South West Surrey (UK Parliament constituency)

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South West Surrey
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of South West Surrey in Surrey.
Outline map
Location of Surrey within England.
County Surrey
Electorate 76,495 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Jeremy Hunt (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Farnham
European Parliament constituency South East England

South West Surrey is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Jeremy Hunt, a Conservative.[n 2]


The seat covers the towns of Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere and has electoral wards:

Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies[edit]

The Boundary Commission's recommendations implemented by Parliament for 2010 saw the realignment of the boundary with Guildford in order to bring it in line with adjustment of local government wards. Guildford's electorate was the largest of the county and this aimed to reduce it. Two wards split between the two constituencies: Bramley; and Busbridge and Hascombe, afterwards entirely in South West Surrey; and the ward: 'Alfold, Cranleigh Rural and Ellens Green' was split, so it was for 2010 consolidated into Guildford. The net effect was to increase the number of voters in South West Surrey and reduce the number in Guildford.[2]

A public review was called, dealing primarily with objections to receiving the rest of Bramley. Many petitioned to argue that the village's links, especially transport, were mainly with Guildford rather than the towns of Godalming (or Farnham). The precedent of the previous review was cited, when a proposal to move Bramley out of Guildford and into Mole Valley was rejected after local opposition. However the review felt that this did not justify splitting the ward (something the Boundary Commission seeks to avoid completely) and that the other parts of the ward had strong links to Godalming. Furthermore it cited the point that, in the previous review, Bramley Parish Council had stated that if it were to be moved it would prefer to be moved to South West Surrey and thus argued that the previous objection had accommodated a preferred progressive change towards being wholly in South West Surrey if necessary to equalise electorates.


The constituency was created in 1983, largely replacing the former seat of Farnham. It has been consistently won by the Conservative Party, though the majority dropped to a mere 861 votes in 2001, leaving it the Liberal Democrat's third target constituency (by swing required). Since then, however, the Conservative majority has substantially increased, exceeding 28,000 in 2015.

Prominent members

The member from 1984 until 2005, was former psychiatric social worker, Virginia Bottomley, who became Secretary of State for Health in 1992 (a Privy Council level office).[3][4] She then served as Secretary of State for National Heritage from 1995 to 1997.

Similarly, Jeremy Hunt has served in the Cameron Ministry as Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and then Secretary of State for Health.

Constituency profile[edit]

The constituency includes one end of the Greensand Ridge, including the Devil's Punch Bowl and visitor centre at Hindhead. The area has two railways, a branch line via Farnham, the Alton Line and the Portsmouth Direct Line. The A3 three-lane highway passes through the seat.

Workless claimants (registered jobseekers) were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.5% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[5]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[6] Party Notes
1983 Maurice Macmillan Conservative Minister in the Heath ministry. Died in 1984.
1984 by-election Virginia Bottomley Conservative Frontbencher during the Major Ministry
2005 Jeremy Hunt Conservative Frontbencher during the Cameron Ministry


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: South West Surrey[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jeremy Hunt 34,199 59.6 +0.9
UKIP Mark Webber[7] 5,643 9.8 +7.2
Labour Howard James Kaye 5,415 9.4 +3.4
National Health Action Louise Irvine 4,851 8.5 +8.5
Liberal Democrat Patrick Haveron1 3,586 6.3 -23.9
Green Susan Ryland[8] 3,105 5.4 +4.2
Something New Paul Robinson 320 0.6 +0.6

1: After nominations were closed, Haveron was suspended by the Lib Dems following allegations that he had falsified council nomination papers.[9] Although his name would still appear on the ballot as the Lib Dem candidate, the party said he no longer represented them,[9] and the treasurer of the local branch encouraged supporters to vote for the National Health Action Party candidate instead.[10]

General Election 2010: South West Surrey[11][12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jeremy Hunt 33,605 58.7 +8.1
Liberal Democrat Mike Simpson 17,287 30.2 −9.2
Labour Richard Mollet 3,419 6.0 −1.9
UKIP Roger Meekins 1,486 2.6 +0.8
Green Cherry Allan 690 1.2 +1.2
BNP Helen Hamilton 644 1.1 +1.1
Pirate Luke Leighton 94 0.2 +0.2
Independent Arthur Price 34 0.1 +0.1
Majority 16,318 28.5
Turnout 57,259 73.4 +3.4
Conservative hold Swing +8.6

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: South West Surrey
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jeremy Hunt 26,420 50.4 +5.1
Liberal Democrat Simon Cordon 20,709 39.5 −4.1
Labour Tom Sleigh 4,150 7.9 −0.8
UKIP Timothy Clark 958 1.8 -0.6
Veritas Glenn Platt 172 0.3 N/A
Majority 5,711 10.9
Turnout 52,409 71.8 +1.5
Conservative hold Swing +4.6
General Election 2001: South West Surrey
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Virginia Bottomley 22,462 45.3 +0.7
Liberal Democrat Simon Cordon 21,601 43.6 +3.8
Labour Martin Whelton 4,321 8.7 −0.7
UKIP Timothy Clark 1,208 2.4 +1.7
Majority 861 1.7
Turnout 49,592 70.3 −7.2
Conservative hold Swing −1.6

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: South West Surrey
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Virginia Bottomley 25,165 44.6 −13.9
Liberal Democrat Neil Sherlock 22,471 39.8 +6.3
Labour Margaret Leicester 5,333 9.4 +3.0
Referendum Party Judith Clementson 2,830 5.0 N/A
UKIP James Kirby 401 0.7 N/A
ProLife Alliance Josephine Quintavalle 258 0.5 N/A
Majority 2,694 4.8
Turnout 56,458 77.5
Conservative hold Swing −10.1

This constituency underwent boundary changes between the 1992 and 1997 general elections and thus change in share of vote is based on a notional calculation.

General Election 1992: South West Surrey[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Virginia Bottomley 35,008 58.5 −1.0
Liberal Democrat Neil Sherlock 20,033 33.5 −0.9
Labour Phil Kelly 3,840 6.4 +0.6
Green Nigel Bedrock 710 1.2 N/A
Natural Law Keith Campbell 147 0.3 N/A
Anglo-Saxon Donald Newman 98 0.2 N/A
Majority 14,975 25.0 −0.1
Turnout 59,836 82.8 +4.4
Conservative hold Swing −0.1

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: South West Surrey
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Virginia Bottomley 34,024 59.5 −0.2
Liberal Gavin Scott 19,681 34.4 +2.3
Labour John Kenneth Philip Evers 3,224 5.6 −2.6
Independent Conservative Matthew John Green 299 0.5 N/A
Majority 14,343 25.1
Turnout 57,228 78.4 +3.9
Conservative hold Swing −1.3
By-Election 1984: South West Surrey
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Virginia Bottomley 21,545 49.3 −10.4
Liberal Gavin Scott 18,946 43.4 +11.3
Labour Barbara Roche 2,949 6.7 −1.5
Pro-Holocaust Masturbation Freedom Victor Litvin 117 0.3 N/A
Death off Roads: Freight on Rail Helen Mary Anscomb 82 0.2 N/A
Votes for a full hearing Peter Reid Smith 29 0.1 N/A
Majority 2,599 5.9
Turnout 43,668 61.7 −12.8
Conservative hold Swing −10.9
General Election 1983: South West Surrey
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Maurice Macmillan 31,067 59.7 N/A
Liberal George Edwin Scott 16,716 32.1 N/A
Labour S.E.D. Williams 4,239 8.2 N/A
Majority 14,351 27.6 N/A
Turnout 52,022 74.5 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  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.


Coordinates: 51°09′N 0°42′W / 51.15°N 0.70°W / 51.15; -0.70