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Readers Poll Con 52% Lab 28% LD 18% Nat 2% Enter your vote to win 1M

Romsey
Liberal Democrat gain

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
The Liberal Democrats and their predecessors of varying names have been champion by-election gainers going back to Torrington in 1958 and Orpington in 1962. In the 1992-97 Parliament they gained four seats from the Conservatives for example. Since 1997, though, there have been slimmer pickings.. In the current Parliament the Lib Dems have increased their total number of MPs by just one, from 46 to 47, as Sandra Gidley took the apparently solid Tory seat of Romsey on local election day, May 2000, following the tragic and sudden death in a house fire of Michael Colvin. Some have pointed to the M3 corridor effect, as the Lib Dems have picked up the seats of Newbury, Winchester, Romsey, Eastleigh and Christchurch in recent years, all within a few miles of that arterial expressway. In fact, the pure chance of the locations of by-election vacancies has much more to do with it. All these seats have subsequently been retained, except for Christchurch, but Gidley must face a tough task if Romsey is not to follow the latter's example by reverting to the Conservative column. The Labour vote in the Romsey byelection on 4 May 2000 was squeezed (wth their tacit support) to a paltry deposit-losing 3.7 per cent, and this seat is rightly seen as a highly significant test case as to whether effective anti-Tory tactical voting continues in the 7 June 2001 general election. The number of Lib Dem MPs on 8 June and after will very much depend on this factor.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Sandra Gidley, a standard Lib Dem byelection landslide phenomenon, appeared here in May 2000. A typical local-councillor-made-good, she is the personification of ordinariness, born 1957, a supermarket pharmacy manager, married to an electronics engineer, who likes "a tough game of badminton". Since statistically she has no business representing what was the Conservatives' 51st safest seat in 1997, a 'tough game' may well be on offer in the shape of Paul Raynes, the new Conservative candidate in place of the pin-striped Old Etonian farmer she saw off at the byelection. A high-flying former civil servant, successively at the Treasury and as first secretary at the British Embassy in Paris between 1990 and 1999, Paul Raynes has worked since 1999 in William Hague's Policy Unit and co-authored The Common Sense Revolution, the Party's basis for the 2001 manifesto. Born 1968 and Catholic-educated at the Salesian College, Farnborough and at Downing College Cambridge, he accompanies his important role in the Hague leadership with book reviewing for the Literary Review.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 41.69% 14.99% 278.03
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.77% 2.13% 36.29
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 3.01% 2.49% 120.88
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 12.71% 4.43% 287.29
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 12.31% 7.27% 169.19
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.66% 2.56% 25.78
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.66% 2.04% 32.23
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.18% 3.94% 4.67
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 13.07% 13.04% 100.20
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 2.57% 12.70% 20.26
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 6.03% 8.14% 74.01
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 1.11% 4.02% 27.54
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 0.35% 3.19% 10.92
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 3.47% 11.31% 30.68
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 1.23% 3.06% 40.24
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 0.00% 2.52% 0.00
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.02% 2.10% 0.93
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.17% 0.06% 274.68
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 6.03% 9.41% 64.07
5-10K 11.93% 16.63% 71.73
10-15K 13.61% 16.58% 82.08
15-20K 12.61% 13.58% 92.80
20-25K 10.71% 10.39% 103.02
25-30K 8.74% 7.77% 112.41
30-35K 7.00% 5.79% 120.86
35-40K 5.56% 4.33% 128.40
40-45K 4.41% 3.27% 135.08
45-50K 3.50% 2.48% 140.99
50-55K 2.78% 1.90% 146.21
55-60K 2.22% 1.47% 150.83
60-65K 1.78% 1.15% 154.92
65-70K 1.44% 0.91% 158.56
70-75K 1.16% 0.72% 161.79
75-80K 0.95% 0.57% 164.68
80-85K 0.77% 0.46% 167.27
85-90K 0.64% 0.37% 169.60
90-95K 0.52% 0.31% 171.70
95-100K 0.43% 0.25% 173.59
100K + 2.44% 1.34% 181.69

Local Map of the constituency
Romsey - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Romsey - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (5.67%) Liberal Democrat (6.33%)
Conservative (- 17.21%)
Liberal Democrat (17.53%)
Conservative (-  3.92%) Labour (- 10.34%)
Con - 17.21%
Lab 5.67%
LD 6.33%
Con - 3.92%
Lab - 10.34%
LD 17.53%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Sandra Gidley
Liberal Democrat gain
Con Conservative (42.07%) 20,386 42.07%
Lab Labour (8.23%) 3,986 8.23%
LD Liberal Democrat (46.96%) 22,756 46.96%
Oth Other (2.75%) 1,331 2.75%
Maj Majority (4.89%) 2,370 4.89%
Turn Turnout (100.00%) 48,459 100.00%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Sandra Gidley
Liberal Democrat gain
LD Sandra Gidley 22,756 46.96%
LCA Derrick Large 601 1.24%
UK Anthony McCabe 730 1.51%
L Paul Raynes 3,986 8.23%
C Stephen Roberts 20,386 42.07%
Candidates representing 5 parties stood for election to this seat.
Byelection Results
By Election (4 May 2000)
Death of Michael Keith Beale Colvin 24 February 2000
Sandra Gidley
Liberal Democrat gain
Con Conservative (42.01%) 16,260 42.01%
Lab Labour (3.75%) 1,451 3.75%
LD Liberal Democrat (50.56%) 19,571 50.56%
Oth Other (3.69%) 1,427 3.69%
Maj Majority (8.55%) 3,311 8.55%
Turn Turnout (55.41%) 38,709 55.41%
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Michael Colvin
Conservative
Con Conservative (45.99%) 23,834 45.99%
Lab Labour (18.57%) 9,623 18.57%
LD Liberal Democrat (29.43%) 15,249 29.43%
Ref Referendum (2.49%) 1,291 2.49%
Oth Other (3.52%) 1,824 3.52%
Maj Majority (16.57%) 8,585 16.57%
Turn Turnout (76.99%) 51,821 76.99%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (63.20%) 34,218 63.20%
Lab Labour (12.90%) 6,982 12.90%
LD Liberal Democrat (23.10%) 12,496 23.10%
Oth Other (0.80%) 420 0.80%
Maj Majority (40.10%) 21,722 40.10%
Turn Turnout (82.56%) 54,116 82.56%

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