North Shropshire (UK Parliament constituency)

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North Shropshire
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of North Shropshire in Shropshire.
Outline map
Location of Shropshire within England.
County Shropshire
Electorate 77,673 (December 2010)
Major settlements Wem, Whitchurch, Ellesmere, Oswestry, and Market Drayton
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Owen Paterson (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Oswestry
Number of members Two
Replaced by Oswestry
European Parliament constituency West Midlands

North Shropshire[n 1] is a constituency[n 2] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 1997 by Owen Paterson, a Conservative.[n 3]

Established for the 1832 general election, North Shropshire has been continuously held by the Conservative Party for its entire existence.[n 4] However, the constituency was abolished in 1885 and re-created in 1983.


From its first creation in 1832 to the abolition of the first creation in 1885 it covered approximately half of the county and elected two members, formally Knights of the Shire. In 1885 the county was (together with South Shropshire) - divided between four constituencies: Ludlow, Newport, Oswestry and Wellington.

In 1983 the constituency was revived in a smaller form and elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

The Electoral Reform Society considers it to be historically the safest seat in the country. Taking into account the intermediary seats roughly covering its boundaries, the Society considers that the seat has been held continuously by the Conservative Party since 1835 - in political terms since the days of the Tamworth Manifesto and before Queen Victoria's accession to the throne.[1] However the result of the 2001 election was more marginal than most Conservative seats and the 2010 election saw it just outside the top third of seats in percentage terms held by the Conservative Party, with the 103rd largest share of the vote for the party.[2]

Owen Paterson was appointed to be the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in May 2010 and from the September 2012 Cabinet reshuffle, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,[3] until another reshuffle in June 2014.


1983-1997: The District of North Shropshire; the Borough of Oswestry; and the District of The Wrekin wards of Church Aston, Edgmond, Ercall Magna, Newport East, Newport North, and Newport West.

1997-present: The District of North Shropshire; and the Borough of Oswestry.

The constituency is co-extensive with that of the North area of Shropshire Council, which is the same as the former districts of North Shropshire and Oswestry.

The constituency is rural and is north of Shrewsbury, west of Newcastle-under-Lyme and south of Cheshire, having five small towns.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1832–1885[edit]

  • Constituency created in 1832
Election First member[4] First party Second member[4] Second party
1832 Sir Rowland Hill, Bt Tory John Cotes Whig
1834 Conservative
1835 William Ormsby-Gore Conservative
1843 by-election Viscount Clive Conservative
1848 by-election John Whitehall Dod Conservative
1857 Hon. Rowland Hill Conservative
1859 John Ormsby-Gore Conservative
1865 Hon. Charles Cust Conservative
1866 by-election Hon. Adelbert Brownlow-Cust Conservative
1867 by-election Viscount Newport Conservative
1876 by-election Stanley Leighton Conservative
1885 Constituency abolished

MPs since 1983[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1983 John Biffen Conservative
1997 Owen Paterson Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: North Shropshire[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Owen Paterson 27,041 51.5 0
Labour Graeme Currie 10,457 19.9 +1.8
UKIP Andrea Allen[6] 9,262 17.6 +12.9
Liberal Democrat Tom Thornhill 3,148 6.0 -14.9
Green Duncan Kerr[7] 2,575 4.9 +3.3
Majority 16,584 31.6 0
Turnout 52,483 67.6 +0.9

Class War originally selected Al Derby as a candidate here, but he changed to Wolverhamptom North East.[8]

General Election 2010: North Shropshire[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Owen Paterson 26,692 51.5 +1.9
Liberal Democrat Ian Croll 10,864 20.9 +1.2
Labour Ian McLaughlan 9,406 18.1 -7.8
UKIP Sandra List 2,432 4.7 -0.1
BNP Phil Reddall 1,667 3.2 +3.2
Green Steve Boulding 808 1.6 +1.6
Majority 15,828 30.5
Turnout 51,869 65.7 +2.4
Conservative hold Swing +0.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: North Shropshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Owen Paterson 23,061 49.6 +1.0
Labour Sandra Samuels 12,041 25.9 −9.3
Liberal Democrat Steve Bourne 9,175 19.7 +6.9
UKIP Ian Smith 2,233 4.8 +2.3
Majority 11,020 23.7
Turnout 46,510 61.4 −1.7
Conservative hold Swing +5.1
General Election 2001: North Shropshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Owen Paterson 22,631 48.6 +8.4
Labour Mike Ion 16,390 35.2 -0.8
Liberal Democrat Ben Jephcott 5,945 12.8 -7.6
UKIP David Trevanion 1,165 2.5
Independent Russell Maxfield 389 0.8
Majority 6,241 13.4
Turnout 46,520 63.1 -9.5

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Shropshire North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Owen Paterson 20,730 40.24
Labour Ian Lucas 18,535 35.98
Liberal Democrat J Stevens 10,489 20.36
Referendum Party D Allen 1,764 3.42
Majority 2,195 4.26
Turnout 72.59
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1992: Shropshire North[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Biffen 32,443 50.5 −1.7
Liberal Democrat HJ Stevens 16,232 25.3 −2.2
Labour RJ Hawkins 15,550 24.2 +3.8
Majority 16,211 25.2 +0.5
Turnout 64,225 77.7 +2.2
Conservative hold Swing +0.2

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Shropshire North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Biffen 30,385 52.19
Liberal G Smith 15,970 27.43
Labour R Hawkins 11,866 20.38
Majority 14,415 24.76
Turnout 75.49
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Shropshire North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Biffen 28,496 53.44
Liberal D Evans 16,829 31.56
Labour Helen Jones 7,860 14.74
Independent For Referendum JL Phillimore 135 0.25
Majority 11,667 21.88
Turnout 72.71
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ (Historically also Shropshire North and The Northern Division of Shropshire)
  2. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ From 1832 to 1835, during the period in which the constituency had two representatives in the House of Commons, one was a Whig (a precursor to the Liberal Democrats), and the other a Conservative (officially known as a Tory until 1834).