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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

Hitchin & Harpenden
Conservative hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
A decidedly odd pairing created by the Boundary Commission's need to give Hertfordshire and eleventh seat in their 1995 report, this seat was thus first fought in 1997. Hitchin is a marginal town in north Hertfordshire, with a light industrial base, council housing in the Oughton ward and a substantial Asian minority in Bearton ward. Harpenden on the other hand looks to St Albans, with which it was paired from 1974 to 1997 (Hemel Hempstead before that), and had effectively kept those seats safely Conservative - as they are no longer, but as Hitchin and Harpenden is. Simply, Harpenden is one of the most middle class and Conservative towns in Britain, as was clear from small-area Census data before the mergers which came into effect in 1974. It has ultra-wealthy sections such as East Common and West Common, the long term home of the comedian Eric Morecambe, who publicised it in his routine as well as his adherence to Luton Football Club. It is clear that the Boundary Commission have difficulty placing Harpenden (they originally proposed last time to put it in with Hatfield), but although the present situation is unsatisfactory - Hitchin is 15 miles away on the other side of Luton - wherever it goes it will apparently make a decisive impact in the Conservative interest.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Peter Lilley, discarded policy strategist of the earlier part of Hague's leadership after being demoted from Shadow Chancellor, is a one-time Gradgrind Thatcherite who has latterly appeared to trim in a One Nation direction. His defenders, however, say he was never as he seemed, merely playing to a rightwing gallery. Cerebral and diffident, he was born 1943, attended Dulwich College and Clare College, Cambridge, and was an oil analyst and stockbroker before working in the Conservative Research Department for four years. With a deficiency in many of the usual political arts, he abortively ran for leader in 1997 and won the endorsement of 24 MPs out of 165. His ominous designation as 'Deputy Leader' in 1998 sounded the death knell.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 39.09% 14.99% 260.72
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.16% 2.13% 7.49
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 2.14% 2.49% 86.11
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 7.34% 4.43% 165.81
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 4.65% 7.27% 63.88
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 5.53% 2.56% 215.81
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 2.51% 2.04% 122.93
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.18% 3.94% 4.54
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 17.67% 13.04% 135.55
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 3.37% 12.70% 26.55
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 6.93% 8.14% 85.11
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 3.11% 4.02% 77.42
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 0.92% 3.19% 28.88
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 5.87% 11.31% 51.89
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.51% 3.06% 16.62
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 0.01% 0.06% 19.39
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 5.61% 9.41% 59.64
5-10K 10.49% 16.63% 63.06
10-15K 12.13% 16.58% 73.16
15-20K 11.61% 13.58% 85.47
20-25K 10.24% 10.39% 98.52
25-30K 8.68% 7.77% 111.63
30-35K 7.21% 5.79% 124.42
35-40K 5.92% 4.33% 136.69
40-45K 4.84% 3.27% 148.33
45-50K 3.95% 2.48% 159.31
50-55K 3.23% 1.90% 169.62
55-60K 2.64% 1.47% 179.28
60-65K 2.17% 1.15% 188.32
65-70K 1.78% 0.91% 196.77
70-75K 1.47% 0.72% 204.68
75-80K 1.22% 0.57% 212.09
80-85K 1.01% 0.46% 219.04
85-90K 0.84% 0.37% 225.56
90-95K 0.71% 0.31% 231.69
95-100K 0.59% 0.25% 237.45
100K + 3.59% 1.34% 267.46

Local Map of the constituency
Hitchin & Harpenden - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Hitchin & Harpenden - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (15.23%) Liberal Democrat (0.26%)
Conservative (- 15.55%)
Conservative (1.50%)
Labour (-  0.61%) Liberal Democrat (-  2.08%)
Con - 15.55%
Lab 15.23%
LD 0.26%
Con 1.50%
Lab - 0.61%
LD - 2.08%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Peter Lilley
Conservative hold
Con Conservative (47.35%) 21,271 47.35%
Lab Labour (32.52%) 14,608 32.52%
LD Liberal Democrat (17.98%) 8,076 17.98%
Oth Other (2.16%) 969 2.16%
Maj Majority (14.83%) 6,663 14.83%
Turn Turnout (66.86%) 44,924 66.86%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Peter Lilley
Conservative hold
L Alan Amos 14,608 32.52%
C Peter Lilley 21,271 47.35%
LD John Murphy 8,076 17.98%
I Peter Rigby 363 0.81%
UK John Saunders 606 1.35%
Candidates representing 5 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Peter Lilley
Conservative
Con Conservative (45.85%) 24,038 45.85%
Lab Labour (33.13%) 17,367 33.13%
LD Liberal Democrat (20.06%) 10,515 20.06%
Ref 0 0.00%
Oth Other (0.97%) 507 0.97%
Maj Majority (12.72%) 6,671 12.72%
Turn Turnout (77.99%) 52,427 77.99%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (61.40%) 33,402 61.40%
Lab Labour (17.90%) 9,711 17.90%
LD Liberal Democrat (19.80%) 10,766 19.80%
Oth Other (0.90%) 498 0.90%
Maj Majority (41.60%) 22,636 41.60%
Turn Turnout (81.30%) 54,377 81.30%

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