Reading West (UK Parliament constituency)


Reading West is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Alok Sharma, a Conservative. He is currently serving in the Cabinet as the President for COP26. Sharma previously served as the Business Secretary, the International Development Secretary, and a minister in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions. [n 2]

Reading West
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Reading West in Berkshire
Location of Berkshire within England
CountyBerkshire
Electorate73,006 (2018)[1]
Major settlementsReading, Theale and Tilehurst
Current constituency
Created1983
Member of ParliamentAlok Sharma (Conservative)
Number of membersOne
Created fromReading North, Newbury and Reading South[2]

History


The Reading West parliamentary constituency was first contested in 1983, when it was won by a member of the Conservative party, Tony Durant, the sitting MP for the abolished Reading North constituency. He held the seat through two subsequent general elections until he retired at the 1997 election.

The constituency was then won by Martin Salter for Labour, as part of the landslide that brought Labour back to power under Tony Blair. Salter held the seat through the 13 years of Labour government until Parliament was dissolved in April 2010, but did not stand in the 2010 general election, when Alok Sharma won the seat for the Conservatives.

Constituency profile


Since its 1983 creation the constituency has been a bellwether paradigm example of a marginal seat. Boundary changes have taken in areas of population expansion to the east in new largely private sector housing estates for the 2010 election. Unemployment is close to the regional average, which is lower than the national average[3] and the constituency has seen a marked increase in properties and property prices throughout from 2001 to 2011 period which has seen town centre regeneration and investment by a Labour Party-controlled council enhanced by Reading railway station hub improvements and enterprise areas equally.

Boundaries and boundary changes


1983–1997: Formed as a county constituency, largely from parts of the abolished Borough Constituency of Reading North. Extended westwards to include parts of the County Constituency of Newbury. It comprised the Borough of Reading wards of Battle, Katesgrove, Kentwood, Minster, Norcot, Southcote, and Tilehurst, and the District of Newbury wards of Calcot, Pangbourne, Purley, Theale, and Tilehurst.[4]

1997–2010: The Borough of Reading wards of Battle, Kentwood, Minster, Norcot, Southcote, Tilehurst, and Whitley, and the District of Newbury wards of Calcot, Pangbourne, Purley, Theale, and Tilehurst.[5]

The boundary with Reading East was realigned, gaining Whitley ward and losing Katesgrove ward.

2010–present: The Borough of Reading wards of Battle, Kentwood, Minster, Norcot, Southcote, Tilehurst, and Whitley, and the District of West Berkshire wards of Birch Copse, Calcot, Pangbourne, Purley on Thames, Theale, and Westwood.[6]

Marginal changes due to revision of local authority wards.

The constituency is bordered by Newbury, Henley, Reading East and Wokingham.[7]

Members of Parliament


ElectionMember[8] Party
1983 Tony Durant Conservative
1997 Martin Salter Labour
2010 Alok Sharma Conservative

Elections


Elections in the 2010s

General election 2019: Reading West[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alok Sharma 24,393 48.4 –0.5
Labour Co-op Rachel Eden 20,276 40.2 –3.1
Liberal Democrats Meri O'Connell 4,460 8.9 +3.0
Green Jamie Whitham 1,263 2.5 +0.6
Majority 4,117 8.2 +2.6
Turnout 50,392 67.9 -1.6
Conservative hold Swing +1.3
    General election 2017: Reading West[10][11]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Alok Sharma 25,311 48.9 +1.2
    Labour Olivia Bailey 22,435 43.3 +9.3
    Liberal Democrats Meri O’Connell 3,041 5.9 +1.0
    Green Jamie Whitham 979 1.9 −1.0
    Majority 2,876 5.6 −8.1
    Turnout 51,766 69.5 +2.8
    Conservative hold Swing –4.1
    General election 2015: Reading West[12][13][14]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Alok Sharma 23,082 47.7 +4.5
    Labour Victoria Groulef 16,432 34.0 +3.5
    UKIP Malik Azam[15] 4,826 10.0 +6.8
    Liberal Democrats Meri O'Connell 2,355 4.9 −15.2
    Green Miriam Kennet 1,406 2.9 +1.7
    Independent Suzie Ferguson 156 0.3 New
    TUSC Neil Adams 83 0.2 New
    Roman Philip West 64 0.1 New
    Majority 6,650 13.7 +1.0
    Turnout 48,404 66.7 +0.8
    Conservative hold Swing +0.5
    General election 2010: Reading West[16]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Alok Sharma 20,523 43.2 +9.6
    Labour Naz Sarkar 14,519 30.5 −14.5
    Liberal Democrats Daisy Benson 9,546 20.1 +4.3
    UKIP Bruce Hay 1,508 3.2 +0.4
    Common Sense Howard Thomas 852 1.8 New
    Green Adrian Windisch 582 1.2 −1.0
    Majority 6,004 12.7 N/A
    Turnout 47,530 65.9 +6.0
    Conservative gain from Labour Swing +12.1
    Source Reading Borough Council,[17] BBC[18]

    Elections in the 2000s

    General election 2005: Reading West[19]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Labour Martin Salter 18,940 44.9 −8.2
    Conservative Ewan Cameron 14,258 33.8 +1.8
    Liberal Democrats Denise Gaines 6,663 15.8 +3.0
    UKIP Peter Williams 1,180 2.8 +0.8
    Green Adrian Windisch 921 2.2 New
    Veritas Dave Boyle 267 0.6 New
    Majority 4,672 11.1 −10.0
    Turnout 42,229 61.0 +1.9
    Labour hold Swing −2.6
    Source Electoral Commission[20]
    General election 2001: Reading West[21]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Labour Martin Salter 22,300 53.1 +8.0
    Conservative Stephen Reid 13,451 32.0 −6.9
    Liberal Democrats Polly Martin 5,387 12.8 +0.1
    UKIP David Black 848 2.0 +1.5
    Majority 8,849 21.1 +14.9
    Turnout 41,986 59.1 −11.0
    Labour hold Swing +7.5
    Source Guardian Unlimited,[22] ONS[citation needed]

    Elections in the 1990s

    General election 1997: Reading West[23]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Labour Martin Salter 21,841 45.1 +17.3
    Conservative Nicholas Bennett 18,844 38.9 −14.0
    Liberal Democrats Dee Tomlin 6,153 12.7 −5.4
    Referendum Steven G Brown 976 2.0 New
    BNP Ian Dell 320 0.7 New
    UKIP David M Black 255 0.5 New
    Majority 2,997 6.2 N/A
    Turnout 48,389 70.1 −7.9
    Labour gain from Conservative Swing −15.7
    Source Guardian Unlimited[22]
    General election 1992: Reading West[24][25]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Tony Durant 28,048 52.9 −2.4
    Labour PM Ruhemann 14,750 27.8 +6.5
    Liberal Democrats KH Lock 9,572 18.1 −4.3
    Green PJ Unsworth 613 1.2 +0.1
    Majority 13,298 25.1 −7.8
    Turnout 52,983 78.0 +5.8
    Conservative hold Swing −4.5

    Elections in the 1980s

    General election 1987: Reading West[26]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Tony Durant 28,122 55.30 +3.94
    Liberal KH Lock 11,369 22.36 −5.43
    Labour ME Orton 10,819 21.28 +0.86
    Green EP Wilson 542 1.07 New
    Majority 16,753 32.94 +9.47
    Turnout 50,852 72.24 −1.27
    Conservative hold Swing +4.69
    General election 1983: Reading West[27]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Tony Durant 24,948 51.36
    Liberal RJ Day 13,549 27.89
    Labour R Evans 9,220 20.42
    Independent E Lilley 161 0.33
    Majority 11,399 23.47
    Turnout 47,878 73.51
    Conservative win (new seat)

    See also


    Notes and references


    Notes
    1. A borough 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.
    References
    1. "England Parliamentary electorates 2010-2018". Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
    2. "'Reading West', June 1983 up to May 1997". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Retrieved 13 March 2016.[permanent dead link]
    3. Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
    4. "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
    5. "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
    6. "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
    7. "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
    8. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)
    9. "Reading West Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
    10. "Reading Borough Council statement of persons nominated 2017" (PDF).
    11. "Reading Borough Council". www.reading.gov.uk.
    12. "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
    13. Fort, Linda (9 December 2014). "Reading West has new independent General Election candidate".
    14. "Parliamentary results 2015". Reading Borough Council.
    15. "UK Polling Report". ukpollingreport.co.uk.
    16. "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
    17. "Statement of Persons Nominated – Notice of Poll – Reading West Constituency" (PDF). Reading Borough Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
    18. "Election 2010 – Reading West". BBC. 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
    19. "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
    20. "Electoral Commission – Reading West". Electoral Commission. 2005. Archived from the original on 14 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
    21. "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
    22. "Ask Aristotle – Reading West". London: Guardian Unlimited. 2005. Archived from the original on 11 April 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2005.
    23. "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
    24. "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
    25. "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
    26. "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
    27. "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.