Wirral West (UK Parliament constituency)


Wirral West is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament by Margaret Greenwood of the Labour Party since 2015. A former bellwether seat, the constituency has the second smallest electorate of any in England as of 2019.

Wirral West
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Wirral West in Merseyside
Location of Merseyside within England
CountyMerseyside
Electorate55,077 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlementsHoylake, West Kirby
Current constituency
Created1983
Member of ParliamentMargaret Greenwood (Labour)
Number of membersOne
Created fromWirral

History


Wirral West was created in 1983 from the northern part of the former Wirral constituency, which had traditionally elected Conservative MPs. Selwyn Lloyd was the predecessor constituency's MP from 1945 to 1976, serving as Foreign Secretary during the Eden ministry, Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Macmillan ministry and becoming Speaker of the Commons in 1971. Raised to the peerage in 1976, Lloyd resigned his seat and the ensuing by-election was won by David Hunt, who became the first MP for Wirral West in 1983. Hunt was a Cabinet member under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, serving as Secretary of State for Employment and twice as Secretary of State for Wales.

Hunt held the seat until 1997, when he lost to barrister Stephen Hesford of the Labour Party, but remained in Parliament as a member of the House of Lords. Hesford increased his majority in 2001 and narrowly retained the seat in 2005, despite a challenge at the latter election from former TV presenter and Conservative Esther McVey. On 22 January 2010, he announced his intention to step down at the next general election for family reasons.

New boundary changes implemented, McVey stood again and won the seat for the Conservatives at the 2010 general election, serving in the coalition government as a Work and Pensions minister during her tenure. If implemented in 2005, the 2010 boundary changes would have seen the Conservatives win the seat by 569 votes.

Wirral West had been described as a bellwether since its establishment,[2][3] but bucked the trend at the 2015 general election when Labour's Margaret Greenwood narrowly defeated McVey, despite the Conservatives winning a parliamentary majority. Like the nearby City of Chester, it was one of the few Conservative-held marginals outside of London to be gained by Labour, who benefited from the constituency's collapse in Liberal Democrat support.

Sixth on the Conservative target list in 2017, Greenwood was comfortably re-elected to Wirral West with the highest winning vote share since the seat was first up for election in 1983. She was promoted to Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet as the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary in 2018, shadowing McVey who had returned to Parliament as the MP for Tatton. Greenwood was re-elected with a reduced vote share in 2019, and departed from the shadow cabinet upon Keir Starmer's election as Labour leader.

Boundaries


1983–2010: Metropolitan Borough of Wirral wards of Hoylake, Prenton, Royden, Thurstaston, and Upton.

2010–present: Metropolitan Borough of Wirral wards of Greasby, Frankby and Irby, Hoylake and Meols, Pensby and Thingwall, Upton, and West Kirby and Thurstaston.

The constituency is one of four covering the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. It contains the towns of Hoylake and West Kirby, as well as areas such as Greasby, Thingwall, Irby, Meols, Upton Woodchurch and a small part of Heswall.

In the 2005 Boundary Commission report, Wirral West lost part of the Prenton ward to the Birkenhead constituency, and gained part of Barnston from Wirral South.

Members of Parliament


ElectionMember[4] PortraitParty Notes
1983 David Hunt Conservative MP for Wirral (1976–83)

Secretary of State for Wales (1990–93, 1995)

Secretary of State for Employment (1993–94)

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1994–95)

Member of the Privy Council (1990–)

Member of the House of Lords (1997–)

1997 Stephen Hesford Labour
2010 Esther McVey Conservative Former TV presenter

MP for Tatton (2017–)

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2018)

2015 Margaret Greenwood Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2018–20)

Elections


Elections in the 2010s

General election 2019: Wirral West[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Margaret Greenwood 20,695 48.1 6.1
Conservative Laura Evans 17,692 41.1 0.9
Liberal Democrats Andy Corkhill 2,706 6.3 3.7
Green John Coyne 965 2.2 1.2
Brexit Party John Kelly 860 2.0 New
Majority 3,003 7.0 5.2
Rejected ballots 107 0.2 0.0
Registered electors 55,550 0.8
Turnout 43,025 77.5 1.1
Labour hold Swing 2.6
General election 2017: Wirral West[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Margaret Greenwood 23,866 54.2 9.1
Conservative Tony Caldeira 18,501 42.0 2.2
Liberal Democrats Peter Reisdorf 1,155 2.6 0.8
Green John Coyne 429 1.0 New
Majority 5,365 12.2 12.1
Rejected ballots 83 0.2
Registered electors 55,995 1.1
Turnout 44,034 78.6 3.0
Labour hold Swing 5.7
General election 2015: Wirral West[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Margaret Greenwood 18,898 45.1 8.8
Conservative Esther McVey 18,481 44.2 1.7
UKIP Hilary Jones 2,772 6.6 4.3
Liberal Democrats Peter Reisdorf 1,433 3.4 13.4
Independent David James 274 0.7 0.1
Majority 417 0.1 N/A
Registered electors 55,377 0.6
Turnout 41,858 75.6 4.1
Labour gain from Conservative Swing 3.6
General election 2010: Wirral West[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Esther McVey 16,726 42.5 N/A
Labour Phil Davies 14,290 36.3 N/A
Liberal Democrats Peter Reisdorf 6,630 16.8 N/A
UKIP Philip Griffiths 899 2.3 N/A
Independent David Kirwan 506 1.3 N/A
Common Sense David James 321 0.8 N/A
Majority 2,436 6.2 N/A
Registered electors 55,050 N/A
Turnout 39,372 71.5 N/A
Conservative win (new boundaries)

Elections in the 2000s

General election 2005: Wirral West[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Stephen Hesford 17,543 42.5 4.7
Conservative Esther McVey 16,446 39.9 2.7
Liberal Democrats Jeffrey Clarke 6,652 16.1 0.5
UKIP John Moore 429 1.0 New
Alternative Roger Taylor 163 0.4 New
Majority 1,097 2.7 7.3
Registered electors 61,050 2.0
Turnout 41,233 67.5 2.5
Labour hold Swing 3.7
General election 2001: Wirral West[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Stephen Hesford 19,105 47.2 2.3
Conservative Chris Lynch 15,070 37.2 1.8
Liberal Democrats Simon Holbrook 6,300 15.6 2.9
Majority 4,035 10.0 4.2
Registered electors 62,294 2.3
Turnout 40,475 65.0 12.0
Labour hold Swing 2.1

Elections in the 1990s

General election 1997: Wirral West[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Stephen Hesford 21,035 44.9 13.9
Conservative David Hunt 18,297 39.0 13.7
Liberal Democrats John Thornton 5,945 12.7 1.9
Referendum Derek Wharton 1,613 3.4 New
Majority 2,738 5.8 N/A
Registered electors 60,908 2.5
Turnout 46,890 77.0 4.6
Labour gain from Conservative Swing 13.8
General election 1992: Wirral West[13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Hunt 26,852 52.7 0.8
Labour Helen Stephenson 15,788 31.0 4.7
Liberal Democrats John Thornton 7,420 14.6 5.6
Green Garnette Bowler 700 1.4 0.2
Natural Law Nigel Broome 188 0.4 New
Majority 11,064 21.7 4.0
Registered electors 62,453 1.8
Turnout 50,948 81.6 3.7
Conservative hold Swing 2.0

Elections in the 1980s

General election 1987: Wirral West[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Hunt 25,736 51.9 4.0
Labour Alexander Dunn 13,013 26.3 4.5
Liberal Allan Brame 10,015 20.2 2.2
Green David Burton 806 1.6 New
Majority 12,723 25.7 7.8
Registered electors 63,597 3.2
Turnout 49,570 77.9 4.5
Conservative hold Swing 4.3
General election 1983: Wirral West[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Hunt 25,276 55.9 N/A
Liberal Stephen Mulholland 10,125 22.4 N/A
Labour John McCabe 9,855 21.8 N/A
Majority 15,151 33.5 N/A
Registered electors 61,646 N/A
Turnout 45,256 73.4 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

See also


Notes and references


  1. "Electorate Figures – Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  2. Joe Thomas (2015-04-22). "General election 2015: 'Kingmaker' Wirral West voters hold keys to Downing Street". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2015-05-12.
  3. Harry Lambert (2015-04-20). "What are the top seats to watch in the election?". New Statesman. Retrieved 2015-05-12.
  4. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 4)
  5. "Election results for WIRRAL WEST, 12 December 2019". democracy.wirral.gov.uk. 2019-12-12. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  6. "Election results for WIRRAL WEST, 8 June 2017". democracy.wirral.gov.uk. 2017-06-08. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  7. "Election Result for Wirral West Constituency on 7 May 2015 | WIRRAL Borough Council". www.wirral.gov.uk. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  8. "Election Result for Wirral West constituency on 6 May 2010". ww3.wirral.gov.uk. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  9. "Parliamentary Election results 2005 |". ww3.wirral.gov.uk. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  10. "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  11. "BBC NEWS | VOTE 2001 | RESULTS & CONSTITUENCIES | Wirral West". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  12. "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  13. "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  14. "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  15. "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  16. "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.