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election2001
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Christchurch
Conservative hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
The only one of the Liberal Democrat by-election gains in the so-called M3 corridor (not that it gets this far) to be reversed in 1997 was Christchurch, which is effectively a suburban area of east Dorset between Bournemouth and the New Forest. This is scarcely surprising if the demographics are considered. The housing structure of the seat is unique. Not only is a massive 85pc owner occupied, but 55pc of the housing is detached, the highest proportion of any seat in the United Kingdom. There was very little non-Conservative tradition even in local government. One other striking statistic. 60.9 pc of the electorate in Christchurch is aged over 50, the highest of any seat in the UK - and given differential turnout, the proportion of actual voters of mature years will be considerably higher still. Only in the middle of an eight year period when the Conservatives lost every single byelection they defended could Christchurch have fallen in the first place, and that aberrant time is now past.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Christopher Chope, beaten at Southampton Itchen in 1992, was returned here in 1997, ousting the Liberal by-election winner, Diana Maddock. A hardline Thatcherite, he was born in 1947, and educated at Marlborough and St Andrew’s University. He helped create the Tories’ iconic borough of Wandsworth by selling off its council houses and services, before becoming an MP in 1983. With a stiff, boy scout manner and a taste for rottweilers, as junior local government minister he piloted the poll tax and tried to stop its abolition in 1991. In 1997 he backed Michael Howard as leader but was still brought to the front bench (at least for two years). Dorothy Webb runs here as the tactical vote-seeking Liberal Democrat. Born in 1949, educated at Hornchurch Grammar and Aberystwyth University, she comes with the varied background of military police officer, careers adviser and software specialist.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 20.68% 14.99% 137.92
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 1.17% 2.13% 54.81
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 41.89% 2.49% 1,684.93
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 1.95% 4.43% 44.14
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 4.92% 7.27% 67.65
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.09% 2.56% 3.60
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 13.40% 13.04% 102.80
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 3.00% 12.70% 23.64
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 6.04% 8.14% 74.15
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 0.92% 4.02% 22.76
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 0.84% 3.19% 26.44
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 4.48% 11.31% 39.58
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.45% 3.06% 14.69
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 0.17% 2.52% 6.70
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 9.38% 9.41% 99.61
£5-10K 17.57% 16.63% 105.62
£10-15K 17.83% 16.58% 107.53
£15-20K 14.50% 13.58% 106.77
£20-25K 10.86% 10.39% 104.48
£25-30K 7.88% 7.77% 101.39
£30-35K 5.67% 5.79% 97.94
£35-40K 4.09% 4.33% 94.36
£40-45K 2.97% 3.27% 90.82
£45-50K 2.17% 2.48% 87.39
£50-55K 1.60% 1.90% 84.12
£55-60K 1.19% 1.47% 81.03
£60-65K 0.90% 1.15% 78.13
£65-70K 0.68% 0.91% 75.41
£70-75K 0.52% 0.72% 72.87
£75-80K 0.41% 0.57% 70.49
£80-85K 0.32% 0.46% 68.26
£85-90K 0.25% 0.37% 66.18
£90-95K 0.20% 0.31% 64.24
£95-100K 0.16% 0.25% 62.41
£100K + 0.72% 1.34% 53.21

Local Map of the constituency
Christchurch - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Christchurch - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Liberal Democrat (19.18%)
Conservative (- 17.37%) Labour (-  5.19%)
Conservative (8.66%) Labour (8.23%)
Liberal Democrat (- 14.82%)
Con - 17.37%
Lab - 5.19%
LD 19.18%
Con 8.66%
Lab 8.23%
LD - 14.82%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Christopher Chope
Conservative hold
Con Conservative (55.09%) 27,306 55.09%
Lab Labour (15.14%) 7,506 15.14%
LD Liberal Democrat (27.76%) 13,762 27.76%
Oth Other (2.00%) 993 2.00%
Maj Majority (27.32%) 13,544 27.32%
Turn Turnout (67.44%) 49,567 67.44%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Christopher Chope
Conservative hold
L Judith Begg 7,506 15.14%
C Christopher Chope 27,306 55.09%
UK Margaret Strange 993 2.00%
LD Dorothy Webb 13,762 27.76%
Candidates representing 4 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Christopher Chope
Conservative
Con Conservative (46.43%) 26,095 46.43%
Lab Labour (6.91%) 3,884 6.91%
LD Liberal Democrat (42.58%) 23,930 42.58%
Ref Referendum (3.00%) 1,684 3.00%
Oth Other (1.08%) 606 1.08%
Maj Majority (3.85%) 2,165 3.85%
Turn Turnout (78.61%) 56,199 78.61%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (63.80%) 35,237 63.80%
Lab Labour (12.10%) 6,678 12.10%
LD Liberal Democrat (23.40%) 12,913 23.40%
Oth Other (0.80%) 418 0.80%
Maj Majority (40.40%) 22,324 40.40%
Turn Turnout (80.82%) 55,246 80.82%

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