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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

Wiltshire North
Conservative hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
The Conservatives have not in living memory lost this seat, previously named Chippenham, but they have come close. In the 1962 by-election caused by the resignation of Sir David Eccles, a victim of Macmillan's Night of the Long Knives, and again in 1964 and 1966 Daniel Awdry held off the Liberals by wafer thin margins, just 694 in the last year when they were at their weakest. Then for 30 years things got better for the Conservatives, especially under Richard Needham, the eccentric but very bright member from 1979, and in 1997 James Gray took over with a margin of three and a half thousand - not princely, but better than in many western parts that year. In May 1999 the Lib Dems again came out on top in the local North Wiltshire district council elections, winning in Malmesbury, Purton, Corsham, Cricklade and wards of the larger towns Calne and Chippenham. However, the evidence from the county council elections which took place on the same day and with the same turnout, indeed the same voters, as the 1997 General Election demonstrates that people split their vote in favour of the Liberal Democrats here. This suggests that close as they get, they are doomed to disappointment in parliamentary contests in North Wiltshire.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
John Gray, a Whip, elected here in 1992, is an itinerant Scot, if of the impeccably anglicised genre, as distinct from the more Caledonian-brogued Sir Teddy Taylor and Eric Forth. Born into the Scots Presbyterian establishment, his father was Minister of Dunblane Cathedral and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and he attended fee-paying Glasgow High School, Glasgow University and Christ Church, Oxford. Phobic on devolution and fox hunting bans, a futures broker-turned-political consultant, his tall, good-looking, statesmanlike mien, and urbanely modulated voice, suggest at least middle rank placing in a Conservative administration of the 1950s. Entertaining hopes here for the Liberal Democrats is broadcaster Hugh Pym, a familiar face when he was News at Ten's Westminster correspondent before going freelance. A doctor's son, Marlborough and Oxford-educated, and brought up locally in Malmesbury, where his politically active Liberal Democrat mother still lives, his attributes as a personable media-known favourite-son should cause the Conservatives some concern.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 30.23% 14.99% 201.64
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 1.30% 2.13% 61.08
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 1.06% 2.49% 42.49
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 14.72% 4.43% 332.64
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 9.27% 7.27% 127.42
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.18% 2.56% 6.97
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.10% 3.94% 2.58
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 15.83% 13.04% 121.41
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 9.07% 12.70% 71.40
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 10.01% 8.14% 122.87
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 1.84% 4.02% 45.65
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 2.30% 3.19% 72.17
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 3.41% 11.31% 30.13
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.67% 3.06% 21.80
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 0.02% 2.52% 0.64
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.01% 0.06% 19.83
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 5.99% 9.41% 63.66
5-10K 12.79% 16.63% 76.92
10-15K 14.77% 16.58% 89.11
15-20K 13.52% 13.58% 99.53
20-25K 11.23% 10.39% 108.08
25-30K 8.94% 7.77% 114.95
30-35K 6.97% 5.79% 120.38
35-40K 5.40% 4.33% 124.62
40-45K 4.18% 3.27% 127.89
45-50K 3.24% 2.48% 130.39
50-55K 2.52% 1.90% 132.25
55-60K 1.97% 1.47% 133.62
60-65K 1.55% 1.15% 134.59
65-70K 1.23% 0.91% 135.24
70-75K 0.98% 0.72% 135.64
75-80K 0.78% 0.57% 135.85
80-85K 0.63% 0.46% 135.89
85-90K 0.51% 0.37% 135.82
90-95K 0.41% 0.31% 135.65
95-100K 0.34% 0.25% 135.41
100K + 1.78% 1.34% 132.73

Local Map of the constituency
Wiltshire North - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Wiltshire North - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (4.04%) Liberal Democrat (6.28%)
Conservative (- 12.43%)
Conservative (1.73%) Labour (0.03%) Liberal Democrat (0.40%)
Con - 12.43%
Lab 4.04%
LD 6.28%
Con 1.73%
Lab 0.03%
LD 0.40%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
James Gray
Conservative hold
Con Conservative (45.50%) 24,090 45.50%
Lab Labour (14.27%) 7,556 14.27%
LD Liberal Democrat (38.17%) 20,212 38.17%
Oth Other (2.06%) 1,090 2.06%
Maj Majority (7.32%) 3,878 7.32%
Turn Turnout (66.58%) 52,948 66.58%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
James Gray
Conservative hold
UK Neil Dowdney 1,090 2.06%
L Jo Garton 7,556 14.27%
C James Gray 24,090 45.50%
LD Hugh Pym 20,212 38.17%
Candidates representing 4 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
James Gray
Conservative
Con Conservative (43.77%) 25,390 43.77%
Lab Labour (14.24%) 8,261 14.24%
LD Liberal Democrat (37.78%) 21,915 37.78%
Ref Referendum (3.06%) 1,774 3.06%
Oth Other (1.16%) 673 1.16%
Maj Majority (5.99%) 3,475 5.99%
Turn Turnout (75.11%) 58,013 75.11%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (56.20%) 33,626 56.20%
Lab Labour (10.20%) 6,087 10.20%
LD Liberal Democrat (31.50%) 18,866 31.50%
Oth Other (2.10%) 1,287 2.10%
Maj Majority (24.70%) 14,760 24.70%
Turn Turnout (83.95%) 59,866 83.95%

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