Wells (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Wells in Somerset.
Location of Somerset within England.
|Electorate||79,989 (December 2010)|
|Member of parliament||James Heappey (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Number of members||Two|
|Type of constituency||Borough constituency|
|European Parliament constituency||South West England|
- 1 History
- 2 Boundaries
- 3 Constituency profile
- 4 Members of Parliament
- 5 Elections
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 Sources
The original two-member borough constituency was created in 1295, and abolished by the Reform Act 1867 with effect from the 1868 general election. Its revival saw a more comparable size of electorate across the country and across Somerset, with a large swathe of the county covered by this new seat, under the plans of the third Reform Act and the connected Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 which was enacted the following year.
- Political history
The seat was largely Conservative-held during the 20th century and has not seen a Labour MP in its history. The only other party to have been represented is the Liberal Democrats or their predecessor, the Liberal Party, who achieved a marginal victory in 2010, see marginal seat.
- Prominent frontbenchers
Sir William Hayter was chief government whip of the Commons under three Liberal Prime Ministers governing from the Lords, (Lord John) Russell, Aberdeen and Palmerston.
So too in this role was Lord Hylton from 1916 until 1922 alongside the Lord Colebrooke in the Conservative-Liberal National coalition.
Robert Sanders was Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Commons, 1918–1919, and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1922-1924.
Robert Boscawen was a government whip (1988-1989).
David Heathcoat-Amory was Minister for Europe (1993-1994) and later a Shadow Cabinet member (1997-2001) but was nationally disgraced in the expenses scandal for large claims including his manure claim, epitomising the whole Parliament as the 'Manure Parliament' in The Times, this may have affected the larger than average swing seen in the 2010 election from the Conservative to the Liberal Democrat candidate.
1885-1918: The Municipal Borough of Wells, and the Sessional Divisions of Axbridge and Wells (except the parish of Binegar).
1918-1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Wells and Glastonbury, the Urban Districts of Shepton Mallet and Street, the Rural Districts of Shepton Mallet, Wells, and Wincanton, and in the Rural District of Frome the civil parishes of Cloford, Marston Bigot, Nunney, Wanstrow, Whatley, and Witharn Friary.
1950-1983: The Municipal Boroughs of Wells and Glastonbury, the Urban Districts of Frome, Shepton Mallet, and Street, and the Rural Districts of Frome, Shepton Mallet, Wells, and Wincanton.
1983-2010: The District of Mendip wards of Ashwick, Avalon, Chilcompton and Ston Easton, Ebbor, Glastonbury St Benedict's, Glastonbury St Edmund's, Glastonbury St John's, Glastonbury St Mary's, Moor, Nedge, Pylcombe, Rodney, Sheppey, Shepton Mallet, Street North, Street South, Wells Central, Wells St Cuthbert's, and Wells St Thomas, and the District of Sedgemoor wards of Axbridge, Axe Vale, Berrow, Brent, Burnham North, Burnham South, Cheddar, Highbridge, Mark, Shipham, and Wedmore.
2010–present: The District of Mendip wards of Ashwick and Ston Easton, Avalon, Chilcompton, Glastonbury St Benedict’s, Glastonbury St Edmund’s, Glastonbury St John’s, Glastonbury St Mary’s, Knowle, Moor, Nedge, Pylcombe, Rodney and Priddy, St Cuthbert Out North and West, Shepton East, Shepton West, Street North, Street South, Street West, Wells Central, Wells St Cuthbert’s, and Wells St Thomas, and the District of Sedgemoor wards of Axbridge, Axe Vale, Berrow, Brent North, Burnham North, Burnham South, Cheddar and Shipham, Highbridge, Knoll, and Wedmore and Mark.
Aside from energy, transportation, retail and distribution which are major sectors, agriculture and tourism are still important areas to this central and quite quintessential part of Somerset which includes the coastal resort of Burnham-on-Sea, the city of Wells with its cathedral, and notable natural landmarks such as the Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury Tor.
Workless claimants who were 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.
Members of Parliament
|Election||1st Member||1st Party||2nd Member||2nd Party|
|1832||Norman Lamont||Whig||John Lee Lee||Whig|
|1834 by-election||Nicholas William Ridley Colborne||Whig|
|1837||Richard Blakemore||Conservative||William Goodenough Hayter||Whig|
|1852||Robert Charles Tudway||Conservative|
|1855 by-election||Hedworth Hylton Jolliffe||Conservative|
|1865||Arthur Divett Hayter||Liberal|
|1868||borough constituency abolished|
Elections in the 2010s
|General Election 2015: Wells|
|Conservative||James Heappey||26,247||46.1||+ 3.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Tessa Munt||18,662||32.8||- 11.2|
|UKIP||Helen Hims||5,644||9.9||+ 6.9|
|Labour||Chris Inchley||3,780||6.6||- 0.9|
|Green||Jon Cousins||2,331||4.1||+ 3|
|Independent||Paul Arnold||83||0.1||+ 0.1|
|Birthday||Dave Dobbs||81||0.1||+ 0.1|
|Independent||Gypsy Watkins||76||0.1||+ 0.1|
|Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat||Swing|
|General Election 2010: Wells|
|Liberal Democrat||Tessa Munt||24,560||44.0||+6.1|
|Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.6|
Elections in the 2000s
|General Election 2005: Wells|
|Liberal Democrat||Tessa Munt||20,031||37.8||−0.5|
|General Election 2001: Wells|
|Liberal Democrat||Graham Oakes||19,666||38.3||-0.1|
|Wessex Regionalist||Colin Bex||167||0.3||N/A|
Elections in the 1990s
|General Election 1997: Wells|
|Liberal Democrat||Peter Gold||21,680||38.5||−0.2|
|Referendum Party||Patricia Phelps||2,196||3.9||N/A|
|Natural Law||Lynn Royse||92||0.2||N/A|
|General Election 1992: Wells|
|Liberal Democrat||Humphrey P.N. Temperley||21,971||38.0||+0.5|
|Labour||John W. Pilgrim||6,126||10.6||+1.9|
|Green||Mike R. Fenner||1,042||1.8||+1.8|
Elections in the 1980s
|General Election 1987: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||28,624||53.52|
|Liberal||Alan Andrew Shaile Butt-Philip||20,083||37.55|
|Labour||Peter Edward James||4,637||8.67|
|Independent||John Stephen Fish||134||0.25|
|General Election 1983: Wells|
|Conservative||David Philip Heathcoat-Amory||25,385||52.65|
|Liberal||Alan Andrew Shaile Butt-Philip||18,810||39.01|
Elections in the 1970s
|General Election 1979: Wells|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt Philip||18,204||30.75|
|Wessex Regionalist||Alexander Thynn||155||0.26|
|General Election October 1974: Wells|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt Philip||16,278||29.63|
|United Democratic Party||P. Howard||778||1.42|
|General Election February 1974: Wells|
|Liberal||Alan A.S. Butt Philip||17,645||30.70|
|General Election 1970: Wells
|Labour||Frank R. Thompson||16,335||32.3|
Elections in the 1960s
|General Election 1966: Wells
|Labour||John G Cousins||16,989||35.6|
|Liberal||Howard L Fry||10,224||21.4|
|General Election 1964: Wells
|Labour||Reginald G White||15,080||31.5|
|Liberal||Howard L Fry||12,132||25.3|
Elections in the 1950s
|General Election 1959: Wells
|Liberal||Paul R Hobhouse||8,220||17.1|
|General Election 1955: Wells|
|General Election 1951: Wells|
|General Election 1950: Wells|
|Conservative||Dennis Coleridge Boles||20,613||42.6|
Election in the 1940s
|General Election 1945: Wells|
|Conservative||Dennis Coleridge Boles||13,004||41.3|
|Liberal||Violet Bonham Carter||7,910||25.2|
Elections in the 1930s
|Wells by-election, 1939|
|Conservative||Dennis Coleridge Boles||Unopposed|
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 and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;
|General Election 1935
|Liberal||Arnold H Jones||7,277||26.1|
|General Election 1931: Wells|
|Liberal||John William Howard Thompson||12,440||41.3|
Elections in the 1920s
|General Election 1929: Wells|
|Unionist||Anthony John Muirhead||13,026||43.6||-9.0|
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||12,382||41.4||+5.3|
|Labour||Mrs R D Q Davies||4,472||15.0||+3.7|
|General Election 1924: Wells|
|Unionist||Rt Hon. Robert Arthur Sanders||12,642||52.6|
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||8,668||36.1|
|Labour||W T Young||2,726||11.3||+3.7|
|Unionist gain from Liberal||Swing|
|General Election 6 December 1923: Wells|
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||10,818||48.2|
|Labour||C H Whitlow||1,713||7.6|
|Liberal gain from Unionist||Swing|
|General Election 1922: Wells|
|Liberal||Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse||7,156||33.4|
Elections in the 1910s
|General Election 1918
|Liberal||John Coleby Morland||6,935|
|National Party||Maj. G. C. S. Hodgson MC||804|
A # denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.
Notes and references
- "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- Cassidy, Irene. "Wells". The History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Wells". BBC. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "New candidate steps up for UKIP in Wells after resignation". Wells Journal. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Highbridge singer Gypsy Watkins to stand as MP candidate in May". Weekly News (Burnham and Highbridge). 5 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "General Election 2010". Mendip District Council. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
- "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Wells". BBC News.
- "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- The Liberal Magazine, 1939
- Craig, F. W. S. (1983) . British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
- D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
- Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) 
- Henry Stooks Smith, The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847, Volume 2 (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co, 1845)