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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

Devon West and Torridge
Liberal Democrat hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
This seat's correct name is Torridge and West Devon, although it is often classified under "Devon West and Torridge". It is a vast constituency, by far the largest in the county and one of the six biggest in England. It stretches from the rugged Hartland Point and the picturesque village of Clovelly, now given up almost entirely to tourism, through Westward Ho! of Charles Kingsley fame and the old shipbuilding port of Appledore, all the way through Bideford and small inland market towns like Torrington, Holsworthy and Okehampton, to take in much of Dartmoor including Princetown with its fearsome prison. The furthest south eastern community in the seat is Chagford, just off the scarp of the moor, on the boundary with the Teignbridge division, which itself extends all the way to Devon's Channel coast. Torridge and West Devon was gained by John Burnett for the Liberal Democrats on the retirement of Emma Nicholson (or was it; she herself had already defected from the Conservatives towards the end of the 1992-97 parliament). The Lib Dems are strong in both Torridge and West Devon council contests, and Burnett may well build up a personal following here, as long as he maintains the local elements to his appeal. The seat is still conservative with a small c, on issues like fox hunting and Europe for example. The United Kingdom Independence Party obtained their highest share of the vote anywhere within this seat, over 19pc, in the Euro-elections in June 1999. Burnett must tread very carefully. Together with Penrith and the Border, Dumfries and Galloway (covering seats currently held by four different parties), this seat has been the most affected by the foot and mouth epidemic. It remains to be seen what the political impact on the various incumbents will be in these blighted parts of the land.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
John Burnett, born 1945, elected 1997, is the Lib Dem MP most reassuring to Tory voters, as an opponent of gun control, hunting bans and homosexual sex at 16. His pedigree is also familiar - Ampleforth, Dartmouth, the Royal Marines, local solicitor based at Oakhampton, and beef farmer. Given his accompanying savoir faire and an affable, doggy-like visage, it could be said this constituency already has a Conservative MP, albeit in Lib Dem garb. But for the sake of appearances the Conservatives have chosen Geoffrey Cox (born 1960) who mirrors some of Burnett’s qualities, as a public school (King’s College Taunton) and Cambridge (Downing College) educated barrister. But his chambers are in London, and he is politically based in Kingston, where the Tories in 1998 ended Lib Dem council control, a feat he is supposed to repeat at the parliamentary level in West Devon.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 11.54% 14.99% 76.96
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 26.88% 2.13% 1,264.08
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 4.69% 2.49% 188.46
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 0.11% 4.43% 2.55
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 1.66% 7.27% 22.83
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.00% 2.56% 0.00
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 1.22% 3.94% 30.85
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 17.42% 13.04% 133.61
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 14.40% 12.70% 113.37
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 11.89% 8.14% 145.99
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 4.80% 4.02% 119.34
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 2.27% 3.19% 71.12
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 2.40% 11.31% 21.21
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.14% 3.06% 4.56
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 0.56% 2.52% 22.41
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.03% 0.06% 47.98
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
£0-5K 11.78% 9.41% 125.10
£5-10K 21.07% 16.63% 126.71
£10-15K 19.65% 16.58% 118.54
£15-20K 14.67% 13.58% 108.01
£20-25K 10.15% 10.39% 97.63
£25-30K 6.86% 7.77% 88.21
£30-35K 4.63% 5.79% 79.91
£35-40K 3.15% 4.33% 72.70
£40-45K 2.17% 3.27% 66.44
£45-50K 1.51% 2.48% 61.02
£50-55K 1.07% 1.90% 56.30
£55-60K 0.77% 1.47% 52.18
£60-65K 0.56% 1.15% 48.57
£65-70K 0.41% 0.91% 45.38
£70-75K 0.31% 0.72% 42.56
£75-80K 0.23% 0.57% 40.05
£80-85K 0.17% 0.46% 37.80
£85-90K 0.13% 0.37% 35.78
£90-95K 0.10% 0.31% 33.96
£95-100K 0.08% 0.25% 32.31
£100K + 0.34% 1.34% 25.03

Local Map of the constituency
Devon West and Torridge - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Devon West and Torridge - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (2.87%) Liberal Democrat (0.14%)
Conservative (-  8.57%)
Conservative (1.48%) Liberal Democrat (0.32%)
Labour (-  1.67%)
Con - 8.57%
Lab 2.87%
LD 0.14%
Con 1.48%
Lab - 1.67%
LD 0.32%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
John Burnett
Liberal Democrat hold
Con Conservative (40.01%) 22,280 40.01%
Lab Labour (10.70%) 5,959 10.70%
LD Liberal Democrat (42.16%) 23,474 42.16%
Oth Other (7.13%) 3,971 7.13%
Maj Majority (2.14%) 1,194 2.14%
Turn Turnout (70.51%) 55,684 70.51%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
John Burnett
Liberal Democrat hold
L David Brenton 5,959 10.70%
LD John Burnett 23,474 42.16%
C Geoffrey Cox 22,280 40.01%
UK Bob Edwards 2,674 4.80%
G Martin Quinn 1,297 2.33%
Candidates representing 5 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
John Burnett
Liberal Democrat gain
Con Conservative (38.53%) 22,787 38.53%
Lab Labour (12.37%) 7,319 12.37%
LD Liberal Democrat (41.84%) 24,744 41.84%
Ref Referendum (3.29%) 1,946 3.29%
Oth Other (3.97%) 2,349 3.97%
Maj Majority (3.31%) 1,957 3.31%
Turn Turnout (77.91%) 59,145 77.91%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (47.10%) 28,458 47.10%
Lab Labour (9.50%) 5,748 9.50%
LD Liberal Democrat (41.70%) 25,187 41.70%
Oth Other (1.70%) 1,002 1.70%
Maj Majority (5.40%) 3,271 5.40%
Turn Turnout (81.22%) 60,395 81.22%

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