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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

Norfolk South West
Conservative hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
Gillian Shephard, one of a large number of former Cabinet MInisters still sitting for East Anglian seats (Major, MacGregor, Gummer, Mawhinney) had the closest squeak of any when she only held South West Norfolk by 2,464 from Labour in 1997. The swing was no greater than average. This seat has long shown that it can produce close results. On all eight occasions it was contested between 1945 and 1966 it was won by less than 1,500 votes, on seven of these by under a thousand, a unique record of hair's breadth majorities. In three of these battles the Conservatives won, but in five Labour did. Since 1970 it has always been held by the Conservatives, but there was clearly Labour support in Breckland, in Thetford with its overspill estates in particular, but also in smaller towns like Swaffham and Downham Market. The prospect of another very close Conservative-Labour contest in Norfolk was enhanced by the apparently unilateral advice of the Liberal Democrat candidate on June 1 advising his supporters to vote Labour. How suggestible they are remains to be seen in this sturdy and independently-minded county.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Gillian Shephard, who rose as part of Major's East Anglian mafia to be the senior woman in the Conservative government, lingered on the frontbench in opposition for two years but, with age and Europhilia telling against her, left for the backbenches in 1999. As an ex-teacher, married to a comprehensive school headmaster, she was less rightwing than she sounded on vouchers and selectivity as Education Secretary. Tiny, direct and classless, born 1940, and educated at North Walsham Girls' School and St. Hilda's College Oxford, she comes from a background of livestock dealing, and as Minister of Agriculture luckily moved on before the BSE crisis struck. As Education Secretary she could often sound like a shrill school mistress. Labour's Anne Hanson, born 1953 and currently a student, has been a local councillor and member of Labour's NEC|Women's Committee. Educated at Pope John Comprehensive, Corby and Norwch City College, she has worked variously as a hairdresser, play group assistant, and adult education assistant tutor.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 11.06% 14.99% 73.80
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 9.36% 2.13% 440.06
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 12.27% 2.49% 493.59
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 3.01% 4.43% 67.94
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 5.28% 7.27% 72.61
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 0.00% 3.94% 0.00
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 31.56% 13.04% 242.03
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 7.98% 12.70% 62.80
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 8.17% 8.14% 100.38
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 0.48% 4.02% 11.99
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 3.55% 3.19% 111.32
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 5.68% 11.31% 50.24
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.03% 3.06% 0.83
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 1.29% 2.52% 51.22
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.28% 0.06% 455.33
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 10.00% 9.41% 106.24
5-10K 18.85% 16.63% 113.36
10-15K 18.91% 16.58% 114.03
15-20K 15.03% 13.58% 110.63
20-25K 10.90% 10.39% 104.91
25-30K 7.63% 7.77% 98.19
30-35K 5.29% 5.79% 91.26
35-40K 3.66% 4.33% 84.58
40-45K 2.56% 3.27% 78.35
45-50K 1.80% 2.48% 72.66
50-55K 1.29% 1.90% 67.52
55-60K 0.93% 1.47% 62.90
60-65K 0.68% 1.15% 58.76
65-70K 0.50% 0.91% 55.05
70-75K 0.37% 0.72% 51.71
75-80K 0.28% 0.57% 48.72
80-85K 0.21% 0.46% 46.01
85-90K 0.16% 0.37% 43.57
90-95K 0.13% 0.31% 41.35
95-100K 0.10% 0.25% 39.33
100K + 0.41% 1.34% 30.33

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

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

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (10.81%)
Conservative (- 12.70%) Liberal Democrat (-  4.29%)
Conservative (10.19%)
Labour (-  3.31%) Liberal Democrat (-  3.18%)
Con - 12.70%
Lab 10.81%
LD - 4.29%
Con 10.19%
Lab - 3.31%
LD - 3.18%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Gillian Shephard
Conservative hold
Con Conservative (52.19%) 27,633 52.19%
Lab Labour (34.50%) 18,267 34.50%
LD Liberal Democrat (10.73%) 5,681 10.73%
Oth Other (2.58%) 1,368 2.58%
Maj Majority (17.69%) 9,366 17.69%
Turn Turnout (63.11%) 52,949 63.11%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Gillian Shephard
Conservative hold
LD Gordon Dean 5,681 10.73%
L Anne Hanson 18,267 34.50%
C Gillian Shephard 27,633 52.19%
UK Ian Smith 1,368 2.58%
Candidates representing 4 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Gillian Shepard
Conservative
Con Conservative (42.00%) 24,694 42.00%
Lab Labour (37.81%) 22,230 37.81%
LD Liberal Democrat (13.91%) 8,178 13.91%
Ref Referendum (6.28%) 3,694 6.28%
Oth 0 0.00%
Maj Majority (4.19%) 2,464 4.19%
Turn Turnout (73.28%) 58,796 73.28%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (54.70%) 34,098 54.70%
Lab Labour (27.00%) 16,848 27.00%
LD Liberal Democrat (18.20%) 11,343 18.20%
Oth 0 0.00%
Maj Majority (27.70%) 17,250 27.70%
Turn Turnout (79.14%) 62,289 79.14%

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