South Dorset (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 50°34′00″N 2°27′15″W / 50.5666°N 2.4541°W / 50.5666; -2.4541

South Dorset
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of South Dorset in Dorset.
Outline map
Location of Dorset within England.
County Dorset
Electorate 73,499 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Weymouth and Swanage
Current constituency
Created 1885
Member of parliament Richard Drax (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Dorset
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency South West England

South Dorset is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Richard Drax, a Conservative.[n 2] The constituency was created as a consequence of the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, although the area covered has changed since then.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The constituency was created as a consequence of the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. The Act reduced the number of MPs.in Dorset from 10 to 4 (see Redistribution of Seats Act 1885#Redistributed seats: England). It was initially proposed to name the new constituencies after existing boroughs (Shaftesbury, Dorchester, Poole and Bridport) but, following an amendment in the Commons on 14 April 1885, the names were changed to the points of the compass (North Dorset, South Dorset, East Dorset, West Dorset).[2]

The South Dorset constituency was divided into 7 polling districts. Dorchester was chosen as the place where the nomination of candidates would take place and the result would be declared.[3] The area covered was:[3]

Recent history[edit]

In the 1997 election the seat was won by Ian Bruce by a margin of only 77 votes, one of the smallest margins in the UK. The 2001 election saw the second Labour win in South Dorset's history with Labour's smallest majority in England, at 153. In the 2005 election this constituency was one of the few in which Labour significantly increased their majority. Conservative candidate Ed Matts was found to have doctored an image which was part of his campaign material. Matts changed a photo of a protest against the deportation of a South Dorset resident, so that it appeared to be a protest against "uncontrolled immigration". In both elections, the left-wing singer-songwriter Billy Bragg led an anti-Conservative tactical voting campaign in Dorset constituencies.[citation needed]

The 2010 election saw Conservative Richard Drax, a former soldier and journalist from a long line of Dorset representatives, defeating the incumbent Jim Knight, who ended his final year in parliament as the Minister (of State) for Employment and Welfare Reform. Richard Drax retained the seat in 2015 election with an increased majority.

Boundaries[edit]

1885-1918: The Municipal Boroughs of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and Dorchester, and part of the Sessional Divisions of Dorchester and Wareham.

1918-1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and Wareham, the Urban Districts of Portland and Swanage, the Rural District of Wareham and Purbeck, and part of the Rural District of Weymouth that was not included in the Dorset West constituency (ie Bincombe, Broadwey, Chickerell, Fleet, Osmington, Owermoigne, Poxwell, Preston, Radipole, Upwey and Wyke Regis). In 1933 Weymouth was extended to include Broadwey, Preston, Radipole, Upwey and Wyke Regis. The Rural District of Weymouth ceased to exist.

1950-1983: The Municipal Boroughs of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and Wareham, the Urban Districts of Portland and Swanage, the Rural District of Wareham and Purbeck, and in the Rural District of Dorchester the civil parishes of Bincombe, Chickerell, Fleet, Osmington, Owermoigne, and Poxwell.

1983-1997: The Borough of Weymouth and Portland, the District of Purbeck wards of Bere Regis, Castle, Langton, St Martin, Swanage North, Swanage South, Wareham, West Purbeck, Winfrith, and Wool, and the District of West Dorset ward of Owermoigne.

1997-2010: The Borough of Weymouth and Portland, the District of Purbeck wards of Castle, Langton, Swanage North, Swanage South, West Purbeck, Winfrith, and Wool, and the District of West Dorset ward of Owermoigne.

2010-present: The Borough of Weymouth and Portland, the District of Purbeck wards of Castle, Creech Barrow, Langton, Swanage North, Swanage South, West Purbeck, Winfrith, and Wool, and the District of West Dorset ward of Owermoigne.

Constituency profile[edit]

The seat includes the coastal areas to the south of the county of Dorset, plus some rural Purbeck territory further inland. The port of Weymouth is one of the few large towns in Dorset and its suburbs extend onto the Wyke Regis peninsula and the isle of Portland, connected to the mainland by road (and, in the past, rail).

The constituency includes Bovington army camp, and further east, Corfe Castle, connected by the preserved Swanage Railway steam railway to the holiday resort of Swanage. This part of the seat is closer to Poole and Bournemouth than to Weymouth.

Workless claimants were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.8% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[4]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[5] Party
1885 Henry Parkman Sturgis Liberal
1886 Charles Joseph Theophilus Hambro[6] Conservative
1891 by-election William Ernest Brymer Conservative
1906 Thomas Scarisbrick Liberal
1910 Angus Valdemar Hambro Conservative
1918 Coalition Conservative
1922 Robert Yerburgh Conservative
1929 Viscount Cranborne[7] Conservative
1941 by-election Viscount Hinchingbrooke[8] Conservative
1962 by-election Guy Barnett Labour
1964 Evelyn King Conservative
1979 Viscount Cranborne Conservative
1987 Ian Bruce Conservative
2001 Jim Knight Labour
2010 Richard Drax Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: South Dorset[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Richard Drax 23,756 48.9 +3.8
Labour Simon Bowkett 11,762 24.2 -6.1
UKIP Malcolm Shakesby[10] 7,304 15.0 +11.0
Liberal Democrat Howard Legg[11] 2,901 6.0 -13.0
Green Jane Burnet[12] 2,275 4.7 +3.5
Independent Mervyn Stewkesbury 435 0.9
Movement for Active Democracy Andy Kirkwood 164 0.3 -0.2
Majority 11,994 24.7
Turnout 48,737 68.1
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 2010: South Dorset[13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Richard Drax 22,667 45.1 +7.1
Labour Jim Knight 15,224 30.3 -11.4
Liberal Democrat Ros Kayes 9,557 19.0 +3.2
UKIP Mike Hobson 2,034 4.0 +0.8
Green Brian Heatley 595 1.2 +1.2
Movement for Active Democracy Andy Kirkwood 233 0.5 +0.5
Majority 7,443 14.8
Turnout 50,310 68.1 -1.3
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +9.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: South Dorset[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jim Knight 20,231 41.6 −0.4
Conservative Ed Matts 18,419 37.9 −3.7
Liberal Democrat Graham Oakes 7,647 15.7 +1.3
UKIP Hugh Chalker 1,571 3.2 +1.2
Legalise Cannabis Vic Hamilton 282 0.6 N/A
Respect Berny Parkes 219 0.5 N/A
Personality and Rational Thinking? Yes! Party Andy Kirkwood 107 0.2 N/A
Wessex Regionalist Colin Bex 83 0.2 N/A
Socialist Labour David Marchesi 25 0.1 N/A
Majority 1,812 3.7
Turnout 48,584 68.7 +3.2
Labour hold Swing +1.7
General Election 2001: South Dorset[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jim Knight 19,027 42.0 +6.0
Conservative Ian Bruce 18,874 41.6 +5.5
Liberal Democrat Andy Canning 6,531 14.4 -5.8
UKIP Laurie Moss 913 2.0 +0.3
Majority 153 0.4
Turnout 45,345 65.5 -8.5
Labour gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: South Dorset[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Bruce 17,755 36.10
Labour Jim Knight 17,678 35.94
Liberal Democrat Michael Plummer 9,936 20.20
Referendum Patrick C. McAndrew 2,791 5.68
UKIP Malcolm Shakesby 861 1.75
Natural Law Gerald T.H. Napper 161 0.33
Majority 77 0.16
Turnout 73.97
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1992: South Dorset[18][19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Bruce 29,319 50.3 −4.5
Liberal Democrat Brian E.J. Ellis 15,811 27.1 −0.3
Labour Alan Chedzoy 12,298 21.1 +3.8
Independent Mrs JW Hagel 673 1.2 N/A
Natural Law MRF Griffiths 191 0.3 N/A
Majority 13,508 23.2 −4.2
Turnout 58,292 76.9 +1.4
Conservative hold Swing −2.1

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: South Dorset[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Bruce 30,184 54.84
Liberal Brian E.J. Ellis 15,117 27.47
Labour B Dench 9,494 17.25
Independent A Hayler 244 0.44
Majority 15,067 27.38
Turnout 75.55
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: South Dorset[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 28,631 57.10
Social Democratic S Head 13,533 26.99
Labour D Hewitt 7,831 15.62
Independent B Smith 151 0.30
Majority 15,098 30.11
Turnout 72.68
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 32,372 55.67
Labour Alan Chedzoy 17,133 29.46
Liberal P St. J Howe 8,649 14.87
Majority 15,239 26.20
Turnout 78.33
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 24,351 45.88
Labour Alan Chedzoy 17,652 33.26
Liberal C Sandy 11,075 20.87
Majority 6,699 12.62
Turnout 75.38
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 26,933 46.93
Labour Alan Chedzoy 18,318 31.92
Liberal DT Broomfield 12,140 21.15
Majority 8,615 15.01
Turnout 82.19
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 27,580 52.06
Labour Richard George May 20,716 39.10
Liberal Keith Searby 4,680 8.83
Majority 6,864 12.96
Turnout 78.98
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 22,997 46.01
Labour Frederick W Morgan 21,120 42.26
Liberal Geoffrey Maxwell Goode 5,862 11.72
Majority 1,877 3.76
Turnout 81.00
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Evelyn Mansfield King 21,209 43.66
Labour Nicolas Guy Barnett 20,274 41.73
Liberal Terence Patrick Bourke 7,100 14.61
Majority 935 1.92
Turnout 81.02
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
South Dorset by-election, 1962
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Nicolas Guy Barnett 13,783 33.51 -1.16
Conservative Angus Edmund Upton Maude 13,079 31.79 -17.99
Liberal Lawrence I Norbury-Williams 8,910 21.66 +6.11
Anti Common Market Sir Piers Kenrick Debenham 5,057 12.29 N/A
Independent P. Burn 181 0.44 N/A
Independent M. Fudge 82 0.20 N/A
Independent J.C. O'Connor 45 0.11 N/A
Majority 704 1.71
Turnout 41,137
Labour gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 22,050 49.78
Labour Conrad F Ascher 15,357 34.67
Liberal Lawrence I Norbury-Williams 6,887 15.55
Majority 6,693 15.11
Turnout 78.82
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 22,119 50.71
Labour Frederick Newman Stacey 16,702 38.29
Liberal Geoffrey Maxwell Goode 4,798 11.00
Majority 5,417 12.42
Turnout 79.25
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 21,679 48.25
Labour Frederick Newman Stacey 18,244 40.61
Liberal Wilfred Ewart Ward 5,005 11.14
Majority 3,435 7.65
Turnout 83.98
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 20,014 45.51
Labour Frederick Newman Stacey 17,471 39.73
Liberal Wyatt Trevelyan Rawson Rawson 6,489 14.76
Majority 2,543 5.78
Turnout 84.38
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

Hinchingbrooke
General Election 1945: Dorset Southern
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke 14,626 42.72
Labour Philip Sidney Eastman 12,460 36.40
Liberal Lt. Wilfred Ewart Ward 7,149 20.88
Majority 2,166 6.33
Turnout 73.60
Conservative hold Swing
South Dorset by-election, 1941
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Hinchingbrooke unopposed n/a n/a
Conservative hold Swing n/a

General Election 1939/40: Another general election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Dorset Southern
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 17,637 57.88
Labour Arthur William Wiltshire 8,580 28.16
Liberal FW King 4,255 13.96
Majority 9,057 29.72
Turnout 70.05
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Dorset Southern
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Viscount Cranborne 21,284 70.73
Labour Arthur William Wiltshire 8,809 29.27
Majority 12,475 41.45
Turnout 73.29
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Dorset South [22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Viscount Cranborne 14,632 49.2 -21.3
Liberal Cuthbert Plaistowe 8,168 27.5 n/a
Labour Arthur William Wiltshire 6,950 23.4 -6.1
Majority 6,464 21.7 -19.3
Turnout 29,750 75.5 +9.4
Unionist hold Swing n/a
General Election 1924: South Dorset[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Robert Daniel Thwaites Yerburgh 13,900 70.5
Labour W Ridson 5,821 29.5
Majority 8,079 41.0
Turnout 66.1
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1923: South Dorset [24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Robert Daniel Thwaites Yerburgh 11,057 53.5 -3.7
Liberal Robert Stone Comben 5,973 29.0 +7.0
Labour David Wyndham Thomas 3,602 17.5 -3.3
Majority 5,084 24.5 -10.7
Turnout 71.6 -3.6
Unionist hold Swing -5.4
General Election 1922 : South Dorset[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Robert Daniel Thwaites Yerburgh 12,121
Liberal Frederick Maddison 4,657
Labour Henry Pavely 4,394
Majority 7,464 35.2
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918 South Dorset [26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist 11,175
Labour Brette Morgan 5,159
Majority 6,016
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing
  • denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.
General Election December 1910 South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Angus Valdemar Hambro unopposed
Conservative hold Swing n/a
General Election January 1910 South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Angus Valdemar Hambro 5,811
Liberal Thomas Talbot Leyland Scarisbrick 4,379
Majority 1,432
Turnout
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Tom Scarisbrick
General Election 1906 South Dorset[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Thomas Talbot Leyland Scarisbrick 5,035 53.3
Conservative William Ernest Brymer 4,411 46.7
Majority 624 6.6
Turnout 87.1 +4.9
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
Leslie Renton
General Election 1900 South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Ernest Brymer 3,884
Liberal Alexander Leslie Renton 3,519
Majority 365
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1895 South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Ernest Brymer unopposed
Conservative hold Swing n/a
William Brymer
General Election 1892 South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Ernest Brymer 3,657
Liberal Edward Robert Pearce-Edgcumbe 3,489
Majority 168
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
South Dorset by-election, 1891[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Ernest Brymer 3,284
Liberal Edward Robert Pearce-Edgcumbe 3,244
Majority 40
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1886 South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Charles Joseph Theophilus Hambro 3,477
Liberal Henry Parkman Sturgis 2,486
Majority 991
Turnout
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1885 South Dorset
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Henry Parkman Sturgis 3,128
Conservative Charles Joseph Theophilus Hambro 3,095
Majority 33
Turnout
Liberal win (new seat)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ 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.
References
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Redistribution Bill". The Times. 15 April 1885. p. 6. 
  3. ^ a b "Official Announcements – County of Dorset". Western Gazette. 17 July 1885. Retrieved 21 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  6. ^ Died 1891
  7. ^ Called to the House of Lords, by a writ in acceleration, as Lord Cecil of Essendon in 1941
  8. ^ Succeeded as the 10th Earl of Sandwich
  9. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  10. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide/dorsetsouth/
  11. ^ "Howard Legg PPC page". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  12. ^ http://electionresults.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/dorset-south-2015.html
  13. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  14. ^ Grainger, Tom (20 April 2010). "Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF). Acting Returning Officer. Weymouth & Portland Borough Council. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  17. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  20. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  22. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  23. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  24. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  25. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  26. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  27. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)
  28. ^ The Constitiutional Year Book, 1904, published by Conservative Central Office, page 143 (167 in web page), Dorsetshire

Sources[edit]

  • BBC News article on the 2001 South Dorset election