Waveney (UK Parliament constituency)

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County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Waveney in Suffolk.
Outline map
Location of Suffolk within England.
County Suffolk
Electorate 79,132 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Lowestoft
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Peter Aldous (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Lowestoft
European Parliament constituency East of England

Waveney is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Peter Aldous, a Conservative.[n 2]


The seat is based on the coastal town of Lowestoft, which today is generally Labour-voting, because of its recent history as a declining seaside resort, fishing and industrial town. However, the constituency also takes in the small towns of Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth. These along with the smaller inland rural villages are considerably more supportive of Conservatives.

History of boundaries[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:

Before 2010 the seat also had a minor part of Wrentham and not all of The Saints - these changes affected Suffolk Coastal.


The seat was created in 1983 under the Act implementing the third periodic review of Westminster constituencies, broadly replacing Lowestoft, which the first victor of the new seat had served since 1959.

Political history[edit]

Waveney has been a bellwether since its creation, swinging heavily in line with the mood of the nation. Labour's big majority in 1997 reflected the large overall majority in the Commons, and by the 2010 election it had become touted by one published analysis as the seat that the Conservatives needed to win to secure an overall majority.[citation needed] Fittingly, 2010 saw a marginal majority and the national result was a hung parliament with the Conservative Party the largest party. 2010 here was the Labour Party's second highest share of the vote in the narrow, traditional grouping of East Anglia (Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex). A recent Ashcroft poll has suggested that it is a winnable seat for Nigel Farage's Party UKIP.

Prominent frontbenchers[edit]

Waveney had been held for many years by James Prior Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1970-1972), Leader of the House of Commons[n 3] (1972-1974), Secretary of State for Employment (1979-1981) then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland during the Heath ministry then the Thatcher ministry with an economic politics considered more centre-ground, then known as forming the wets' ideology.

Bob Blizzard served as a senior Government Whip from 2008 until 2010 when he lost at the election that May.

Constituency profile[edit]

The seat is based around the town of Lowestoft, and includes several smaller market towns and seaside resorts in north-east Suffolk. This corner of Suffolk arguably has stronger connections with Norfolk - Norwich is an easier centre to reach than Ipswich - and there have been unsuccessful proposals to alter the county boundary to reflect this.

Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 higher than the national average of 3.8%, at 4.9% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian. This compares more unfavourably to the regional average of 3.2%.[3]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1983 James Prior Conservative
1987 David Porter Conservative
1997 Bob Blizzard Labour
2010 Peter Aldous Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Waveney[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Aldous
Labour Bob Blizzard
Green Graham Elliott
Liberal Democrat Stephen Gordon
UKIP Simon Tobin
General Election 2010: Waveney
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Aldous 20,571 40.2 +6.9
Labour Bob Blizzard 19,802 38.7 -6.6
Liberal Democrat Alan Dean 6,811 13.3 -1.8
UKIP Jack Tyler 2,684 5.2 +1.5
Green Graham Elliott 1,167 2.3 -0.1
NOTA Louis Barfe[n 4] 106 0.2 +0.2
Majority 769 1.5
Turnout 51,141 65.1 +1.5
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +6.8

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Waveney
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bob Blizzard 22,505 45.3 -5.4
Conservative Peter Aldous 16,590 33.4 +0.8
Liberal Democrat Nick Bromley 7,497 15.1 +3.7
UKIP Brian Aylett 1,861 3.7 +1.4
Green Graham Elliott 1,200 2.4 +0.3
Majority 5,915 11.9 -6.2
Turnout 49,653 64.4 +3.6
Labour hold Swing -3.1
General Election 2001: Waveney
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bob Blizzard 23,914 50.7 −5.3
Conservative Lee Scott 15,361 32.6 −1.9
Liberal Democrat David Young 5,370 11.4 +2.4
UKIP Bryan Aylett 1,097 2.3 N/A
Green Graham Elliott 983 2.1 N/A
Socialist Alliance Rupert Mallin 442 0.9 N/A
Majority 8,553 18.1 −3.4
Turnout 47,167 60.8 −13.8
Labour hold Swing −1.7

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Waveney
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bob Blizzard 31,486 56.0 +17.6
Conservative David Porter 19,393 34.5 −13.7
Liberal Democrat Christopher Thomas 5,054 9.0 −4.0
Independent N Clark 318 0.6 +0.2
Majority 12,093 21.5 N/A
Turnout 56,251 74.7 −7.1
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +15.6
General Election 1992: Waveney[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Porter 33,174 48.2 −0.2
Labour E.C. Leverett 26,472 38.4 +8.4
Liberal Democrat AC Rogers 8,925 13.0 −8.6
Natural Law D Hook 302 0.4 +0.4
Majority 6,702 9.7 −8.6
Turnout 68,873 81.8 +3.4
Conservative hold Swing −4.3

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Waveney
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Porter 31,067 48.4 -3.4
Labour Jack Alan Lark 19,284 30.0 +2.6
Social Democratic David Beavan 13,845 21.6 +0.7
Majority 11,783 18.4 −6.0
Turnout 81,889 78.4 +3.1
Conservative hold Swing -3.0
General Election 1983: Waveney
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jim Prior 30,371 51.8 N/A
Labour Jack Alan Lark 16,073 27.4 N/A
Social Democratic Gillian Mary Artis 12,234 20.9 N/A
Majority 14,298 24.4 N/A
Turnout 77,960 75.3 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

See also[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. ^ and Lord President of the Council
  4. ^ Shortly after the general election "None of the above" candidate Louis Barfe defected to the Green Party


Coordinates: 52°24′N 1°30′E / 52.4°N 1.5°E / 52.4; 1.5