Reading North (UK Parliament constituency)

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Reading North
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Reading North in Berkshire, boundaries 1974-83
Major settlementsReading
Replaced byReading
Created fromReading
1974 (1974)1983
Type of constituencyBorough constituency
Replaced byReading East and Reading West
Created fromReading

Reading North was a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. The constituency covered an area in and around the town of Reading in the county of Berkshire.


The Reading North parliamentary constituency was first created for the 1950 general election by splitting the previous parliamentary constituency of Reading into North and South divisions. These constituencies were merged back into a single Reading constituency in for the 1955 general election.

The Reading North constituency was recreated in 1974, when it was contested and won for the Conservative Party by Tony Durant. In 1983 the constituencies in Reading were reorganised, creating the new constituencies of Reading East and Reading West. Tony Durant went on to hold the Reading West constituency until 1997.

In both its incarnations, the constituency included Reading town centre.


1950–1955: The County Borough of Reading wards of Abbey, Battle, Castle, Caversham East, Caversham West, Tilehurst, and Victoria.[1]

It was then abolished and absorbed into the re-established Borough Constituency of Reading, with the exception of the Tilehurst ward, which was transferred to Newbury.

1974–1983: The County Borough of Reading wards of Abbey, Battle, Castle, Caversham, Katesgrove, Minster, Norcot, Thames, and Tilehurst.[1]

The Tilehurst and Norcot wards were transferred back from Newbury; the remaining wards were previously part of the abolished Borough Constituency of Reading.

The constituency was abolished for the 1983 general election, with the majority forming the basis of the new County Constituency of Reading West, whilst northern areas, including Caversham, formed part of the new County Constituency of Reading East.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1950–1955[edit]

Election Member Party
1950 Ronald Mackay Labour
1951 Frederic Bennett Conservative
1955 constituency abolished: see Reading

MPs 1974–1983[edit]

Election Member Party
Feb 1974 Tony Durant Conservative
1983 constituency abolished: see Reading East & Reading West


Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General election 1950: Reading North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Kim Mackay 15,681 46.02
Conservative Sir John Stanley Vincent Marling, 4th Baronet 15,154 44.48
Liberal J Michael Derrick 3,238 9.50
Majority 527 1.54
Turnout 34,073 86.79
Labour win (new seat)
General election 1951: Reading North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Frederic Bennett 17,378 50.44
Labour Kim Mackay 17,076 49.56
Majority 302 0.88 N/A
Turnout 34,454 86.83
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General election February 1974: Reading North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Tony Durant 19,984 39.39
Labour M. J. Denby 17,615 34.72
Liberal J. Burnett 13,137 25.89
Majority 2,369 4.67
Turnout 63,943 79.35
Conservative win (new seat)
General election October 1974: Reading North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Tony Durant 18,734 40.2 +0.8
Labour M. J. Denby 18,266 39.15
Liberal K. Watts 9,064 19.43
National Front P. Baker 594 1.27 New
Majority 468 1.1
Turnout 64,484 72.36
Conservative hold Swing
General election 1979: Reading North
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Tony Durant 25,085 50.58
Labour D. M. Mason 17,662 35.61
Liberal P. Minton 6,170 12.44
National Front P. Baker 554 1.12
Independent L. W. Edwards 126 0.25 New
Majority 7,423 14.97
Turnout 65,369 75.87
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Craig, Fred W.S. (1972). Boundaries of parliamentary constituencies 1885-1972. Chichester: Political Reference Publications. ISBN 0900178094. OCLC 539011.