List of Parliamentary constituencies in Suffolk

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The county of Suffolk, England is divided into 7 Parliamentary constituencies – 1 Borough constituency and 6 County constituencies.

Constituencies[edit]

  † Conservative   ‡ Labour   ¤ UKIP


Constituency[nb 1] Electorate Majority[nb 2] Member of Parliament Nearest opposition Map
Bury St Edmunds CC 86,071 18,441   Jo Churchill   William Edwards
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CC 78,116 17,185   Dan Poulter   Elizabeth Hughes
Ipswich BC 74,668 836   Sandy Martin   Ben Gummer
South Suffolk CC 75,485 17,749   James Cartlidge   Emma Bishton
Suffolk Coastal CC 79,366 16,012   Therese Coffey   Cameron Matthews
Waveney CC 80,763 9,215   Peter Aldous   Sonia Barker
West Suffolk CC 77,348 17,063   Matthew Hancock   Michael Jefferys

History of constituencies and boundaries[edit]

Prior to 1832[edit]

Since 1295, the Parliamentary County of Suffolk, 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 county also included five Parliamentary Boroughs, namely Aldeburgh, Bury St Edmunds, Dunwich, Eye, Ipswich, Orford and Sudbury, all returning 2 MPs each.

1832-1885[edit]

The Great Reform Act of 1832 radically changed the representation of the House of Commons, with the County being divided into the Eastern and Western Divisions, both returning 2 MPs. The Boroughs of Aldeburgh, Dunwich and Orford were abolished and Eye's representation was reduced to 1 MP.

The Borough of Sudbury was disenfranchised for corruption in 1844 and absorbed into the Western Division.

1885-1918[edit]

Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the two 2-member county divisions were replaced by five single-member constituencies, namely the Northern or Lowestoft Division, the North-Eastern or Eye Division (which absorbed the abolished Parliamentary Borough of Eye), the North-Western or Stowmarket Division, the South-Eastern or Woodford Division and the Southern or Sudbury Division. The representation of the Borough of Bury St Edmunds was reduced to 1 MP and Ipswich continued to elect 2 MPs.

The table shows an approximate representation of the development of constituencies in Suffolk since 1885. The text below gives a more detailed description.

1885-1918 1918-1950 1950-1983 1983-1997 1997-present
Ipswich BC (2 MPs) Ipswich BC Ipswich BC Ipswich BC Ipswich BC
Woodbridge CC Woodbridge CC Sudbury and Woodbridge CC Suffolk Coastal CC Suffolk Coastal CC
Sudbury CC Sudbury CC South Suffolk CC South Suffolk CC
Bury St Edmunds BC Bury St Edmunds CC Bury St Edmunds CC Bury St Edmunds CC West Suffolk CC
Stowmarket CC Bury St Edmunds CC
Eye CC Eye CC Eye CC Central Suffolk CC Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CC
Lowestoft CC Lowestoft CC Lowestoft CC Waveney CC Waveney CC
BC = Borough Constituency (prior to 1950 - Parliamentary Borough or Division thereof)

CC = County Constituency (prior to 1950 - Parliamentary County of Division thereof)

1918-1950[edit]

Under the Representation of the People Act 1918, the Parliamentary Borough of Bury St Edmunds was abolished and reconstituted as a County Division, absorbing the abolished Stowmarket Division, with the exception of small south-eastern area, including Stowmarket itself, which was transferred to Eye. The southern-most part of Lowestoft, including Halesworth, was also transferred to Eye. The representation of the Borough of Ipswich was reduced to 1 MP, with boundaries expanding into Woodbridge to align with those of the County Borough of Ipswich.

1950-1983[edit]

The Representation of the People Act 1948 resulted in the abolition of the Sudbury and Woodbridge Divisions. They were replaced by the new county constituency of Sudbury and Woodbridge, incorporating the towns of Sudbury and Hadleigh from Sudbury, and Woodbridge and Felixstowe from Woodbridge. Western and northern parts of Sudbury, including Haverhill, were transferred to Bury St Edmunds and northern parts of Woodbridge were transferred to Eye. Halesworth was returned from Eye to Lowestoft.

There were no changes under the First or Second Periodic Reviews of Westminster Constituencies.

1983-1997[edit]

The Third Review, which reflected the changes to local authorities arising from the Local Government Act 1972, did not come into effect until the 1983 general election, when Suffolk's representation was increased back up to 6 MPs. This resulted in major changes to the configuration of the county's seats as follows:

  • Eye was abolished, with eastern parts being included in the new county constituency of Suffolk Coastal and western parts in the new county constituency of Central Suffolk.
  • Sudbury and Woodbridge was also abolished, with areas to the east of Ipswich and the River Orwell (Felixstowe and Woodbridge) being included in Suffolk Coastal, and western areas (Sudbury and Hadleigh) forming the basis of the new county constituency of South Suffolk.
  • Central Suffolk included four north-western wards of the Borough of Ipswich, previously part of the borough constituency of Ipswich.
  • Bury St Edmunds lost southern areas, including Haverhill, to South Suffolk, and eastern-most areas to Central Suffolk.
  • With the exception of a small area in the far north of the constituency, including Bradwell, which had been transferred from Suffolk to Norfolk under the local government reorganisation and was now included in the constituency of Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft was succeeded by the new county constituency of Waveney.

1997-2010[edit]

The Fourth Review resulted in further major changes with the addition of a seventh constituency, named West Suffolk. This was formed from the majority of the existing Bury St Edmunds constituency, including Newmarket and Mildenhall. It also included Haverhill and surrounding areas, transferred from South Suffolk. Bury St Edmunds was reconfigured, taking western parts of Central Suffolk, including Stowmarket. Central Suffolk (renamed Central Suffolk and North Ipswich), in turn, gained western-most parts of Suffolk Coastal, which then gained southern-most parts of Waveney, including Halesworth and Southwold.

Name Boundaries 1997-2010
  1. Bury St Edmunds CC
  2. Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CC
  3. Ipswich BC
  4. South Suffolk CC
  5. Suffolk Coastal CC
  6. Waveney CC
  7. West Suffolk CC
SuffolkParliamentaryConstituenciesNumbered.svg

2010-present[edit]

In the Fifth Review the Boundary Commission for England recommended that Suffolk retained its current constituencies, with changes only to reflect revisions to local authority ward boundaries. The largest of these changes resulted in the effective transfer of one Borough of Ipswich ward from Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to the constituency of Ipswich.

Changes proposed for 2022[1][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. 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 Suffolk as a sub-region of the Eastern Region and recommended that the county retained its existing seven seats, three of which (South Suffolk, West Suffolk and Waveney) would be unchanged. The relatively minor proposed changes to bring the constituencies within the required electoral quota range all involve the constituency of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, which would gain the District of Mid Suffolk wards of Needham Market and Ringshall from Bury St Edmunds and lose the Borough of Ipswich ward of Castle Hill to Ipswich. In addition, there would be marginal changes to the boundary with Suffolk Coastal to take account of changes to local authority ward boundaries. As the constituency would now only include two of 16 Borough of Ipswich wards, it is proposed that it reverts to the previous name of Central Suffolk.

Current constituencies Electorate[2] Proposed constituencies[3] Electorate[3]
Bury St Edmunds CC 83,477 Bury St Edmunds CC 77,733
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CC 74,698 Central Suffolk CC 74,360
Ipswich BC 70,702 Ipswich BC 76,284
South Suffolk CC 71,445 South Suffolk CC 71,445
Suffolk Coastal CC 75,678 Suffolk Coastal CC 76,178
Waveney CC 77,408 Waveney CC 77,408
West Suffolk CC 72,809 West Suffolk CC 72.809
526,217 526,217

Results[edit]

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.

1885 to 1918[edit]

  Conservative   Liberal   Liberal Unionist

Constituency 1885 86 1886 91 1892 92 1895 1900 1906 06 07 Jan 1910 Dec 1910 14
Bury St Edmunds F. Hervey Cadogan Greene F. W. Hervey Guinness
Eye Stevenson Pearson
Ipswich (Two members) West Charteris Goddard
Collings Dalrymple Cobbold Horne Ganzoni
Lowestoft Crossley Foster Lucas Beauchamp Foster Beauchamp
Stowmarket Cobbold Greene Stern Malcolm Hardy Goldsmith
Sudbury W. Quilter Heaton-Armstrong C. Quilter
Woodbridge Everett Lloyd-Anstruther Everett Pretyman Everett Peel

1918 to 1950[edit]

  Coalition Liberal (1918-22)   Conservative   Independent   Independent Liberal   Labour   Liberal   National Liberal (1931-68)

Constituency 1918 20 1922 1923 1924 1929 31 1931 34 1935 38 42 44 1945
Bury St Edmunds Guinness Heilgers Keatinge Clifton-Brown
Eye Lyle-Samuel Vanneck Granville
Ipswich Ganzoni Jackson Ganzoni Stokes
Lowestoft Beauchamp Rentoul Loftus Evans
Sudbury Howard Mercer Loverseed Burton Hamilton
Woodbridge Peel Churchman Fison Ross-Taylor Hare

1950 to present[edit]

  Conservative   Labour   Liberal

Constituency 1950 1951 1955 57 1959 63 64 1964 1966 1970 Feb 74 Oct 74 1979 1983 1987 1992 1997 2001 01 2005 2010 2015 2017
Bury St Edmunds Aitken Griffiths Spring Ruffley Churchill
Eye / Suffolk Coastal (1983) Granville Harrison Gummer Coffey
Ipswich Stokes Foot Money Weetch Irvine Cann Mole Gummer Martin
Lowestoft / Waveney (1983) Evans Prior Porter Blizzard Aldous
Sudbury & Woodbridge / S Suffolk (1983) Hare Stainton Yeo Cartlidge
Central Suffolk / & North Ipswich (1997) Lord Poulter
West Suffolk Spring Hancock

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. ^ Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report".CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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)