Ashford (UK Parliament constituency)

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Ashford
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Ashford in Kent for the 2010 general election.
Outline map
Location of Kent within England.
County Kent
Population 112,940 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate 85,177 (December 2015)[2]
Major settlements Tenterden and Ashford, Kent
Current constituency
Created 1885
Member of parliament Damian Green (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from West Kent
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Ashford is a constituency[n 1] created in 1885 represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 1997 by Damian Green, a Conservative, who has served as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since 14 July 2016.[n 2]

Boundaries[edit]

1885–1918: The Municipal Borough of Tenterden, the Sessional Divisions of Ashford and Cranbrook, the corporate towns of Lydd and New Romney, and part of the Liberty of Romney Marsh.

1918–1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Lydd, New Romney, and Tenterden, the Urban District of Ashford, and the Rural Districts of Cranbrook, East Ashford, Romney Marsh, Tenterden, and West Ashford.

1950–1974: The Municipal Borough of Tenterden, the Urban District of Ashford, and the Rural Districts of Cranbrook, East Ashford, Tenterden, and West Ashford.

1974–1983: The Municipal Borough of Tenterden, the Urban District of Ashford, and the Rural Districts of East Ashford, Tenterden, and West Ashford.

1983–2010: The Borough of Ashford.

2010–present: The Borough of Ashford wards of Aylesford Green, Beaver, Biddenden, Bockhanger, Boughton Aluph and Eastwell, Bybrook, Charing, Downs North, Downs West, Godinton, Great Chart with Singleton North, Highfield, Isle of Oxney, Kennington, Little Burton Farm, Norman, North Willesborough, Park Farm North, Park Farm South, Rolvenden and Tenterden West, St Michael's, Singleton South, South Willesborough, Stanhope, Stour, Tenterden North, Tenterden South, Victoria, Washford, Weald Central, Weald East, Weald North, Weald South, and Wye.

Ashford constituency has the large town of Ashford which has Ashford International railway station and the smaller town of Tenterden, one of the area's 46 villages, towns or town suburbs which are organised communities into civil parishes. Ashford town centre, its north and its west are the only unparished areas.[3]

Constituency profile[edit]

Political history

Created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, Ashford has been won by a Conservative at every election except that of 1929 when it was won by a Liberal, after that party's turn towards the left marked by the People's Budget in 1911, who won with a majority of less than 1% of the vote.

The most marginal victory since 1929 occurred in 1997 when its voters returned a Conservative who won by a 9.7% majority. The 2015 result made the seat the 106th safest of the Conservative Party's 331 seats by percentage of majority.[4]

Economy

The constituency has its express-enabled station to London, Paris and Brussels leading to a considerable use including by local international employers supporting local shops, leisure facilities and attractions. Its use increased by over a million per year in the seven years to 2012, to 3.3 million entries and exits that year. At the end of 2012 the unemployment rate in the constituency stood as 2.0% of the population claiming jobseekers allowance, compared to the regional average of 2.4% and national average of 3.8%.[5]

Members of Parliament[edit]

  • Constituency created (1885)
Election Member[6] Party
1885 William Pomfret Pomfret Conservative
1892 Laurence Hardy Conservative
1918 Samuel Strang Steel Coalition Conservative
1929 Rev. Roderick Kedward Liberal
1931 Michael Knatchbull Conservative
1933 by-election Patrick Spens Conservative
1943 by-election Edward Percy Smith Conservative
1950 Bill Deedes Conservative
Oct 1974 Keith Speed Conservative
1997 Damian Green Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Ashford[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Damian Green 30,094 52.5 −1.7
UKIP Gerald O'Brien 10,798 18.8 +14.3
Labour Brendan Chilton 10,580 18.4 +1.8
Liberal Democrat Debbie Enever 3,433 6.0 -16.8
Green Mandy Rossi 2,467 4.3 +2.5
Majority 19,296 33.6
Turnout 57,372 67.3
Conservative hold Swing −8.0
General Election 2010: Ashford[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Damian Green 29,878 54.1 +2.7
Liberal Democrat Chris Took 12,581 22.8 +7.2
Labour Chris Clark 9,204 16.7 −9.7
UKIP Jeffrey Elenor[9] 2,508 4.5 +1.4
Green Steven Campkin 1,014 1.8 −1.6
Majority 17,297 31.3
Turnout 55,185 67.9 +2.5
Conservative hold Swing +2.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Damian Green 26,651 51.6 +4.2
Labour Valerie Whitaker 13,353 25.8 −6.3
Liberal Democrat Chris Took 8,308 16.1 +1.0
Green Richard Boden 1,753 3.4 +0.6
UKIP Bernard Stroud 1,620 3.1 +0.5
Majority 13,298 25.7 +10.4
Turnout 51,685 65.0 +2.5
Conservative hold Swing +5.2
General Election, 2001: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Damian Green 22,739 47.4 +6.0
Labour John Adams 15,380 32.1 +0.4
Liberal Democrat Keith Fitchett 7,236 15.1 −4.6
Green Richard Boden 1,353 2.8 +1.6
UKIP David Waller 1,229 2.6 N/A
Majority 7,359 15.3 +5.6
Turnout 47,937 62.5 −11.7
Conservative hold Swing +3.2

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Ashford[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Damian Green 22,899 41.4 −13.2
Labour John Ennals 17,554 31.7 +11.7
Liberal Democrat John Williams 10,901 19.7 −4.4
Referendum Christopher Cruden 3,201 5.8 N/A
Green Richard Boden 660 1.2 −0.2
Natural Law Stephen Tyrell 89 0.2 N/A
Majority 5,345 9.7 −20.8
Turnout 55,302 74.2 −5.0
Conservative hold Swing −12.5
General Election 1992: Ashford[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Keith Speed 31,031 54.6 −1.9
Liberal Democrat Christine L.B. Headley 13,672 24.1 −3.3
Labour Doreen A. Cameron 11,365 20.0 +5.3
Green Andrew Porter 773 1.4 −0.1
Majority 17,359 30.5 +1.3
Turnout 56,841 79.2 +3.5
Conservative hold Swing +0.7

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Keith Speed 29,978 56.54
Social Democratic Neil Macmillan 14,490 27.33
Labour Michael Wiggins 7,775 14.66
Green Charles Porter 778 1.47
Majority 15,488 29.21
Turnout 75.69
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Keith Speed 27,230 56.80
Social Democratic J Hawkes 13,319 27.78
Labour P Lewis 6,167 12.87
Ecology Charles Porter 569 1.19
National Labour JW King 456 0.95
BNP RE Lockwood 195 0.41
Majority 13,911 29.02
Turnout 73.25
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Keith Speed 26,224 55.65
Labour AA Gilbert 12,586 26.71
Liberal A Wainman 7,631 16.20
National Front KR McKilliam 678 1.44
Majority 13,638 28.94
Turnout 76.67
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Keith Speed 19,294 44.31
Labour MB Jackson 13,269 30.47
Liberal CG Dennis 10,983 25.22
Majority 6,025 13.84
Turnout 74.54
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 21,773 46.2
Liberal CG Dennis 13,314 28.2
Labour MB Jackson 12,077 25.6
Majority 8,459 18.0
Turnout 81.5
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 26,649 54.8
Labour John M Bowyer 14,037 28.9
Liberal Charles Truman 7,902 16.3
Majority 12,612 26.0
Turnout 48,588 72.5
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 21,362 50.0
Labour Charles A Thomas 13,249 31.0
Liberal J Gavin W Peck 8,121 19.0
Majority 8,113 19.0
Turnout 42,732 75.4
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 21,026 49.4
Labour Charles A Thomas 11,989 28.2
Liberal J Gavin W Peck 9,531 22.4
Majority 9,037 21.2
Turnout 42,546 77.5
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 25,383 62.88
Labour Reginald Ward 14,983 37.12
Majority 10,400 25.76
Turnout 40,366 77.48
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 23,992 60.47
Labour Neville Sandelson 15,685 39.53
Majority 8,307 20.94
Turnout 78.07
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 24,093 59.14
Labour Neville Sandelson 16,645 40.86
Majority 7,448 18.28
Turnout 81.94
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bill Deedes 21,095 51.61
Labour Neville Sandelson 14,948 36.57
Liberal H Shirley 4,828 11.81
Majority 6,147 15.04
Turnout 84.08
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Percy Smith 18,800 52.0
Labour Horace W. Lee 12,575 34.8
Liberal Harold Vesey Strong 4,804 13.3
Majority 6,225 17.2
Turnout 71.27
Conservative hold Swing
Ashford by-election, 1943[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Percy Smith 9,648 69.7 +10.5
Common Wealth Catherine E. Williamson 4,192 30.3 n/a
Majority 5,456 39.4
Turnout 27.7 -45.9
Conservative hold Swing

Election in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 14 November 1935: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Patrick Spens 21,323 59.2
Liberal Richard Matthews 8,338 23.2
Labour W J Beck 6,333 17.6
Majority 12,985 36.1
Turnout 73.6
Conservative hold Swing
Ashford by-election, 1933:
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Patrick Spens 16,051 47.7
Liberal Roderick Kedward 11,423 33.9
Labour W J Beck 6,178 18.4
Majority 4,628 13.8
Turnout 70.9
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 27 October 1931: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Michael Knatchbull 20,891 58.7
Liberal National Roderick Kedward 14,681 41.3
Majority 6,210 17.5
Turnout 75.9

Election in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 30 May 1929: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Roderick Kedward 15,753 46.0 +24.2
Unionist Samuel Strang Steel 14,579 42.6 -17.8
Labour Mont Follick 3,885 11.4 -6.4
Majority 1,174 3.4 42.0
Turnout 75.3 +4.9
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +21.0
General Election 29 October 1924: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Samuel Strang Steel 15,159 60.4
Liberal Leonard John Humphrey 5,487 21.8
Labour Basil Noble 4,473 17.8
Majority 9,672 38.6
Turnout 70.4
General Election 6 December 1923: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Samuel Strang Steel 12,644 62.1 -7.0
Labour Basil Noble 7,709 37.9 +7.0
Majority 4,935 24.2 -14.0
Turnout 57.8
Unionist hold Swing +17.0
General Election 15 November 1922: Ashford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Samuel Strang Steel 15,638
Labour Basil Noble 6,977
Majority
Turnout

Election results 1885-1918[edit]

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1885: Ashford [14][15][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Pomfret Pomfret 6,020 55.2 n/a
Liberal George Crispe Whiteley 4,895 44.8 n/a
Majority 1,125 10.4 n/a
Turnout 81.5 n/a
Conservative win (new seat)
General Election 1886: Ashford [14][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Pomfret Pomfret unopposed n/a n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

Hardy
General Election 1892: Ashford [14][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Laurence Hardy 5,512 56.3 n/a
Liberal John U Bugler 4,281 43.7 n/a
Majority 1,231 12.6 n/a
Turnout 68.4 n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a
General Election 1895: Ashford [14][15][17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Laurence Hardy unopposed n/a n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1900: Ashford [14][15][17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Laurence Hardy 5,898 71.6 n/a
Independent Protestant Benjamin Nicholson 2,343 28.4 n/a
Majority 3,555 43.2 n/a
Turnout 64.8 n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a
General Election 1906: Ashford [14][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Laurence Hardy 5,994 51.6 -20.0
Liberal Percy Alfred Harris 5,614 48.4 n/a
Majority 380 3.2 -40.0
Turnout 83.7 +18.9
Conservative hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Ashford [14][18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Laurence Hardy 7,966 64.3 +12.7
Liberal Reginald John Farrer 4,422 35.7 -12.7
Majority 3,544 28.6
Turnout 87.2 +3.5
Conservative hold Swing
General Election December 1910: Ashford [14][19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Laurence Hardy unopposed n/a n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

General Election 1914/15:

Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;

General Election 14 December 1918: Ashford[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist 10,258
Independent William H Deedes 2,408
Majority
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing
  • endorsed by Coalition Government
General Election 1906: Ashford[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Laurence Hardy 5,994 51.6
Liberal Percy Alfred Harris 5,614 48.4
Majority 380 3.2
Turnout 83.7
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  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.
References
  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. ^ 2011 Census Custom tables: administrative parish hierarchy. Retrieved 17 July 2013
  4. ^ List of Conservative MPs elected in 2015 by % majority UK Political.info. Retrieved 2017-01-29
  5. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  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. ^ Ashford.gov.uk
  9. ^ "UKIP: Ashford". UKIP. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  11. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.120 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  12. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  13. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig
  15. ^ a b c d e f The Liberal Year Book, 1907
  16. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
  17. ^ a b Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  18. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  19. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  20. ^ Kent & Sussex Courier 27 Mar 1914
  21. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1922
  22. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results, 1885–1918 FWS Craig

Sources[edit]

  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1885–1918, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1974)
  • Iain Dale, ed. (2003). The Times House of Commons 1929, 1931, 1935. Politico's (reprint). ISBN 1-84275-033-X. 
  • The Times House of Commons 1945. The Times. 1945. 
  • The Times House of Commons 1950. The Times. 1950. 
  • The Times House of Commons 1955. The Times. 1955. 

Coordinates: 51°06′N 0°48′E / 51.1°N 0.8°E / 51.1; 0.8