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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

Bedfordshire South West
Conservative hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
One of the few seats held by the Conservatives in 1997 when its predecessor, (with somewhat different boundaries) fell to Labour in their other landslide year of 1966. This seat has a new Tory candidate (and likely winner) in Andrew Selous, following the departure of Sir David Madel. Why should SW Bedfordshire have remained Tory in 1997? This may have something to do with the extraordinary level of dislike felt in this seat for its large neighbour, Luton. In a poll for the Local Government Commission in the mid 1990s no less than 40pc of respondents in South Bedfordshire volunteered Luton as a place they particularly loathed, the highest figure recorded anywhere in the country. The residents of Dunstable and Houghton Regis, the two largest units in this seat, may be within Luton's economic ambit, but they do not like being associated with it. This seat is 98pc white, while Luton has a large and prominent ethnic minority. The workers here formed the heart of the "Affluent Worker" study of the 1970s, which revealed instrumental (that is self- not class- determined) voting on a huge scale. As a result, south west Bedfordshire swung massively to the Tories in the 1980s, and although its movement back in the Nineties was average for the region, Labour could not recover the seat they had won in 1966.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Insurance underwriter with Great Lakes Reinsurance PLC, and director of a family electronics business from 1984 to 1994, Andrew Selous, who fought Sunderland North in 1997, has replaced retiring Sir David Madel, as Conservative candidate here. An LSE graduate, born in 1962, he is an activist in the Battersea part of the Tory flagship borough of Wandsworth, and a keen advocate of Nato as the UK's key defence pact and of the UK being competitive internationally as well as in Europe. As in three other of Labour's top ten target seats for gains from the Conservatives (Dorset South, Bury St Edmunds and Bosworth), Labour have selected their narrowly-defeated challenger again. Andrew Date, in this case, is a teacher and South Bedfordshire councillor, representing Beaudesert ward in Dunstable, who became leader of the Labour group and council leader. His 45th birthday has fallen during the campaign on May 17.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 13.19% 14.99% 88.00
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.01% 2.13% 0.25
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 0.51% 2.49% 20.35
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 12.99% 4.43% 293.63
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 23.86% 7.27% 328.07
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 1.35% 2.56% 52.59
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.23% 3.94% 5.91
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 9.19% 13.04% 70.48
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 14.16% 12.70% 111.44
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 5.46% 8.14% 67.00
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 1.38% 4.02% 34.29
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 3.31% 3.19% 103.92
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 12.64% 11.31% 111.77
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.19% 3.06% 6.27
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 1.53% 2.52% 60.63
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.01% 0.06% 8.42
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 6.84% 9.41% 72.62
5-10K 13.46% 16.63% 80.95
10-15K 15.08% 16.58% 90.97
15-20K 13.58% 13.58% 99.98
20-25K 11.16% 10.39% 107.34
25-30K 8.79% 7.77% 113.10
30-35K 6.80% 5.79% 117.48
35-40K 5.23% 4.33% 120.76
40-45K 4.02% 3.27% 123.16
45-50K 3.10% 2.48% 124.87
50-55K 2.40% 1.90% 126.03
55-60K 1.87% 1.47% 126.76
60-65K 1.46% 1.15% 127.15
65-70K 1.15% 0.91% 127.26
70-75K 0.91% 0.72% 127.16
75-80K 0.73% 0.57% 126.89
80-85K 0.58% 0.46% 126.48
85-90K 0.47% 0.37% 125.96
90-95K 0.38% 0.31% 125.35
95-100K 0.31% 0.25% 124.67
100K + 1.59% 1.34% 118.50

Local Map of the constituency
Bedfordshire South West - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Bedfordshire South West - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (14.79%)
Conservative (- 15.47%) Liberal Democrat (-  2.30%)
Conservative (1.40%) Liberal Democrat (0.46%)
Labour (-  0.12%)
Con - 15.47%
Lab 14.79%
LD - 2.30%
Con 1.40%
Lab - 0.12%
LD 0.46%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Andrew Selous
Conservative hold
Con Conservative (42.13%) 18,477 42.13%
Lab Labour (40.36%) 17,701 40.36%
LD Liberal Democrat (14.76%) 6,473 14.76%
Oth Other (2.74%) 1,203 2.74%
Maj Majority (1.77%) 776 1.77%
Turn Turnout (60.80%) 43,854 60.80%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Andrew Selous
Conservative hold
L Andrew Date 17,701 40.36%
LD Martin Pantling 6,473 14.76%
C Andrew Selous 18,477 42.13%
UK Tom Wise 1,203 2.74%
Candidates representing 4 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
David Madel
Conservative
Con Conservative (40.73%) 21,534 40.73%
Lab Labour (40.49%) 21,402 40.49%
LD Liberal Democrat (14.30%) 7,559 14.30%
Ref Referendum (3.33%) 1,761 3.33%
Oth Other (1.15%) 608 1.15%
Maj Majority (0.25%) 132 0.25%
Turn Turnout (75.76%) 52,864 75.76%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (56.20%) 32,000 56.20%
Lab Labour (25.70%) 14,660 25.70%
LD Liberal Democrat (16.60%) 9,475 16.60%
Oth Other (1.40%) 818 1.40%
Maj Majority (30.40%) 17,340 30.40%
Turn Turnout (81.68%) 56,953 81.68%

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