70.05
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Dorset Southern
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 21,284 70.73
Labour Arthur William Wiltshire 8,809 29.27
Majority 12,475 41.45
Turnout 73.29
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: South Dorset[12]

Electorate 39,396

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Viscount Cranborne 14,632 49.2
Liberal Cuthbert Plaistowe 8,168
Labour Arthur William Wiltshire 6,950
Majority
Turnout 75.5
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1924: South Dorset[13]

Electorate 29,845

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Robert Daniel Thwaites Yerburgh 13,900 70.5
Labour W Ridson 5,821 29.5
Majority 8,079 41.0
Turnout 66.1
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1923: South Dorset[14]

Electorate 28,810

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Robert Daniel Thwaites Yerburgh 11,057
Liberal Robert Stone Comben 5,973
Labour David Wyndham Thomas 3,602
Majority
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1922 : South Dorset[15]

Electorate 28,149

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Robert Daniel Thwaites Yerburgh 12,121
Liberal Frederick Maddison 4,657
Labour Henry Pavely 4,394
Majority
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918 South Dorset[16]

Electorate 28,224

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist 11,175
Labour Brett Morgan 5,159
Majority
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing
  • denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906 South Dorset[17]

Electorate 10,845

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Thomas Talbot Leyland Scarisbrick 5,035 53.3
Conservative William Ernest Brymer 4,411 46.7
Majority 624 6.6
Turnout 87.1 +4.9
Conservative 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.
References
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  3. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  4. ^ Died 1891
  5. ^ Called to the House of Lords, by a writ in acceleration, as Lord Cecil of Essendon in 1941
  6. ^ Succeeded as the 10th Earl of Sandwich
  7. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide/dorsetsouth/
  8. ^ http://electionresults.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/dorset-south-2015.html
  9. ^ http://electionresults.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/dorset-south-2015.html
  10. ^ Grainger, Tom (20 April 2010). "Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF). Acting Returning Officer. Weymouth & Portland Borough Council. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  12. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  13. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  14. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  15. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  16. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  17. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)

Sources[edit]

  • BBC News article on the 2001 South Dorset election