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
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. It is currently represented by Matt Hancock, a Conservative. He has been the MP since 2010 and is currently the Health Secretary.
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
1832–1885: The Liberty of Bury St. Edmund's, and the Hundreds of Hartesmere, and Stow.
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.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Elfreda Tealby-Watson||4,685||9.1||+4.9|
|Liberal Democrats||Elfreda Tealby-Watson||2,180||4.2||-0.8|
|Liberal Democrats||Elfreda Tealby-Watson||2,465||5.0||−18.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Belinda Brooks-Gordon||11,262||23.4||+6.2|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Adrian Graves||7,573||17.1||+5.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Robin Martlew||5,017||11.8||−2.2|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||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
- "Local statistics - Office for National Statistics". www.ons.gov.uk.
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- "The statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 2 & 3 William IV. Cap. LXIV. An Act to settle and describe the Divisions of Counties, and the Limits of Cities and Boroughs, in England and Wales, in so far as respects the Election of Members to serve in Parliament". London: His Majesty's statute and law printers. 1832. pp. 300–383. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- "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.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 6)
- "Suffolk West Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- "West Suffolk - 2017 Election Results - General Elections Online". electionresults.parliament.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- "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 26 July 2013. 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.