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 by a rearrangement of the former Thanet West and Thanet East constituencies in 1983, 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 as well as from Sandwich the Stour Valley Walk connecting picturesque villages with oast houses and public houses to Canterbury. The coastal communities provide a small amount of fishing and trade relative to the 19th century or major ports of North East and Scotland, include a higher proportion of retired people than the national average[2] and incomes tend to be clustered towards the national mean.[3] Economic developments have included close-by the Thanet Offshore Wind Project as well as commercial, recreational and tourism activity at Manston Airport whose recent closure is the subject of local campaigning. Farming, trades, and Ramsgate harbour provide much of the employment. Pharmaceuticals received a blow when Pfizer[4] withdrew from the area. In unemployment terms the claimant count was highest of the South East's 84 constituencies at the end of 2010 and greater than the national average of 3.8%, at 5.4%.[n 3][5] Since 1983 the seat has been a bellwether.


South Thanet consists of the southern part of Thanet district (the towns of Ramsgate and Broadstairs & St Peters, plus the villages of Cliffsend, Manston, Minster and Monkton) together with the northern part of Dover district, comprising the ancient Cinque Port of Sandwich and surrounding villages.

Boundary review[edit]

Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which slightly altered this constituency for the 2010 general election since which it has 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.[6]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[7] Party
1983 Jonathan Aitken Conservative
1997 Stephen Ladyman Labour
2010 Laura Sandys Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: South Thanet
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Green Ian Driver[8]
Reality Nigel Askew
Independent Ruth Bailey[9]
UKIP Nigel Farage[10]
Conservative Craig Mackinlay[11]
Labour Will Scobie[12]
Liberal Democrat Russ Timpson[13]
General Election 2010: South Thanet[14]
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[15]
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

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