Wells (UK Parliament constituency)
|for the House of Commons|
Boundary of Wells in Somerset.
Location of Somerset within England.
|Electorate||79,989 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||Tessa Jane Munt (Liberal Democrat)|
|Number of members||One|
|Number of members||Two|
|Type of constituency||Borough constituency|
|European Parliament constituency||South West England|
- 1 History
- 2 Boundaries
- 3 Constituency profile
- 4 Members of Parliament
- 5 Elections
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 Sources
The original two-member borough constituency was created in 1295, and abolished by the Reform Act 1867 with effect from the 1868 general election. Its revival saw a more comparable size of electorate across the country and across Somerset, with a large swathe of the county covered by this new seat, under the plans of the third Reform Act and the connected Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 which was enacted the following year.
- Political History
The seat was largely Conservative-held during the 20th century and has not seen a Labour MP in its history. The only other party to have been represented is the Liberal Democrats or their predecessor, the Liberal Party, who achieved a marginal victory in 2010, see marginal seat.
- Prominent Frontbenchers
Sir William Hayter was chief government whip of the Commons under three Liberal Prime Ministers governing from the Lords, (Lord John) Russell, Aberdeen and Palmerston.
So too in this role was Lord Hylton from 1916 until 1922 alongside the Lord Colebrooke in the Conservative-Liberal National coalition.
Robert Sanders was Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Commons, 1918–1919, and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1922-1924.
Robert Boscawen was a government whip (1988-1989).
David Heathcoat-Amory was Minister for Europe (1993-1994) and later a Shadow Cabinet member (1997-2001) but was nationally disgraced in the expenses scandal for large claims including his manure claim, epitomising the whole Parliament as the 'Manure Parliament' in The Times, this may have affected the larger than average swing seen in the 2010 election from the Conservative to the Liberal Democrat candidate.
Before the 2010 general election, Parliament confirmed accepted the Boundary Commission's recommendations for no change to the existing wards which are:
- Ashwick, Chilcompton and Stratton, Chewton Mendip and Ston Easton, Croscombe and Pilton, Glastonbury: St. Benedict's, St. Edmund's, St. John's, and St. Mary's; Moor, Rodney and Westbury, and St. Cuthbert Out North wards Shepton East, Shepton West, Street North, Street South, Street West, Wells Central, Wells St. Cuthbert's, Wells St. Thomas', and Wookey and St. Cuthbert Out West in the Mendip District
- Axbridge, Axe Vale, Berrow, Brean, Brent North, Burnham: North and South wards, Cheddar and Shipham, Highbridge, Knoll, and Wedmore and Mark in the Sedgemoor District.
Aside from energy, transportation, retail and distribution which are major sectors, agriculture and tourism are still important areas to this central and quite quintessential part of Somerset which includes a coastal resort, Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor. Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.1% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.
Members of Parliament
|Election||1st Member||1st Party||2nd Member||2nd Party|
|1832||Norman Lamont||Whig||John Lee Lee||Whig|
|1834 by-election||Nicholas William Ridley Colborne||Whig|
|1837||Richard Blakemore||Conservative||William Goodenough Hayter||Whig|
|1852||Robert Charles Tudway||Conservative|
|1855 by-election||Hedworth Hylton Jolliffe||Conservative|
|1865||Arthur Divett Hayter||Liberal|
|1868||borough constituency abolished|
Elections in the 2010s
|General Election 2010: Wells|
|Liberal Democrat||Tessa Jane Munt||24,560||44.0||+6.1|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||23,760||42.5||-1.0|
|Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.6|
Elections in the 2000s
|General Election 2005: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||23,071||43.6||−0.2|
|Liberal Democrat||Tessa Jane Munt||20,031||37.8||−0.5|
|General Election 2001: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||22,462||43.8||+4.4|
|Liberal Democrat||Graham Oakes||19,666||38.3||-0.1|
|Wessex Regionalist||Colin Bex||167||0.3||N/A|
Elections in the 1990s
|General Election 1997: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||22,208||39.4||−5.8|
|Liberal Democrat||Peter Gold||21,680||38.5||−0.2|
|Labour||Athelstan Joseph Michael Eavis||10,204||18.1||+7.5|
|Referendum Party||Patricia Phelps||2,196||3.9||N/A|
|Natural Law||Lynn Royse||92||0.2||N/A|
|General Election 1992: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||28,620||49.6||−4.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Humphrey P.N. Temperley||21,971||38.0||+0.5|
|Labour||John W. Pilgrim||6,126||10.6||+1.9|
|Green||Mike R. Fenner||1,042||1.8||+1.8|
Elections in the 1980s
|General Election 1987: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||28,624||53.52|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt-Philip||20,083||37.55|
|Independent||John S. Fish||134||0.25|
|General Election 1983: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||25,385||52.65|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt-Philip||18,810||39.01|
Elections in the 1970s
|General Election 1979: Wells|
|Conservative||Robert Thomas Boscawen||30,400||51.35|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt Philip||18,204||30.75|
|Wessex Regionalist||A. Thynn||155||0.26|
|General Election October 1974: Wells|
|Conservative||Robert Thomas Boscawen||23,979||43.64|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt Philip||16,278||29.63|
|United Democratic Party||P. Howard||778||1.42|
|General Election February 1974: Wells|
|Conservative||Robert Thomas Boscawen||25,430||44.25|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt Philip||17,645||30.70|
|General Election 1970: Wells
|Conservative||Robert Thomas Boscawen||25,106||49.6|
|Labour||Frank R. Thompson||16,335||32.3|
Elections in the 1960s
|General Election 1966: Wells
|Conservative||Stephen Lynch Conway Maydon||20,528||43.0|
|Labour||John G Cousins||16,989||35.6|
|Liberal||Howard L Fry||10,224||21.4|
|General Election 1964: Wells
|Conservative||Stephen Lynch Conway Maydon||20,663||43.2|
|Labour||Reginald G White||15,080||31.5|
|Liberal||Howard L Fry||12,132||25.3|
Election in the 1950s
|General Election 1959: Wells
|Conservative||Stephen Lynch Conway Maydon||23,357||48.6|
|Liberal||Paul R Hobhouse||8,220||17.1|
|General Election 1955: Wells|
|Conservative||Stephen Lynch Conway Maydon||25,624||56.4|
|General Election 1951: Wells|
|Conservative||Stephen Lynch Conway Maydon||26,524||55.2|
|General Election 1950: Wells|
|Conservative||Dennis Coleridge Boles||20,613||42.6|
|Liberal||Anthony Freire Marreco||9,771||20.2|
Election in the 1940s
|General Election 1945: Wells|
|Conservative||Dennis Coleridge Boles||13,004||41.3|
|Liberal||Violet Bonham Carter||7,910||25.2|
Elections in the 1930s
|Wells by-election, 1939|
|Conservative||Dennis Coleridge Boles||Unopposed|
General Election 1939/40: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;
|General Election 1935
|Conservative||Anthony John Muirhead||14,898||53.4|
|Liberal||Arnold H Jones||7,277||26.1|
|General Election 1931: Wells|
|Conservative||Anthony John Muirhead||17,711||58.7|
|Liberal||John William Howard Thompson||12,440||41.3|
Elections in the 1920s
|General Election 1929
|Unionist||Anthony John Muirhead||13,026||43.6|
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||12,382||41.4|
|Labour||Mrs R D Q Davies||4,472||15.0|
|General Election 1924
|Unionist||Rt Hon. Robert Arthur Sanders||12,642|
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||8,668|
|Labour||W T Young||2,726|
|Unionist gain from Liberal||Swing|
|General Election 6 December 1923:
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||10,818|
|Labour||C H Whitlow||1,713|
|Liberal gain from Unionist||Swing|
|General Election 1922
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||7,156|
Elections in the 1910s
|General Election 1918
|Liberal||John Coleby Morland||6,935|
|National Party||Maj. G. C. S. Hodgson MC||804|
A # denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.
Notes and references
- "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
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- Cassidy, Irene. "Wells". The History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- "General Election 2010". Mendip District Council. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
- "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Wells". BBC News.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- The Liberal Magazine, 1939
- Craig, F. W. S. (1983) . British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd edition ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
- D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
- Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) 
- Henry Stooks Smith, The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847, Volume 2 (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co, 1845)