North West Norfolk (UK Parliament constituency)
|North West Norfolk|
for the House of Commons
|Electorate||73,269 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Kings Lynn and Hunstanton|
|Member of Parliament||James Wild (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||King's Lynn|
|Number of members||One|
|Replaced by||King's Lynn|
|Created from||North Norfolk and West Norfolk|
Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the three two-member county divisions of Norfolk were replaced with six single-member divisions, including the newly created North-Western Division of Norfolk, largely formed from parts of the abolished Western Division. It was abolished at the next redistribution of seats under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1918, when it was largely absorbed by the expanded county constituency of King's Lynn. It was re-established for the February 1974 general election, replacing the abolished King's Lynn constituency.
The first MP in the re-established constituency was Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler, who had gained King's Lynn, largely a bellwether seat, from one of Harold Wilson's government colleagues in the Labour Party. He therefore effectively held the seat in the two 1974 elections, and in 1979; however, by March 1981, he became distanced from the Conservatives and defected to the newly formed Social Democratic Party shortly before the 1983 Conservative landslide, in which Brocklebank-Fowler lost his seat to the replacement Conservative candidate Henry Bellingham.
Bellingham increased his precarious lead over Brocklebank-Fowler at the 1987 general election. Therefore, at the following election, Brocklebank-Fowler chose to contest another area and Labour's candidate regained second place in this constituency, almost doubling their share of the vote. Labour gained the seat at the 1997 general election; however, Bellingham regained the seat at the 2001 general election and subsequently increased his majority in both 2005 and 2010. His majority fell slightly in 2015, but he retained the seat in the 2017 general election with 60% of the vote, having been knighted in the New Year's honours list of 2016.
"the worst prime minister we have had in this country."
This gained national attention and resulted in Labour disowning their candidate. Sood did not attend the count and stated he would watch it from his home in Leicester. He ended up finishing third, behind Bellingham and the Liberal Democrat candidate William Summers, whose party received their best ever result in the constituency, with an 18.3% swing from Labour to the others.
Norfolk North West constituency covers an extensive hinterland in the far corner of East Anglia - remote from London, but close to Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, with which the area shares more economic links.
A minority of King's Lynn contain severe poverty marked by unemployment, social housing dependency and social problems - within relatively affluent East Anglia, only Jaywick and Great Yarmouth from 2001-2004 scored higher in deprivation indices. Contrasted with this is the bulk of the area: the tourist resort Hunstanton, retail, military, public sector and commercial activity of Kings Lynn and the royal estate at Sandringham, along with many small villages and more than 50% undulating cultivated farmland — incomes and types of dwelling are close to the national average. The most frequent result has been of a fairly marginal but not negligible majority for a Conservative, who have won it 8 out of the last 9 general elections.
Labour's share of the vote fell from a winning 43.8% in the 1997 election to just 13.3% in 2010, marking the steepest decline from the start to end of the thirteen years of Labour government.
Boundaries and boundary changes
On abolition, the bulk of the Division was amalgamated with the abolished Parliamentary Borough of King's Lynn to form the new King's Lynn Division of Norfolk. Eastern areas, including Fakenham, were transferred to the Northern Division.
The re-established constituency was formed from the abolished county constituency of King's Lynn with the addition of Wells-next-the-Sea and the Rural District of Walsingham, which included Fakenham, transferred from North Norfolk. This area is currently in the constituencies of North Norfolk and Broadland.
1983–2010: The Borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk wards of Burnham, Chase, Clenchwarton, Creake, Dersingham, Docking, Gayton, Gaywood Central, Gaywood North, Gaywood South, Grimston, Heacham, Hunstanton, Lynn Central, Lynn North, Lynn South West, Mershe Lande, Middleton, North Coast, Priory, Rudham, St Lawrence, St Margaret's, Snettisham, Spellowfields, The Walpoles, The Woottons, Valley Hill, West Walton, West Winch, and Wiggenhall.
Wells-next-the-Sea and areas comprising the former Rural District of Walsingham, including Fakenham, were transferred back to North Norfolk. Minor realignment of the boundary with South West Norfolk.
2010–present: The Borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk wards of Brancaster, Burnham, Clenchwarton, Dersingham, Docking, Fairstead, Gayton, Gaywood Chase, Gaywood North Bank, Grimston, Heacham, Hunstanton, North Lynn, North Wootton, Old Gaywood, Priory, Rudham, St Margaret's with St Nicholas, Snettisham, South and West Lynn, South Wootton, Spellowfields, Springwood, Valley Hill, Walpole, and West Winch.
Small area transferred to South West Norfolk.
Members of Parliament
|1886||Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck||Conservative|
|1900||Sir George White||Liberal|
|1912 by-election||Edward Hemmerde||Liberal|
|1918||constituency abolished: see King's Lynn|
MPs since 1974
|Feb. 1974||Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler||Conservative|
|2001||Sir Henry Bellingham||Conservative|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Rob Colwell||3,625||7.8||+4.9|
|Green||Michael De Whalley||1,645||3.5||+1.8|
|Liberal Democrats||Rupert Moss-Eccardt||1,393||2.9||−0.6|
|Green||Michael de Whalley||851||1.7||−2.1|
|UKIP||Richard Toby Coke||8,412||17.8||+13.9|
|Green||Michael de Whalley||1,780||3.8||+2.2|
|Liberal Democrats||Hugh Lanham||1,673||3.5||-19.7|
|Liberal Democrats||William Summers||11,106||23.2||+8.5|
|Green||Mike de Whalley||745||1.6||New|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Simon Higginson||7,026||13.9||+5.5|
|Liberal Democrats||Ian Mack||4,292||8.4||-1.2|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||Evelyn Knowles||5,513||9.6||-4.2|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+10.4|
|Liberal Democrats||AM Waterman||8,599||13.8||−18.1|
|Natural Law||SRA Pink||330||0.5||New|
Elections in the 1980s
|Conservative gain from SDP||Swing|
Elections in the 1970s
|Conservative win (new seat)|
Elections in the 1910s
Elections in the 1900s
|Liberal Unionist||William Howell Browne Ffolkes||3,811||47.1||+4.9|
Elections in the 1890s
|Conservative||Edward Kenrick Banbury Tighe||3,520||42.2||−1.6|
|Lib-Lab gain from Conservative||Swing||+6.3|
Elections in the 1880s
|Conservative gain from Lib-Lab||Swing||+4.0|
|Lib-Lab 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.
- South Norfolk constituency
- At the time a Leicester councillor
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- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
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