North West Norfolk

2015 Result:
Conservative: 24727 (52.2%)
Labour: 10779 (22.8%)
Lib Dem: 1673 (3.5%)
Green: 1780 (3.8%)
UKIP: 8412 (17.8%)
MAJORITY: 13948 (29.4%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Norfolk. Part of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk council area.

Main population centres: King`s Lynn, Hunstanton, Burnham Market, Dersingham.

Profile: Covers the market town and regional centre of Kings Lynn and the rural Norfolk coast around the wash, including the traditional seaside town of Hunstanton and the royal estate of Sandringham. It is a popular tourist and retirement area and, according to the 2011 census, has the highest proportion of people living in caravan parks of any area in the England and Wales.

Politics: While the rural parts of the seat vote Conservative Kings Lynn itself has a lot of Labour support, meaning this has been a marginal seat in the past. Along with its predecessor Kings Lynn it was held by the Labour party between 1945 and 1951, 1964-1970 and 1997-2001 (and briefly by the SDP when Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler defected, the only Conservative MP to cross the floor to join the SDP)..

Current MP
HENRY BELLINGHAM (Conservative) Born 1955, Cheltenham. Educated at Eton and Cambridge University. Barrister. MP for North West Norfolk 1983-1997. First elected as MP for North West Norfolk in 2001. PPS to Malcolm Rifkind 1991-1997. Shadow minister for small business 2002-2005, opposition whip 2005-2006. shadow minister for constitutional affairs 2006-2007, shadow justice minister since 2007-2010. Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 2010-2012. Lost his seat in the 1997 landslide but successfully regained in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 25916 (54%)
Lab: 6353 (13%)
LDem: 11106 (23%)
UKIP: 1841 (4%)
Oth: 2584 (5%)
MAJ: 14810 (31%)
Con: 25471 (50%)
Lab: 16291 (32%)
LDem: 7026 (14%)
UKIP: 1861 (4%)
MAJ: 9180 (18%)
Con: 24846 (49%)
Lab: 21361 (42%)
LDem: 4292 (8%)
UKIP: 704 (1%)
MAJ: 3485 (7%)
Con: 23911 (42%)
Lab: 25250 (44%)
LDem: 5513 (10%)
MAJ: 1339 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
HENRY BELLINGHAM (Conservative) See above.
HUGH LANHAM (Liberal Democrat)
MICHAEL DE WHALLEY (Green) Contested Norfolk North West 2010.
Comments - 50 Responses on “Norfolk North West”
  1. Has anyone ever compared Kings Lynn and Boston?

  2. There are lots of similarities between Kings Lynn and Boston.

    Both are ports founded in the middles ages on the edge of the Fens. Both have deprived areas and are Labour-leaning but surrounded by Conservative countryside. Both have experienced immigration from Eastern Europe and Portugal. Both have seen far activity though only Boston has had an elected BNP councillor.

  3. There is a strong enough base outside Kings Lynn in places like Hunstanton for this to be a safe Conservative seat.

    I would expect Ukip to do well here but they would probably take as many Labour-leaning voters as Tories.

  4. Think this would probably actually merit “very safe” by now. Over 40 point lead over labour.

  5. And yet it is described as a marginal in the description:
    “While the rural parts of the seat vote Conservative Kings Lynn itself has a lot of Labour support, making this a marginal seat. Along with its successor Kings Lynn it was held by the Labour party between 1945 and 1951, 1964-1970 and 1997-2005 ”

    Of course Labour lost this seat in 2001, not 2005

  6. Well basically it was always historically a marginal. It ceased to be so, temporarily, from 1983 to 1992, but despite the Labour gain in 1997 it has clearly trended Conservative since 1970, in line with the rest of rural (or part-rural) Norfolk. Anthony can almost be forgiven for the error since there were so few Conservative gains from Labour in 2001. It would be incorrect to describe the seat as a marginal now, though Labour are almost certainly going to recover at least to some extent from the drubbing which was at least partly down to the stupidity of the candidate in 2010.

  7. I think the description of Manish Sood helping Henry Bellingham’s majority is incorrect as well.

    Yes, it will have inreased the tory lead over labour, but it would probably have sent labour voters to the LDs reducing the majority over the liberals.

    Id imagine we would see something in the ball-park of

    Con 50
    Lab 25
    LD 17

    If the liberals do not too badly nationally and Con and Lab are around even nationally (Greater than average swing to Labour to 2015 because of Manish Sood.)


    Seems he has been posing as a masseuse in order to fondle women. All the talk of Louise Mensch and Joanna Cash, but I think this gentleman may have been the worst candidate in what has been a marginal seat.

  9. Prediction for 2015-
    Bellingham (Conservative)- 51%
    Labour- 20%
    Liberal Democrats- 18%
    UKIP- 8%
    Others- 3%

  10. prediction for 2015

    Con 44
    Lab 24
    UKIP 15
    LD 10
    Other 7

    This is my honest opinion. My mother knows all about the King John cup.

  11. Tories held a seat last night at Burnham from UKIP, who IMHO did rather poorly.UKIP haven’t exactly set the world on fire since their successes here in 2013. Henry Bellingham strikes me as what used to be known as a thoroughly decent chap.

  12. This seat has actually had quite an unusual electoral history. For example, it was held by Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler from February 1974 until 1983, who actually increased his vote share and majority over Labour in October 1974, and who was originally elected three times here as a Conservative (once before in 1970 for the old King’s Lynn seat) but defected to the SDP in 1981, and went on to unsuccessfully attempt to win in his new colours in 1983 and then 1987, before moving down to South Norfolk in time for 1992. When CBF went, so did his large personal vote.

    In 1992, the natural order of things here had pretty much returned and the Lib Dem vote collapsed by 18.2%, with the percentage of 13.8% not really comparable to the SDP vote in 1983 and 1987 because of CBF’s large following. That looked more like the natural level of third party support for this seat at that time.

    In addition to all of that, Henry Bellingham in his first stint as MP for this seat did very very well here in terms of his results- a 7.06% increase in 1987, and then another increase of 1.6% in 1992. In 1987, in fact, he more than trebled his majority.

    Then there was the extremely intriguing result in 1997- HB lost here probably because of the Referendum Party standing, and there’s a very interesting story behind the contest here that can be found online that I won’t go into detail about here because it is too long.

    Since then, things have returned to what could probably be described as ‘normal’, especially given that Henry Bellingham took this back in 2001 easily and has built his way back up from then on, and he now enjoys his largest majority ever of 14810 (31.0%), as well as vote share (54.2%).

  13. King’s Lynn used to be one of the richest and most populous in the country many centuries ago. When you walk around it today you get the impression it used to be an important place.

    UKIP would have a chance here you feel if it wasn’t for Henry Bellingham being a traditional Tory MP.

  14. The only British PM to be assassinated is Spencer Perceval. His assassin was a man named Bellingham, an ancestor of Henry Bellingham. Strangely enough, in the 1997 general election, Bellingham was opposed by a Referendum Party candidate called Mr R.Percival, despite the altered spelling a descendant of Spencer Perceval. It is not known whether his candidacy is an attempt at very late-in-the-day revenge for Spencer Perceval’s assassination.

  15. That’s the story I was hinting at yes Barnaby.

    For all the strange results here over the years, it does seem to have settled down for now at least as a safe Conservative seat after several phases of being marginal with Labour, then the SDP and finally Labour again.

  16. It’s interesting to note that by 2005, the Conservative majority had already reached its 1992 level, despite the fact that the Conservatives performed much less well nationally in 2005 than in 1992.

    Labour should get back into second but it’ll be very distant in my view.

  17. Euro election result for King’s Lynn & West Norfolk:

    UKIP: 16,356
    Con: 11,485
    Lab: 5,562
    Green: 2,902
    LD: 1,252

  18. It’s amazing that Labour managed to capture this seat as late as 1997.

    Their decline in Norfolk in the past 30-40 years has been truly cataclysmic. The old agricultural trade union non-conformist Labour voting tradition has just about vanished without trace.

  19. The 2010 result was I think even worse than the underlying trends – as discussed on the old site.
    Labour did win a number of seats in Kings Lynn in 2011 and I think will take second place with about a 7-9% rise.
    (Well above national).

  20. The appalling candidate here last time certainly didn’t help.

  21. I have quite a range on this one.
    The Tories could credibly rise.
    2015 fairly likely

    CON 52% -2%
    LAB 22% +9%
    UKIP 14% +10%
    LD 10% -13%
    GRN 2% +0%

    C to Lab swing 5%

  22. I was the Liberal Democrat candidate here in 2010 (though have no plans to stand in 2015 due to a politically restricted job and other commitments).

    I don’t believe the collapse of the Labour vote was anything like as much down to the Labour candidate’s specific comments about Gordon Brown (“the worst Prime Minister ever”) as is often suggested. That happened in the final days of the campaign, but the Labour vote had already collapsed here and across Norfolk well before that. I really struggled to find any Labour voters in NW Norfolk (including King’s Lynn), and even normally hardcore Labour supporters were switching. Clearly the Labour guy was a very poor choice of candidate from the start: a carpet-bagger from Leicester whose only claim to the area was that he supposedly “came here on holiday as a child” (though even that sounded doubtful). He didn’t campaign properly and didn’t even show up to hustings and events – even before the national furore. In fact I understand Labour had already tried to ditch him before the election campaign but were told by HQ they weren’t allowed to. But despite all that, my view is Labour were always going to take a big hit here. As well as the anti-Labour trend across Norfolk and a local Labour party in disarray, the Lib Dems had some effective local councillors, good campaigns and press coverage, a dashing local candidate(!) and also the ‘Norman Lamb factor’ spilling over from North Norfolk.

  23. Very interesting to hear from the Lib Dem candidate here in 2010, William Summers above.

    Until 2005, the Lib Dems had been doing very badly here after the departure of Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler, which was not altogether surprising given historically the Liberals had never amounted to much in any case in the area. The Alliance without CBF probably would have got at least 20% in 1983 without CBF’s defection, but then that likely would have gone down a couple of percentage points in 1987.

  24. I think the LDs could do spectacularly badly here next year going from 23% to about 4%. A lot of their support is probably of the “protest vote” type and is likely to go across wholesale to UKIP or the Greens. A fair proportion will go to Labour as well.

  25. Yes can’t disagree with that. They’ve not actually fared very well here at all over the years, and it looks possible they could sink from second to fourth at least here. So my current prediction would be-
    Tory- 50%
    UKIP- 22%
    Labour- 21%
    Lib Dem- 4%
    Green- 2%
    Others- 1%

  26. AndyJS. I struggle with whether the bigger ramper on this site is Dalek in his anti Lab crusade or you in your anti LD one.

  27. I personally think a Lib Dem lost deposit isn’t at all inconceivable here.

  28. “AndyJS. I struggle with whether the bigger ramper on this site is Dalek in his anti Lab crusade or you in your anti LD one.”

    I don’t know why you say that since I’m predicting the LDs will win 30-35 seats which is more than most people I think.

  29. The Lib Dems did not do well at all here between 1992 and 2001-
    1992- 8, 599 (13.8%, -18.2%)
    1997- 5, 513 (9.6%, -4.2%)
    2001- 4, 292 (8.4%, -1.2%)

    The big increases in 2005 and 2010 made up for their relative under-performance after 1992 but their natural vote was never going to get as high as CBF’s good showings in SDP colours in the 80s.

  30. Liberal Democrat candidate- Hugh Lanham.

  31. Conservative Hold. 16,000 maj.

  32. Labour recorded their 41st best increase in share of the vote in this seat, 9.46 points.

  33. ..but are still 20% points down on 1997!

    The Lib Dems are also 20% points down from their peak vote share…but that of course was in 2010…

  34. Amusing that I was accused above of being anti-LD when predicting before the election that the LD vote would drop to 4%. They actually polled 3.5%.

  35. Their rise in 2010 was exceptional because of the circumstances surrounding the Labour candidate I think.

  36. TheResults is correct. The 2010 result was apocalyptic for Labour & some improvement was inevitable given more normal circumstances.

  37. Labour are 10% below their 1992 level in this seat despite this year’s recovery. This is the kind of seat where they are really struggling to stay in touch and may well ultimately slip behind UKIP.

  38. Wasn’t there a problem with the Labour candidate in 2010, which explains their terrible result then and bounce back in 2015?

  39. Yes, he said Gordon Brown was a terrible leader during the election campaign.

  40. This seat was somewhat different on its creation in 1974, taking in as it did areas from the old Norfolk North such as the northern coast including Wells-next-the-Sea, and the then Walsingham Rural District with attractions such as the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham and the steam and vintage museum at Thursford

  41. It appears that there are a number of seats with 6% of their voters in ful-time education. More extremely, Noth Norfolk, North West noprfolk and Clacton appear to have 5% in full-time education. There may be others – I have not done an exhaustive search. If anoybody knows of some such it would be interesting if we could be told.

    Deos any seat have 4% or fewer of its voters in full-time education? And which seat has absolutely the fewest.

    It appears to me that particularly low numbers of voters in higher education may be due more to a constituency having a particularly high age demographic overall rather than lesser provision of higher education.. Is it possible to show that this is so?

  42. Castle point?

  43. Bangor University has several departments on Anglesey and plenty of students who study in Bangor live in Menai Bridge

  44. North Norfolk at 4.41% does indeed have the lowest proportion of people in full time education of any constituency according to the 2011 census.

    Others below 5% are:

    Tiverton and Honiton
    Boston and Skegness
    South Holland and The Deepings
    Richmond (Yorks)

  45. Henry Bellingham has been knighted in the New Year’s Honours

  46. I believe King’s Lynn was a parliamentary borough until 1918, during which time the municipal borough was in Norfolk North West

  47. Henry Bellingham has spoken to the local press about devolution for Norfolk and Suffolk.He said among other things that ‘The one thing that is going to be constant here is public impatience at the cost of local government.The public are not going to take kindly to unnecessary waste , unnecessary duplication and to perceived inefficiencies.What they want above all else is services that are well delivered and give good
    value for money.They frankly don’t care too much who delivers them’.

  48. A bit surprising to see UKIP fielding a candidate against Henry Bellingham, who has been an outspoken Brexiteer. It won’t affect the result, and maybe they factored that in.

    Full list of candidates –

    Henry Bellingham (Conservative);
    Michael de Whalley (Green);
    Rupert Moss-Eccardt (Liberal Democrat);
    Jo Rust (Labour);
    Michael Stone (UKIP)

  49. KING’S LYNN AND WEST NORFOLK St Margaret with St Nicholas

    Michael John Taylor (The Conservative Party Candidate) 253
    Francis Leonard Bone (Labour Party) 210
    Helen Margaret Faith Russell-Johnson (Liberal Democrats) 173
    Robert Archer (Green Party) 63

    First seat lost anywhere by Labour since the general election. Swale to come.

  50. So much for the Progressive Alliance! It looks like they all rather got in each others’ way here.

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