Dartford (UK Parliament constituency)

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Dartford
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Dartford in Kent.
Outline map
Location of Kent within England.
County Kent
Electorate 74,756 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Dartford
Current constituency
Created 1885
Member of parliament Gareth Johnson (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from West Kent
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South East England

Dartford is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Gareth Johnson of the Conservative Party.[n 2] The constituency is currently the longest serving 'bellwether' constituency in the UK Parliament as the party of the winning candidate has gone on to form the government in every General Election since 1964.[2]

History[edit]

The seat was created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. This Act added a net 18 seats, but its main purpose was to correct the over-representation of minor, often still old boroughs and depopulated county divisions. In their place were created new seats with a larger population. In Kent the Act finally abolished the Sandwich constituency, which sent two MPs until 1885. It also halved the representation of no fewer than four other historic towns. In contrast a seat for Dartford, the North-Western Division of Kent or North West Kent, was created.

Political history

In the early 20th century, the Dartford constituency was very much a bellwether: Dartford's results later shifted towards the left: in 1938 and then in 1951 (as well as the two intervening general elections) a Labour MP was elected, on those two occasions in opposition.

This was the first seat contested by Margaret Thatcher (then Margaret Roberts), at the 1950 and 1951 general elections. From 1945 until 2010, Dartford has been a Labour-Conservative marginal seat and thus a "bellwether" again: since 1964 the party winning the seat has gone on to form the government.

Boundaries[edit]

1885-1918: The Sessional Division of Dartford, the Parliamentary Boroughs of Greenwich and Woolwich, and part of the Sessional Division of Bromley.

1918-1945: The Urban Districts of Bexley, Dartford, and Erith, and in the Rural District of Dartford the civil parishes of Crayford, Stone, and Swanscombe.

1945-1955: The Municipal Boroughs of Dartford and Erith, and the Urban District of Crayford.

1955-1974: The Municipal Borough of Dartford, the Urban District of Swanscombe, and the Rural District of Dartford.

1974-1983: The Municipal Borough of Dartford, the Urban District of Swanscombe, and in the Rural District of Dartford the civil parishes of Darenth, Southfleet, Stone, Sutton-at-Hone, and Wilmington.

1983-1997: The Borough of Dartford, and the District of Sevenoaks wards of Ash-cum-Ridley, Fawkham and Hartley, Horton Kirby, and Longfield.

1997-2010: The Borough of Dartford, and the District of Sevenoaks wards of Fawkham and Hartley, and Horton Kirby.

2010–present: The Borough of Dartford, and the District of Sevenoaks ward of Hartley and Hodsoll Street.

Constituency profile[edit]

As its name suggests, the main settlement in the constituency is the town of Dartford, but it also includes a number of other towns and villages, including Swanscombe, Longfield, Greenhithe and Wilmington. These all add up to create a diverse constituency which covers urban and rural areas.

The population of the constituency currently stands at around 90,000, around 8,000 of whom live in the borough of Sevenoaks, with the remainder living in the borough of Dartford. The constituency is on the border with the London Borough of Bexley, with which at one time it shared an MP.

Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.9% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[3]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1885 Sir William Hart Dyke Conservative
1906 James Rowlands Liberal
Jan 1910 William Foot Mitchell Conservative
Dec 1910 James Rowlands Liberal
1918 Coalition Liberal
1920 by-election John Edmund Mills Labour
1922 George William Symonds Jarrett National Liberal
1923 John Edmund Mills Labour
1924 Angus McDonnell Conservative
1929 John Edmund Mills Labour
1931 Frank Edward Clarke Conservative
1938 by-election Jennie Adamson Labour
1945 constituency split, with half becoming the new Bexley seat
1945 Norman Dodds Labour Co-operative
1955 Sydney Irving Labour Co-operative
1970 Peter Trew Conservative
Feb 1974 Sydney Irving Labour Co-operative
1979 Robert John Dunn Conservative
1997 Howard Stoate Labour
2010 Gareth Johnson Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Dartford[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Gareth Johnson[7] 25,670 49.0 +0.2
Labour Simon Thomson[7] 13,325 25.4 −2.1
UKIP Elizabeth Jones 10,434 19.9 +16.2
Liberal Democrat Simon Beard[8] 1,454 2.8 −11.9
Green Andy Blatchford 1,324 2.5 N/A
English Democrat Steve Uncles 211 0.4 −3.9
Majority 12,345 23.6 +2.4
Turnout 52,418 68.4 +2.7
Conservative hold Swing +1.2
General Election 2010: Dartford[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Gareth Johnson 24,428 48.8 +7.6
Labour John Adams 13,800 27.6 −15.5
Liberal Democrat James Willis 7,361 14.7 +4.6
English Democrat Gary Rogers 2,178 4.3 +4.3
UKIP Richard Palmer 1,842 3.7 +0.7
Independent Stephane Tindame 264 0.5 +0.5
Fancy Dress Party Ernie Crockford 207 0.4 +0.7
Majority 10,628 21.2
Turnout 50,080 65.7 +2.4
Conservative gain from Labour Swing 11.6

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Dartford[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Howard Stoate 19,909 42.6 −5.4
Conservative Gareth Johnson 19,203 41.1 +0.5
Liberal Democrat Peter Bucklitsch 5,036 10.8 +2.3
UKIP Mark Croucher 1,407 3.0 +0.8
New England Michael Tibby 1,224 2.6 +2.6
Majority 706 1.5
Turnout 46,779 63.2 1.3
Labour hold Swing −2.9
General Election 2001: Dartford[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Howard Stoate 21,466 48.0 −0.6
Conservative Robert John Dunn 18,160 40.6 +0.3
Liberal Democrat Graham Morgan 3,781 8.5 −0.9
UKIP Mark Croucher 989 2.2 N/A
Fancy Dress Party Keith John Davenport 344 0.8 +0.3
Majority 3,306 7.4
Turnout 44,740 61.9 −12.7
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Dartford[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Howard Stoate 25,278 48.6 +12.4
Conservative Robert John Dunn 20,950 40.3 −10.6
Liberal Democrat Dorothy Webb 4,872 9.4 −2.8
BNP Paul McHale 424 0.8 N/A
Fancy Dress Party Peter Homden 287 0.5 +0.1
Christian Democrat James Pollitt 228 0.4 N/A
Majority 4,328 8.3
Turnout 52,039 74.6
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1992: Dartford.[13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert John Dunn 31,194 51.9 −1.6
Labour Howard Stoate 20,880 34.7 +7.2
Liberal Democrat Peter Bryden 7,584 12.6 −5.6
Fancy Dress Party A Munro 262 0.4 −0.4
Natural Law Angela Holland 241 0.4 N/A
Majority 10,314 17.2 −8.9
Turnout 60,161 83.1 +4.1
Conservative hold Swing −4.4

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Dartford[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert John Dunn 30,685 53.49
Labour Barrie James Clarke 15,756 27.46
Social Democratic Michael George Bruce 10,439 18.20
Fancy Dress Party Keith John Davenport 491 0.86
Majority 14,929 26.02
Turnout 78.99
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Dartford[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert John Dunn 28,199 51.56
Labour D Townsend 14,636 26.76
Liberal J Mills 11,204 20.48
Fancy Dress Party A Crockford 374 0.68
National Front GE Nye 282 0.52
Majority 13,563 24.80
Turnout 76.37
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert John Dunn 21,195 45.87
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 19,803 42.86
Liberal I Josephs 4,407 9.54
National Front I Nobbs 476 1.03
Fancy Dress Party J Beddowes 328 0.71
Majority 1,392 3.01
Turnout 80.35
Conservative gain from Labour Co-op Swing
General Election October 1974: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 20,817 47.64
Conservative Graham Bright 15,331 35.09
Liberal George H Dunk 6,606 15.12
National Front RH Aldous 939 2.15
Majority 5,486 12.56
Turnout 76.60
Labour Co-op hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 19,803 41.98
Conservative Peter John Edward Trew 16,149 34.24
Liberal IR Josephs 10,273 21.78
National Front RH Aldous 945 2.00
Majority 3,654 7.75
Turnout 83.44
Labour Co-op gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1970: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Peter John Edward Trew 27,822 45.96
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 27,262 45.03
Liberal J Paul Johnson 5,453 9.01
Majority 560 0.93
Turnout 74.02
Conservative gain from Labour Co-op Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 29,547 49.84
Conservative Peter John Edward Trew 22,638 38.19
Liberal Peter Loftus 7,094 11.97
Majority 6,909 11.66
Turnout 80.80
Labour Co-op hold Swing
General Election 1964: Dartford[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 27,371 46.46
Conservative James J Davis 22,496 38.18
Liberal Morris Janis 9,047 15.36
Majority 4,875 8.27
Turnout 81.48
Labour Co-op hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Dartford [18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 25,323 45.83
Conservative Peter Edward Walker 24,047 43.52
Liberal Barry Charles Davis 5,881 10.64
Majority 1,276 2.31
Turnout 82.96
Labour Co-op hold Swing
General Election 1955: Dartford[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Sydney Irving 25,928 54.40
Conservative Peter Edward Walker 21,730 45.60
Majority 4,198 8.81
Turnout 80.98
Labour Co-op hold Swing
General Election 1951: Dartford[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Norman Noel Dodds 40,094 59.09
Conservative Margaret Hilda Roberts 27,760 40.91
Majority 12,334 18.18
Turnout 85.22
Labour Co-op hold Swing 3.71%
General Election 1950: Dartford[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Norman Noel Dodds 38,128 56.38
Conservative Margaret Hilda Roberts 24,490 36.21
Liberal Arthur Harry Giles 5,011 7.41
Majority 13,638 20.17
Turnout 85.51
Labour Co-op hold Swing

Election in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Norman Noel Dodds 36,665 68.38
Conservative Ralph Ernest Watkins Grubb 16,951 31.62
Majority 19,714 36.77
Turnout 74.89
Labour Co-op hold Swing
  • 1945 saw radical boundary changes, with half the constituency becoming part of the Bexley seat.

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

Dartford by-election, 1938
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Janet Laurel Adamson 46,514
Conservative Godfrey Mitchell 42,276
Majority 4,238
Turnout 68.00
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1935: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Frank Edward Clarke 38,242 51.79
Labour Janet Laurel Adamson 35,596 48.21
Majority 2,646 3.58
Turnout 69.63
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Dartford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Frank Edward Clarke 34,095 55.49
Labour John Edmund Mills 27,349 44.51
Majority 6,746 10.98
Turnout 79.01
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Dartford[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour John Edmund Mills 26,871 50.6 +1.6
Unionist Ashley Edwards 16,568 31.2 -19.8
Liberal John Woolfenden Williamson 9,689 18.2 n/a
Majority 10,303 19.4 21.4
Turnout 76.9 -2.3
Labour gain from Unionist Swing +10.7
General Election 1924: Dartford[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Hon. Angus McDonnell 20,108
Labour John Edmund Mills 19,352
Majority
Turnout
Unionist gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1923: Dartford [22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour John Edmund Mills 18,329 54.2 +10.3
Constitutionalist George William Symonds Jarrett 15,500 45.8 -3.8
Majority 2,829 8.4 14.1
Turnout 70.0 -1.2
Labour gain from National Liberal Swing +7.0
Alison Garland
General Election 1922: Dartford[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal George William Symonds Jarrett 16,662 49.6 n/a
Labour John Edmund Mills 14,744 43.9 +6.3
Liberal Alison Vickers Garland 2,175 6.5 -10.3
Majority 1,918 5.7
Turnout 71.2
National Liberal gain from Labour Swing n/a
Dartford by-election, 1920[24][25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour John Edmund Mills 13,610 50.1 +21.4
Liberal Thomas Edward Wing 4,562 16.8 n/a
Unionist 4,221 15.6 n/a
National Party Reginald Vincent Kempenfelt Applin 2,952 n/a
Independent Unionist Frank Emil Fehr 1,802 n/a
Majority 9,048
Turnout 61.3 +13.4
Labour gain from Coalition Liberal Swing
  • endorsed by Coalition Government

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

Rowlands
General Election 1918: Dartford[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal 15,626 71.4 +20.8
Labour William Ling 6,256 28.6 n/a
Majority 9,370 42.8 +41.6
Turnout 21,892
Liberal hold Swing n/a
  • endorsed by Coalition Government

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 December 1910 Dartford[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Rowlands 9,152 50.6 +2.8
Conservative William Foot Mitchell 8,918 49.4 -2.8
Majority 234 1.2 5.6
Turnout 84.4 -3.4
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +2.8
General Election January 1910 Dartford[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Foot Mitchell 9,807 52.2 +10.8
Liberal James Rowlands 8,990 47.8 -10.8
Majority 817 4.4 21.6
Turnout 87.8 +5.4
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +10.8

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Rowlands
General Election 1906 Dartford [26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Rowlands 9,532 58.6 n/a
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke 6,728 41.4 n/a
Majority 2,804 17.2 n/a
Turnout 82.4 n/a
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing n/a
General Election 1900 Dartford[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke unopposed n/a n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1895: Dartford [26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke 5,699 55.6 n/a
Liberal Sir Patteson Nickalls 4,557 44.4 n/a
Majority 1,142 11.2 n/a
Turnout 73.8 n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a
General Election 1892: Dartford [26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke unopposed n/a n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1886: Dartford [26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke 4,198 58.6 +5.8
Liberal James Ebenezer Saunders 2,965 41.4 -5.8
Majority 1,233 17.2 +11.6
Turnout 64.1 -11.9
Conservative hold Swing +5.8
Dyke
General Election 1885: Dartford [26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke 4,488 52.8 n/a
Liberal James Ebenezer Saunders 4,006 47.2 n/a
Majority 482 5.6 n/a
Turnout 76.0 n/a
Conservative win (new seat)

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. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ "Election 2015: Five answers for an election geek". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  3. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  5. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  6. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000659
  7. ^ a b http://electionresults.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/dartford-2015.html
  8. ^ http://www.libdems.org.uk/general_election_candidates#South East
  9. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  15. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ [4]
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ a b c Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  23. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  24. ^ The Constitutional Year Book, 1925
  25. ^ a b Debretts House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1922
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig

Coordinates: 51°25′N 0°15′E / 51.417°N 0.250°E / 51.417; 0.250