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election2001
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Readers Poll Con 52% Lab 28% LD 18% Nat 2% Enter your vote to win 1M

Castle Point
Conservative gain

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
Castle Point consists of the town of Benfleet plus Canvey Island in south east Essex. Although scarcely a glamorous corner of Britain, over 89pc of the housing is owner-occupied, the nation's second highest figure, and the 1992 result saw a Conservative victory by 16,830 votes. It might seem that this apparently very unlikely Labour gain of 1997 ( by 1,143 votes on a swing of no less than 17 per cent) must surely be reversed at the next General Election. But in the May 1999 local elections, Labour won 25 council seats to the Tories' 14 in the Castle Point District, which exactly matches the parliamentary constituency, and took 53.3pc of the total vote to the Conservatives' 45.9pc (there were only three other candidates in any of the District's wards in this straight-fight area). If Christine Butler does lose the re-run to Robert Spink, it should be very closely.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Christine Butler, Labour's 4th least expected new MP in 1997, in what was supposedly the Tories' 77th safest seat, was a local Essex county councillor before her election. Born 1943, educated at grammar schools and at Middlesex Polytechnic, she was a research assistant in the pharmaceutical industry and in the NHS. In her first year she tabled four written questions. Her Tory challenger is the man she beat in 1997, Dr Robert Spink, a Yorkshire-born (1948) former mill boy and electronics apprentice who eventually acquired a Manchester University doctorate in management economics. An engineer with EMI for 11 years who became a management consultant, eventually running Bournemouth Airport, he won the seat in 1992 and established a reputation as a keen privatiser and deregulator, if conservative on Sunday trading. Opposed to joining the euro "even if economically beneficial", he was Ann Widdecombe's PPS for three years, is anti-abortion and has been the subject of a 50-strong local Tory petition to have him deselected.

Internet Links for this constituency
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 35.01% 14.99% 233.52
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.09% 2.13% 4.09
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 2.79% 2.49% 112.35
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 4.09% 4.43% 92.37
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 14.61% 7.27% 200.85
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.05% 2.56% 2.14
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.00% 3.94% 0.00
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 32.17% 13.04% 246.69
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 2.44% 12.70% 19.18
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 2.87% 8.14% 35.22
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 0.00% 4.02% 0.00
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 0.03% 3.19% 0.93
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 5.74% 11.31% 50.78
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.11% 3.06% 3.65
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 0.00% 2.52% 0.00
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.00% 0.06% 0.00
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 7.34% 9.41% 77.99
5-10K 13.47% 16.63% 81.01
10-15K 14.70% 16.58% 88.64
15-20K 13.12% 13.58% 96.61
20-25K 10.80% 10.39% 103.89
25-30K 8.57% 7.77% 110.21
30-35K 6.69% 5.79% 115.58
35-40K 5.20% 4.33% 120.09
40-45K 4.04% 3.27% 123.85
45-50K 3.15% 2.48% 126.98
50-55K 2.47% 1.90% 129.58
55-60K 1.94% 1.47% 131.73
60-65K 1.54% 1.15% 133.50
65-70K 1.22% 0.91% 134.96
70-75K 0.98% 0.72% 136.15
75-80K 0.79% 0.57% 137.12
80-85K 0.64% 0.46% 137.91
85-90K 0.52% 0.37% 138.53
90-95K 0.42% 0.31% 139.02
95-100K 0.35% 0.25% 139.39
100K + 1.87% 1.34% 139.12

Local Map of the constituency
Castle Point - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Castle Point - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (18.42%)
Conservative (- 15.48%) Liberal Democrat (-  9.98%)
Conservative (4.49%)
Labour (-  0.29%) Liberal Democrat (-  1.38%)
Con - 15.48%
Lab 18.42%
LD - 9.98%
Con 4.49%
Lab - 0.29%
LD - 1.38%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Robert Spink
Conservative gain
Con Conservative (44.61%) 17,738 44.61%
Lab Labour (42.13%) 16,753 42.13%
LD Liberal Democrat (7.84%) 3,116 7.84%
Oth Other (5.42%) 2,156 5.42%
Maj Majority (2.48%) 985 2.48%
Turn Turnout (58.38%) 39,763 58.38%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Robert Spink
Conservative gain
LD Billy Boulton 3,116 7.84%
L Christine Butler 16,753 42.13%
UK Ron Hurrell 1,273 3.20%
I Douglas Roberts 663 1.67%
TH Nik Searle 220 0.55%
C Robert Spink 17,738 44.61%
Candidates representing 6 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Christine Butler
Labour gain
Con Conservative (40.12%) 19,489 40.12%
Lab Labour (42.42%) 20,605 42.42%
LD Liberal Democrat (9.22%) 4,477 9.22%
Ref Referendum (5.56%) 2,700 5.56%
Oth Other (2.68%) 1,301 2.68%
Maj Majority (2.30%) 1,116 2.30%
Turn Turnout (72.34%) 48,572 72.34%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (55.60%) 29,629 55.60%
Lab Labour (24.00%) 12,799 24.00%
LD Liberal Democrat (19.20%) 10,208 19.20%
Oth Other (1.20%) 643 1.20%
Maj Majority (31.60%) 16,830 31.60%
Turn Turnout (79.08%) 53,279 79.08%

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