Welwyn Hatfield (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
|Electorate||71,766 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Welham Green, Welwyn Garden City|
|Member of Parliament||Grant Shapps (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Hertford and St Albans|
The seat was created for the February 1974 general election following the second periodic review of Westminster constituencies, initially as the County Constituency of Welwyn and Hatfield. It was formed from parts of the abolished constituency of Hertford. For the 1983 general election, the constituency was renamed in line with the recently created District of Welwyn Hatfield.
- Political history
Despite its short history, the seat has seen two parties serve it, with two Labour periods of representation, during the longer part of the Labour Government 1974-1979 and during the first two terms of the Blair ministry. Other than this the seat has elected a Conservative as its MP.
The 2015 majority more than tripled on the second election of Grant Shapps, in 2010, from a historically breakable (in the constituency) majority of 5,946 votes to the 26th largest Conservative share of the vote, which on standard uniform swing seen in elections since 1931 represented a safe seat, but a 5% swing to Labour in 2017 means the seat is somewhat marginal again, needing a 7.1% swing to become Labour.
- Prominent frontbenchers
The first MP ended his term in the Commons as the member for Welwyn Hatfield before which he was Defence Minister from 1970 to 1972 then a Foreign Office Minister until February 1974 - later that year Lord Balniel was awarded a life peerage, accelerating and safeguarding his right to sit in the Lords. The second MP later became the politically neutral Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman.
During five years of the Blair ministry, the constituency's MP Melanie Johnson was a frontbench minister, serving as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Minister for Competition and Consumers and the Minister for Public Health.
Grant Shapps, her successor, was appointed the Minister of State for Housing and Local Government for the first two years of the UK coalition government 2010 before being appointed to chair his party. Following the Conservative victory in 2015, he was appointed Minister of State at the Department for International Development.
The area has a higher than average proportion of managers, professionals and retired people than much of Greater London. The seat has a strong local economy, with extensive retail and industrial/commercial premises, particularly in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield. Two of the four largest Hertfordshire economic towns, Stevenage and St Albans are also close by. Accordingly, workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.4% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.
Boundaries and boundary changes
1983–1997: The District of Welwyn Hatfield wards of Brookmans Park and Little Heath, Haldens, Handside, Hatfield Central, Hatfield East, Hatfield North, Hatfield South, Hollybush, Howlands, Peartree, Sherrards, Welham Green and Redhall, Welwyn East, and Welwyn West, and the City of St Albans ward of Wheathampstead.
1997–present: As above minus Wheathampstead ward, which was transferred to the new County Constituency of Hitchin and Harpenden.
Members of Parliament
|Feb 1974||Lord Balniel||Conservative|
|Oct 1974||Helene Hayman||Labour|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Paul Zukowskyj||6,602||12.7||+5.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Nigel Quinton||3,836||7.4||+1.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Hugh Annand||3,140||6.3||−10.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Paul Zukowskyj||8,010||16.4||+2.2|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Sara Bedford||6,318||14.1||0.0|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+8.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Daniel Cooke||6,021||14.1||+0.6|
|ProLife Alliance||Fiona Pinto||230||0.5||0.0|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||Rodney Schwartz||7,161||13.5||−2.5|
|Residents Association||Victor Cox||1,263||2.4||New|
|ProLife Alliance||Helen Harrold||267||0.5||New|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+11.05|
|Labour||Ray A. Little||20,982||34.5||+8.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Robin G. Parker||10,196||16.7||−10.6|
|Natural Law||Eva T. Lucas||264||0.4||New|
Elections in the 1980s
|Ind. Conservative||Bruce Dyson||401||0.7||New|
Elections in the 1970s
|National Front||P Ruddock||459||0.77||New|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing|
|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.
- Balniel joined his father, the Earl of Crawford, who from 1963 no longer had to be regularly elected as a representative peer
- "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- The Electoral Commission 2010 results
- "The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk.
- "Local statistics - Office for National Statistics". www.ons.gov.uk.
- Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1970". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 2)
- "Welwyn Hatfield Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- "Statement as to persons nominated and notice of poll" (PDF). Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Statement Of Persons Nominated And Notice Of Poll". Acting Returning Officer. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "UK Polling Report".
- "Marc Scheimann PPC page". Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
- Burke, Dave (29 April 2015). "Satire show comic is standing against Grant Shapps after changing name to Michael Green". Welwyn Hatfield Times. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "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.
- "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.