Arundel and South Downs (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 51°51′22″N 0°33′32″W / 51.856°N 0.559°W / 51.856; -0.559

Arundel and South Downs
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Arundel and South Downs in West Sussex.
Outline map
Location of West Sussex within England.
County West Sussex
Population 97,267 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate 76,697 (December 2010)[2]
Major settlements Arundel, Hassocks, Petworth, Pulborough and Steyning
Current constituency
Created 1997
Member of parliament Nick Herbert (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Arundel and Horsham
European Parliament constituency South East England

Arundel and South Downs /ˈærᵿndəl ənd sθ dnz/ is a constituency[n 1] created in 1997, represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Nick Herbert of the Conservative Party.[n 2]


The constituency contains the town of Arundel and villages and hamlets within the South Downs national park boundaries or encircled by the park, the largest of which are Petworth, Pulborough, Steyning (/stɛnɪŋ/) and Storrington.

2010 – reviewed boundaries adopted

Following their review of parliamentary boundaries in West Sussex which Parliament approved in 2007, the Boundary Commission for England formed new constituencies as a consequence of abolishing the seat of Arundel. First contested in 2010 the seat was constituted as follows:

Wards of the United Kingdom In district/borough of:
Angmering, Arundel, Barnham, Findon, and Walberton Arun
Bury, Petworth, and Wisborough Green Chichester
Bramber, Upper Beeding and Woodmancote, Chanctonbury, Chantry, Cowfold,Partridge Green, Shermanbury and West Grinstead, Henfield, Pulborough and Coldwaltham, and Steyning Horsham
Hassocks, and Hurstpierpoint and Downs. Mid Sussex

In their recommendations, the Boundary Commission for England mooted the name Chanctonbury after uninhabited Chanctonbury Ring, an ancient hill fort at its centre. This name was rejected during the local inquiry process at which the current name was chosen.[3]


Results since 1997 (creation)

The 2015 result gave the victor for the seat an increased margin versus the runner up relative to the previous election — at 44.8% of votes over the closest runner-up, the majority is approximately double the smallest majority since the 1997 formation of the seat. It made the seat the 8th safest of the Conservative Party's 331 seats by percentage of majority.[4]

De-selection of incumbent seeking re-election in 2005

The incumbent Howard Flight MP had national media coverage in the run-up to the 2005 general election due to his deselection requested by the party leader for membership of Conservative Way Forward, lobbying for spending cuts to be more severe than set out in the small cuts in the 2005 manifesto. Flight hinted his preferred cuts would be as implemented by a Conservative government in his view. He had represented the constituency since its creation at the 1997 general election. Anne Marie Morris, Laura Sandys and Nick Herbert put themselves forward for nomination as replacement candidates. The chosen candidate, Nick Herbert, won the seat at the election.[5] Morris and Sandys became MPs elsewhere in 2010.

Predecessor seats

Arundel and South Downs and its predecessor seats have in the 20th century been a Conservative Party stronghold save that the minor contributory Horsham seat to the area's electorate saw victory by 8.6% of the vote over the Labour Party in 1966, followed statistically by a next-most-marginal victory again with the Labour Party as runner-up, in 1950, of 14.4%.

Between 1974 and 1983, much of the South Downs area was part of the Shoreham constituency, with the town of Arundel remaining in the Arundel constituency.

Prior to 1974, the seat was largely part of the Arundel and Shoreham constituency.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[6] Party
1997 Howard Flight Conservative
2005 Nick Herbert Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2017: Arundel and South Downs
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Nick Herbert 37,573 62.4 +1.6
Labour Caroline Fife 13,690 22.7 +11.5
Liberal Democrat Shweta Kapadia 4,783 7.9 +0.7
Green Jo Prior 2,542 4.2 -2.2
UKIP John Wallace 1,668 2.8 -11.7
Majority 23,883 39.7 -6.6
Turnout 60,256 74.6 +1.5
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 2015: Arundel and South Downs[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Nick Herbert 34,331 60.8 +3.0
UKIP Peter Grace 8,154 14.4 +8.8
Labour Christopher Wellbelove 6,324 11.2 +2.6
Liberal Democrat Shweta Kapadia 4,062 7.2 −20.7
Green Isabel Thurston 3,606 6.4 +6.4
Majority 26,177 46.3 +16.4
Turnout 56,477 73.1 +0.9
Conservative hold Swing +2.9
General Election 2010: Arundel and South Downs[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Nick Herbert 32,333 57.8 +8.0
Liberal Democrat Derek Deedman 15,642 27.9 +0.8
Labour Tim Lunnon 4,835 8.6 −8.5
UKIP Stuart Bower 3,172 5.7 +0.3
Majority 16,691 29.9
Turnout 55,982 72.2 +1.4
Conservative hold Swing +3.6

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Arundel and South Downs[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Nick Herbert 24,752 49.8 −2.4
Liberal Democrat Derek Deedman 13,443 27.1 +4.7
Labour Sharon Whitlam 8,482 17.1 −3.6
UKIP Andrew Moffat 2,700 5.4 +0.7
Protest Vote Party Mark Stack 313 0.6 +0.6
Majority 11,309 22.8
Turnout 49,690 68.5 3.8
Conservative hold Swing −3.5
General Election 2001: Arundel and South Downs[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Howard Flight 23,969 52.2 −0.9
Liberal Democrat Derek R. Deedman 10,265 22.4 −3.4
Labour Charles S. Taylor 9,488 20.7 +2.4
UKIP Robert Perrin 2,167 4.7 +1.8
Majority 13,704 29.8
Turnout 45,889 64.7 −10.8
Conservative hold Swing +1.25

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Arundel and South Downs[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Howard Flight 27,251 53.1 N/A
Liberal Democrat John Goss 13,216 25.7 N/A
Labour Richard Black 9,376 18.3 N/A
UKIP James Herbert 1,494 2.9 N/A
Majority 14,035 27.3 N/A
Turnout 51,337 75.5 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. ^ 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.
  1. ^ "Usual Resident Population, 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Boundary Commission for England, fourth periodic report, 1995
  4. ^ "List of Conservative MPs elected in 2015 by % majority". UK Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - Politics - Tory shortlist to replace Flight". 
  6. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
  7. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.