List of Parliamentary constituencies in Bedfordshire
The ceremonial county of Bedfordshire (which includes the areas of the Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton unitary authorities) is divided into 6 Parliamentary constituencies - 3 Borough constituencies and 3 County constituencies.
- 1 2017 constituencies
- 2 History of Constituencies and Boundaries
- 3 Changes proposed for 2022
- 4 Results
- 5 Historical representation by party
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
(part) means that part of a ward is in a constituency.
|Name[nb 1]||Electorate||Majority[nb 2]||Member of Parliament||Nearest opposition||Electoral wards||Map|
|Bedford BC||71,829||789||Mohammad Yasin‡||Richard Fuller†||Bedford Borough Council: Brickhill, Castle, Cauldwell, De Parys, Goldington, Harpur, Kempston East, Kempston North, Kempston South, Kingsbrook, Newnham, Putnoe, Queen’s Park.|
|Luton North BC||66,811||14,364||Kelvin Hopkins^||Caroline Kerswell†||Luton Borough Council: Barnfield, Bramingham, Challney, Icknield, Leagrave, Lewsey, Limbury, Northwell, Saints, Sundon Park.|
|Luton South BC||67,188||13,925||Gavin Shuker||Dean Russell†||Luton Borough Council: Biscot, Crawley, Dallow, Farley, High Town, Round Green, South, Stopsley, Wigmore. Central Bedfordshire Council: Caddington, Hyde and Slip End.|
|Mid Bedfordshire CC||84,161||20,983||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.|
|North East Bedfordshire CC||87,505||20,862||Alistair Burt†||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.|
|South West Bedfordshire CC||79,658||14,168||Andrew Selous†||Daniel Scott‡||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.|
History of Constituencies and Boundaries
Prior to 1885
Since 1295, the Parliamentary County of Bedfordshire, along with all other English Counties regardless of size or population, had elected 2 MPs to the House of Commons in accordance with the freehold property franchise. The Parliamentary Borough of Bedford had also returned 2 MPs since 1295. The Great Reform Act of 1832 radically changed the representation of the House of Commons, but Bedfordshire was one of the few counties which were unaffected by this and the County and Borough both continued to elect 2 MPs until 1885.
Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the County was divided into 2 single-member constituencies, namely the Northern or Biggleswade Division and the Southern or Luton Division. Biggleswade covered the northern half of the county including Biggleswade, Ampthill and Kempston. It also included 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 retained as a Parliamentary Borough but its representation was reduced to 1 MP.
The table shows an approximate representation of the development of constituencies in Bedfordshire since 1885. The text below gives a more detailed description.
|Bedford BC||Bedford CC||Bedford CC||Bedford CC||North Bedfordshire CC||Bedford BC|
|Biggleswade CC||Mid Bedfordshire CC||Mid Bedfordshire CC||Mid Bedfordshire CC||Mid Bedfordshire CC||North East Bedfordshire CC|
|Mid Bedfordshire CC|
|Luton CC||Luton CC||South Bedfordshire CC||South Bedfordshire CC||South West Bedfordshire CC||South West Bedfordshire CC|
|Luton West BC||North Luton CC||Luton North BC|
|Luton BC||Luton East BC||Luton South BC||Luton South BC|
|BC = Borough Constituency (prior to 1950 - Parliamentary Borough or Division thereof)
CC = County Constituency (prior to 1950 - Parliamentary County of Division thereof)
Under the Representation of the People Act 1918, the Parliamentary Borough of Bedford was abolished. The Municipal Borough of Bedford was now included in the new Bedford Division of the Parliamentary County, alongside the Urban District of Kempston and the rural areas of the northern part of the abolished Biggleswade Division. The southern areas of Biggleswade, including the Urban Districts of Biggleswade and Ampthill were included in the new Mid Bedfordshire Division, along with Leighton Buzzard and surrounding rural areas transferred form Luton.
The Representation of the People Act 1948 increased the county's representation from 3 to 4 MPs with the creation of the new County Constituency of South Bedfordshire. This included Dunstable and the Leagrave and Limbury districts of the Municipal Borough of Luton, transferred from the Luton constituency, and Leighton Buzzard, transferred from Mid Bedfordshire. Luton was designated as a Borough Constituency, comprising the Municipal Borough excluding Leagrave and Limbury. Mid Bedfordshire gained southern and eastern rural areas from the constituency of Bedford.
Under the Second Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies, representation was increased from 4 to 5 MPs with the abolition of Luton and the creation of the Borough Constituencies of Luton East and Luton West. The majority of the latter comprised the Leagrave and Limbury districts transferred from South Bedfordshire. There were also two minor changes due to changes to the county boundaries: 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 which had been absorbed into the Urban District of St Neots in Huntingdonshire.
The Third Periodic Review left the county's representation at 5 MPs, but saw significant changes to the constituencies, with only Mid Bedfordshire being retained. Bedford was abolished, being largely replaced by North Bedfordshire, with the exception of Kempston, which was transferred to Mid Bedfordshire. Luton East and Luton West were replaced by Luton South and Luton North respectively, with both of these including small areas of South Bedfordshire and Luton North (formally the County Constituency of North Luton) extending further northwards to include Flitwick which was previously in Mid Bedfordshire. South Bedfordshire was abolished and largely replaced by South West Bedfordshire, which was extended northwards to included south-western parts of Mid Bedfordshire.
The Fourth Review resulted in a further 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, including Biggleswade and Sandy and resulting in the loss of around half of its electorate. 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 constituency was redesignated as the Borough Constituency of Luton North and gained the Saints ward from Luton South.
Fifth Review - marginal changes due to revision of local authority wards.
|Name||Pre-2010 Boundaries||Post-2010 Boundaries|
Changes proposed for 2022
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. If these proposals are approved by Parliament they will come into effect at the next UK general election which is due to take place in May 2022 under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
Under the terms of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Sixth Review was based on reducing the total number of MPs from 650 to 600 and a strict electoral parity requirement that the electorate of all constituencies should be within a range of 5% either side of the electoral quota. The review was carried out using the official UK electorate figures for 2015 and the electoral quota was set at 74,769, establishing a range of 71,031 to 78,507.
In order to meet these requirements, 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 Commission recommend changing the name of this constituency to Luton North and Houghton Regis. The boundary between South West Bedfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire would be moved northwards again and the boundaries around the town of Bedford between the constituencies 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 the required electoral range.
|Current constituencies||Electorate||Proposed constituencies||Electorate|
|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|
Total County Results
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:
|Monster Raving Loony||667||0.21||-|
|Christian Peoples Alliance||301||0.09||-|
Historical representation by party
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.
1885 to 1918
|Constituency||1885||1886||1892||92||1895||1900||1906||Jan 1910||Dec 1910||11|
1918 to 1974
1974 to present
|Constituency||Feb 1974||Oct 1974||1979||1983||1987||1992||1997||2001||2005||2010||2015||2017||17||19|
|Bedford (1974-83, 1997-present) / North Bedfordshire (1983-97)||Skeet||Hall||Fuller||Yasin|
|North East Bedfordshire||Lyell||Burt|
|Bedfordshire South / South West Bedfordshire (1983)||Madel||Selous|
|Luton East / Luton South (1983)||Clemitson||Bright||Moran||Shuker||→|
|Luton West / Luton North (1983)||Sedgemore||Carlisle||Hopkins||→|
- BC denotes borough constituency, CC denotes county constituency.
- The majority is the number of votes the winning candidate receives more than their nearest rival.
- "2017 Results". Politics Resources. 7 April 2018.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007, page 4". Office of Public Sector Information. Crown copyright. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- Boundary Commission for England pp. 1004–1007
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report".CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- 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)
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations constituency list (with wards)".CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)