Birkenhead (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Birkenhead in Merseyside.
Location of Merseyside within England.
|County||1861–1918 Cheshire1950–1974 Cheshire1974– Merseyside|
|Population||88,818 (2011 census)|
|Electorate||62,432 (December 2010)|
|Member of parliament||Frank Field (Labour)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Birkenhead East, Birkenhead West|
|Type of constituency||Borough constituency|
|Replaced by||Birkenhead East, Birkenhead West|
|European Parliament constituency||North West England|
Birkenhead // is a constituency recreated in 1950 represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 1979 by Frank Field of the Labour Party.[n 1] A former seat of the same name had an 1861-to-1918 lifespan. In the intervening years the area on the Liverpool-facing side of the Wirral Peninsula was split in two and joined with other land which had become more developed.
- 1 Profile
- 2 History
- 3 Boundaries
- 4 Members of Parliament
- 5 Elections
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 Sources
Birkenhead forms the relatively densely populated mid-east of four parliamentary constituencies within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, itself a major contributor to (and the ex-Cheshire part of) the Metropolitan County of Merseyside envisioned in 1958 and created in 1974, considered as any other county (albeit with very limited powers and no elected councillors) for the enacted purposes of the Boundary Commission in its periodic reports.
The urban parts of the town unite with Liverpool on the opposite side of the narrows of the estuary in having an early socially reformist movement in local measures and its choice of many elected representatives since the 1850s. The work was evidence in the building of large public buildings and institutions and the creation of supported workers' housing, creating Port Sunlight to the south among other such estates. The southern border of the Borough controversially avoids the near-circular suburbs of the cathedral city of Chester, thereby creating a jagged boundary in local and national government; nonetheless the Wirral has scenic shores and large golf courses including to the west one which regularly hosts The Open. Transcending the dense 20th century urban-semi-rural divide of Merseyside is the largely Victorian era-built town of Birkenhead which at the centre of which lies the archetype of city parks, Birkenhead Park, a social gift and early publicly subscribed community asset in the area.
The seat is almost square and bounded by its sole motorway to the west. Its homes were (at the 2011 census) 53% owner-occupied compared to 60% in the region. The seats' entirely left-wing victories nationally since 1945 evidence commitment locally to public services and wealth redistribution instead of laissez-faire economics and low taxation. The 2015 result made the seat the 15th safest of Labour's 232 seats by percentage of majority.
- Creation, abolition and recreation
Birkenhead was enfranchised in 1861 by the Birkenhead Enfranchisement Act 1861 and was a single constituency until it was split under the Representation of the People Act 1918 which took effect for the 1918 general election.
The single constituency on revised boundaries was re-established at the 1950 general election.
- During splitting (disbandment)
The two seats alternated frequently between the three largest parties in the 1920s before the 1931 and 1935 elections which saw a major Conservative and Unionist Party victory (standing as Unionist in this area) in Birkenhead West, the latter election heralding a 10-year Parliament. However Graham White (Liberal) of the more radical faction won the eastern seat in both elections, echoing his victory of 1922. Having had marginal majorities predominantly, the seats were won over by the 1945 Labour Party national landslide victory more firmly for Labour.
- Since 1950 re-creation
Since 1950 Birkenhead has returned Labour MPs each winning large majorities — apart from a 7% majority in 1955. Further to the left wing, two communist candidates, including Barry Williams stood between 1950 and 1970 obtaining a high point of 1.5% of the votes cast during the Cold War.
- Minor party candidates during the early 21st century
At the 2001, 2005 and 2010 general elections no candidates apart from selected by Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat parties contested the seat. Until and including the 1966 election, three or fewer candidates generally stood in more safe-than-marginal majority-seats nationally; as is reflected the elections shown below of Birkenhead. The 2015 result saw the 'Lib Dem' candidate fall behind the 'Green' candidate and the parties narrowly lost their deposits.
The enfranchising Act provided that the constituency was to consist of the Extra-parochial Chapelry of Birkenhead, the several townships of Claughton, Tranmere, and Oxton, and so much of the township of Higher Bebbington as lies to the eastward of the road leading from Higher Tranmere to Lower Bebbington.
1950-1974: The County Borough of Birkenhead, except the wards included in the Bebington constituency.
1974-1983: The County Borough of Birkenhead wards of Argyle, Bebington, Cathcart, Claughton, Cleveland, Clifton, Devonshire, Egerton, Gilbrook, Grange, Holt, Mersey, Oxton, and St James.
1983-2010: The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral wards of Bidston, Birkenhead, Claughton, Egerton, Oxton, and Tranmere.
2010–present: The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral wards of Bidston and St James, Birkenhead and Tranmere, Claughton, Oxton, Prenton, and Rock Ferry.
Members of Parliament
|1885||Edward Bruce Hamley||Conservative|
|1892||Arnold Keppel, Viscount Bury||Conservative|
|1906||Henry Harvey Vivian||Lib-Lab|
|1918||constituency abolished: see Birkenhead East and Birkenhead West|
MPs since 1950
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrat||Allan Brame||1,118||2.6||-1.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Allan Brame||1,396||3.6||-15.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Stuart Kelly||6,554||18.6||+0.1|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrat||Stuart Kelly||5,125||18.4||+5.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Roy Wood||3,722||12.8||+3.8|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrat||Roy Wood||3,548||9.0||−0.7|
|Socialist Labour||Mark Cullen||1,168||3.0||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat||Pat M. Williams||4,417||9.7||−5.2|
|Green||Tina R. Fox||543||1.2||N/A|
|Natural Law||Bridget Griffiths||190||0.4||N/A|
Elections in the 1980s
|Liberal||Gordon C. Lindsay||9,782||20.8||+7.1|
Elections in the 1970s
|Workers Revolutionary||M. Fletcher||306||0.7||n/a|
|Liberal||D.T. Griffiths Evans||4,926||11.9||N/A|
Elections in the 1960s
|Conservative||Robert Kenelm Morland||18,133||43.0||+1.8|
Elections in the 1950s
|Conservative||Kenneth Graham Routledge||19,361||41.2||−5.3|
|Liberal||G Frederick Bilson||4,658||9.9||N/A|
|Conservative||Harry S. Oddie||21,345||46.5||+1.5|
|Labour win (new seat)|
Notes and references
- "Birkenhead: Usual Resident Population, 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "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.
- Local Government Act 1972, s. 1 enacting Sch.1 Pt. 1
- The boundary factors for each minimum 10-yearly Boundary Commission review are set in the UK by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986
- List of Labour MPs elected in 2015 by % majority UK Political.info. Retrieved 2017-01-29
- 1861 c.112
- Birkenhead Enfranchisement Act 1861, section 9.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 3)
- "Birkenhead parliamentary constituency". BBC News.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Birkenhead". BBC News. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Parliamentary General Election Candidates, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
- "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Birkenhead". BBC News.
- "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.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 2010-12-25.C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.31 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
- "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. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "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.