Staffordshire Moorlands (UK Parliament constituency)

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Staffordshire Moorlands
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Staffordshire Moorlands in Staffordshire.
Outline map
Location of Staffordshire within England.
County Staffordshire
Electorate 62,457 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Leek and Biddulph
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Karen Bradley (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Leek
European Parliament constituency West Midlands

Staffordshire Moorlands is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Karen Bradley, a Conservative.[n 2]


Political history

The forerunner seat, Leek existed for nearly a century until 1983 and in its more recent history alternated between the Labour Party and Conservative parties three times after a Liberal had held the seat from 1910 until 1918. Despite the changes in member, it was far from a bellwether (that is, a reflection of the national result), as Leek leaned more towards one party more than the other in two phases: in the first, longer part of this period the seat was held mainly by William Bromfield (Lab), secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Textile Workers and Kindred Trades (ASTWKT), whose membership covered Staffordshire and South Cheshire and then by the future Lord Davies of Leek who as the main aide to the Prime Minister, was tasked with secret talks with Ho Chi Minh at which he failed due to a leak; in the second part of this period David Knox (Con), a pro-European, toward the left of his party, and a supporter of Ted Heath when he faced Margaret Thatcher's leadership challenge, helped to establish Tory Reform Group and during his long tenure as MP until 1997 held the seat even during the Wilson-Callaghan government.

Since Charlotte Atkins's win in 1997 the seat has been a bellwether for the national result.


1983-1997: The District of Staffordshire Moorlands.

1997-2010: The District of Staffordshire Moorlands wards of Biddulph East, Biddulph Moor, Biddulph North, Biddulph South, Biddulph West, Caverswall, Cheddleton, Horton, Ipstones, Leek North East, Leek North West, Leek South East, Leek South West, Leekfrith, Longnor, Warslow, Waterhouses, Werrington, and Wetley Rocks; and the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme wards of Butt Lane, Kidsgrove, Newchapel, and Talke.

2010-present: The District of Staffordshire Moorlands wards of Alton, Bagnall and Stanley, Biddulph East, Biddulph Moor, Biddulph North, Biddulph South, Biddulph West, Brown Edge and Endon, Caverswall, Cellarhead, Cheddleton, Churnet, Dane, Hamps Valley, Horton, Ipstones, Leek East, Leek North, Leek South, Leek West, Manifold, and Werrington; and the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme ward of Newchapel.

History of boundaries[edit]

The constituency succeeded the former constituency of Leek for the 1983 general election. The boundary changes which took effect for the 1997 general election proved to be among the most controversial of all those proposed by the Boundary Commission.[2] Initially only minor changes were to be made: two rural wards to transfer to Stone (newly created).[2] However, in the same proposed boundary changes, the neighbouring community of Kidsgrove had been split between two constituencies, with two wards remaining in the constituency of Stoke-on-Trent North and two wards transferring to Newcastle-under-Lyme. At the local enquiry into the changes, it was argued that this division of Kidsgrove was unacceptable and the assistant commissioner consequently recommended that all four Kidsgrove wards be transferred instead to Staffordshire Moorlands.[2] To make way for the 19,000 voters in Kidsgrove (to that date shown to be heavily Labour-supporting,[2] two wards, Endon & Stanley and Brown Edge, were transferred to Stoke-on-Trent North, while two more rural wards were transferred to the Stone constituency. It was estimated that if the constituency had been fought on the pre-1997 Ms Atkins would have gained the seat by a majority of about 1,500 votes.[3]

The boundary changes which took effect at the 2010 general election effectively reversed these changes: Four of the five Kidsgrove wards transferred to Stoke-on-Trent North with only one mainly rural ward, Newchapel remaining in Staffordshire Moorlands. Brown Edge and Endon & Stanley returned to Staffordshire Moorlands. It was estimated that if the constituency had been fought at the 2005 election, Labour would have lost the seat by 1,035 votes as opposed to the 2,438 votes that Charlotte Atkins won on that occasion.[4][5]

Constituency profile[edit]

The constituency covers a good deal of rural areas of north-east Staffordshire, northeast of Stoke-on-Trent, having a Derbyshire border. The largest towns are Leek in the Churnet valley and Biddulph. The area also includes the wooded, hillside village of Rudyard with its long man-made lake and miniature railway, and about 30% is in a scarcely populated part of the Peak District of small villages, one of which, Wetton, features Old Hannah's Cave. The southern part of Dove Dale on the border itself features rock climbing as well as Jacob's Ladder and Bertram's cave and well.

Workless claimants, registered jobseekers, were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.1% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[6]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[7] Party
1983 Sir David Knox Conservative
1997 Charlotte Atkins Labour
2010 Karen Bradley Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Staffordshire Moorlands[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Karen Bradley 21,770 51.1 +5.9
Labour Trudie McGuinness[9] 11,596 27.2 -2.7
UKIP George Langley-Poole[10] 6,236 14.6 +6.5
Liberal Democrat John Redfern[11] 1,759 4.1 -12.6
Green Brian Smith[12] 1,226 2.9 +2.9
Majority 10,174 23.9
Turnout 42,587
Conservative hold Swing +4.3
General Election 2010: Staffordshire Moorlands[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Karen Bradley 19,793 45.2 +5.4
Labour Charlotte Atkins 13,104 29.9 −6.0
Liberal Democrat Henry Jebb 7,338 16.7 −0.8
UKIP Steve Povey 3,580 8.2 +1.4
Majority 6,689 15.3
Turnout 43,815 70.6 +2.8
Conservative hold Swing +5.7

The vote share change and hold status in 2010 comes from the notional, not actual, 2005 results because of boundary changes. Calculations of notional results (an estimate of how the seat would have voted in 2005 if it had existed then on the 2010 boundaries) suggested that the Conservatives would have won the seat, so the result in 2010 was classed as a Conservative "hold" by most sources.[14][15]

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Staffordshire Moorlands
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Charlotte Atkins 18,126 41.0 −8.0
Conservative Marcus Hayes 15,688 35.5 +0.2
Liberal Democrat John Fisher 6,927 15.7 +1.8
UKIP Stephen Povey 3,512 7.9 +6.1
Majority 2,438 5.5 −8.2
Turnout 44,253 64.0 +0.1
Labour hold Swing −4.1
General Election 2001: Staffordshire Moorlands
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Charlotte Atkins 20,904 49.0 −3.2
Conservative Marcus Hayes 15,066 35.3 +2.8
Liberal Democrat John Redfern 5,928 13.9 +1.8
UKIP Paul Gilbert 760 1.8 N/A
Majority 5,838 13.7 −6.0
Turnout 42,658 63.9 −13.9
Labour hold Swing −3.0


Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Staffordshire Moorlands
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Charlotte Atkins 26,686 52.21
Conservative A Ashworth 16,637 32.55
Liberal Democrat CR Jebb 6,191 12.11
Referendum D Stanworth 1,603 3.14
Majority 10,049 19.66
Turnout 77.75
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1992: Staffordshire Moorlands[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Knox 29,240 46.6 −6.3
Labour JE Siddelley 21,830 34.8 +6.0
Liberal Democrat CR Jebb 9,326 14.9 −3.5
Anti-Federalist League MC Howson 2,121 3.4 N/A
Natural Law P Davies 261 0.4 N/A
Majority 7,410 11.8 −12.3
Turnout 62,778 83.7 +3.2
Conservative hold Swing −6.2

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Staffordshire Moorlands
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Knox 31,613 52.91
Labour V Ivers 17,186 28.76
Social Democratic JP Corbett 10,950 18.33
Majority 14,427 24.15
Turnout 80.41
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983: Staffordshire Moorlands
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Knox 30,079 53.8 N/A
Labour B Campbell 13,513 24.2 N/A
Social Democratic P Gubbins 12,370 22.1 N/A
Majority 16,566 29.6 N/A
Turnout 77.2 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.
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Staffordshire Moorlands profile, Vote 2001, BBC, accessed 25 January 2010
  3. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  4. ^ Rallings & M. Thrasher (eds) Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 2007)
  5. ^ Staffordshire Moorlands, UK Polling report
  6. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  7. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 4)[self-published source][better source needed]
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "John Redfern PPC page". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "general-election.html". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  13. ^ BBC 2010 General Election Site
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ UK Election results
  17. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

Coordinates: 53°4′N 1°59′W / 53.067°N 1.983°W / 53.067; -1.983