South Thanet (UK Parliament constituency)

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South Thanet
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of South Thanet in Kent.
Outline map
Location of Kent within England.
County Kent
Electorate 67,970 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Sandwich
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Laura Sandys (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Thanet West, Thanet East
European Parliament constituency South East England

South Thanet is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK parliament since 2010 by Laura Sandys, a Conservative.[n 2]


South Thanet and North Thanet were created in 1983 by a rearrangement of the former Thanet West and Thanet East constituencies, which in turn had been created in 1974 by the splitting of the single Isle of Thanet seat.

Constituency profile[edit]

Tourism is an important economic activity with entertainment and beaches, particularly at Broadstairs. The constituency also includes part of the Stour Valley Walk, which passes through Sandwich on its way to Canterbury and beyond. There are picturesque villages with oast houses. The amount of fishing and coastal trade is much reduced relative to the 19th century, and is small compared to many other British ports. The seat has a higher proportion of retired people than the national average[2] and incomes tend to be clustered around the national mean.[3] Economic developments have included the nearby Thanet Offshore Wind Project as well as commercial, recreational and tourism activities. Farming, trades, and Ramsgate harbour provide much of the employment. Pharmaceuticals received a blow when Pfizer withdrew from the area. The unemployed claimant count, at 5.4%, was the highest of the South East's 84 constituencies at the end of 2010, and greater than the national average of 3.8%.[n 3][4] Since 1983 the seat has been a bellwether.


South Thanet consists of the southern and eastern part of Thanet district (the towns of Ramsgate and Broadstairs, the Cliftonville area of Margate and the village of Cliffsend) together with the northern part of Dover district, comprising the ancient Cinque Port of Sandwich and surrounding villages.

Since the constituency 2010 general election, South Thanet includes the following electoral wards:

  • Little Stour and Ashstone, and Sandwich from the district of Dover
  • Beacon Road, Bradstowe, Central Harbour, Cliffsend and Pegwell, Cliftonville East, Cliftonville West, Eastcliff, Kingsgate, Nethercourt, Newington, Northwood, St Peters, Sir Moses Montefiore and Viking from the district of Thanet.[5]

Former boundaries[edit]

Until 2010, South Thanet included the area around Minster and Monkton, now part of North Thanet. Cliftonville was gained in return for this area in 2010. There were also some minor changes to the boundary of the southern end of the constituency in the Dover district.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[6] Party
1983 Jonathan Aitken Conservative
1997 Stephen Ladyman Labour
2010 Laura Sandys Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: South Thanet[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Al-Zebabist Nation of Ooog Zebadiah Abu-Obadiah
We are the Reality Party Nigel Askew
Manston Airport Independent Party Ruth Bailey
Party for a United Thanet Grahame Birchall
Green Ian Driver
UKIP Nigel Farage
Conservative Craig Mackinlay
Independent Dean McCastree
No description Al Murray
Labour Will Scobie
Liberal Democrat Russ Timpson
General Election 2010: South Thanet[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Laura Sandys 22,043 48.0 +6.8
Labour Stephen Ladyman 14,426 31.4 −8.1
Liberal Democrat Peter Bucklitsch 6,935 15.1 +2.9
UKIP Trevor Shonk 2,529 5.5 +0.7
Majority 7,617 16.6
Turnout 45,933 65.3 0.2
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +7.4

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: South Thanet
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Stephen Ladyman 16,660 40.4 -5.3
Conservative Mark MacGregor 15,996 38.8 -2.3
Liberal Democrat Guy Voizey 5,431 13.2 +3.8
UKIP Nigel Farage 2,079 5.0 +3.7
Green Howard Green 888 2.2 +2.2
Independent Maude Kinsella 188 0.5 +0.5
Majority 664 1.6
Turnout 41,242 65 1.1
Labour hold Swing -1.5
General Election 2001: South Thanet
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Stephen Ladyman 18,002 45.7 −0.5
Conservative Mark MacGregor 16,210 41.1 +1.3
Liberal Democrat Guy Voizey 3,706 9.4 −2.3
Independent William Baldwin 770 2.0 N/A
UKIP Terry Eccott 502 1.3 −0.1
National Front Bernard Franklin 242 0.6 N/A
Majority 1,792 4.6
Turnout 39,432 63.9 -7.7
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: South Thanet
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Stephen Ladyman 20,777 46.2 -
Conservative Jonathan Aitken 17,899 39.8
Liberal Democrat Barbara Hewitt-Silk 5,263 11.7
Independent C Crook 631 1.4
Green David Wheatley 418 0.9
Majority 2,878
Turnout 44,488 71.6
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1992: South Thanet[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jonathan Aitken 25,253 51.7 −2.6
Labour Mark S. James 13,740 28.1 +7.2
Liberal Democrat Bill Pitt 8,948 18.3 −6.4
Green Ms. Sue Peckham 871 1.8 N/A
Majority 11,513 23.6 −6.0
Turnout 48,812 78.2 +4.5
Conservative hold Swing −4.9

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: South Thanet
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jonathan Aitken 25,135 54.3 −2.2
Liberal Bill Pitt 11,452 24.8 +0.7
Labour C. Wright 9,673 20.9 +1.5
Majority 13,683 29.6 −2.8
Turnout 46,260 73.7 +3.7
Conservative hold Swing −1.4
General Election 1983: South Thanet
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jonathan Aitken 24,512 56.5 N/A
Liberal I. Josephs 10,461 24.1 N/A
Labour M. Clark 8,429 19.4 N/A
Majority 14,051 32.4 N/A
Turnout 43,402 70.0 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

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.
  3. ^ Third and second were North Thanet and Hastings and Rye
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "2011 Census Interactive - ONS". Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Check Browser Settings". Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  5. ^ "2010 post-revision map non-metropolitan areas and unitary authorities of England" (PDF). Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "T" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  7. ^ "Statement of the persons nominated for election as a Member of Parliament for South Thanet Constituency". Thanet District Council. 
  8. ^ "UKPollingReport Election Guide 2010 » Thanet South". Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

Coordinates: 51°18′N 1°22′E / 51.300°N 1.367°E / 51.300; 1.367