Taunton (UK Parliament constituency)

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Taunton
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Taunton in Somerset for the 1997-2010 general election.
Outline map
Location of Somerset within England.
County Somerset
Major settlements Taunton
19182010
Number of members One
Replaced by Taunton Deane
1295–1918
Number of members Two (1295-1885), One (1885-1918)
Type of constituency Borough constituency

Taunton was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and its predecessors from 1295 to 2010, taking its name from the town of Taunton in Somerset. Until 1918, it was a parliamentary borough, electing two Members of Parliament (MPs) between 1295 and 1885 and one from 1885 to 1918; the name was then transferred to a county constituency, electing one MP.

In the boundary changes that came into effect at the general election of 2010, the Boundary Commission for England replaced Taunton with a modified constituency called Taunton Deane, to reflect the district name.

Boundaries[edit]

Taunton borough (to 1918): The borough consisted of the town of Taunton, Somerset. Until 1832, it retained the medieval boundaries, which included only part of the parish of St Mary Magdalene, Taunton, but the boundary act extended it to take in more of the town, including parts of Taunton St James, Wilton, West Monkton and Bishop's Hull parishes, which more than doubled its population.

Taunton county constituency (1918–2010): The county constituency created in 1918 effectively combined the borough with the southern part of the existing West Somerset or Wellington county division, so that it included the towns of Wellington and Wiveliscombe, many small villages and parts of Exmoor. Until local government reorganisation in the 1970s, it was defined as consisting of Taunton borough, Wellington Urban District, Wiveliscombe Urban District (until that was abolished) and the Dulverton, Taunton and Wellington rural districts. There were very minor boundary changes in 1983.

History[edit]

In the 2005 general election, the victorious Liberal Democrats candidate in Taunton required the smallest percentage swing from the Conservative MP for them to take the seat.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1295–1640[edit]

  • Constituency created (1295)


Parliament First member Second member
1386 William Portman William Marchaunt
1388 (Feb) William Marchaunt William Portman
1388 (Sep) William Marchaunt William Damarle
1390 (Jan) William Marchaunt John Porter
1390 (Nov)
1391 William Marchaunt William Portman
1393 William Marchaunt John Porter
1394 William Marchaunt John Porter
1395 William Marchaunt Walter Puryham
1397 (Jan) Robert Coullyng Robert Eysel
1397 (Sept) Richard Marchaunt John Northmore
1399 Walter Puryham Edmund Rokes
1401
1402 William Portman Ralph Sargor
1404 (Jan
1404 (Oct)
1406 William Portman Robert Bathe
1407 Richard Marchaunt John Northmore
1410 Thomas Bacot Thomas Edward
1411
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May) John Rydon Lewis John
1414 (Apr) John Marchaunt Edmund Dyer
1414 (Nov) John Marchaunt Edmund Dyer
1415
1416 (Mar)
1416 (Oct)
1417 John Rydon Walter Portman
1419 Walter Portman Robert Croke
1420 Robert Croke William Borde
1421 (May) Walter Portman William Borde
1421 (Dec) Walter Portman John Bowe
1455 Ralph Legh
1467 Sir William Danvers
1470 ?Sir William Danvers
1472 Sir William Danvers
1510-1523 No names known
1529 Thomas Cromwell William Portman
1536 ?Richard Pollard ?William Portman
1547 Sir Nicholas Hare John Caryll
1553 (Mar) ?
1553 (Oct) James Basset John Wingfield
1554 (Apr) William Barne Oliver Vachell
1554 (Nov) Thomas Eden John Norres
1555 Dr Valentine Dale ?
1558 Richard Myrfield
1559 ? ?
1563-1567 Miles Sandys Anthony Leigh
1571 Robert Hill Richard Blount died during the 1572 Parliament
In his place Edmund Hodges
1572-1581 Roger Hill
1584-1585 Maurice Horner William Goldwell
1586-1587 Francis Bacon John Goldwell
1588-1589 Thomas Fisher
1593 William Aubrey, DCL John Davidge
1597-1598 Edward Barker Edward Hext
1601 John Bond Daniel Donne, DCL
1604-1611 Edward Hext
Addled Parliament (1614) James Clerke John Dunn
1621-1622 Lewis Pope Thomas Brereton
Happy Parliament (1624-1625) Roger Prowse
Useless Parliament (1625) Hugh Portman Thomas Brereton
1625-1626 Sir Robert Gorges George Browne
1628 Hugh Portman
1629-1640 No Parliament summoned

MPs 1640–1885[edit]

Year First member[1] First party Second member[2] Second party
April 1640 Sir William Portman Royalist Roger Hill Parliamentarian
November 1640 George Searle Parliamentarian
February 1644 Portman disabled from sitting — seat vacant
1645 John Palmer, MD [3]
1653 Taunton was unrepresented in the Barebone's Parliament
1654 Colonel Thomas Gorges John Gorges
1656 Admiral Robert Blake
January 1659 Sir William Wyndham
May 1659 John Palmer, MD One seat vacant
March 1660 Thomas Gorges Sir William Wyndham
1661 Sir William Portman
February 1679 John Trenchard Whig
September 1679 Sir John Cutler Bt
1680 Edmund Prideaux
1685 Sir William Portman John Sanford
March 1690 Edward Clarke
April 1690 John Speke
1698 Henry Seymour Portman
1701 Sir Francis Warre
1710 Henry Seymour Portman
1715 [4] William Pynsent James Smith
1722 John Trenchard Whig
1724 Abraham Elton
1727 George Speke Francis Fane
1734 Henry William Berkeley Portman
1741 Sir John Chapman John Buck
1745 Percy Wyndham-O'Brien
1747 Sir Charles Wyndham [5] Robert Webb
1750 Admiral William Rowley
April 1754 The Lord Carpenter [6] John Halliday
December 1754 Robert Maxwell [7] Whig
1762 Laurence Sulivan
1768 Alexander Popham Nathaniel Webb
1774 [8] Hon. Edward Stratford Whig
1775 John Halliday Alexander Popham
1780 Major-General John Roberts
1782 (Sir) Benjamin Hammet
1784 Alexander Popham
1796 William Morland
1800 John Hammet
1806 Alexander Baring
1812 Henry Powell Collins
1818 Sir William Burroughs, Bt
1819 Henry Powell Collins
1820 John Ashley Warre
1826 Henry Seymour William Peachey
1830 Henry Labouchere Whig Edward Thomas Bainbridge Whig
1842 Sir Thomas Colebrooke Whig
1852 Arthur Mills [9] Conservative
1853 Sir John Ramsden Whig
1857 Arthur Mills Conservative
1859 Liberal
August 1859 George Cavendish-Bentinck Conservative
1865 Alexander Charles Barclay Liberal Lord William Hay Liberal
1868 Edward William Cox [10] Conservative
1869 (Sir) Henry James Liberal
1880 Sir William Palliser Conservative
1882 Samuel Charles Allsopp Conservative
1885 Representation reduced to one Member

MPs since 1885[edit]

Election Member Party
1885 Samuel Charles Allsopp Conservative
1887 by-election Alfred Percy Allsopp Conservative
1895 Alfred Cholmeley Earle Welby Conservative
1906 Sir Edward Boyle Conservative
1909 by-election William Wellesley Peel Conservative
1912 by-election Sir Gilbert Wills, Bt. Conservative
1918 Dennis Fortescue Boles Coalition Conservative
1921 by-election Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen Coalition Conservative
1922 John Hope Simpson Liberal
1924 Andrew Hamilton Gault Conservative
1935 Lt Col Edward Wickham Conservative
1945 Victor Collins Labour
1950 Henry Hopkinson Conservative
1956 by-election Sir Edward du Cann Conservative
1987 David Nicholson Conservative
1997 Jackie Ballard Liberal Democrat
2001 Adrian Flook Conservative
2005 Jeremy Browne Liberal Democrat
2010 Constituency abolished: see Taunton Deane

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Jeremy Browne 25,764 43.3 +2.0
Conservative Adrian Flook 25,191 42.3 +0.6
Labour Andrew Govier 7,132 12.0 -2.9
UKIP Helen Miles 1,441 2.4 +0.3
Majority 573 1.0 +0.6
Turnout 59,528 69.7 +2.1
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing -0.7
General Election 2001: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Adrian Flook 23,033 41.7 +3.0
Liberal Democrat Jackie Ballard 22,798 41.3 -1.4
Labour Andrew Govier 8,254 14.9 +1.4
UKIP Michael Canton 1,140 2.1 N/A
Majority 235 0.4
Turnout 55,225 67.6 -8.8
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Jackie Ballard 26,064 42.7 +1.9
Conservative David Nicholson 23,621 38.7 -7.3
Labour Elizabeth Lisgo 8,248 13.5 +0.8
Referendum Party B. Ahern 2,760 4.5 N/A
BNP Les Andrews 318 0.5 N/A
Majority 2,443
Turnout 76.5 -5.8
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1992: Taunton[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Nicholson 29,576 46.0 −5.3
Liberal Democrat Jackie Ballard 26,240 40.8 +7.1
Labour Mrs L. Jean Hole 8,151 12.7 −2.2
Natural Law Philip A. Leavey 279 0.4 +0.4
Majority 3,336 5.2 −12.4
Turnout 64,246 82.3 +3.0
Conservative hold Swing −6.2

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Nicholson 30,248 51.38
Social Democrat M.A.K. Cocks 19,868 33.75
Labour G. Reynolds 8,754 14.87
Majority 10,380 17.63
Turnout 79.40
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 28,112 52.89
Social Democrat M.A.K. Cocks 15,545 29.24
Labour J. Gray 9,498 17.87
Majority 12,567 23.64
Turnout 75.55
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 28,483 53.17
Labour S. Horne 15,759 29.42
Liberal M. Lee 7,928 14.80
Ecology G. Garbett 1,403 2.62
Majority 12,724 23.75
Turnout 80.74
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 22,542 44.61
Labour M.J. Sheerman 15,721 31.11
Liberal M.E. Mann 11,984 23.72
United Democratic Party L.D. Bradford 283 0.56
Majority 6,821 13.50
Turnout 79.38
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 23,841 45.11
Labour D.W. Keene 15,401 29.14
Liberal M. Mann 13,607 25.75
Majority 8,440 15.97
Turnout 83.88
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 26,158 53.55
Labour Steve Mama 17,823 36.48
Liberal G. O'Donnell 4,871 9.97
Majority 8,335 17.06
Turnout 78.96
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 22,369 47.55
Labour R.J. Bradbury 19,216 40.85
Liberal M.I.G.H. Amory 5,460 11.61
Majority 3,153 6.70
Turnout 85.27
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 21,367 46.52
Labour L.V. Pike 16,619 36.18
Liberal M.I.G.H. Amory 7,944 17.30
Majority 4,748 10.34
Turnout 84.74
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 22,680 49.42
Labour L.V. Pike 16,182 35.26
Liberal C.M.K. Bruton 7,031 15.32
Majority 6,498 14.16
Turnout 87.12
Conservative hold Swing
By-election 14 February 1956: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward du Cann 19,820
Labour R.A. Pestell 19,163
Majority 657
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Hopkinson 22,962 52.11
Labour R. Pestell 17,420 39.53
Liberal G. Barrington 3,684 8.36
Majority 5,542 12.58
Turnout 85.46
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Hopkinson 24,826 54.36
Labour Victor Collins 20,845 45.64
Majority 3,981 8.72
Turnout 89.00
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Hopkinson 20,724 46.43
Labour Victor Collins 19,352 43.35
Liberal John Robert Phillipson 4,561 10.22
Majority 1,372 3.07
Turnout 88.81
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1945: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Victor Collins 19,976 52.80
Conservative Lt Col Edward Wickham 17,858 47.20
Majority 2,118 5.60
Turnout 72.98
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1935: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Lt Col Edward Wickham 19,443 63.41
Labour J. Lunnon 11,219 36.59
Majority 8,224 26.82
Turnout 72.25
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Taunton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Andrew Hamilton Gault 22,564 72.95
Labour Dr. F.G. Bushnell 8,367 27.05
Majority 14,197 45.90
Turnout 75.43
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929

Electorate 39,926

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Andrew Hamilton Gault 15,083 45.9
Liberal Walter Russell Rea 11,121 33.9
Labour Joseph Alfred Sparks 6,615 20.2
Majority 3,962 12.0
Turnout 82.2
Unionist hold Swing
John Hope Simpson
General Election 1924

Electorate 31,235

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Andrew Hamilton Gault 13,930 52.1
Liberal John Hope Simpson 10,381 38.8
Labour Rev. G S Woods 2,441 9.1
Majority 3,549 13.3
Turnout 85.6
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1923

Electorate 30,088

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Hope Simpson 13,053 52.5
Unionist Andrew Hamilton Gault 11,798 47.5
Majority 1,255 5.0
Turnout 82.6
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1922

Electorate 29,567

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Hope Simpson 13,195 56.4
Unionist Rt Hon. Sir Arthur Sackville Trevor Griffith-Boscawen 10,182 43.6
Majority
Turnout 79.1
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing
Taunton by-election, 1921

Electorate 28,976

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Rt Hon. Sir Arthur Sackville Trevor Griffith-Boscawen 61.1
Labour J Lunnon 8,290 38.9
Majority 4,704 22.2
Turnout 73.5
Unionist hold Swing -11.3

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918

Electorate 28,845

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist
  1. Dennis Fortescue Boles
12,619 72.4
Labour Rev. G.S. Woods 4,816 27.6
Majority 7,803 44.8
Turnout 60.4
Unionist hold Swing

A # denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Taunton". The History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Cassidy, Irene. "Taunton 1660-1690". The History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Cobbett records Admiral Robert Blake as being elected for Taunton and Palmer for Bridgwater; but Brunton & Pennington agree with the Dictionary of National Biography that Blake was MP for Bridgwater and Palmer for Taunton.
  4. ^ At the general election of 1715, Warre and Portman were initially declared re-elected, but on petition (in a dispute over the franchise) they were adjudged not to have been duly elected and their opponents, Pynsent and Smith, were seated in their place
  5. ^ Styled Lord Cockermouth from October 1749
  6. ^ Created Earl of Tyrconnell (in the Peerage of Ireland), May 1761
  7. ^ Succeeded as The Lord Farnham , August 1759; created Viscount Farnham, September 1760 and Earl of Farnham, May 1763 (all these titles being in the Peerage of Ireland).
  8. ^ On petition, Stratford and Webb were adjudged not to have been duly elected, and their opponents, Halliday and Popham, were seated in their place
  9. ^ On petition, Mills' election was declared void and a by-election was held
  10. ^ On petition, the election of Cox was declared void and after scrutiny of the votes his opponent, James, was declared to have been duly elected
  11. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 Dec 2010. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]