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Dorset West

2010 Results:
Conservative: 27287 (47.59%)
Labour: 3815 (6.65%)
Liberal Democrat: 23364 (40.75%)
UKIP: 2196 (3.83%)
Green: 675 (1.18%)
Majority: 3923 (6.84%)

2005 Results:
Conservative: 24763 (46.5%)
Liberal Democrat: 22302 (41.9%)
Labour: 4124 (7.7%)
Other: 2036 (3.8%)
Majority: 2461 (4.6%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 22126 (44.6%)
Labour: 6733 (13.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 20712 (41.8%)
Majority: 1414 (2.9%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 22036 (41.1%)
Labour: 9491 (17.7%)
Liberal Democrat: 20196 (37.7%)
Other: 1829 (3.4%)
Majority: 1840 (3.4%)

No Boundary Changes: West Dorset remains largely co-terminous with West Dorset District Council, with the exception of Owermoigne ward which falls within the

Profile: An affluent and mainly rural seat, the main towns are Dorchester, Bridport, the coastal resort of Lyme Regis, Beaminster and Sherborne. Like many seats on the south coast it is a popular retirement location and has a high proportion of pensioners. The seat also contains the village of Tolpuddle, the site of an annual festival organisated by the TUC to commemorate the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

West Dorset has consistently returned a Conservative MP, throughout the 1980s the Conservatives enjoyed huge majorities. In 1997 though it became a close Conservative/Lib Dem marginal and since then a haven for tactical voting – at subsequent elections both the Conservative and Lib Dem vote shares have risen as the Labour vote is remorselessly squeezed. The singer-songwriter Billy Bragg lives in West Dorset and has run high profile campaigns encouraging Labour voters to vote tactically to defeat Oliver Letwin, thus far unsucessfully.

portraitCurrent MP: Oliver Letwin(Conservative) born 1956, Hampstead, son of Professor William Letwin and the American political philosopher Shirley Letwin. Educated at Eton and Cambridge. Served in the Number 10 policy unit in the 1980s and was one of those behind the ill-fated poll tax. Contested Hampstead and Highgate in 1992 and was first returned for West Dorset in 1997. Served as Shadow Chief Secretary under William Hague, Shadow Home Secretary under Iain Duncan Smith and Shadow Chancellor under Michael Howard. Following David Cameron`s election as Conservative leader he was appointed Chairman of the Conservative policy review. Letwin is identified as being on the left of the party, and widely regarded as thoughtful, affable, urbane but somewhat gaffe prone – he famously allowed a man who turned out to be burglar into his house to use the toilet, and had to go into hiding during the 2001 campaign after expressing an aspiration to cut public spending by 20 billion (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitOliver Letwin(Conservative) born 1956, Hampstead, son of Professor William Letwin and the American political philosopher Shirley Letwin. Educated at Eton and Cambridge. Served in the Number 10 policy unit in the 1980s and was one of those behind the ill-fated poll tax. Contested Hampstead and Highgate in 1992 and was first returned for West Dorset in 1997. Served as Shadow Chief Secretary under William Hague, Shadow Home Secretary under Iain Duncan Smith and Shadow Chancellor under Michael Howard. Following David Cameron`s election as Conservative leader he was appointed Chairman of the Conservative policy review. Letwin is identified as being on the left of the party, and widely regarded as thoughtful, affable, urbane but somewhat gaffe prone – he famously allowed a man who turned out to be burglar into his house to use the toilet, and had to go into hiding during the 2001 campaign after expressing an aspiration to cut public spending by 20 billion (more information at They work for you)
portraitSteve Bick (Labour) GP.
portraitSue Farrant (Liberal Democrat) born Devon. Educated at Plymouth High School and Wye College. West Berkshire councillor since 2003. Contested Swindon South 2005.
portraitSusan Greene (Green) Contested Dorset West 2005.
portraitOliver Chisholm (UKIP)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 88929
Male: 47.7%
Female: 52.3%
Under 18: 20.3%
Over 60: 30.7%
Born outside UK: 4.9%
White: 98.7%
Asian: 0.2%
Mixed: 0.5%
Other: 0.5%
Christian: 77.5%
Full time students: 2%
Graduates 16-74: 21.4%
No Qualifications 16-74: 25.2%
Owner-Occupied: 72.4%
Social Housing: 14% (Council: 0.8%, Housing Ass.: 13.3%)
Privately Rented: 9%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 9.2%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide