Surrey Heath (UK Parliament constituency)

Surrey Heath is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Michael Gove, a Conservative who is the current Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.[n 2] The Home counties suburban constituency is in the London commuter belt, on the outskirts of Greater London. Surrey Heath is in the north west of Surrey and borders the counties of Berkshire and Hampshire.

Surrey Heath
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Surrey Heath in Surrey
Location of Surrey within England
Electorate78,453 (December 2010)
Major settlementsCamberley, Lightwater and Ash
Current constituency
Member of ParliamentMichael Gove (Conservative)
Created fromNorth West Surrey, Guildford and Woking

Members of Parliament

ElectionMember[1] Party
1997 Nick Hawkins Conservative
2005 Michael Gove Conservative

Constituency profile

In terms of housing 70% of homes are detached or semi-detached at the 2011 census. The detached percentage (45.2%) was at that time the second highest in the South East, behind the New Forest.[2] The area is well connected to London Heathrow Airport, IT, telecommunications and logistics centres of the M3 and M4 'corridors' and to the military towns of Aldershot and Sandhurst. Farnborough with its civil, private aviation base with certain military uses is also nearby, as is Blackbushe Airport.

Workless claimants, registered jobseekers, were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.7% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[3]

Until the 2019 general election, the constituency was seen as one of the Conservative party's safest seats.

The 2019 general election saw an unexpected 16% swing to the Liberal Democrat's candidate Alasdair Pinkerton, polling the highest second place since the constituency's creation, with Labour recording the lowest share of the vote since its creation.

Surrey Heath is now seen as the Liberal Democrat's 58th target seat,[4] having taken the Conservatives from a majority of 35 on the local Surrey Heath council to a majority of one at the 2019 election[5] and pushing the Conservatives to the lowest number of councillors on Guildford Borough council since its creation in 1973.[6]

According to the British Election Study, it is the most right-wing seat in the UK as of 2014.[7]

Constituents on balance voted to leave the European Union in 2016 but an analysis of YouGov polling by Focaldata suggested support for remain rose from 48% then to 50.2% in August 2018.[8]


Surrey Heath occupies the northwest corner of the county. It has electoral wards:

The largest town[n 3] is Camberley. The Boundary Commission made no boundary changes for Surrey Heath in the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies before the 2010 general election.

The large village of Ash with Ash Vale and smaller one of Tongham are contiguous, similar to Frimley and Frimley Green.


The seat was created in 1997 from the most part of North West Surrey (which was abolished) and smaller parts of Woking and Guildford, seats which remain.

On its creation, Nick Hawkins was elected to Parliament as Surrey North West MP after Michael Grylls who had in 1992 achieved a majority of 28,392 retired.[9]

One of Hawkins' opponents for selection was future Speaker, John Bercow, selected for Buckingham the same day.[10]

In 1999 then party chairman Michael Ancram was intervened to prevent a move to deselect him following local party disquiet about him leaving his wife of 20 years for a local councillor.[11][12]

In 2004, the Conservative constituency association, then the richest in the country, deselected Hawkins for the next election, following accusations of racism, in the hope of obtaining an MP of Cabinet calibre.[13][14]

The Member since 2005, Michael Gove saw his longest spell as a Secretary of State in the education brief and is the current Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.


Elections in the 2010s

2019 general election: Surrey Heath[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Gove 34,358 58.6 5.6
Liberal Democrats Alasdair Pinkerton 16,009 27.3 16.5
Labour Brahma Mohanty 5,407 9.2 11.9
Green Sharon Galliford 2,252 3.8 0.1
UKIP David Roe 628 1.1 New
Majority 18,349 31.3 11.8
Turnout 58,654 72.1 0.5
Conservative hold Swing 11.0
2017 general election: Surrey Heath[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Gove 37,118 64.2 4.3
Labour Laween Atroshi 12,175 21.1 9.9
Liberal Democrats Ann-Marie Barker 6,271 10.8 1.7
Green Sharon Galliford 2,258 3.9 0.5
Majority 24,943 43.1 2.5
Turnout 57,822 71.6 3.1
Conservative hold Swing 2.8
2015 general election: Surrey Heath[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Gove 32,582 59.9 2.3
UKIP Paul Chapman[18] 7,778 14.3 8.0
Labour Laween Atroshi 6,100 11.2 1.0
Liberal Democrats Ann-Marie Barker 4,937 9.1 16.8
Green Kimberley Lawson[19] 2,400 4.4 New
Christian Juliana Brimicombe 361 0.7 New
Independent Bob and Roberta Smith[20] 273 0.5 New
Majority 24,804 45.6 13.8
Turnout 54,431 68.5 1.5
Conservative hold Swing
2010 general election: Surrey Heath[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Gove 31,326 57.6 6.1
Liberal Democrats Alan Hilliar 14,037 25.8 3.0
Labour Matt Willey 5,552 10.2 6.5
UKIP Mark Stroud 3,432 6.3 3.3
Majority 17,289 31.8 9.1
Turnout 54,347 70.0 7.1
Conservative hold Swing 4.5

Elections in the 2000s

2005 general election: Surrey Heath[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Gove 24,642 51.5 1.8
Liberal Democrats Rosalyn Harper 13,797 28.8 3.1
Labour Chris Lowe 7,989 16.7 4.7
UKIP Steve Smith 1,430 3.0 0.3
Majority 10,845 22.7 1.3
Turnout 47,858 62.9 3.4
Conservative hold Swing 0.7
2001 general election: Surrey Heath[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Nick Hawkins 22,401 49.7 1.9
Liberal Democrats Mark Lelliott 11,582 25.7 3.9
Labour James Norman 9,640 21.4 0.4
UKIP Nigel Hunt 1,479 3.3 2.1
Majority 10,819 24.0 5.8
Turnout 45,102 59.5 14.6
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s

1997 general election: Surrey Heath[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Nick Hawkins 28,231 51.6
Liberal Democrats David Newman 11,944 21.8
Labour Susan Jones 11,511 21.0
Referendum John Gale 2,385 4.4
UKIP Richard Squire 653 1.2
Majority 16,287 29.8
Turnout 54,724 74.1
Conservative win (new seat)

See also

Notes and references

  1. A county 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.
  3. occupying the seven wards without individual settlement articles
  1. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 6)
  2. "2011 census interactive maps". Archived from the original on 29 January 2016.
  3. Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  4. "Liberal Democrat Targets Seats 2024 - Election Polling". Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  5. Boyd, Alex (20 January 2020). "Council leader and deputy leader resign with no explanation". getsurrey. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  6. McKeon, Christopher (5 May 2019). "How Guildford's Tories collapsed under Brexit and Local Plan". getsurrey. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  7. Wheeler, Brian (1 December 2014). "The strange truth about how and why we vote" via
  8. Savage, Michael (11 August 2018). "More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now want to remain in EU". The Observer.
  10. "BBC NEWS - UK - UK Politics - The John Bercow story".
  11. "Tory MP deselected for 'neglect of voters'". The Independent. 9 April 2004. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  12. Kite, Melissa (3 April 2004). "A Surrey saga of intrigue as Tories in one of Britain's safest seats attempt to deselect their MP". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  13. Melissa Kite (27 June 2004). "Surrey Heath members believe that their money ought to be able to buy a future prime minister". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  14. "Senior Tory kicked out by party". 8 April 2004. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  16. "Loony Party Candidates". Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  17. "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  18. webteam, Surrey Heath UKIP. "Leave the EU - Surrey Heath Constituency UKIP branch. News, articles, videos, policies, join, in.camberley, frimley, bagshot, chobham, bisley, mytchett".
  19. "Kimberley Lawson PPC page". Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  20. Clark, Nick (3 December 2014). "Bob and Roberta Smith will run against Michael Gove at the election on culture platform". Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  21. "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  22. "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  23. "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  24. "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.