Beckenham (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
|Population||87,011 (2011 census)|
|Electorate||66,470 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||Bob Stewart (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Bromley and Orpington|
The constituency is mostly leafy and suburban — one widely known gazetteer summarised this in 2012:
"The properties on these streets typically include a range of styles, from modern to Mock Tudor. However many local residents are wealthy city commuters. Keston Common and Keston Ponds are both popular attractions for locals...The common theme is large, detached houses with substantial land and typically with asking prices of over £1 million. At the lower end of the market, a one bedroom period conversion flat on Turpington Lane near Bromley Common, or a one bedroom flat in a modern block on Homesdale Road, near the Bickley border, would demand an asking price of approximately £160,000."
There are significant areas of open land to the south around Hayes and Keston. The upmarket town centre of Beckenham is split between this constituency and Lewisham West and Penge to the west.
All wards have voted between 60 and 70% Conservative since the seat's inception. In times when Labour has led in the national polls the seat has remained Conservative. The smallest majority in a general election was 9.3%, in 1997; in all other elections except 2001 there have been majorities of more than 15%. The seat happened to become safer in its cut down to six wards (from ten) in 2010. This removed the three most Labour inclined wards of the borough, centered on Penge, and one other, taken from the more suburban parts that lean strongly or weakly Conservative.
Since 1983 there has been a close contest for second place between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Labour's share has remained much greater than in Orpington whereas the Liberal Democrat share has remained much greater than in Croydon Central.[n 3]
The constituency has only elected Conservatives as its MPs since 1950.
The closest the Conservatives have ever come to losing this seat was at a by-election in November 1997, at the height of Tony Blair's 'honeymoon period' as Prime Minister, following the resignation of the previous MP Piers Merchant in a sex scandal. Even then, the former MP for Hastings who lost her seat in the earlier 1997 general election, Jacqui Lait, managed to win the seat by just over 1,000 votes.
Between 1957 and 1992 the long-serving MP for Beckenham was Sir Philip Goodhart, who was soon after 1979 discovered by Margaret Thatcher to be a right-of-centre or 'wet conservative' and consequently his career as a junior minister came to a quick end. Goodhart is best known for his book on the workings of the Conservative MPs' 1922 Committee, and for his brother Charles, who was a famous economics professor at LSE and sat for some time on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee.
Before Sir Philip Goodhart, the former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick Buchan-Hepburn represented Beckenham in Parliament.
1950–1974: The Municipal Borough of Beckenham, and the Urban District of Penge.
1974–1983: The London Borough of Bromley wards of Anerley, Clock House, Copers Cope, Eden Park, Lawrie Park and Kent House, Manor House, Penge, and Shortlands.
1983–1997: The London Borough of Bromley wards of Anerley, Clock House, Copers Cope, Eden Park, Kelsey Park, Lawrie Park and Kent House, Penge, and Shortlands.
1997–2010: The London Borough of Bromley wards of Anerley, Clock House, Copers Cope, Eden Park, Kelsey Park, Lawrie Park and Kent House, Penge, Shortlands, West Wickham North, and West Wickham South.
2010–present: The London Borough of Bromley wards of Bromley Common and Keston, Copers Cope, Hayes and Coney Hall, Kelsey and Eden Park, Shortlands, and West Wickham.
Note that - despite the changes in ward names - the 1974-1983 boundaries and the 1983-1997 boundaries listed above are almost exactly the same boundaries. Similarly - despite the changes in local authorities and the listing of wards - the 1950-1974 boundaries and the 1997-2010 boundaries listed are almost exactly the same boundaries.
Beckenham constituency covers the north-western part of the London Borough of Bromley. The local government ward boundaries were redrawn for the 2002 local elections, though this did not affect parliamentary limits until the 2010 general election.
Pre-2010 boundary review
Following their review of parliamentary representation in South London, the Boundary Commission for England made revisions to this seat. Clock House ward, Crystal Palace ward, and Penge and Cator ward were transferred from Beckenham to help create the new constituency of Lewisham West and Penge. Parts of Bromley Common and Keston, Hayes and Coney Hall, and Shortlands wards were transferred to Beckenham from Bromley and Chislehurst. A small part of Bromley Common and Keston ward was transferred to Beckenham from Orpington and a tiny part of Bromley Town ward was transferred from Beckenham to Bromley and Chislehurst.
Members of Parliament
|1957 by-election||Philip Goodhart||Conservative|
|1997 by-election||Jacqui Lait||Conservative|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Chloe-Jane Ross||8,194||16.2||+8.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Julie Ireland||4,073||7.9||+1.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Anuja Prashar||3,378||6.9||-13.7|
|Liberal Democrats||Stephen Jenkins||9,813||20.6||+4.5|
|English Democrat||Dan Eastgate||223||0.5||New|
Elections in the 2000s
|Labour||Liam K. Curran||13,782||28.1||-6.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Jef W. Foulger||10,862||22.2||+6.2|
|UKIP||James D. C. Cartwright||1,301||2.7||+1.0|
|Independent||Roderick A. Reed||836||1.7||New|
|Labour||Richard F. Watts||15,659||34.4||+1.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Alexander D. Feakes||7,308||16.0||-2.1|
|Green||Karen A. Moran||961||2.1||New|
|UKIP||Christopher N. Pratt||782||1.7||+0.8|
Elections in the 1990s
|Labour||Robert Nigel Hughes||11,935||37.40||+4.04|
|Liberal Democrats||Rosemary Elizabeth Vetterlein||5,864||18.38||+0.24|
|Liberal||Phil Hocknell Rimmer||330||1.03||−0.29|
|National Front||John Charley McAuley||267||0.84||+0.13|
|Referendum||Leonard Francis Mead||237||0.74||-2.32|
|Natural Law||John Douglas Small||44||0.14||New|
|Labour||Robert Nigel Hughes||18,131||33.36|
|Liberal Democrats||Rosemary Elizabeth Vetterlein||9,858||18.14|
|Referendum||Leonard Francis Mead||1,663||3.06||New|
|Liberal||Phil Hocknell Rimmer||720||1.32|
|UKIP||Christopher Norman Pratt||506||0.93||New|
|National Front||John Charles McAuley||388||0.71||New|
|Liberal Democrats||Mary Christine Williams||8,038||17.37||-8.49|
|Natural Law||Patrick Johnston Shaw||243||0.53||N/A|
Elections in the 1980s
|BNP||Geoffrey Watt Younger||203||0.49||N/A|
Elections in the 1970s
|Labour||Jonathan Watkin Mordecai||10,856||25.08||-1.75|
|Liberal||Christina Maria Forrest||6,450||14.90||-10.58|
|National Front||Nigel Vernon Dickson||606||1.40||New|
|Labour||Nicholas John Sharp||11,140||26.83||+3.29|
|Liberal||Graham Donald Mitchell||10,578||25.48||-1.91|
|Liberal||Graham Donald Mitchell||12,821||27.39|
|Labour||Nicholas John Sharp||11,018||23.54|
|Labour||Inigo Geoffrey Bing||13,031||24.50||-2.25|
|Liberal||Philip Alan Golding||9,404||17.68||-4.04|
Elections in the 1960s
|Liberal||Philip Alan Golding||12,155||21.72||-1.08|
|Labour||Alistair Huistean Macdonald||13,338||23.72||+1.13|
|Liberal||Hubert Holmes Monroe||12,821||22.80||+7.00|
Elections in the 1950s
|Liberal||Hubert Holmes Monroe||9,365||15.80||New|
|Labour||Charles F. A. Culling||17,377||31.04||-1.58|
|Labour||A. Philip Magonet||19,982||32.62||+3.21|
|Liberal||Hubert Holmes Monroe||6,834||10.74|
|Conservative win (new seat)|
- A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer).
- 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.
- Both Orpington and Croydon Central are conservative neighbouring seats.
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- FABRICANT, RUTH (24 April 2015). "Done. As you might have spotted, this is the twitter for the @Beckenham Green Party Candidate. @BeckBromFL @WoW_Bromley #GE2015". Archived from the original on 14 February 2022. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "PPC for Beckenham". Labour. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1997-2002 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "1957 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Politics Resources (election results from 1922 onwards)
- Electoral Calculus (election results from 1955 onwards)