Warrington South (UK Parliament constituency)
|for the House of Commons|
Boundary of Warrington South in Cheshire.
Location of Cheshire within England.
|Electorate||81,212 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||David Mowat (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Warrington, Runcorn|
|European Parliament constituency||North West England|
- 1 Boundaries
- 2 History
- 3 Members of Parliament
- 4 Constituency profile
- 5 Elections
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
The constituency is one of two covering the unitary authority of Warrington, Cheshire, the other being Warrington North. It covers the parts of the town lying south of the River Mersey, including Appleton, Grappenhall and Stockton Heath, the town centre and the Penketh and Sankey areas in the west of the town. It also includes the village of Lymm and has electoral wards:
- Appleton; Bewsey & Whitecross; Grappenhall & Thelwall; Great Sankey: North and South wards; Halton, Stretton & Walton; Latchford: East and West wards; Lymm; Penketh & Cuerdley; Stockton Heath; and Whittle Hall
The constituency was created in 1983 before which the Warrington constituency covered the central part of the town and its immediate surrounds, while the southern fringes were in the Runcorn constituency and certain close northern settlements now in Warrington North were covered by the Newton constituency.
The original boundaries were revised at the 1997 general election, the Fourth Periodic Review nationally, when the number of constituencies in Cheshire were increased and the new Weaver Vale seat was created.
The current boundaries were introduced at the 2010 general election, the Fifth Periodic Review, and involved the reuniting of previously split council wards. The inner wards of Bewsey & Whitecross and Fairfield & Howley, were reunited, with the former being put into the Warrington South seat and the latter being moved to the North. The fast-growing Whittle Hall ward in the west of the town was also reunited and placed into Warrington South.
The new boundaries were considered to be slightly more favourable to the Labour party according to an academic, non-partisan election analysis.
Proposed revisions for 2015 election
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 required the Boundary Commission to redraw the existing Parliamentary constituency boundaries to ensure that all constituencies had an electorate within a certain range. This required the extensive redrawing of boundaries across England which, while respecting where possible the status quo, no longer had to show adherence to current intra-county boundaries.
In Autumn 2011, the Commission published its proposals for a new "Warrington South" constituency. The proposal would have split the existing constituency between three constituencies loosely based on the existing seats of Warrington South, Warrington North and Halton. Wards from the edge of Runcorn, within the existing Weaver Vale constituency would have been brought into Warrington South, whilst Whittle Hall and the Great Sankey wards would have been moved to the North. The Penketh & Cuerdley ward would have been moved into a new "Widnes & Runcorn" seat.
After an extensive consultation, the Commission revised its initial proposal and published a revised proposal which would see the Warrington South seat remain largely unchanged, although it would extend slightly further west than current to include a ward on the edge of Widnes.
The new boundaries will not come into force before the 2015 election as Liberal Democrat MPs refused to support their implementation during an enabling vote in the House of Commons.
- Political history
Warrington South is considered the more volatile of the two Warrington seats. While Warrington North is a safe seat for the Labour Party, Warrington South is often a bellwether and is regarded as a "marginal" constituency (a term which derives from marginal, insecure majorities) and it has been won by the largest party in each Parliament at every election with the exception of 1992, when it was taken by Labour's Mike Hall. Hall moved to the new Weaver Vale seat in 1997, but the seat was retained for the Labour party by Helen Southworth who represented the seat until her retirement at the 2010 election and successor candidate's defeat.
- Prominent frontbenchers
Despite its short history, this seat was served by a former Secretary of State for Education during part of the Thatcher ministry, Mark Carlisle, who before the seat's creation had represented Runcorn.
On 15 June 2009, Helen Southworth announced her intention to retire the next year. Largely because of its close result in 2005, the seat was considered to be one of the key seats which the Conservative Party would have to win to become the largest party in Parliament. The BBC ranked Warrington South as the 85th most marginal seat.
The Liberal Democrats had also identified Warrington South as a target seat. On election day the Liberal Democrat party held 22 of the 30 Borough Council seats in the wards which made up the constituency. The importance of the Warrington South seat was underlined when Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat party leader, chose to visit the constituency the morning after the first of the televised "leaders' debates", which he had been widely perceived as having won.
While all three parties made strenuous efforts to win the seat, it was the Conservative candidate David Mowat who was elected, although fewer than 5,000 votes separated all three parties.
Members of Parliament
Warrington is a historic and industrious town which grew significantly in economy and in population in the 20th century. Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers, were in November 2012 lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 3.3% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian. This contrasted with Warrington North at 4.3% of its population.
Elections in the 2010s
|General Election 2010: Warrington South|
|Liberal Democrat||Jo Crotty||15,094||27.5||+3.5|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+6.0|
Elections in the 2000s
|General Election 2005: Warrington South|
|Liberal Democrat||Ian Marks||11,111||23.7||+7.4|
|Independent||Paul Kennedy[n 3]||453||1.0||+1.0|
|General Election 2001: Warrington South|
|Liberal Democrat||Roger J. Barlow||7,419||16.3||+3.2|
Elections in the 1990s
|General Election 1997: Warrington South|
|Liberal Democrat||Peter Walker||7,199||13.1|
|Referendum Party||Gerald Kelly||1,082||2.0|
|Natural Law||Steve Ross||166||0.3|
|General Election 1992: Warrington South|
|Liberal Democrat||Peter J. Walker||7,978||12.5||−9.7|
|Natural Law||Stephen D. Benson||321||0.5||N/A|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.2|
Elections in the 1980s
|General Election 1987: Warrington South|
|Liberal||Ian G. Marks||13,112||22.2||−5.1|
|General Election 1983: Warrington South|
|Labour||Dr D.G. Colin-Thomé||16,275||30.0||N/A|
|Liberal||Ian G. Marks||14,827||27.3||N/A|
|Conservative win (new seat)|
Notes and references
- A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
- 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.
- Later, in 2006 Paul Kennedy joined the Conservative Party and became a local councillor in May 2008.
- "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- 2010 post-revision map non-metropolitan areas and unitary authorities of England
- Electoral Calculus South
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- "UK General Election results April 1992". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.