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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

Brentwood & Ongar
Conservative hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
There may be one of the strangest contests in Britain in the unexpected surroundings of the apparently safe Tory seat of Brentwood and Ongar in Essex, held easily by Eric Pickles in 1997. Mr Pickles seems an unexceptionable sort of chap, a jovial Yorkshireman with a rather liberal record. Yet he has attracted the attention of Martin Bell, the Independent MP who took it upon himself in 1997 to challenge Neil Hamilton in Tatton on grounds of sleaze. Bell pledged then to serve only one term in Tatton, and though he has fallen for the life of an Honourable Member his image cannot allow him to break his word. Looking for another noble cause, he has lighted on the case of Brentwood, where it has been alleged that a fundamentalist sect, the Peniel church, led by "Bishop" Michael Reid, has taken over the local Conservative party. Having thrown his hat into the ring, Bell will find that the situation in very different from Tatton. For a start, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, who polled very nearly half the total vote here last time, will not withdraw in his favour as at Tatton. He may save his deposit, but a humiliating fourth place beckons ominously.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Eric Pickles, a shrewd and affable if porcine stage Yorkshireman, was parachuted into this safe Essex fastness as reward for having 'done a Wandsworth' as Leader of Bradford Council during the 18 months of Tory control. A social security spokesman whose gut Thatcherism is balanced by pro-European instincts, he was born in 1952 in Keighley where his father had a shop on a council estate, and attended Greenhead Grammar School and Leeds Poly. The minor fly in his ointment is Independent MP Martin Bell who, having exhausted his lease in Tatton, has decided to fight Brentwood & Ongar on the arcane issue of the infiltration of its Tory Association by Pentecostalists, rather than follow Tory advice to stand against the disgraced Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson in Coventry. It would be remarkable if Bell (born 1938, educated at the Leys School and Kings College Cambridge, and gallant survivor of the Balkan wars), the Man in the White Suit who with a Lib-Lab pact vanquished Tory sleaze in 1997, and who has since succumbed to the Commons' embrace, did not, in an attempt to prolong his political career as Ethics Man, get his comeuppance here.

Internet Links for this constituency
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 47.43% 14.99% 316.32
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 0.42% 2.13% 19.60
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 1.55% 2.49% 62.46
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 3.37% 4.43% 76.11
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 3.90% 7.27% 53.63
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 2.98% 2.56% 116.11
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 2.57% 2.04% 125.87
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.67% 3.94% 17.07
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 19.45% 13.04% 149.15
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 3.22% 12.70% 25.37
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 6.60% 8.14% 81.11
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 1.22% 4.02% 30.31
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 3.68% 3.19% 115.52
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 2.39% 11.31% 21.16
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.55% 3.06% 17.82
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 0.00% 0.06% 0.00
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 4.88% 9.41% 51.79
5-10K 9.51% 16.63% 57.17
10-15K 11.48% 16.58% 69.24
15-20K 11.32% 13.58% 83.35
20-25K 10.20% 10.39% 98.13
25-30K 8.78% 7.77% 112.93
30-35K 7.38% 5.79% 127.41
35-40K 6.13% 4.33% 141.39
40-45K 5.05% 3.27% 154.78
45-50K 4.16% 2.48% 167.53
50-55K 3.42% 1.90% 179.65
55-60K 2.82% 1.47% 191.16
60-65K 2.33% 1.15% 202.07
65-70K 1.93% 0.91% 212.43
70-75K 1.60% 0.72% 222.26
75-80K 1.33% 0.57% 231.61
80-85K 1.11% 0.46% 240.50
85-90K 0.93% 0.37% 248.98
90-95K 0.78% 0.31% 257.07
95-100K 0.66% 0.25% 264.79
100K + 4.14% 1.34% 308.33

Local Map of the constituency
Brentwood & Ongar - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Brentwood & Ongar - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (11.24%)
Conservative (- 12.20%) Liberal Democrat (-  4.20%)
Conservative (-  7.38%) Labour (-  9.50%) Liberal Democrat (- 10.75%)
Con - 12.20%
Lab 11.24%
LD - 4.20%
Con - 7.38%
Lab - 9.50%
LD - 10.75%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Eric Pickles
Conservative hold
Con Conservative (38.03%) 16,558 38.03%
Lab Labour (12.64%) 5,505 12.64%
LD Liberal Democrat (15.55%) 6,772 15.55%
Oth Other (33.78%) 14,707 33.78%
Maj Majority (22.47%) 9,786 22.47%
Turn Turnout (67.30%) 43,542 67.30%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Eric Pickles
Conservative hold
Ind T Tony Appleton 52 0.12%
I Martin Bell 13,737 31.55%
Elvis David Bishop 68 0.16%
UK Ken Gulleford 611 1.40%
L Diana Johnson 5,505 12.64%
LD David Kendall 6,772 15.55%
C Eric Pickles 16,558 38.03%
Ind Pr Peter Pryke 239 0.55%
Candidates representing 8 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
Eric Pickles
Conservative
Con Conservative (45.40%) 23,031 45.40%
Lab Labour (22.14%) 11,231 22.14%
LD Liberal Democrat (26.30%) 13,341 26.30%
Ref Referendum (5.24%) 2,658 5.24%
Oth Other (0.92%) 465 0.92%
Maj Majority (19.10%) 9,690 19.10%
Turn Turnout (76.85%) 50,726 76.85%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (57.60%) 32,187 57.60%
Lab Labour (10.90%) 6,102 10.90%
LD Liberal Democrat (30.50%) 17,012 30.50%
Oth Other (1.00%) 555 1.00%
Maj Majority (27.20%) 15,175 27.20%
Turn Turnout (83.66%) 55,856 83.66%

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