List of Parliamentary constituencies in Suffolk
|Constituency[nb 1]||Electorate||Majority[nb 2]||Member of Parliament||Nearest opposition||Map|
|Bury St Edmunds CC||86,071||18,441||Jo Churchill||William Edwards|
|Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CC||78,116||17,185||Dan Poulter||Elizabeth Hughes|
|Ipswich BC||74,668||836||Sandy Martin||Ben Gummer|
|South Suffolk CC||75,485||17,749||James Cartlidge||Emma Bishton|
|Suffolk Coastal CC||79,366||16,012||Therese Coffey||Cameron Matthews|
|Waveney CC||80,763||9,215||Peter Aldous||Sonia Barker|
|West Suffolk CC||77,348||17,063||Matthew Hancock||Michael Jefferys|
History of constituencies and boundariesEdit
Prior to 1832Edit
Since 1295, the Parliamentary County of Suffolk, along with all other English Counties regardless of size or population, had elected 2 MPs to the House of Commons in accordance with the freehold property franchise. The county also included five Parliamentary Boroughs, namely Aldeburgh, Bury St Edmunds, Dunwich, Eye, Ipswich, Orford and Sudbury, all returning 2 MPs each.
The Great Reform Act of 1832 radically changed the representation of the House of Commons, with the County being divided into the Eastern and Western Divisions, both returning 2 MPs. The Boroughs of Aldeburgh, Dunwich and Orford were abolished and Eye's representation was reduced to 1 MP.
The Borough of Sudbury was disenfranchised for corruption in 1844 and absorbed into the Western Division.
Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the two 2-member county divisions were replaced by five single-member constituencies, namely the Northern or Lowestoft Division, the North-Eastern or Eye Division (which absorbed the abolished Parliamentary Borough of Eye), the North-Western or Stowmarket Division, the South-Eastern or Woodford Division and the Southern or Sudbury Division. The representation of the Borough of Bury St Edmunds was reduced to 1 MP and Ipswich continued to elect 2 MPs.
The table shows an approximate representation of the development of constituencies in Suffolk since 1885. The text below gives a more detailed description.
|Ipswich BC (2 MPs)||Ipswich BC||Ipswich BC||Ipswich BC||Ipswich BC|
|Woodbridge CC||Woodbridge CC||Sudbury and Woodbridge CC||Suffolk Coastal CC||Suffolk Coastal CC|
|Sudbury CC||Sudbury CC||South Suffolk CC||South Suffolk CC|
|Bury St Edmunds BC||Bury St Edmunds CC||Bury St Edmunds CC||Bury St Edmunds CC||West Suffolk CC|
|Stowmarket CC||Bury St Edmunds CC|
|Eye CC||Eye CC||Eye CC||Central Suffolk CC||Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CC|
|Lowestoft CC||Lowestoft CC||Lowestoft CC||Waveney CC||Waveney CC|
|BC = Borough Constituency (prior to 1950 - Parliamentary Borough or Division thereof)
CC = County Constituency (prior to 1950 - Parliamentary County of Division thereof)
Under the Representation of the People Act 1918, the Parliamentary Borough of Bury St Edmunds was abolished and reconstituted as a County Division, absorbing the abolished Stowmarket Division, with the exception of small south-eastern area, including Stowmarket itself, which was transferred to Eye. The southern-most part of Lowestoft, including Halesworth, was also transferred to Eye. The representation of the Borough of Ipswich was reduced to 1 MP, with boundaries expanding into Woodbridge to align with those of the County Borough of Ipswich.
The Representation of the People Act 1948 resulted in the abolition of the Sudbury and Woodbridge Divisions. They were replaced by the new county constituency of Sudbury and Woodbridge, incorporating the towns of Sudbury and Hadleigh from Sudbury, and Woodbridge and Felixstowe from Woodbridge. Western and northern parts of Sudbury, including Haverhill, were transferred to Bury St Edmunds and northern parts of Woodbridge were transferred to Eye. Halesworth was returned from Eye to Lowestoft.
There were no changes under the First or Second Periodic Reviews of Westminster Constituencies.
The Third Review, which reflected the changes to local authorities arising from the Local Government Act 1972, did not come into effect until the 1983 general election, when Suffolk's representation was increased back up to 6 MPs. This resulted in major changes to the configuration of the county's seats as follows:
- Eye was abolished, with eastern parts being included in the new county constituency of Suffolk Coastal and western parts in the new county constituency of Central Suffolk.
- Sudbury and Woodbridge was also abolished, with areas to the east of Ipswich and the River Orwell (Felixstowe and Woodbridge) being included in Suffolk Coastal, and western areas (Sudbury and Hadleigh) forming the basis of the new county constituency of South Suffolk.
- Central Suffolk included four north-western wards of the Borough of Ipswich, previously part of the borough constituency of Ipswich.
- Bury St Edmunds lost southern areas, including Haverhill, to South Suffolk, and eastern-most areas to Central Suffolk.
- With the exception of a small area in the far north of the constituency, including Bradwell, which had been transferred from Suffolk to Norfolk under the local government reorganisation and was now included in the constituency of Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft was succeeded by the new county constituency of Waveney.
The Fourth Review resulted in further major changes with the addition of a seventh constituency, named West Suffolk. This was formed from the majority of the existing Bury St Edmunds constituency, including Newmarket and Mildenhall. It also included Haverhill and surrounding areas, transferred from South Suffolk. Bury St Edmunds was reconfigured, taking western parts of Central Suffolk, including Stowmarket. Central Suffolk (renamed Central Suffolk and North Ipswich), in turn, gained western-most parts of Suffolk Coastal, which then gained southern-most parts of Waveney, including Halesworth and Southwold.
In the Fifth Review the Boundary Commission for England recommended that Suffolk retained its current constituencies, with changes only to reflect revisions to local authority ward boundaries. The largest of these changes resulted in the effective transfer of one Borough of Ipswich ward from Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to the constituency of Ipswich.
The Boundary Commission for England submitted their final proposals in respect of the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies (the 2018 review) in September 2018. If these proposals are approved by Parliament they will come into effect at the next UK general election which is due to take place in May 2022 under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
Under the terms of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Sixth Review was based on reducing the total number of MPs from 650 to 600 and a strict electoral parity requirement that the electorate of all constituencies should be within a range of 5% either side of the electoral quota. The review was carried out using the official UK electorate figures for 2015 and the electoral quota was set at 74,769, establishing a range of 71,031 to 78,507.
In order to meet these requirements, the Commission was able to treat Suffolk as a sub-region of the Eastern Region and recommended that the county retained its existing seven seats, three of which (South Suffolk, West Suffolk and Waveney) would be unchanged. The relatively minor proposed changes to bring the constituencies within the required electoral quota range all involve the constituency of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, which would gain the District of Mid Suffolk wards of Needham Market and Ringshall from Bury St Edmunds and lose the Borough of Ipswich ward of Castle Hill to Ipswich. In addition, there would be marginal changes to the boundary with Suffolk Coastal to take account of changes to local authority ward boundaries. As the constituency would now only include two of 16 Borough of Ipswich wards, it is proposed that it reverts to the previous name of Central Suffolk.
|Current constituencies||Electorate||Proposed constituencies||Electorate|
|Bury St Edmunds CC||83,477||Bury St Edmunds CC||77,733|
|Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CC||74,698||Central Suffolk CC||74,360|
|Ipswich BC||70,702||Ipswich BC||76,284|
|South Suffolk CC||71,445||South Suffolk CC||71,445|
|Suffolk Coastal CC||75,678||Suffolk Coastal CC||76,178|
|Waveney CC||77,408||Waveney CC||77,408|
|West Suffolk CC||72,809||West Suffolk CC||72.809|
Historical representation by partyEdit
A cell marked → (with a different colour background to the preceding cell) indicates that the previous MP continued to sit under a new party name.
1885 to 1918Edit
|Constituency||1885||86||1886||91||1892||92||1895||1900||1906||06||07||Jan 1910||Dec 1910||14|
|Bury St Edmunds||F. Hervey||Cadogan||Greene||F. W. Hervey||Guinness|
|Ipswich (Two members)||West||Charteris||Goddard|
|Sudbury||W. Quilter||→||Heaton-Armstrong||C. Quilter|
1918 to 1950Edit
|Bury St Edmunds||Guinness||Heilgers||Keatinge||Clifton-Brown|
1950 to presentEdit
|Constituency||1950||1951||1955||57||1959||63||64||1964||1966||1970||Feb 74||Oct 74||1979||1983||1987||1992||1997||2001||01||2005||2010||2015||2017|
|Bury St Edmunds||Aitken||Griffiths||Spring||Ruffley||Churchill|
|Eye / Suffolk Coastal (1983)||Granville||Harrison||Gummer||Coffey|
|Lowestoft / Waveney (1983)||Evans||Prior||Porter||Blizzard||Aldous|
|Sudbury & Woodbridge / S Suffolk (1983)||Hare||Stainton||Yeo||Cartlidge|
|Central Suffolk / & North Ipswich (1997)||Lord||Poulter|
- BC denotes borough constituency, CC denotes county constituency.
- The majority is the number of votes the winning candidate receives more than their nearest rival.
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report".CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (Document type: Electoral data) (24 February 2016). "The electorate of each region subdivided by both local authorities and each existing constituency".CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations constituency list (with wards)".CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)