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Basildon (UK Parliament constituency)

HistoryEdit

The seat was created for the February 1974 general election from the majority of the abolished constituency of Billericay. Its electorate was reduced for the 1983 general election when Billericay was re-established. It underwent a major redistributions for the 1997 election and again for the 2010 election, when it was renamed as South Basildon and East Thurrock.

It was one of the best known bellwether constituencies in Britain, having voted for the winning party in each election for the duration of its existence. The failure of the Labour Party to win it in the 1992 election — Basildon would be the first to declare of all the marginal seats — foreshadowed Labour's fourth straight defeat at the hands of the Conservative Party.

Boundaries and boundary changesEdit

 
Basildon in Essex 1974-83
 
Basildon in Essex 1983-97

1974-1983: The Urban District of Basildon.[1]

Formed from part of the abolished County Constituency of Billericay, comprising the former Urban District thereof, which had been reconstituted as the Urban District of Basildon.

1983-1997: The District of Basildon wards of Fryerns Central, Fryerns East, Langdon Hills, Lee Chapel North, Nethermayne, Pitsea East, Pitsea West, and Vange.[2]

Northern parts, including Billericay and Wickford transferred to the re-established constituency of Billericay.

1997-2010: The District of Basildon wards of Fryerns Central, Fryerns East, Langdon Hills, Lee Chapel North, Nethermayne, and Vange, and the Borough of Thurrock wards of Corringham and Fobbing, Orsett, Stanford-le-Hope, and The Homesteads.[3]

Major realignment of boundaries with Billericay; Pitsea was transferred to Billericay in exchange for the northern part of the Borough of Thurrock.

Following their review of parliamentary representation in Essex, the Boundary Commission for England made radical changes to all parliamentary constituencies in the county for the 2010 general election, and the Basildon constituency was divided. The majority of the seat formed the basis of the new South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency, while the wards around central Basildon were merged with the bulk of the former Billericay constituency to form a new seat called Basildon and Billericay.

ProfileEdit

Basildon was a (famously) Conservative seat between 1979 and 1997 as the quintessential "Essex man" constituency based on the new town of Basildon. Much of its population has its origins in the East End of London, who as a group traditionally voted for the Labour Party.

However, throughout the 1980s and until the Labour landslide victory of 1997, many voters in the area transferred their loyalties to the Conservative Party. The MP throughout that period was David Amess, who himself originated from east London (Plaistow), and now holds the safer seat of Southend West.

Labour took the seat in 1997 and 2001 with a large majority, and in 2005 with a reduced majority. Basildon thus proved to be a "bellwether" seat, voting for the eventual winning party since 1974.

Both the successor seats that replaced Basildon in 2010 were considered to be much less favourable to Labour than the old Basildon seat, ending Basildon's bellwether status.[4]

Members of ParliamentEdit

ElectionsEdit

Elections in the 1970sEdit

General election February 1974: Basildon
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Eric Moonman 33,499 45.2 N/A
Conservative Ronald Denney 22,832 30.8 N/A
Liberal Edward Fortune 17,794 24.0 N/A
Majority 10,667 14.4 N/A
Turnout 74,125 82.0 N/A
Labour win (new seat)
General election October 1974: Basildon
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Eric Moonman 32,298 47.9 +2.7
Conservative David Atkinson 21,747 32.2 +1.4
Liberal Edward Fortune 12,816 19.0 −5.0
Ind. Labour Party Robert Chaplin 599 0.9 N/A
Majority 10,551 15.6 +1.2
Turnout 67,460 73.8 -8.2
Labour hold Swing +0.6
General election 1979: Basildon
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harvey Proctor 37,919 46.9 +14.7
Labour Eric Moonman 32,739 40.5 −7.4
Liberal Raymond Auvray 9,280 11.5 −7.5
Majority 5,180 6.4 +4.2
Turnout 79,938 78.0 +5.2
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +11.05

Elections in the 1980sEdit

Note: This constituency underwent boundary changes after the 1979 election, so was notionally a Labour seat.

General election 1983: Basildon[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Amess 17,516 38.7 +3.6
Labour Co-op Julian Fulbrook 16,137 35.6 −17.0
Social Democratic Sue Slipman 11,634 25.7 +14.4
Majority 1,379 3.0 -3.4
Turnout 45,287 69.0 -9.0
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +10.3
General election 1987: Basildon[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Amess 21,858 43.5 +4.8
Labour Co-op Julian Fulbrook 19,209 38.3 +2.7
Liberal Raymond Auvray 9,139 18.2 −7.5
Majority 2,649 5.3 +2.3
Turnout 50,206 73.8 +4.8
Conservative hold Swing +1.1

Elections in the 1990sEdit

General election 1992: Basildon[8][9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Amess 24,159 44.9 +1.4
Labour Co-op John Potter 22,679 42.2 +3.9
Liberal Democrat Geoffrey Williams 6,967 12.9 −5.3
Majority 1,480 2.8 −4.5
Turnout 53,805 79.8 +6.0
Conservative hold Swing −1.3

Due to constituency boundary changes between 1992 and 1997, the changes in percentage of vote share in 1997 are given relative to the notional 1992 results, which reflect what the results would have been in 1992 had the election been fought with the 1997 boundaries.

General election 1997: Basildon[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Angela Smith 29,646 55.8 +15.1
Conservative John Baron 16,366 30.8 −14.2
Liberal Democrat Lindsay Granshaw 4,608 8.7 −6.5
Referendum Craig Robinson 2,462 4.6 N/A
Majority 13,280 25.0
Turnout 53,082 72.0 −7.6
Labour Co-op gain from Conservative Swing 14.7

Elections in the 2000sEdit

General election 2001: Basildon[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Angela Smith 21,551 52.7 −3.1
Conservative Dominic Schofield 13,813 33.8 +3.0
Liberal Democrat Jane Smithard 3,691 9.0 +0.3
UKIP Frank Mallon 1,397 3.4 N/A
Socialist Alliance Dick Duane 423 1.0 N/A
Majority 7,738 18.9
Turnout 40,875 55.1 −16.9
Labour Co-op hold Swing
General election 2005: Basildon[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Angela Smith 18,720 43.4 −9.3
Conservative Aaron Powell 15,578 36.1 +2.3
Liberal Democrat Martin Thompson 4,473 10.4 +1.4
BNP Emma Colgate 2,055 4.8 +4.8
UKIP Alix Blythe 1,143 2.6 −0.8
Green Vikki Copping 662 1.5 +1.5
English Democrat Kim Gandy 510 1.2 +1.2
Majority 3,142 7.3
Turnout 43,141 58.4 +3.3
Labour Co-op hold Swing −5.8

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1970". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  2. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  3. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  4. ^ Waller, Robert; Criddle, Byron (2007). The Almanac of British Politics (8th ed.). UK: Routledge. pp. 127–128, 160–161. ISBN 0-415-37823-0.
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 1)
  6. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  10. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.

Coordinates: 51°31′N 0°24′E / 51.52°N 0.40°E / 51.52; 0.40