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Kensington and Chelsea (UK Parliament constituency)

Kensington and Chelsea was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom 1997–2010. It was one of the safest Conservative seats in the United Kingdom, and since its creation in 1997 became a prestigious seat, with MP Alan Clark, the former Defence Secretary Michael Portillo and the former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind all holding the seat for the Conservatives. The seat was abolished for the 2010 election, when the 1974–1997 Kensington constituency was recreated and Chelsea formed a new constituency together with the southern part of the former Hammersmith and Fulham constituency, called the Chelsea and Fulham constituency.

Kensington and Chelsea
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Kensington and Chelsea in Greater London for the 2005 general election.
CountyGreater London
Replaced byKensington, Chelsea and Fulham
Created fromKensington & Chelsea



The constituency covered the central and southern portions of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, covering the centres of both Kensington and Chelsea. This covered the following wards of the borough:

Following their review of parliamentary boundaries in North London, the Boundary Commission created two new constituencies based on the existing Kensington and Chelsea constituency, which were first contested at the 2010 election. The northern section (Earls Court, South Kensington, Kensington High Street and Holland Park) was combined with the southern section of the previous Regent's Park and Kensington North constituency (including Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill) to create a new Kensington constituency, whilst the southern part (Chelsea) was combined with the southern half of the former Hammersmith and Fulham constituency to create a new Chelsea and Fulham constituency.


Constituents include the Chelsea pensioners.

The constituency was created for the 1997 general election. Notional calculations indicated that it would be one of the safest Conservative seats in the country and so the Conservative nomination was much sought. In the run-up to the 1997 election the nomination was initially won by Nicholas Scott, MP for the previous Chelsea constituency, but following allegations of alcoholism he was deselected.

The nomination was subsequently secured by Alan Clark, the former minister and diarist who was seeking to return to the Commons after standing down at the 1992 general election. Clark was elected, but died of brain cancer in 1999 after only two years in office. As a safe Conservative seat in London there was much speculation that former Defence Secretary and widely predicted future Conservative leader Michael Portillo would seek to return to the Commons after losing the Enfield Southgate constituency in the 1997 election. Portillo was elected in the subsequent by-election and became Shadow Chancellor but his subsequent career stalled and he crashed out of the 2001 Conservative Party leadership election and returned to the backbenches. In 2003 he announced his intention to retire from politics at the next general election to pursue a career in the media. Another former Cabinet Minister, who had also lost his seat in 1997, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, was nominated for the seat in Portillo's stead and elected at the 2005 general election.

In October 2007, amid speculation that then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown was about to call a snap general election, former Labour minister Tony Benn announced that he wanted to come out of retirement and return to the Commons, offering himself to the Kensington and Chelsea constituency Labour Party to challenge Malcolm Rifkind.[1][2] Ultimately, however, no election was held that year, and the Kensington and Chelsea seat was abolished for the 2010 election.

Members of ParliamentEdit


Elections in the 2000sEdit

General Election 2005: Kensington and Chelsea[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Malcolm Rifkind 18,144 57.9 +3.5
Liberal Democrat Jennifer Kingsley 5,726 18.3 +2.5
Labour Catherine Atkinson 5,521 17.6 −5.6
Green Julia Stephenson 1,342 4.3 +0.2
UKIP Mildred Eiloart 395 1.3 −0.2
Independent Alfred Bovill 107 0.3 N/A
Alliance for Green Socialism Eddie Adams 101 0.3 N/A
Majority 12,418 39.6
Turnout 31,336 50.0 +6.7
Conservative hold Swing +0.5
General Election 2001: Kensington and Chelsea[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Michael Portillo 15,270 54.5 +0.8
Labour Simon Stanley 6,499 23.2 –4.8
Liberal Democrat Kishwer Falkner 4,416 15.8 +0.5
Green Julia Stephenson 1,158 4.1 N/A
UKIP Damian Hockney 416 1.5 N/A
ProLife Alliance Josephine Quintavalle 179 0.6 N/A
Jam Wrestling Ginger Crab 100 0.4 N/A
Majority 8,771 31.3
Turnout 28,038 43.3 –11.4
Conservative hold Swing +2.8

Elections in the 1990sEdit

Kensington and Chelsea by-election, 1999
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Michael Portillo 11,004 56.4 +2.8
Labour Robert Atkinson 4,298 22.0 –5.9
Liberal Democrat Robert Woodthorpe Browne 1,831 9.4 –5.9
Pro-Euro Conservative John Stevens 740 3.8 N/A
UKIP Damian Hockney 450 2.3 +0.9
Green Hugo Charlton 446 2.3 N/A
Democratic Party Charles Beauclerk 182 0.9 N/A
Legalise Cannabis Colin Paisley 141 0.7 N/A
Independent Michael Irwin 97 0.5 N/A
UK Pensioners Party Paul Oliver 75 0.4 –0.1
Referendum Stephen Scott-Fawcett 57 0.3 N/A
Independent Louise Hodges 48 0.3 N/A
Natural Law Gerard 'Ged' Valente 35 0.2 –0.1
People's Net Dream Ticket Party Lisa Lovebucket 26 0.1 N/A
Environmentalist John Davies 24 0.1 N/A
Equal Parenting Party Peter May 24 0.1 N/A
Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope 20 0.1 N/A
Independent Tonysamuelsondotcom 15 0.1 N/A
Majority 6,706 34.4
Turnout 19,513 29.7
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1997: Kensington and Chelsea[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Alan Clark 19,887 53.6 –14.6
Labour Robert Atkinson 10,368 27.9 +11.3
Liberal Democrat Robert Woodthorpe Browne 5,668 15.3 +2.1
UKIP Andrew Ellis-Jones 540 1.3
Teddy Bear Alliance Edward Bear 218 0.6
United Kingdom Pensioners Party Paul Oliver 176 0.5
Natural Law Susan J. Hamza 122 0.3
Rainbow Dream Ticket Paul Sullivan 65 0.2
Independent Pete Parliament 44 0.1
Majority 9,519 25.7
Turnout 37.088 54.7
Conservative hold Swing -12.9

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "I want to be an MP again - Benn". BBC News online. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
  2. ^ Fred Attewill (2007-10-04). "Benn: I want to return to parliament". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  3. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "K" (part 1)
  4. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.

Coordinates: 51°29′38″N 0°11′10″W / 51.494°N 0.186°W / 51.494; -0.186