South Staffordshire (UK Parliament constituency)

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South Staffordshire
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of South Staffordshire in Staffordshire.
Outline map
Location of Staffordshire within England.
County Staffordshire
Electorate 74,189 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of Parliament Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from South West Staffordshire
18321868
Number of members Two
Type of constituency County constituency
Replaced by East Staffordshire and West Staffordshire
Created from Staffordshire
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency West Midlands

South Staffordshire is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Gavin Williamson, a Conservative.[n 2] This article also covers the history of the previous constituency of South Staffordshire or Staffordshire Southern which existed from 1832 to 1868, covering a much larger area.

Boundaries[edit]

1983-1997: The District of South Staffordshire.

1997-2010: The District of South Staffordshire wards of Bilbrook, Brewood and Coven, Cheslyn Hay, Codsall North, Codsall South, Essington, Featherstone, Great Wyrley Landywood, Great Wyrley Town, Kinver, Lower Penn, Pattingham and Patshull, Perton Central, Perton Dippons, Shareshill, Swindon, Trysull and Seisdon, Wombourne North, Wombourne South East, and Wombourne South West.

2010-present: The District of South Staffordshire wards of Bilbrook, Brewood and Coven, Cheslyn Hay North and Saredon, Cheslyn Hay South, Codsall North, Codsall South, Essington, Featherstone and Shareshill, Great Wyrley Landywood, Great Wyrley Town, Himley and Swindon, Huntington and Hatherton, Kinver, Pattingham and Patshull, Perton Dippons, Perton East, Perton Lakeside, Trysull and Seisdon, Wombourne North and Lower Penn, Wombourne South East, and Wombourne South West.

The constituency is made up of about two-thirds of the South Staffordshire local government district, its southern bulk. It flanks the western edge of the West Midlands, the closest parts being Wolverhampton and Dudley and it does not contain any large towns; the largest town (by electorate) is Wombourne.[2] Its settlements include Brewood, Cheslyn Hay, Codsall, Featherstone, Great Wyrley, Kinver, Perton and Wombourne. Most electoral wards have to date been locally Conservative safe seats with Labour's only area of frequent strength, Cheslyn Hay, a town with historically a greater dependence on coal mining than the others.

History[edit]

1832–1868[edit]

The ancient county constituency of Staffordshire was divided under the Great Reform Act into two two-member constituencies, while other parts of the old constituency were made into or added to borough constituencies. These halves were formally the Northern division of Staffordshire and the Southern division of Staffordshire with less formal variations more common. The Reform Act 1867 abolished the Southern Division with effect from the 1868 general election, replacing it with two new two-seat constituencies: East Staffordshire and West Staffordshire.

Prominent figures

Edward John Littleton was involved heavily in Catholic Emancipation, the Truck Act of 1831, the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 and the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 and was for two years Chief Secretary for Ireland, prominent in the governments led by Melbourne.

Viscount Ingestre (later The Earl of Shrewsbury) became an Admiral and whip in the House of Lords in later in life. Most of this early period elected prominent landowning industrialists, including, for example in, Walsall, and Wolverhampton and Henry Hodgetts-Foley inherited the majority of Penkridge, now in the Stafford seat, much developed by his heirs.

1983–present[edit]

The present South Staffordshire constituency was established in 1983, although in reality this was merely a renaming of the Staffordshire South West constituency formed in 1974 from parts of the former constituencies of Brierley Hill and Cannock. It covered the whole of the South Staffordshire district until 1997, when the area around Penkridge was included in the Stafford constituency.

It has to date been a safe seat for the Conservative Party, with Sir Patrick Cormack having held it from its creation in 1974 until he retired in 2010, when he was succeeded by Gavin Williamson.

General election 2005[edit]

On 30 April 2005, the Liberal Democrat candidate Josephine Harrison died of an undisclosed illness at the age of 53. Election procedures at the time require that in the event of a candidate's death after the close of nominations, the returning officer has to direct the general election poll (due to be held on May 5) to be abandoned, and to call a fresh general election poll. This was duly done under the same writ of election, 28 days after having seen proof of death. As the poll was strictly not a by-election, but rather a part of the general election, it was run under general election regulations, for instance not qualifying for the significantly higher election expenses available at by-elections.

The original candidates were:

On 9 May, the Labour candidate, Penny Barber, announced that she was standing down as she could not afford to take any more time off work. The constituency Labour Party had to select a new candidate, choosing Paul Kalinauckas who had been their candidate in the 2001 election. The Liberal Democrats selected Jo Crotty as their replacement candidate. In addition, three additional candidates who had not been nominated for the original poll fought the delayed election: Kate Spohrer of the Green Party, Rev. David Braid of Clause 28 Children's Protection Christian Democrats, and most notably the journalist Garry Bushell representing the English Democrats Party, who had already stood in the Greenwich and Woolwich constituency on May 5, where he had polled 3.4%.

The election was eventually held on 23 June 2005 and saw Sir Patrick Cormack hold the seat. With the seat being safely Conservative, and with the results of the general election in other constituencies already known, the election attracted a considerably lower turnout (37.3%) than in other constituencies. Cormack increased his majority to 34.5% (a 9.1% swing), while the United Kingdom Independence Party saw one of their best results of 2005, with 10.4% of the vote.

A year later. the Electoral Administration Act 2006 was passed in part because of the events in South Stafforshire. Under the new rules, in case of the death of a candidate, the party of the dead candidate is allowed to select a replacement candidate. New nominations from parties which did not contest the original pool are no longer permitted. This rule was first used in the 2010 general election when the UKIP candidate for Thirsk and Malton died before the election.

Constituency profile[edit]

A Guardian statistical compilation by constituency in November 2012 showed that 2.8% of the population only were registered jobseekers, significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%.[3]

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1832–1868[edit]

Election First member[4] First party Second member Second party[5]
1832 Edward John Littleton Whig Sir John Wrottesley, Bt Whig
1835 by-election Sir Francis Holyoake-Goodricke, Bt Whig
1837 George Anson Whig The Viscount Ingestre Conservative
1849 by-election William Walter Legge, Viscount Lewisham Conservative
1853 by-election Edward Richard Littleton Whig
1854 by-election Henry Paget, Earl of Uxbridge Whig
1857 William Orme Foster Whig Henry John Wentworth Hodgetts-Foley Whig
1868 Constituency abolished: replaced by East Staffordshire and West Staffordshire

MPs since 1983[edit]

Election Member[4] Party Notes
1983 Patrick Cormack Conservative Previously MP for South West Staffordshire
2010 Gavin Williamson Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

The vote share change in 2010 comes from the notional, not actual, results because of boundary changes.

General Election 2010: South Staffordshire[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gavin Williamson 26,834 53.2 +2.5
Labour Kevin McElduff 10,244 20.3 +0.3
Liberal Democrat Sarah Fellows 8,427 16.7 +3.3
UKIP Mike Nattrass 2,753 5.5 −4.7
BNP David Bradnock 1,928 3.8 N/A
Independent Andrew Morris 254 0.5 N/A
Majority 16,590 32.9
Turnout 50,440 68.7 +31.1
Conservative hold Swing +1.1

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: South Staffordshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Patrick Cormack 13,343 52.0 +1.6
Labour Paul Kalinauckas 4,496 17.6 −16.6
Liberal Democrat Jo Crotty 3,540 13.8 +2.2
UKIP Malcolm Hurst 2,675 10.4 +6.7
English Democrats Garry Bushell 643 2.5 N/A
Green Kate Spohrer 437 1.7 N/A
Freedom Party Adrian Davies 434 1.7 N/A
Clause 28 Children's Protection Christian Democrats Rev. David Braid 67 0.3 N/A
Majority 8,847 34.5 +18.2
Turnout 25,609 37.3 −23.0
Conservative hold Swing +9.1
  • Note the South Staffordshire 2005 Parliamentary election was postponed until the 23rd June due to the death of a candidate.
General Election 2001: South Staffordshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Patrick Cormack 21,295 50.5 +0.5
Labour Paul Kalinauckas 14,414 34.2 −0.5
Liberal Democrat Josephine Harrison 4,891 11.6 +0.3
UKIP Mike Lynch 1,580 3.7 N/A
Majority 6,881 16.3
Turnout 42,180 60.3 −13.9
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: South Staffordshire[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Cormack 25,568 50.02 −9.7
Labour J LeMaistre 17,747 34.7 +8.6
Liberal Democrat J Calder 5,797 11.3 −2.9
Referendum Party P Carnell 2,002 3.9 −3.9
Majority 7,821 15.3 −18.2
Turnout 68,896 74.2 -7.3
Conservative hold Swing −9
General Election 1992: South Staffordshire[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Cormack 40,266 59.7 −1.2
Labour BA Wylie 17,633 26.1 +7.1
Liberal Democrat IL Sadler 9,584 14.2 −5.9
Majority 22,633 33.5 −7.2
Turnout 67,483 81.5 +3.4
Conservative hold Swing −4.1

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: South Staffordshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Cormack 37,708 60.87
Liberal Frances Oborski 12,440 20.08
Labour P Bateman 11,805 19.05
Majority 25,268 40.79
Turnout 78.16
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: South Staffordshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Cormack 32,764 59.21
Liberal J Chambers 13,004 23.50
Labour MJ Cartwright 9,568 17.29
Majority 19,760 35.71
Turnout 75.76
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. ^ 2010 post-revision map non-metropolitan areas and unitary authorities of England
  3. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  4. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
  5. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 458–459. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  6. ^ BBC 2010 General Election Site
  7. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  8. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

External links[edit]