Welwyn Hatfield (UK Parliament constituency)

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Welwyn Hatfield
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire.
Outline map
Location of Hertfordshire within England.
County Hertfordshire
Electorate 71,766 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1974 (1974)
Member of parliament Grant Shapps (Conservative)
Number of members One
European Parliament constituency East of England

Welwyn Hatfield is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Grant Shapps, a Conservative.[n 2]


The seat was called for by the second periodic review of Westminster seats (the first periodic review led by the Boundary Commission was in 1945 and followed that of the Representation of the People Act 1918). Its changes were made in time for the first 1974 general election which resulted in a temporary minority administration on a hung parliament.

Political history

Despite its short history, the seat has seen two parties serve it, with two Labour periods of representation, during the longer part of the Labour Government 1974-1979 and during the first two terms of the Blair ministry. Other than this the seat has elected a Conservative as its MP.

The present majority more than tripled on the second election of Grant Shapps, in 2010, from a historically breakable (in the constituency) majority of 5,946 votes to the 26th largest Conservative share of the vote,[2] which on standard uniform swing seen in elections since 1931 represents a safe seat.

Prominent frontbenchers

The first MP ended his term in the Commons as the member for Welwyn Hatfield before which he was Defence Minister from 1970 to 1972 then a Foreign Office Minister until February 1974 - later that year Lord Balniel was awarded a life peerage,[n 3] accelerating and safeguarding his right to sit in the Lords. The second MP later became the politically neutral Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman.

Melanie Johnson during five years of the Blair-Brown government was a frontbench minister: Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Minister for Competition and Consumers and the Minister for Public Health.

Grant Shapps was appointed the Minister of State for Housing and Local Government for the first two years of the UK coalition government 2010 before being appointed to chair his party.


Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which recommended no changes to this constituency for the 2010 general election since which it has electoral wards:

  • Brookmans Park and Little Heath, Haldens, Handside, Hatfield: Central, East, North, South and West wards, Hollybush, Howlands, Panshanger, Peartree, Sherrards, Welham Green, Welwyn North and Welwyn South wards in the Welwyn Hatfield District[3]

Only a small part of the District is excluded, the ward (and village) of Northaw, which is in the Broxbourne constituency.

Constituency profile[edit]

The area has a higher than average proportion of the managers, professionals and of the retired than much of Greater London[4] with a strong local economy, retail and industrial/commercial premises are particularly in Hatfield and two of the four largest Hertfordshire economic towns, Stevenage and St Albans are close by. Accordingly, workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.4% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[5]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[6] Party
Feb 1974 Lord Balniel Conservative
Oct 1974 Hélène Hayman Labour
1979 Christopher Murphy Conservative
1987 David Evans Conservative
1997 Melanie Johnson Labour
2005 Grant Shapps Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Hugh Annand
Labour Anawar Miah
Green Marc Scheimann[7]
Conservative Grant Shapps
UKIP Arthur Stevens
General Election 2010: Welwyn Hatfield[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Grant Shapps 27,894 57.0 +7.4
Labour Mike Hobday 10,471 21.4 -14.9
Liberal Democrat Paul Zukowskyj 8,010 16.4 +2.2
UKIP David Platt 1,643 3.4 N/A
Green Jill Weston 796 1.9 N/A
Independent Nigel Parker 158 0.3 N/A
Majority 17,423 35.6
Turnout 48,972 68.0 −0.2
Conservative hold Swing +11.1

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Grant Shapps 22,172 49.6 +9.2
Labour Melanie Johnson 16,226 36.3 −6.9
Liberal Democrat Sara Bedford 6,318 14.1 0.0
Majority 5,946 13.3
Turnout 44,716 68.1 +4.2
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +8.05
General Election 2001: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Melanie Johnson 18,484 43.2 −3.9
Conservative Grant Shapps 17,288 40.4 +3.9
Liberal Democrat Daniel Cooke 6,021 14.1 +0.5
UKIP Malcolm Biggs 798 1.9 N/A
ProLife Alliance Fiona Pinto 230 0.5 +0.0
Majority 1,196 2.8
Turnout 42,821 63.9 −14.7
Labour hold Swing -3.90

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Melanie Johnson 24,936 47.1 +11.1
Conservative David Evans 19,341 36.5 −11.0
Liberal Democrat Rodney S. Schwartz 7,161 13.5 −2.5
Residents Association V. Ernest Cox 1,263 2.4 N/A
ProLife Alliance Helen T. Harrold 267 0.5 N/A
Majority 5,595 10.6
Turnout 52,968 78.6
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +11.05
General Election 1992: Welwyn Hatfield[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Evans 29,447 48.4 +2.7
Labour RA Little 20,982 34.5 +8.1
Liberal Democrat Robin G. Parker 10,196 16.7 −10.6
Natural Law Ms. ET Lucas 264 0.4 N/A
Majority 8,465 13.9 −4.4
Turnout 60,889 84.3 +3.4
Conservative hold Swing −2.7

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Evans 27,164 45.63
Social Democratic LP Granshaw 16,261 27.32
Labour Christopher Richard Pond 15,699 26.37
Independent Conservative BI Dyson 401 0.67
Majority 10,903 18.32
Turnout 80.87
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Murphy 27,498 47.70
Social Democratic L Granshaw 15,252 26.46
Labour J France 14,898 25.84
Majority 12,246 21.24
Turnout 79.36
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Murphy 28,892 48.59
Labour Hélène Hayman 25,418 42.75
Liberal J Hurd 4,688 7.88
National Front P Ruddock 459 0.77
Majority 3,474 5.84
Turnout 84.99
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election October 1974: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Hélène Hayman 23,339 42.76
Conservative Lord Balniel 22,819 41.81
Liberal PH Robinson 8,418 15.42
Majority 520 0.95
Turnout 81.28
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election February 1974: Welwyn Hatfield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Lord Balniel 22,581 39.85
Labour CW Sewell 21,166 37.35
Liberal P Robinson 12,923 22.80
Majority 1,415 2.50
Turnout 85.32
Conservative hold Swing

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. ^ Balniel joined his father, the Earl of Crawford, who from 1963 no longer had to be regularly elected as a representative peer
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ The Electoral Commission 2010 results
  3. ^ 2010 post-revision map non-metropolitan areas and unitary authorities of England
  4. ^ 2011 Census
  5. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  6. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  7. ^ "Marc Scheimann PPC page". Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Welwyn Hatfield, UKPollingReport
  9. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

Coordinates: 51°46′10″N 0°11′40″W / 51.76944°N 0.19444°W / 51.76944; -0.19444