Forest of Dean (UK Parliament constituency)

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Forest of Dean
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire for the 2010 general election.
Outline map
Location of Gloucestershire within England.
County Gloucestershire
Electorate 68,703 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1997
Member of parliament Mark Harper (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from West Gloucestershire
Number of members One
Replaced by West Gloucestershire
Number of members Two
Type of constituency County constituency
Created from Gloucestershire
European Parliament constituency South West England

Forest of Dean is a parliamentary constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Mark Harper, a Conservative.[n 2]


This seat was created for the 1885 general election adding a seat of West Gloucestershire under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 and abolished for the 1950 election. It was re-established for the 1997 general election.

Constituency profile[edit]

The Forest of Dean constituency covers Gloucestershire west of the river Severn, and lies in the south west of England, near the Welsh border.

The core of the constituency consists of the Royal Forest of Dean itself, which was established by William the Conqueror nearly a thousand years ago and is one of the last surviving Royal Forests in England. The seat has a rich industrial and mining history, evidenced by the market towns of Coleford and Cinderford, and the old port of Lydney from where coal mined in the Forest of Dean Coalfield would start its journey to all parts of the world. The Dean’s rich industrial heritage and spectacular natural beauty unsurprisingly means tourism is an increasingly important aspect of Forest life.

The Wye Valley forms the western border of the Forest and is an area of outstanding natural beauty, whilst the Leadon Valley forms the northern portion of the constituency. The Vale consists of quintessentially unspoilt English countryside with rolling farmland centred on the picturesque Tudor town of Newent, and also produces fine English wine.

The constituency also includes parishes from Tewkesbury district, including Forthampton, Chaceley Hole, Hasfield, Ashleworth and Highnam.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1885–1950[edit]

Election Member[2] Party
1885 Thomas Blake Liberal
1887 by-election Godfrey Blundell Samuelson Liberal
1892 Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke Liberal
1911 by-election Henry Webb Liberal
1918 James Wignall Labour
1925 by-election Albert Arthur Purcell Labour
1929 David John Vaughan Labour
1931 Sir John Vigers Worthington National Labour
1935 Morgan Philips Price Labour
1950 constituemcy abolished

MPs since 1997[edit]

Election Member[2] Party
1997 Diana Organ Labour
2005 Mark Harper Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Forest of Dean[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Mark Harper[4] 23,191 46.8 -0.1
Labour Steve Parry-Hearn[5] 12,204 24.6 +0.5
UKIP Steve Stanbury 8,792 17.8 +12.6
Green James Greenwood 2,703 5.5 +3.6
Liberal Democrat Christopher Coleman 2,630 5.3 -16.6
Majority 10,987 22.2 -0.5
Turnout 49,520 70.9 -0.4
Conservative hold Swing

Class War Party announced Drew Pratten as a candidate,[6] but he did not stand

General Election 2010: Forest of Dean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Mark Harper 22,853 46.9 +6.0
Labour Bruce Hogan 11,789 24.2 -12.4
Liberal Democrat Christopher Coleman 10,676 21.9 +4.7
UKIP Tim Congdon 2,522 5.2 +2.8
Green James Greenwood 923 1.9 -0.2
Majority 11,064 22.7
Turnout 48,763 71.3 +0.4
Conservative hold Swing +9.2

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Forest of Dean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Mark Harper 19,474 40.9 +2.1
Labour Isabel Owen 17,425 36.6 −6.8
Liberal Democrat Christopher Coleman 8,185 17.2 +4.3
UKIP Patricia Hill 1,140 2.4 +0.9
Green Stephen Tweedie 991 2.1 −0.7
Independent Anthony Reeve 300 0.6 N/A
English Democrats Gerald Morgan 125 0.3 N/A
Majority 2,049 4.3
Turnout 47,640 70.9 +3.6
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +4.5
General Election 2001: Forest of Dean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Diana Organ 19,350 43.4 -4.8
Conservative Mark Harper 17,301 38.8 +3.2
Liberal Democrat David Gayler 5,762 12.9 +0.6
Green Simon Pickering 1,254 2.8 N/A
UKIP Allen Prout 661 1.5 N/A
Independent Gerald Morgan 279 0.6 +0.2
Majority 2,049 4.6
Turnout 44,607 67.3 -11.4
Labour hold Swing

Election in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Forest of Dean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Diana Organ 24,203 48.23
Conservative Paul Marland 17,860 35.59
Liberal Democrat A Lynch 6,165 12.29
Referendum Party J Hopkins 1,624 3.24
Independent G Morgan 218 0.43
Independent C Palmer 80 0.16
Independent S Porter 34 0.07
Majority 6,343 12.64
Turnout 78.74
Labour hold Swing

Election in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Forest of Dean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Morgan Philips Price 19,721 65.19
Independent J Brown 10,529 34.81
Majority 9,192 30.39
Turnout 70.90
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Forest of Dean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Morgan Philips Price 16,768 57.61
National Labour John Vigers Worthington 12,337 42.39
Majority 4,431 15.22
Turnout 77.32
Labour gain from National Labour Swing
General Election 1931: Forest of Dean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Labour John Vigers Worthington 14,815 52.71
Labour David John Vaughan 13,291 47.29
Majority 5,181 22.88
Turnout 76.90
National Labour gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

Winifred Coombe Tennant
1922 General Election: Forest of Dean[7]

Electorate 28,686

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour James Wignall 10,820 52.4 -10.4
Unionist Augustus Charles C. Dinnick 5,966 28.9 n/a
National Liberal Winifred Margaret Coombe Tennant 3,861 18.7
Majority 4,844 23.5
Turnout +15.9 72.0
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 14 December 1918:
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour James Wignall 9,731
Liberal Lt-Col. Sir Henry Webb 5,765
Labour gain from Liberal Swing
  • Webb received the coupon of endorsement from the Coalition government.

A general election was due to take place by the end of 1915. By the autumn of 1914, the following candidates had been adopted [*approved but not actually adopted] to contest that election. Due to the outbreak of war, the election never took place.

General Election 1914/15:
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Henry Webb
Harry Webb
Forest of Dean by-election, 1911
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Henry Webb 6,174
Conservative David Hope Kyd 3,106
Liberal hold Swing
General Election December 1910
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon. Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke 5,544
Conservative David Hope Kyd 2,820
Liberal hold Swing

Notes and references[edit]

  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.

See also[edit]