|for the House of Commons|
Boundary of West Suffolk in Suffolk.
Location of Suffolk within England.
|Electorate||76,158 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Newmarket, Haverhill and Mildenhall|
|Member of Parliament||Matthew Hancock (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Number of members||Two|
|Type of constituency||County constituency|
|Replaced by||Bury St Edmunds
(also succeeded itself)
North-Western or 'Stowmarket' Division
South or 'Sudbury' Division
|European Parliament constituency||East of England|
The seat saw a relatively long first existence under the Reform Act 1832 merely as a more representative division (with a total of four MPs) instead of two for the the former entire county at large, which still allowed for double voting (or more) of those Forty Shilling Freeholders who also were householders or landlords of any particular boroughs within the county. This Act retained the four largest boroughs of the seven before 1832.
With two heirs to their title serving the seat were the Marquesses of Bristol, the Hervey family, major landowners in the county and the modern seat, at Ickworth, part of its grand house now being a luxury hotel.
Equally sweeping changes took place at the end of this period with the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 which here saw the establishment of three single-member constituencies covering much of the former half-county by widening the narrow and underpopulated dual-member seat of Bury St Edmunds: the other two seats being named the North-Western or 'Stowmarket' Division and the South or 'Sudbury' Division.
Its second creation occurred with Parliamentary approval of the Boundary Commission's third periodic review in time for the 1997 election (the first such review having been in 1945, following the Representation of the People Act 1918 review).
The seat in this time has only been represented by Conservatives with the narrowest majority having been that of 1997 at only 3.8% of the vote, since which the majority has gradually increased to a level seen most commonly in safe seats.
Richard Spring[n 3] was an opposition spokesman for Foreign Affairs (2000-2004) (shadowing a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister) then Shadow Minister for the Treasury (2004-2005) before being a Vice-Chairman of his party and being appointed to the House of Lords as Lord Risby.
The constituency includes the town of Newmarket, the world headquarters of horse racing as well as the towns of Haverhill and Mildenhall with a farmed landscape, interspersed with patches of forest[n 4] and small villages.
Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which slightly altered this constituency for the General Election 2010 since which it has electoral wards:
Parliament accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies, following the fourth review in 1997, which made slight changes to this constituency for the General Election 2010, namely the loss of minorities of Cavendish, Horringer & Welnetham and Pakenham wards, however full inclusion of the Chedburgh and Risby wards.
This area includes a slightly older demographic profile than the national average, with a significant proportion of semi-detached and detached homes and a higher than average proportion or retired people.
Major economic sectors include defence (RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath), agriculture/food (including for major products as well as regional specialities such as ales, Suffolk cider and cured meats), tourism and leisure (such as Newmarket racecourse) and particularly in Haverhill, a range of industries. These include chemicals (such as International Flavors and Fragrances), waste processing, transport, construction and pharmaceuticals.
|Election||Member ||Party||Member||Party |
|1832||Charles Tyrrell||Liberal||Sir Hyde Parker, Bt||Liberal|
|1835||Henry Wilson||Liberal||Robert Rushbrooke||Conservative|
|1837||Robert Hart Logan||Conservative|
|1838 by-election||Harry Spencer Waddington||Conservative|
|1845 by-election||Philip Bennet||Conservative|
|1859||The Earl Jermyn[n 5]||Conservative||William Parker||Conservative|
|1864 by-election||Lord Augustus Henry Charles Hervey||Conservative|
|June 1875 by-election||Fuller Maitland Wilson||Conservative|
|October 1875 by-election||Thomas Thornhill||Conservative|
|General Election 2010: West Suffolk |
|Liberal Democrat||Belinda Brooks-Gordon||11,262||23.4||+6.2|
|Labour||Abul Monsur Ohid Ahmed||7,089||14.7||-14.2|
|Christian Peoples||Colin Young||373||0.8||N/A|
|General Election 2005: West Suffolk|
|Liberal Democrat||Adrian Graves||7,573||17.1||+5.3|
|General Election 2001: West Suffolk|
|Liberal Democrat||Robin Martlew||5,017||11.8||-2.2|
|General Election 1997: West Suffolk|
|Liberal Democrat||Adrian Graves||6,892||14.0||N/A|
|Referendum Party||J Carver||3,724||7.6||N/A|
|Natural Law||A Shearer||171||0.3||N/A|