List of Parliamentary constituencies in Bedfordshire

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The ceremonial county of Bedfordshire (which includes Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton unitary authorities) is split into 6 seats - 3 Borough and 3 County constituencies.

2017 constituencies[edit]

  † Conservative   ‡ Labour

(part) means that part of a ward is in a constituency.

Name[nb 1] Electorate[1] Majority[nb 2] Member of Parliament Nearest opposition Electoral wards[2][3] Map
Bedford BC 71,579 145   Mohammad Yasin   Ryan Henson † Bedford Borough Council: Brickhill, Castle, Cauldwell, De Parys, Goldington, Harpur, Kempston East, Kempston North, Kempston South, Kingsbrook, Newnham, Putnoe, Queen's Park.
A small constituency, located north of the centre of the county.
Luton North BC 68,185 9,247   Sarah Owen   Jeet Bains † Luton Borough Council: Barnfield, Bramingham, Challney, Icknield, Leagrave, Lewsey, Limbury, Northwell, Saints, Sundon Park.
A small constituency south of the centre of the county.
Luton South BC 69,338 8,756   Rachel Hopkins   Parvez Akhtar † Luton Borough Council: Biscot, Crawley, Dallow, Farley, High Town, Round Green, South, Stopsley, Wigmore. Central Bedfordshire Council: Caddington, Hyde and Slip End.
A small constituency, located in the southwest of the county.
Mid Bedfordshire CC 87,795 24,664   Nadine Dorries   Rhiannon Meades ‡ Bedford Borough Council: Turvey, Wilshamstead, Wootton. Central Bedfordshire Council: Ampthill, Aspley Guise, Clifton and Meppershall, Cranfield, Flitton, Greenfield and Pulloxhill, Flitwick East, Flitwick West, Harlington, Houghton, Haynes, Southill and Old Warden, Marston, Maulden and Clophill, Shefford, Campton and Gravenhurst, Shillington, Stondon and Henlow Camp, Streatley, Silsoe, Toddington, Westoning and Tingrith.
A large constituency, occupying the centre of the county.
North East Bedfordshire CC 90,679 24,283   Richard Fuller   Julian Vaughan ‡ Bedford Borough Council: Bromham, Carlton, Clapham, Eastcotts, Great Barford, Harrold, Oakley, Riseley, Roxton, Sharnbrook. Central Bedfordshire Council: Arlesey, Biggleswade Holme, Biggleswade Ivel, Biggleswade Stratton, Langford and Henlow Village, Northill and Blunham, Potton and Wensley, Sandy Ivel, Sandy Pinnacle, Stotfold.
A large constituency in the north of the county.
South West Bedfordshire CC 79,926 18,583   Andrew Selous   Callum Anderson ‡ Central Bedfordshire Council: All Saints, Chiltern, Dunstable Central, Eaton Bray, Grovebury, Heath and Reach, Houghton Hall, Icknield, Kensworth and Totternhoe, Linslade, Manshead, Northfields, Parkside, Planets, Plantation, Southcott, Stanbridge, Tithe Farm, Watling.
A medium constituency in the southwest of the county.

History of Constituencies and Boundaries[edit]

Constituency 1295-1885 1885-1918 1918-1950 1950-1974 1974-1983 1983-1997 1997-present
Bedford 1295-1983 1997-present
Bedfordshire 1295-1885
Biggleswade 1885-1918
Luton 1885-1974
Luton East 1974-1983
Luton North 1983-present
Luton South 1983-present
Luton West 1974-1983
Mid Bedfordshire 1918-present
North Bedfordshire 1983-1997
North East Bedfordshire 1997-present
South Bedfordshire 1950-present
South West Bedfordshire 1983-present

Prior to 1885[edit]

1295 to 1885: Bedfordshire as with all other English counties, elected 2 MPs to the House of Commons per the freehold property franchise; and the Parliamentary Borough of Bedford returned 2 MPs. The Great Reform Act of 1832 changed the setup nationally, but this was one of the few counties totally unaffected.

1885-1918[edit]

Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the County was divided into 2 seats:

  • the Northern or Biggleswade Division (often written North Beds); and
  • the Southern or Luton Division (often written South Beds)

Biggleswade covered the northern half of the county including Ampthill and Kempston. It also welcomed votes from non-resident freeholders of the Municipal Borough of Bedford. Luton covered the southern half of the county, including Leighton Buzzard and the Municipal Boroughs of Dunstable and Luton.

  • Bedford was kept as a Parliamentary Borough but reduced to 1 MP.

1918-1950[edit]

Under the Representation of the People Act 1918, the Parliamentary Borough was technically abolished. The Municipal Borough was now included in a Bedford seat/Division of the county taking in the Urban District of Kempston and the rural areas of the northern part of the abolished North Beds; the southern areas of which, including the Urban Districts of Biggleswade and Ampthill made a Mid Bedfordshire Division, along with Leighton Buzzard and surrounding rural areas transferred from Luton.

1950-1974[edit]

The Representation of the People Act 1948 resumed the pre-1885 net total of 4 MPs. It created a "South Bedfordshire" seat of Dunstable with the Leagrave and Limbury parts of the Municipal Borough of Luton, from abolished Luton/South Beds, and Leighton Buzzard, from "Mid Bedfordshire". "Luton" was created, a Borough Constituency, for the Municipal Borough save the mentioned parts. Mid Bedfordshire gained southern and eastern rural areas from "Bedford".

1974-1983[edit]

The county limits altered: South Bedfordshire gained the former Urban District of Linslade in Buckinghamshire which had been merged with that of Leighton Buzzard to form the Urban District of Leighton-Linslade; and Mid Bedfordshire lost the village of Eaton Socon taken into the Urban District of St Neots in Huntingdonshire.

The Second Review resulted in an increase to 5 MPs. Luton was abolished to create Borough Constituencies of Luton East and West. The majority of the latter comprised the Leagrave and Limbury districts, taken from South Bedfordshire.

1983-1997[edit]

The Third Periodic Review left the county's representation at 5 MPs, but saw significant changes, retaining only Mid Bedfordshire. Bedford was abolished, being largely replaced by North Bedfordshire save for Kempston, transferred to Mid Bedfordshire. Luton East and Luton West were replaced by Luton South and Luton North respectively, with both taking small parts of South Bedfordshire, with Luton North extending further north to include Flitwick that had been in Mid Bedfordshire. South Bedfordshire was abolished and largely replaced by South West Bedfordshire, which took in south-western parts of Mid Bedfordshire.

1997-2010[edit]

The Fourth Review resulted in an increase to 6 MPs. Bedford was re-established as a Borough Constituency comprising the town of Bedford itself, which had constituted the majority of the abolished constituency of North Bedfordshire, and Kempston which was transferred back from Mid Bedfordshire. A new County Constituency of North East Bedfordshire was created, comprising the remaining (rural) areas of North Bedfordshire and northern and eastern parts of Mid Bedfordshire seeing about half its electorate lost including Biggleswade and Sandy. To compensate for this and the loss of Kempston, Mid Bedfordshire regained the areas previously transferred to South West Bedfordshire and gained the parts outside the Borough of Luton from North Luton (including Flitwick). The latter became a Borough Constituency and gained the Saints ward from Luton South.

2010-present[edit]

Fifth Review - marginal changes due to revision of local authority wards.

Name Pre-2010 Boundaries Post-2010 Boundaries
  1. Bedford BC
  2. Luton North BC
  3. Luton South BC
  4. Mid Bedfordshire CC
  5. North East Bedfordshire CC
  6. South West Bedfordshire CC
Parliamentary constituencies in Bedfordshire 1997 - 2005
Parliamentary constituencies in Bedfordshire 2010 - present

Changes proposed by the Boundary Commission[edit]

The Boundary Commission for England submitted their final proposals in respect of the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies (the 2018 review) in September 2018. The proposals were immediately laid before Parliament they were not timetabled by the Government for approval. They were thus ignored for the election on 12 December 2019.

Under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Review would cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and see a revived strictness of avoiding malapportionment (electoral parity rule) that the electorate of all seats must be within 5% of the electoral (average national) quota (number of electors). The review was carried out using the official UK electorate figures for 2015 thus quota found to be 74,769, establishing a range of 71,031 to 78,507.[4]

To meet this the Commission was able to treat Bedfordshire as a sub-region of the Eastern Region and recommended that the county retained six seats. Luton South would gain the remainder of the Central Bedfordshire ward of Caddington from South West Bedfordshire and the Borough of Luton ward of Barnfield from Luton North. In turn, Luton North would gain three wards from South West Bedfordshire comprising the town of Houghton Regis. In recognition of this the name of this seat is to be/would be Luton North and Houghton Regis. The separator of South West Bedfordshire from Mid Bedfordshire would be moved northwards again and limits around the town of Bedford affecting the seats of Bedford, North East Bedfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire would be adjusted to take account of the revision of wards in the Borough of Bedford and updated electorate (eligible adults to vote) figures.[4]

Current constituencies Electorate[5] Proposed constituencies[6] Electorate[6]
Bedford BC 70,259 Bedford BC 74,520
Luton North BC 64,552 Luton North and Houghton Regis BC 71,188
Luton South BC 64,136 Luton South BC 71,881
Mid Bedfordshire CC 80,069 Mid Bedfordshire CC 74,088
North East Bedfordshire CC 83,599 North East Bedfordshire CC 74,198
South West Bedfordshire CC 76,959 South West Bedfordshire CC 73,699
439,574 439,574

Results[edit]

Total County Results[edit]

The total number of aggregate votes cast for each political party which fielded candidates in constituencies which comprise Bedfordshire in the 2017 general election was as follows:

Party Votes Votes % Seats
Conservative 163,239 50.42 3
Labour 136,304 42.10 3
Liberal Democrats 14,822 4.58 -
Greens 6,735 2.08 -
UKIP 2,629 0.81 -
Monster Raving Loony 667 0.21 -
Christian Peoples Alliance 301 0.09 -
Independents 160 0.05 -
Total 323,729 6

Historical representation by party[edit]

A cell marked → (with a different colour background to the preceding cell) indicates that the previous MP continued to sit under a new party name.

1802 to 1837[edit]

  Conservative   Tory   Whig

Constituency 1802 1806 1807 1812 15 1818 1820 1826 1830 1831 1832 34 1835
Bedford Antonie G. Russell Polhill Crawley
S. Whitbread Waldegrave W. Whitbread Polhill
Bedfordshire Osborn FitzPatrick F. Russell C. Russell
St John Pym Osborn Pym Macqueen Stuart Payne Stuart Egerton

1837 to 1885[edit]

  Conservative   Liberal   Whig

Constituency 1837 38 1841 47 1847 51 1852 54 1857 1859 1865 1868 72 1874 75 1880
Bedford Stuart Crawley H. Stuart W. Stuart Barnard W. Stuart Howard Polhill-Turner Magniac
Polhill Verney Whitbread
Bedfordshire C. Russell Astell C. Russell F. Russell Bassett G. Russell
Egerton Gilpin Howard

1885 to 1918[edit]

  Conservative   Liberal   Liberal Unionist

Constituency 1885 1886 1892 92 1895 1900 1906 Jan 1910 Dec 1910 11
Bedford Whitbread Pym Barlow Attenborough Kellaway
Biggleswade Magniac Baring Russell Compton Black
Luton Flower Whitbread Ashton Harmsworth

1918 to 1974[edit]

  Coalition Liberal (1918-22) / National Liberal (1922-23)   Conservative   Labour   Liberal   National Liberal (1931-68)

Constituency 1918 1922 1923 1924 1929 31 1931 1935 1945 1950 1951 1955 1959 60 63 1964 1966 1970
Bedford Kellaway Wells Skeffington-Lodge Soames Parkyn Skeet
Bedfordshire Mid Townley Linfield Warner Gray Lennox-Boyd Hastings
Bedfordshire South Moeran Cole Roberts Madel
Luton Harmsworth Hewett Howard O'Connor Burgin Warbey Hill Howie Simeons

1974 to present[edit]

  Change UK   Conservative   Independent   The Independents   Labour

Constituency Feb 1974 Oct 1974 1979 1983 1987 1992 1997 2001 2005 2010 2015 2017 17 19 19 2019
Bedford (1974–83, 1997–present) / North Bedfordshire (1983–97) Skeet Hall Fuller Yasin
Bedfordshire Mid Hastings Lyell Sayeed Dorries
North East Bedfordshire Lyell Burt Fuller
Bedfordshire South / South West Bedfordshire (1983) Madel Selous
Luton East / Luton South (1983) Clemitson Bright Moran Shuker R. Hopkins
Luton West / Luton North (1983) Sedgemore Carlisle K. Hopkins Owen

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BC denotes borough constituency, CC denotes county constituency.
  2. ^ The majority is the number of votes the winning candidate receives more than their nearest rival.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2017 Results". Politics Resources. 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007, page 4". Office of Public Sector Information. Crown copyright. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  3. ^ Boundary Commission for England pp. 1004–1007
  4. ^ a b Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (Document type: Electoral data) (24 February 2016). "The electorate of each region subdivided by both local authorities and each existing constituency".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ a b Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations constituency list (with wards)".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)