Isle of Wight (UK Parliament constituency)
|The Isle of Wight|
for the House of Commons
|County||Isle of Wight|
|Major settlements||Brading, Lake, Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin|
|Member of Parliament||Bob Seely (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
The Isle of Wight has been a single seat of the House of Commons since 1832. It covers the same land as the ceremonial county of the Isle of Wight and the area administered by the unitary authority, Isle of Wight Council: a diamond-shaped island with rounded oblique corners, measuring 22.5 miles (36.2 km) by 13 miles (21 km), the Needles and similar small uninhabitable rocks of very small square surface area. The island is linked by ferry crossings from four points (five points if counting West Cowes and East Cowes separately) to three points in Hampshire: Lymington, Southampton and Portsmouth.
Its electorate of 113,021 at the 2019 general election is the largest in the UK, more than 50% above the UK average: 73,181, and five times the size of the smallest seat: Na h-Eileanan an Iar, formerly known as the Western Isles.
One or two seats problem
The reviews of the Boundary Commission for England since 1954 have consulted locally on splitting the island into two seats (and included occasional proposals for a seat crossing the Solent onto the mainland) but met an overall distaste by the independent commissioners and most consultees and consultation respondents. The consensus of varying panels of Boundary Commissioners, party-interested and neutral commentators is that the island would be best represented by one MP. The Commissioners did make mention perfunctorily of their duty by law to avoid such an extent of malapportionment (termed by most commissioners "leaving the island somewhat oversized"). One problem the independent body cited in 2008 was a difficulty of dividing the island in two in a way that would be acceptable to all major interests. The arbitrary division line problem is routinely encountered in those council areas which have no rural elements or natural divides.
Proposed boundary changes
The 2011 Act specified that the Isle of Wight should comprise two seats. The Boundary Commission for England submitted its final proposals in respect of the 2018 Review in September 2018. These specified that the island be divided into East and West seats, with Newport being included in the West seat. Although the proposals were laid before Parliament they were not brought forward by the Government for approval. Accordingly, they did not come into effect for the 2019 election which took place on 12 December.
On 24 March 2020, the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, Chloe Smith, issued a written statement to Parliament setting out the Government's thinking with regard to parliamentary boundaries. Subsequently, the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020 was passed into law on 14 December 2020. This formally removed the duty to implement the 2018 review and set out the framework for future boundary reviews. It is mandated that the Isle of Wight comprises two seats.
The Act specified that the next review should be completed no later than 1 July 2023 and the Boundary Commission formally launched the 2023 Review on 5 January 2021. See 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies for further details.
Before the Reform Act 1832 the island usually had three Parliamentary boroughs: Newport, Newtown, and Yarmouth each electing two MPs. In 1654 a whole island constituency existed for the First Protectorate Parliament but the island reverted to the three constituencies. Otherwise, the island was part-represented by the two MPs for Hampshire. The Reform Act abolished Newtown and Yarmouth parliamentary boroughs, and resurrected a county constituency for the whole island. The county electorate included freeholders, qualified by property, in the remaining parliamentary borough. The separate and overlapping Newport representation was abolished in 1885.
The constituency has traditionally been a battleground between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and their predecessors. The seat was held by a Liberal from 1974 until 1987, a Conservative until 1997, a Liberal Democrat until 2001, and a Conservative since then. At the 2015 election, the incumbent Conservative scored one of his party's largest reductions in vote in that year's election similarly to the Liberal Democrat who finished in fifth place.
In the 2017 general election, Nick Belfitt, the Liberal Democrat candidate, became the youngest ever candidate to stand for the seat at the age of 23.
At the December 2019 general election the Liberal Democrats agreed to stand aside, and support the Green Party candidate as part of an agreement to try to increase the chances of Remain supporting MPs being elected. There were 60 such constituencies in England, and Wales, involving the Unite to Remain alliance between the two parties and Plaid Cymru.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 2010s
|Independent Network||Carl Feeney||1,542||2.1||New|
|Liberal Democrats||Nicholas Belfitt||2,740||3.7||3.8|
|Liberal Democrats||David Goodall||5,235||7.5||-24.2|
|Liberal Democrats||Jill Wareham||22,283||31.7||+2.2|
|English Democrat||Ian Dunsire||1,233||1.8||New|
|Middle England Party||Paul Martin||616||0.9||New|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Anthony Rowlands||19,739||29.5||−5.8|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Brand||22,397||35.3||−7.4|
|Isle of Wight Party||Philip Murray||1,164||1.8||New|
|Socialist Labour||James Spensley||214||0.3||New|
|Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats||Swing||-6.6|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Brand||31,274||42.7||−2.9|
|Natural Law||Clive Daly||87||0.1||−0.3|
|Rainbow Warriors||Jonathan Eveleigh||86||0.1||New|
|Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative||Swing||+8.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Brand||36,336||45.6||+2.7|
|Natural Law||Clive Daly||350||0.4||New|
Elections in the 1980s
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing|
|Isle of Wight Residents Party||Thomas McDermott||208||0.3||New|
Elections in the 1970s
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing|
|Vectis National Party||Ronald W.J Cowdell||1,607||2.8||New|
Elections in the 1960s
Elections in the 1950s
|Labour||Edward Cecil Amey||18,396||37.1||-0.3|
Elections in the 1940s
General Election 1939/40
Another general election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;
Elections in the 1930s
Elections in the 1920s
|Liberal||St John Hutchinson||17,383||38.1||+0.3|
|Labour||Henry Edward Weaver||6,256||13.7||+3.9|
|Labour||Henry Edward Weaver||3,620||9.8||+2.7|
|Unionist gain from Liberal||Swing||+7.5|
|Independent Unionist||Arthur Veasey||7,061||21.0||New|
|Liberal gain from Unionist||Swing||+11.5|
Elections in the 1910s
|C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.|
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;
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+6.8|
Elections in the 1900s
|Conservative||Anthony Hickman Morgan||5,892||44.2||N/A|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Ind. Conservative||John Seely||Unopposed|
|Ind. Conservative gain from Conservative|
Elections in the 1890s
Elections in the 1880s
- Caused by Webster's appointment as Attorney General of England and Wales.
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+2.3|
|Conservative||Benjamin Temple Cotton||1,973||49.8||-0.3|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+0.3|
Elections in the 1870s
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+4.9|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+5.5|
- Caused by Simeon's death.
Elections in the 1860s
Elections in the 1850s
|Conservative||Thomas Willis Fleming||610||45.5||−8.0|
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||+8.0|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+9.6|
|Conservative||Andrew Snape Hamond||519||47.9||+4.0|
|Radical gain from Whig||Swing||−4.0|
Elections in the 1840s
|Conservative||Thomas Willis Fleming||373||43.9||N/A|
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Conservative||William à Court-Holmes||Unopposed|
Elections in the 1830s
|Conservative||William à Court-Holmes||628||52.9||+11.8|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+11.8|
|Conservative||George Henry Ward||337||41.1||+27.5|
|Turnout||820||c. 70.3||c. −0.3|
|Registered electors||c. 1,167|
|Tory||Alexander Glynn Campbell||112||13.6|
|Whig win (new seat)|
- Politics of the Isle of Wight
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in the South East (region)
- List of United Kingdom Parliament constituencies
- Politics Resources (Election results from 1922 onwards)
- Electoral Calculus (Election results from 1955 onwards)
- 2017 Election House of Commons Library 2017 Election report
- A Vision Of Britain Through Time (Constituency elector numbers)
Notes and references
- "Wight". Oxford Dictionaries UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Constituency data: electorates". 15 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
- "The Bow Group "Crossbow" – 50th Anniversary edition (page 41)" (PDF). bowgroup.org. Retrieved 27 October 2008.[dead link]
- "Boundary Commission for England – Isle of Wight". statistics.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "Volume one: Report" (PDF). Boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk. Boundary Commission for England. September 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- "Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020".
- "2023 Review launched | Boundary Commission for England". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
- "UK General Election results – October 1974". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – May 1979". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "British Parliamentary Election Results 1983–1997". election.demon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "BBC News – Results and Constituencies – Isle of Wight". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "Lib Dems put forward youngest candidate on Isle of Wight". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- "Unite to Remain agreement". Liberal Democrats. 7 November 2019.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "I"
- Stooks Smith, Henry. (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 153. ISBN 0-900178-13-2.
- Churton, Edward (1836). The Assembled Commons or Parliamentary Biographer: 1836. p. 160.
- "Illustrated London News". 31 July 1847. p. 7. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "General Election". London Evening Standard. 7 August 1847. p. 3. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Bell's Weekly Messenger". 16 August 1847. p. 2. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Hampshire Advertiser". 24 May 1851. p. 5. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Isle of Wight Election". Berkshire Chronicle. 24 July 1852. p. 8. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Election Matters". Lancaster Gazette. 24 July 1852. p. 8. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Old Borough Members of Parliament Without Seats". Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette. 9 April 1857. p. 4. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Isle of Wight LibDem MP hopeful one of youngest in country". 22 April 2017.
- "Isle of Wight Green Party reselects Vix Lowthion as Parliamentary Candidate". isleofwight.greenparty.org.uk.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "ISLE OF WIGHT 2015". electionresults.blogspot.co.uk.
- "Isle of Wight Green Party announce parliamentary candidate". isleofwight.greenparty.org.uk.
- "Campaign Launch".
- "Ian Stephens to stand as Independent candidate for Isle of Wight MP". Isle of Wight News from OnTheWight. 22 January 2015.
- Statement of Persons Nominated Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Isle of Wight Council
- "Island set for race to be next MP". www.iwcp.co.uk.
- "IWight – Isle of Wight General election results 2005". iwight.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- "UK General Election results – February 1974". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – June 1970". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – March 1966". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – March 1964". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – October 1959". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – May 1955". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – October 1951". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – February 1950". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – July 1945". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "UK General Election results – 1935". politicsresources.net. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- British parliamentary election results 1918–1949, Craig, F.W.S.
- British parliamentary election results 1885–1918
- British parliamentary election results, 1885–1918 (Craig)
- The Constitutional Year Book, 1904, published by Conservative Central Office, page 145 (169 in web page), Isle of Wight
- Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984.
- "Mr. John Stuart in the Isle of Wight". Hastings & St. Leonards Observer. 3 July 1886. p. 2. Retrieved 1 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book)
|url=(help) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
- "The Isle of Wight". Hampshire Advertiser. 7 February 1880. p. 8. Retrieved 1 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Isle of Wight". Nottinghamshire Guardian. 27 May 1870. p. 12. Retrieved 1 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette". 10 May 1851. p. 5. Retrieved 4 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The Last Days of Sir John Simeon", The Month: A Magazine and Review new series, vol. II (XIII), July to December 1870, pp. 481-484.
- "Isle of Wight". Hampshire Chronicle. 7 August 1837. p. 1. Retrieved 2 May 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.