Canterbury (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
|Population||109,280 (2011 census)|
|Electorate||80,203 (2019 estimate) 73,779 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Canterbury, Whitstable|
|Member of Parliament||Rosie Duffield (Labour)|
|Number of members||One|
|Number of members||1295–1885: Two|
|Type of constituency||Borough constituency|
The seat dates to the earliest century of regular parliaments, in 1295; it elected two MPs until 1885, electing one thereafter, before being altered by the later-termed Fourth Reform Act in 1918 (the first being in 1832). Currently, the electorate (the total of people eligible to vote) is much greater than the average nationwide (the electoral quota); this is termed under-apportionment of representation.
The seat takes in the cathedral and university city of Canterbury, rural villages to the south, and the seaside resort of Whitstable to the north. Full time students make up around a quarter of the electorate. 
- Constitutional status of seat
The widened Canterbury constituency was formed from an expansion of the narrow parliamentary borough (or simply borough) of the same name that existed from 1295 to 1918. This had elected two MPs from 1295 (the Model Parliament) until 1885, and then one until 1918.
- Political history
From 1835 (where a Conservative was elected on petition) until 2017, the local electorate elected mostly candidates of the Conservative Party (with the exceptions of the elections of Independent Unionist Francis Bennett-Goldney, MP from 1910 to 1918, and of a few Whigs or Liberals when Canterbury had two seats); the seat was recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest uninterrupted period of one party holding a Parliamentary seat. The election of Labour's Rosie Duffield, who won the seat by just 187 votes in the 2017 election, marked the end of a 185-year period of Canterbury almost always electing Conservative-allied MPs, the longest recorded unbroken record of party representation in British political history. Her victory in this election was largely credited to the strategies of electoral strategist Jack Wilson, who at the time was the youngest senior political adviser in British history. She kept the seat, increasing her majority in 2019.
- Size of electorate
Voters locally are under-apportioned a large fraction of a seat, and so, representative – population having risen, and homes having increased in a planned way, since the 2001 United Kingdom Census from which seats are predominantly drawn. This can be illustrated in that 27,182 was the number of votes cast for the runner-up in 2019 amid a locally high, three-quarters, turnout election. Such voters for the runner-up were more than voted for the winner in 208 of the 535 English seats – and the second-highest such votes in the election, exceeded only in Stroud, by Labour's runner-up. In the same election 12,713 votes won Kingston upon Hull East; 14,557 votes won Stoke-on-Trent Central; 6,531 votes won Na h-Eileanan an Iar; 11,705 won Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; 12,959 won Ynys Môn and 15,149 won South Antrim.
1918–1950: The County Borough of Canterbury, the Urban Districts of Herne Bay and Whitstable, the Rural Districts of Bridge and Elham, and the Rural District of Blean with the detached parts of the parishes of Dunkirk and Hernhill which were wholly surrounded by the rural district.
1950–1983: The County Borough of Canterbury, the Urban Districts of Herne Bay and Whitstable, and the Rural District of Bridge Blean.
1983–1997: The City of Canterbury wards of Barham Downs, Barton, Blean Forest, Chartham, Chestfield, Gorrell, Harbledown, Harbour, Little Stour, Marshside, Northgate, North Nailbourne, St Stephen's, Seasalter, Stone Street, Sturry North, Sturry South, Swalecliffe, Tankerton, Westgate, and Wincheap, and the Borough of Swale wards of Boughton and Courtenay.
1997–2010: as 1983 less the two Borough of Swale wards.
2010–present: The City of Canterbury wards of Barham Downs, Barton, Blean Forest, Chartham and Stone Street, Chestfield and Swalecliffe, Gorrell, Harbledown, Harbour, Little Stour, North Nailbourne, Northgate, St Stephen's, Seasalter, Sturry North, Sturry South, Tankerton, Westgate, and Wincheap.
Members of Parliament
Parliamentary borough of Canterbury
- Constituency representation restored and reduced to one (1885)
|December 1910||Francis Bennett-Goldney||Independent Unionist|
|1918 by-election||George Anderson||Conservative|
|1918||Parliamentary borough abolished, name transferred to a new county division|
Canterbury county constituency
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Claire Malcomson||3,408||5.7||−2.3|
|Liberal Democrats||James Flanagan||4,561||8.0||−3.6|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+9.3|
|Liberal Democrats||James Flanagan||6,227||11.6||−20.9|
|Socialist (GB)||Robert Cox||165||0.3||New|
|Liberal Democrats||Guy Voizey||16,002||32.5||+11.1|
|Money Reform||Anne Belsey||173||0.4||New|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Jenny Barnard-Langston||10,059||21.1||+3.3|
|Legalise Cannabis||Rocky van de Benderskum||326||0.7||New|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Wales||8,056||17.8||−6.0|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||Martin Vye||12,854||23.8||−8.8|
|Natural Law||Andrew Pringle||64||0.1||New|
|Liberal Democrats||M. J. Vye||19,022||32.4||+5.1|
|Labour Co-op||Fred Whitemore||8,936||15.2||−1.7|
|Green||W. J. Arnall||747||1.3||−0.4|
|Natural Law||S. E. Curphey||203||0.3||New|
Elections in the 1980s
|Labour||Linda A. Keen||9,494||16.9||+1.5|
|Independent Canterbury Nationalist||Joan White||157||0.28||New|
|Independent Nationalist||Joan White||226||0.44||New|
Elections in the 1970s
|National Front||Joan White||941||1.41||-0.35|
|National Front||Kenneth McKilliam||1,096||1.76||+0.54|
|National Front||Kenneth McKilliam||831||1.22||New|
|Labour||Henry Gordon N Clother||15,172||25.31||-2.90|
|Liberal||David C P Gracie||11,553||19.27||-2.68|
Elections in the 1960s
|Liberal||Edwin W Moss||11,962||21.95||+3.39|
|Labour||George Selous Cobbett||15,211||29.47||-4.33|
|Liberal||Edwin W Moss||9,582||18.56||New|
Elections in the 1950s
|Labour||George E Peters||15,746||33.80||+0.35|
|Labour||Reginald George Ward||14,444||33.45||+2.42|
|Labour||John A E Jones||9,560||33.01||+1.98|
|Conservative||John Baker White||28,632||61.09||+5.14|
|Labour||John A E Jones||14,543||31.03||+0.27|
|Liberal||Thomas H Payne||3,695||7.88||-5.42|
|Conservative||John Baker White||26,491||55.95||-6.66|
|Liberal||Kenneth Graham Jupp||6,296||13.30||N/A|
Elections in the 1940s
|Conservative||John Baker White||24,282||61.61||-11.73|
|Labour||Joseph Denis Milburn Bell||14,115||35.81||+10.15|
|Common Wealth||Catherine Williamson||1,017||2.58||New|
Elections in the 1930s
Elections in the 1920s
|Labour||Philip Sidney Eastman||4,706||13.9||New|
|Liberal||William Robertson Heatley||8,561||41.6||New|
Elections in the 1910s
|Conservative||John Henniker Heaton||1,371||38.8||−24.9|
|Ind. Conservative||Francis Bennett-Goldney||1,350||38.2||New|
|Liberal||H. B. D. Woodcock||815||23.0||−13.3|
|Ind. Conservative||Francis Bennett-Goldney||1,635||47.8||+9.6|
|Liberal||William James Fisher||623||18.2||−4.8|
|Ind. Conservative gain from Conservative||Swing||+7.2|
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 July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;
|Unionist||George Knox Anderson||Unopposed|
|Unionist gain from Ind U|
|Labour||Edward Timothy Palmer||2,719||19.2||New|
|Unionist gain from Ind U||Swing||N/A|
|C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.|
Elections in the 1900s
|Conservative||John Henniker Heaton||Unopposed|
|Conservative||John Henniker Heaton||2,210||63.7||N/A|
|Liberal||William James Fisher||1,262||36.3||New|
Elections in the 1890s
|Conservative||John Henniker Heaton||Unopposed|
|Conservative||John Henniker Heaton||Unopposed|
Elections in the 1880s
|Conservative||Robert Peter Laurie||1,425||26.4||−3.5|
|Turnout||2,702 (est)||73.6 (est)||−2.1|
After findings of corruption, the writ for Canterbury was suspended and the election result voided. The constituency was reconstituted in 1885.
|Conservative||John Henniker Heaton||1,804||68.6||+15.1|
|Conservative||John Henniker Heaton||Unopposed|
Elections in the 1870s
|Liberal||Robert John Biron||873||18.6||+5.0|
|Turnout||2,351 (est)||75.7 (est)||−20.8|
|Conservative gain from Ind. Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||−0.9|
Butler-Johnstone resigned, causing a by-election.
Majendie resigned, causing a by-election.
|Conservative||Robert Peter Laurie||1,159||51.2||−10.4|
Elections in the 1860s
Johnstone resigned, causing a by-election.
|Conservative||John Walter Huddleston||737||26.7||N/A|
|Turnout||1,381 (est)||86.1 (est)||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||N/A|
|Ind. Conservative||Henry Butler-Johnstone||1,453||31.9||New|
|Conservative||John Walter Huddleston||1,157||25.4||−1.3|
|Conservative||Henry James Lee Warner||709||15.6||−22.2|
|Turnout||2,896 (est)||96.5 (est)||+10.4|
|Ind. Conservative gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+2.6|
Elections in the 1850s
Denison was elevated to the peerage, becoming 1st Baron Londesborough, and causing a by-election.
|Radical gain from Whig|
|Conservative||Henry Plumptre Gipps||766||29.1||N/A|
|Turnout||1,317 (est)||70.3 (est)||−1.2|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||N/A|
- Smythe retired before polling. The election was declared void on petition, due to bribery, and the writ suspended on 21 February 1853. A by-election was called to replace both MPs in August 1854.
|Peelite||Charles Manners Lushington||727||28.6||−0.5|
|Conservative||Charles Lennox Butler||671||26.4||−2.4|
|Whig||Charles Purton Cooper||406||16.0||N/A|
|Turnout||1,272 (est)||64.5 (est)||−5.8|
|Peelite gain from Conservative||Swing||−3.2|
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.7|
|Whig||Charles Purton Cooper||477||23.3||+12.5|
|Turnout||1,026 (est)||54.7 (est)||−15.6|
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||+20.2|
Elections in the 1840s
|Conservative||Thomas Charles Pelham-Clinton||641||22.3||N/A|
|Turnout||1,437 (est)||71.5 (est)||−4.2|
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||+0.5|
|Whig gain from Conservative|
- Caused by Bradshaw's death
|Whig||Thomas Twisden Hodges||720||31.7||−17.3|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+7.7|
|Whig||John Wright Henniker Wilson||628||44.3||−4.7|
|Whig||Thomas Twisden Hodges||17||1.2||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+4.1|
- Caused by Denison's resignation
Elections in the 1830s
|Conservative||Henry Plumptre Gipps||751||25.3||+9.5|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+9.8|
|Conservative||Stephen Rumbold Lushington||658||31.7||New|
- On petition, Villiers was declared unduly elected and Lushington declared elected.
|No label||William Percy Honeywood Courtenay||375||18.6||New|
|Tory||Henry Bingham Baring||731||23.0|
|No label||Samuel Elias Sawbridge||8||0.3|
|No label||George Milles||8||0.3|
|Whig gain from Tory||Swing|
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