West Suffolk

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25684 (52.2%)
Labour: 8604 (17.5%)
Lib Dem: 2465 (5%)
Green: 1779 (3.6%)
UKIP: 10700 (21.7%)
MAJORITY: 14984 (30.4%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Suffolk. The whole of Forest Heath council area and part of St Edmundsbury council area.

Main population centres: Newmarket, Haverhill, Mildenhall, Brandon.

Profile: Until 1997 this seat was called Bury St Edmunds, but at the previous set of boundary changes the eponymous town was moved into a new constituency, leaving this as the rural west of the country surrounding Bury St Edmunds itself. While mainly rural, there are very diverse areas within it. At the extreme south of the constituency is the largest town, Haverhill. Pressed against the Essex and Cambridgeshire borders, it is an industrial manufacturing town, making toothbrushes and chemicals. To the west of the seat (and thanks to the unusual border between Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, situated in what is almost an enclave connected to the rest of the constituency by only a thin strip of land) is Newmarket, a market town that is a well-known centre for horse racing and houses not only the two race courses themselves, but the national Horseracing museum, the clubhouse of the Jockey`s Club, and huge numbers of trainers and stud farms. Finally the northern part of the seat is home to two huge United States Air Force bases, RAF Mildenhall (home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing) and RAF Lakenheath (home of the 48th Fighter Wing).

Politics: A comfortably safe Conservative seat, with the only real Labour strength around Haverhill. The seat and its predecessor have been represented by the Conservative party since the nineteenth century.


Current MP
MATTHEW HANCOCK (Conservative) Born 1978, Chester. Educated at King`s School Chester and Oxford University. Former Chief to Staff to George Osborne. First elected as MP for West Suffolk in 2010. Minister of State for Higher Education 2013-2014, Minister of State for Business 2013-2015, Minister of State for Energy 2014-2015. Paymaster General since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 24312 (51%)
Lab: 7089 (15%)
LDem: 11262 (23%)
UKIP: 3085 (6%)
Oth: 2341 (5%)
MAJ: 13050 (27%)
2005*
Con: 21682 (49%)
Lab: 12773 (29%)
LDem: 7573 (17%)
UKIP: 2177 (5%)
MAJ: 8909 (20%)
2001
Con: 20201 (48%)
Lab: 15906 (37%)
LDem: 5017 (12%)
UKIP: 1321 (3%)
MAJ: 4295 (10%)
1997
Con: 20081 (41%)
Lab: 18214 (37%)
LDem: 6892 (14%)
Oth: 171 (0%)
MAJ: 1867 (4%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MATTHEW HANCOCK (Conservative) See above.
MICHAEL JEFFERYS (Labour)
ELFREDA TEALBY-WATSON (Liberal Democrat)
JUILIAN FLOOD (UKIP)
NIALL PETTITT (Green) Born 1991, Newmarket. Educated at Mildenhall College of Education and Bangor University. Environmental science instructor.
Links
Comments - 163 Responses on “Suffolk West”
  1. Matt Hancock has endorsed Boris Johnson

    Hancock living up to his reputation as a careerist who blows like the wind.

  2. Is that a double entendre about his supposedly racy private life, BM11? : -)

  3. Nope. No Pun intended.

  4. He’s clearly been promised a job

    Personally I wouldn’t trust Hancock as far as I could throw him, but I found his campaign quite refreshing, clearly pitching himself as a future leader from the party’s soft left

  5. Many think he is a contender for Chancellor but I could see him as Home secretary instead.

  6. A labour activist has punched Matt Hancock’s advisor while he was at Leeds Hospital dealing with Johnson’s gaffe.

  7. I think this incident gives the possibility of Labour under 150 a 10-30% chance.

  8. I think BM11 was way too quick to swallow the Tory party spin on this altercation (as befits his misery guts persona on here).

  9. (((Dan Hodges)))
    @DPJHodges

    I’ve deleted my tweets on the Matt Hancock incident. There was some heckling and histrionics. But no-one was punched. And there was nothing I’ve seen in the video of the incident that seems to warrant an arrest.

  10. Even if the assault had happened – it’s not like John Prescott punching a voter punished the Labour Party in 2001.

    I sometimes question whether BM11 believes everything he writes.

  11. To be honest I didn’t expect the Tories to lie about this. The Truth is so hard to know.

  12. ‘I sometimes question whether BM11 believes everything he writes’

    I’m a miserable old cynic as you all know but even I don’t doubt BM11’s sincerity for one moment, and I have never suspected him of trolling. I just find him a little too quick to jump to negative conclusions about ‘his side’ and it’s all very dramatic. I guess it’s cathartic for him to manage his own expectations like this, but I wish he’d remember that others would like to contribute st times.

  13. ‘Even if the assault had happened – it’s not like John Prescott punching a voter punished the Labour Party in 2001’.

    Now *that* was a boring election. I was doing A Level politics at the time so was starting to take an interest in these things, but bejaysus it was dull. John ‘Biffer’ Prescott’s punch was indeed the highlight of the whole tedious thing.

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