West Suffolk (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of West Suffolk in Suffolk
Location of Suffolk within England
|Electorate||76,158 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Newmarket, Haverhill and Mildenhall|
|Member of Parliament||Matt Hancock (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Central Suffolk|
|Number of members||Two|
|Type of constituency||County constituency|
|Replaced by||Bury St Edmunds|
(also succeeded itself)
North-Western or 'Stowmarket' Division
South or 'Sudbury' Division
|European Parliament constituency||East of England|
West Suffolk is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Matt Hancock, a Conservative.[n 2] Between 1832 and 1885 there had also been a constituency, the Western Division of Suffolk that had also been called West Suffolk.
Between the 1832 Reform Act and 1885 there had been a constituency, the Western Division of Suffolk, also known as West Suffolk, although on different boundaries. Its second creation occurred with Parliamentary approval of the Boundary Commission's fourth periodic review of Westminster constituencies in time for the 1997 general election.
- Political history
The seat at this time has only been represented by Conservatives with the narrowest majority having been that of 1997 at only 3.8% of the vote, since which the majority has gradually increased to a level seen most commonly in safe seats.
- Prominent frontbenchers
Richard Spring[n 3] was an opposition spokesman for Foreign Affairs (2000-2004) (shadowing a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister) then Shadow Minister for the Treasury (2004-2005) before being a Vice-Chairman of his party and being elevated to the House of Lords as Lord Risby. Several of his ancestors had previously represented Suffolk in the House of Commons.
This area includes a slightly older demographic profile than the national average, with a significant proportion of semi-detached and detached homes and a higher than average proportion of retired people.
Major economic sectors include defence (RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath), agriculture/food (including for major products as well as regional specialities such as ales, Suffolk cider and cured meats), tourism and leisure (such as Newmarket racecourse) and particularly in Haverhill, a range of industries. These include chemicals (such as International Flavors and Fragrances), waste processing, transport, construction and pharmaceuticals.
Boundaries and boundary changes
1997-2010: The District of Forest Heath, and the Borough of St Edmundsbury wards of Barningham, Barrow, Cangle, Castle, Chalkstone, Chevington, Clements, Honington, Horringer, Hundon, Ixworth, Kedington, Risby, St Mary’s and Helions, Stanton, Wickhambrook, and Withersfield.
The new county constituency was formed primarily from the majority (including Newmarket) of the constituency of Bury St Edmunds, which was reconfigured. It also incorporated western-most areas of South Suffolk, including Haverhill.
2010–present: The District of Forest Heath, and the Borough of St Edmundsbury wards of Bardwell, Barningham, Barrow, Chedburgh, Haverhill East, Haverhill North, Haverhill South, Haverhill West, Hundon, Ixworth, Kedington, Risby, Stanton, Wickhambrook, and Withersfield.
Marginal changes due to revision of local authority wards.
The constituency includes the town of Newmarket, the world headquarters of horse racing, as well as the towns of Haverhill and Mildenhall, with a farmed landscape, interspersed with patches of forest[n 4] and small villages.
Changes proposed by the Boundary Commission
The Boundary Commission for England submitted their final proposals in respect of the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies (the 2018 review) in September 2018 which would reduce the total number of MPs from 650 to 600. Although the proposals were immediately laid before Parliament they were not brought forward by the Government for approval. Accordingly, they will not come into effect for the 2019 election due to take place on 12 December 2019, which will be contested using the constituency boundaries in place since 2010.
The Commission proposed that the constituency be unchanged.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrat||Elfreda Tealby-Watson||2,180||4.2||-0.8|
|Liberal Democrat||Elfreda Tealby-Watson||2,465||5.0||−18.4|
|Liberal Democrat||Belinda Brooks-Gordon||11,262||23.4||+6.2|
|Christian Peoples||Colin Young||373||0.8||N/A|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrat||Adrian Graves||7,573||17.1||+5.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Robin Martlew||5,017||11.8||−2.2|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrat||Adrian Graves||6,892||14.0||N/A|
|Referendum||James J.T. Carver||3,724||7.6||N/A|
|Natural Law||Alistair J.M. Shearer||171||0.3||N/A|
|Conservative win (new seat)|
Notes and references
- A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
- 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.
- Previously MP for the Bury St Edmunds seat
- For example Thetford Forest, synonymous with Breckland.
- "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- So Long and Farewell, Richard Spring Blog
- 2011 Census
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 6)
- "Prospective General Election Candidates". Green Party. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "Suffolk West parliamentary constituency - Election 2017" – via www.bbc.com.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Suffolk West parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News.
- "Green Party announces a full slate of seven parliamentary candidates for Suffolk". midsuffolk.greenparty.org.uk.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "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.