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Watford

2010 Results:
Conservative: 19291 (34.94%)
Labour: 14750 (26.72%)
Liberal Democrat: 17866 (32.36%)
BNP: 1217 (2.2%)
UKIP: 1199 (2.17%)
Green: 885 (1.6%)
Majority: 1425 (2.58%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 16571 (33.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 15421 (31.2%)
Conservative: 14630 (29.6%)
Other: 2757 (5.6%)
Majority: 1151 (2.3%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 14634 (29.6%)
Labour: 16575 (33.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 15427 (31.2%)
Green: 1466 (3%)
UKIP: 1292 (2.6%)
Majority: 1148 (2.3%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 15437 (33.3%)
Labour: 20992 (45.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 8088 (17.4%)
UKIP: 535 (1.2%)
Green: 900 (1.9%)
Other: 420 (0.9%)
Majority: 5555 (12%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 19227 (34.8%)
Labour: 25019 (45.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 9272 (16.8%)
Referendum: 1484 (2.7%)
Other: 234 (0.4%)
Majority: 5792 (10.5%)

Boundary changes:

Profile: Covers the borough of Watford and some of the commuter villages around it, including Abbots Langley and Langleybury. It is part of the London commuter belt, but is also an economic centre in its own right, housing the headquaters of several major companies such as JD Wetherspoon, Mothercare and Camelot.

Historically this was a classic Labour vs Conservative marginal, regularly swapping between the parties with the ebb and flow of party popularity. It was won by Labour in the 1997 landslide, with Claire Ward becoming the second youngest MP at the age of 24. Since then the Liberal Democrats have made strong advances in the seat, narrowly taking second place from the Conservatives in 2005 and making this a tight three way marginal. The original Conservative candidate for the election, Ian Oakley, was forced to stand down in 2008, and was later convicted of criminal damage and harrassing his Lib Dem opponent.

portraitCurrent MP: Richard Harrington (Conservative) born 1957, Leeds. Educated at Leeds Grammar School and Oxford University. Founder of a property development company and former Managing Director then Chairman of a holiday resort development company. Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel.

2010 election candidates:
portraitRichard Harrington (Conservative) born 1957, Leeds. Educated at Leeds Grammar School and Oxford University. Founder of a property development company and former Managing Director then Chairman of a holiday resort development company. Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel.
portraitClaire Ward(Labour) born 1972, North Shields. Educated at Loreto College and Hertfordshire University. First elected as MP for Watford in 1997. Government whip since 2005 (more information at They work for you)
portraitSal Brinton (Liberal Democrat) born 1955. Educated at Benenden and Cambridge University. Company director. Former BBC floor manager and Bursar of Selwyn College, Cambridge. Cambridgshire County Councillor 1993-2004. Contested Cambridgshire South East 1997, 2001, Watford 2005.
portraitIan Brandon (Green) Hertfordshire councillor.
portraitGraham Eardley (UKIP) Credit controller.
portraitAndrew Emerson (BNP) Educated at Reading Blue Coat School. Lecturer. Former Labour party member. Contested Broxborne 2005, South East 2009 European elections.

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 102019
Male: 49.1%
Female: 50.9%
Under 18: 22.8%
Over 60: 18%
Born outside UK: 12.7%
White: 87.5%
Black: 2.3%
Asian: 7.3%
Mixed: 2%
Other: 1%
Christian: 67.6%
Hindu: 1.8%
Jewish: 1.3%
Muslim: 5.1%
Full time students: 3%
Graduates 16-74: 22.7%
No Qualifications 16-74: 23.7%
Owner-Occupied: 74.6%
Social Housing: 15.8% (Council: 13.4%, Housing Ass.: 2.5%)
Privately Rented: 7.8%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 5.9%

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