South West Norfolk (UK Parliament constituency)

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South West Norfolk
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of South West Norfolk in Norfolk.
Outline map
Location of Norfolk within England.
County Norfolk
Electorate 75,034 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Downham Market, Swaffham and Thetford
Current constituency
Created 1885
Member of Parliament Elizabeth Truss (Conservative)
Number of members One
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency East of England

South West Norfolk is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Elizabeth Truss, a Conservative.[n 2]

Boundaries[edit]

South West Norfolk includes Swaffham, Downham Market, Outwell, Upwell and Feltwell.

The seat has electoral wards:

  • Airfield, Denton, Downham Old Town, East Downham, Emneth with Outwell, Hilgay with Denver, Mershe Land, North Downham, St Lawrence, South Downham, Upwell and Delph, Walton, Watlington, Wiggenhall, Winbotsham and Fincham, and Wissey in the Borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk
  • Confer, East Guiltcross, Harling and Heathlands, Mid Forest, Nar Valley, Swaffham, Thetford: Abbey, Castle, Guildhall and Saxon wards, Wayland, Weeting and, West Guiltcross in the Breckland District.

Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies[edit]

After the Boundary Commission's report for 2010, South West Norfolk gained wards from neighbouring North West Norfolk including Walpole, Tilney St Lawrence, and Wiggenhall villages. It lost to Mid Norfolk the wards of All Saints, Buckenham, Burgh and Haverscroft, Haggard De Toni, Necton, Queen's, Templar and Watton, which included the villages Necton, Great Ellingham and Watton.

History[edit]

South West Norfolk has been held solidly by Conservatives since 1964 but for twenty years before then, it had been ultra-marginal: Labour first held it from 1929–31, and Sidney Dye won it for Labour in 1945 with a tiny majority of 53, holding it at the 1950 election by 260. He lost it to Denys Bullard in 1951 by 442 votes and won it back in 1955 with a majority of 193. Dye died at the end of 1958, and in the by-election Albert Hilton retained the seat for Labour by a margin of 1,354 votes. In the 1959 general election that soon followed, his majority was cut to 78.[2]

Although Labour thus had held the seat during two Conservative national election victories, the Conservatives took the seat in the 1964 election, which Labour won nationally. Paul Hawkins and Gillian Shephard held the seat. Shephard's majority was slashed in the 1997 general election before recovering in the 2001 general election.[2]

Shephard decided not to run again in 2005 and was elevated to a peerage. The Conservative Party selected Christopher Fraser, former MP for Mid Dorset and Poole North and he was elected with a majority of over 10,000.

On 28 May 2009, Fraser announced that he would be standing down at the 2010 general election citing family reasons.[3] This was after his expenses claims were highlighted in the Daily Telegraph; according to the newspaper, Fraser claimed £1,800 in public money for buying 215 trees and marking out the boundary of his second home in the constituency.[4]

Constituency profile[edit]

Workless claimants (registered jobseekers) were in November 2012 lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 3.0% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[5]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election[2] Member[6] Party
1885 William Tyssen-Amherst Conservative
1892 Sir Thomas Leigh Hare Conservative
1906 Richard Winfrey Liberal
1923 Alan McLean Conservative
1929 William Benjamin Taylor Labour
1931 Alan McLean Conservative
1935 Somerset de Chair Conservative
1945 Sidney Dye Labour
1951 Denys Bullard Conservative
1955 Sidney Dye Labour
1959 (b) Albert Hilton Labour
1964 Paul Hawkins Conservative
1987 Gillian Shephard Conservative
2005 Christopher Fraser Conservative
2010 Elizabeth Truss Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: South West Norfolk[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Elizabeth Truss 23,753 48.3 +3.4
Liberal Democrat Stephen Gordon 10,613 21.6 +2.4
Labour Peter Smith 9,119 18.6 -11.4
UKIP Kay Hipsey[8] 3,061 6.2 +1.5
BNP Dennis Pearce[9] 1,774 3.6 +3.6
Green Lori Allen 830 1.7 +1.7
Majority 13,140 26.7 +8.4
Turnout 49,150 66.2 +4.1
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Fraser 25,881 46.9 −5.3
Labour Charmaine Morgan 15,795 28.7 −5.8
Liberal Democrat April Pond 10,207 18.5 +7.8
UKIP Delia Hall 2,738 5.0 +2.4
Independent Kim Hayes 506 0.9 N/A
Majority 10,086 18.3
Turnout 55,127 62.5 −0.6
Conservative hold Swing +0.3
General Election 2001: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gillian Shephard 27,633 52.2 +10.2
Labour Anne Hanson 18,267 34.5 -3.3
Liberal Democrat Gordon Dean 5,681 10.7 -3.2
UKIP Ian Smith 1,368 2.6 N/A
Majority 9,366 17.7 +13.5
Turnout 52,949 63.1 -10.0
Conservative hold Swing +6.7

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gillian Shephard 24,694 42.0 −12.6
Labour Adrian Hefferman 22,230 37.8 +10.7
Liberal Democrat David Bucton 8,178 13.9 −6.3
Referendum Party R. Hoare 3,694 6.3 N/A
Majority 2,434 4.2 −23.3
Turnout 73.1 −6.2
Conservative hold Swing −11.65
General Election 1992: South West Norfolk[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gillian Shephard 33,637 54.6 −3.0
Labour Mary Page 16,706 27.1 +6.1
Liberal Democrat John Marsh 11,237 18.2 −3.2
Majority 16,931 27.5 −8.7
Turnout 61,580 79.3 +3.3
Conservative hold Swing −4.6

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gillian Shephard 32,519 57.61
Liberal M Scott 12,083 21.41
Labour Mary Page 11,844 20.98
Majority 20,436 36.20
Turnout 76.03
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Hawkins 28,632 55.68
Liberal B Baxter 13,722 26.68
Labour AL Rosenberg 9,072 17.64
Majority 14,910 28.99
Turnout 73.05
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Hawkins 24,767 54.80
Labour AL Rosenberg 14,063 21.12
Liberal B Baxter 6,363 14.08
Majority 10,704 23.69
Turnout 78.05
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Hawkins 19,778 47.90
Labour H Toch 14,850 35.97
Liberal B Baxter 6,658 16.13
Majority 4,928 11.94
Turnout 76.86
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Hawkins 20,430 46.24
Labour H Toch 14,387 32.56
Liberal KW Nash 8,986 20.34
Independent Powellite MM McNee 380 0.86
Majority 6,043
Turnout 82.94
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Hawkins 22,220 57.28
Labour LJ Potter 16,572 42.72
Majority 5,648 14.56
Turnout 80.46
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Hawkins 17,880 51.11
Labour NJ Insley 17,105 48.89
Majority 775 2.22
Turnout 84.00
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Hawkins 16,728 49.55
Labour Albert Hilton 16,605 49.19
Independent V Welch 427 1.26
Majority 123 0.36
Turnout 81.96
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Albert Hilton 16,858 50.12
Conservative Elaine Kellett 16,780 49.88
Majority 78 0.23
Turnout 83.5
Labour hold Swing
South West Norfolk by-election, 1959
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Albert Hilton 15,314 50.95 +0.66
Conservative Elaine Kellett 13,960 46.4 -3.27
Independent Nationalist Andrew Fountaine 785 2.61 N/A
Majority 1,354
Turnout 30,059
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1955: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sidney Dye 16,781 50.29
Conservative Denys Bullard 16,588 49.71
Majority 193 0.58
Turnout 82.60
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1951: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Denys Bullard 16,970 50.66
Labour Sidney Dye 16,528 49.34
Majority 442 1.32
Turnout 82.61
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1950: South West Norfolk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sidney Dye 15,649 47.35
Conservative Denys Bullard 15,389 46.57
Liberal GS Dennis 2,009 6.08
Majority 260 0.79
Turnout 83.41
Labour hold Swing

Election in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Norfolk South Western
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sidney Dye 15,091 50.09
Conservative Somerset de Chair 15,038 49.91
Majority 53 0.18
Turnout 65.92
Labour gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Norfolk South Western
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Somerset de Chair 16,060 57.35
Labour Sidney Dye 11,943 42.65
Majority 4,117 14.70
Turnout 69.50
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Norfolk South Western
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Maj. Alan McLean 19,614 66.34
Labour WB Taylor 9,952 33.66
Majority 9,662 32.68
Turnout 74.54
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

Sir Richard Winfrey
General Election 1922 : South West Norfolk[11]

Electorate 32,305

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Richard Winfrey 10,432 54.7 n/a
Labour William Benjamin Taylor 8,655 45.3 n/a
Majority 1,777 9.4 n/a
Turnout 19,087 59.1 n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918 South West Norfolk[11]

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a
  • denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.
General Election December 1910 South West Norfolk[12]

Electorate 9,045

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Richard Winfrey 4,176 52.7 +1.2
Conservative Albert Edward Stanley Clarke 3,745 47.3 -1.2
Majority 431 5.4 +2.4
Turnout 7,921 87.6 -3.5
Liberal hold Swing +1.2
General Election January 1910 South West Norfolk[12]

Electorate 9,045

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Richard Winfrey 4,239 51.5 -4.2
Conservative Sir Thomas Leigh Hare 4,000 48.5 +4.2
Majority 239 3.0 -8.4
Turnout 8,239 91.1 +2.4
Liberal hold Swing -4.2

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Richard Winfrey
General Election 1906 South West Norfolk[12]

Electorate 8,936

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Richard Winfrey 4,416 55.7 +6.1
Conservative Sir Thomas Leigh Hare 3,513 44.3 -6.1
Majority 903 10.4 12.2
Turnout 7,929 88.7 +4.7
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +6.1
General Election 1900 South West Norfolk[12]

Electorate 8,740

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Thomas Leigh Hare 3,702 50.4 -0.9
Liberal Richard Winfrey 3,636 49.6 +0.9
Majority 66 0.8 -1.8
Turnout 7,338 84.0 -0.8
Conservative hold Swing -0.9
General Election 1895 South West Norfolk[12]

Electorate 9,119

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Thomas Leigh Hare 3,968 51.3
Liberal Richard Winfrey 3,762 48.7
Majority 206 2.6
Turnout 7,730 84.8
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

Coordinates: 52°30′N 0°36′E / 52.5°N 0.6°E / 52.5; 0.6