Westmorland and Lonsdale (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 54°18′43″N 2°52′48″W / 54.312°N 2.880°W / 54.312; -2.880

Westmorland and Lonsdale
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria.
Outline map
Location of Cumbria within England.
County Cumbria
Electorate 66,609 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat)
Number of members One
Created from Morecambe and Lonsdale and Westmorland
European Parliament constituency North West England

Westmorland and Lonsdale is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Tim Farron, a Liberal Democrat.


The constituency is based on the South Lakeland district of Cumbria. Important towns by size in the constituency include Kendal, Windermere and Kirkby Lonsdale.[n 2] It is named for the Westmorland and Lonsdale districts of Cumbria.

Boundary review[edit]

Following their review of parliamentary representation in Cumbria, the Boundary Commission for England created a modified Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, to deal with population changes.

The electoral wards used to create the modified seat, contested for the first time at the 2010 general election, are entirely within the South Lakeland district.

This removed Broughton-in-Furness from the constituency.


Having been a Conservative seat since its creation in 1983, the 1997 election saw the Tory majority cut to fewer than 5,000 votes. This was further reduced at the 2001 election. In 2005, the constituency featured among a list of seats held by high-profile Conservatives (in this case, the Education spokesperson Tim Collins) targeted by Liberal Democrats by deploying supporters from across each region in what was referred in the media as a "decapitation strategy".[3] In the event, this was the only one of the "decapitation" seats to change hands in 2005, with Tim Farron gaining the seat by a marginal majority.

In the 2010 general election, this constituency recorded the largest swing from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats (11.1% Con-LD) in a seat where those two parties were in the top two positions. The constituency also produced the lowest share of the vote for Labour (2.2%, one of five lost deposits for Labour nationally). With 96.2% of votes cast for either the Conservative or Liberal Democrat candidates, Westmorland and Lonsdale also had the highest combined share of the vote cast for the Coalition parties.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1983 Michael Jopling Conservative
1997 Tim Collins Conservative
2005 Tim Farron Liberal Democrat


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Westmorland and Lonsdale[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Bateson[7]
Liberal Democrat Tim Farron
UKIP Alan Piper
Green Chris Loynes
Conservative Ann Myatt
General Election 2010: Westmorland and Lonsdale[8][9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Tim Farron 30,896 60.0 +14.1
Conservative Gareth McKeever 18,632 36.2 −8.1
Labour Jonathan Todd 1,158 2.2 −5.6
UKIP John Mander 801 1.6 +0.2
Majority 12,264 23.8
Turnout 51,487 75.8 +5.1
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +11.1

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Westmorland and Lonsdale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Tim Farron 22,569 45.5 +5.1
Conservative Tim Collins 22,302 44.9 −2.0
Labour John Reardon 3,796 7.6 −3.3
UKIP Robert Gibson 660 1.3 +0.1
Independent Anthony Kemp 309 0.6 N/A
Majority 267 0.5
Turnout 49,636 71.6 +3.8
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing +3.5
General Election 2001: Westmorland and Lonsdale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Tim Collins 22,486 46.9 +4.7
Liberal Democrat Tim Farron 19,339 40.4 +7.0
Labour John Bateson 5,234 10.9 −9.7
UKIP Robert Gibson 552 1.2 N/A
Independent Timothy Bell 292 0.6 N/A
Majority 3,147 6.5
Turnout 47,903 67.8 −6.2
Conservative hold Swing −1.2

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Westmorland and Lonsdale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Tim Collins 21,463 42.3 −14.6
Liberal Democrat Stanley Bernard Collins 16,492 33.4 +5.9
Labour John Harding 10,452 20.6 +5.5
Referendum Party Michael H. Smith 1,924 3.8 N/A
Majority 4,521 9.0
Turnout 50,781 74.1
Conservative hold Swing −10.3
General Election 1992: Westmorland and Lonsdale[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Jopling 31,798 56.9 −0.7
Liberal Democrat Stanley Bernard Collins 15,362 27.5 −1.7
Labour Dickon J. Abbott 8,436 15.1 +1.9
Natural Law Robert Johnstone 287 0.5 N/A
Majority 16,436 29.4 +1.0
Turnout 55,883 77.8 −3.0
Conservative hold Swing +0.5

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Westmorland and Lonsdale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Jopling 30,259 57.6 −3.7
Liberal Stanley Bernard Collins 15,339 29.2 +2.1
Labour Shaun Patrick Halfpenny 6,968 13.2 +3.3
Majority 14,920 28.4
Turnout 52,566 74.8
Conservative hold Swing −2.9
General Election 1983: Westmorland and Lonsdale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Jopling 29,775 61.3 N/A
Liberal Dr. Ken Hulls 13,188 27.1 N/A
Labour Chris Stott 4,798 9.9 N/A
Ecology Robert Anthony Gibson 805 1.7 N/A
Majority 16,587 34.2 N/A
Turnout 48,566 72.3 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. ^ The area does not include the whole historic county of Westmorland, particularly lacking the county town Appleby-in-Westmorland.