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Welwyn Hatfield

2010 Results:
Conservative: 27894 (56.96%)
Labour: 10471 (21.38%)
Liberal Democrat: 8010 (16.36%)
UKIP: 1643 (3.35%)
Green: 796 (1.63%)
Independent: 158 (0.32%)
Majority: 17423 (35.58%)

2005 Results:
Conservative: 22172 (49.6%)
Labour: 16226 (36.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 6318 (14.1%)
Majority: 5946 (13.3%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 17288 (40.4%)
Labour: 18484 (43.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 6021 (14.1%)
UKIP: 798 (1.9%)
Other: 230 (0.5%)
Majority: 1196 (2.8%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 19341 (36.5%)
Labour: 24936 (47.1%)
Liberal Democrat: 7161 (13.5%)
Other: 1530 (2.9%)
Majority: 5595 (10.6%)

No Boundary Changes:

Profile: Consists of the town of Hatfield and the garden city of Welwyn Garden City, built as a new town in 1920 in accordance with the ideas of Sir Ebenezer Howard. The constituency also includes the original village of Welwyn to the North of the new town, Welham Green, Brookmans Park, Newgate Street, Woodside & Essendon.

Welwyn Garden City (which is in fact a town, not a city) is a suburban commuter town for London, although like most new towns there is a large amount of social housing. Hatfield is most commonly associated with Hatfield House, the seat of the Cecil family. More recently the town was associated with the air industry and the de Havilland Comet was built in the town. In the 1990s British Aerospace transferred production out the area and part of the former airfield is now the site of the University of Hertfordshire`s new de Havilland campus. In 2000 4 people were killed and 70 injured in an infamous rail crash south of Hatfield station.

Prior to 1997 Welwyn Hatfield was held by the combative right-wing Conservative MP David Evans, but was won by Labour`s Melanie Johnson in 1997. It fell to Grant Shapps in 2005 on one of the largest Conservative swings in the country.

portraitCurrent MP: Grant Shapps(Conservative) born 1968, Hertfordshire. Educated at Watford Grammar and Manchester Polytechnic. Ran a design, print and web development company, Printhouse Corporation. First elected as MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005. He backed David Cameron`s leadership bid and was appointed a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative party in 2005 (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitGrant Shapps(Conservative) born 1968, Hertfordshire. Educated at Watford Grammar and Manchester Polytechnic. Ran a design, print and web development company, Printhouse Corporation. First elected as MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005. He backed David Cameron`s leadership bid and was appointed a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative party in 2005 (more information at They work for you)
portraitMike Hobday (Labour) Senior manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, responsible for campaigns, policy and public affairs. Previously led the League Against Cruel Sports campaign against fox hunting. County Councillor in Welwyn Garden City 1997-2005.
portraitPaul Zukowskyj (Liberal Democrat) Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire.
portraitJill Weston (Green)
portraitDavid Platt (UKIP)
portraitNigel Parker (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 92363
Male: 48.5%
Female: 51.5%
Under 18: 22.1%
Over 60: 21.4%
Born outside UK: 9.1%
White: 93.5%
Black: 1.4%
Asian: 2.3%
Mixed: 1.4%
Other: 1.3%
Christian: 69.5%
Hindu: 1.1%
Jewish: 0.6%
Muslim: 1.1%
Full time students: 8.2%
Graduates 16-74: 21.8%
No Qualifications 16-74: 23.1%
Owner-Occupied: 62.5%
Social Housing: 28.2% (Council: 24.1%, Housing Ass.: 4.1%)
Privately Rented: 5.6%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 2.4%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at

175 Responses to “Welwyn Hatfield”

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  1. Welwyn Garden City is 90 years old this year. According to Wikipedia the first house was occupied just before Christmas 1920.

  2. 1979 election
    London program, Friday 4th May, round up
    of London and SE results.

    Welwyn and Hatfield is mentioned,
    but many others.

    Thames at 6

  3. Thanks – the link above has appeared.

    I mentioned a long time ago,
    Helene Hayman was a Labour Minister from the Lords between 1997 and around 2001.

  4. Strange how David Mellor looked pretty much exactly the same for about 20 years.

  5. Thanks for posting that link Joe. The presenter on there looked like he was from some kind of parody/comedy sketch – do we know who he was?
    I’m surprised they thought that either Watford or Fulham were surprising Tory gains (or that the presenter felt it worth mentioning that the NF had lost their deposit in Fulham)

  6. Apparently it was Ed Boyle,
    So I think it’s the former Tory MP (until 1970).

    I remember him doing an evening current affairs program on Capital Radio in the 1980s, when I was a teenager, and his co-presenter used to refer to him being in Parliament.

    Happy new year by the way –
    Pete I have a question for you on Middlesbrough South and East Clevelland – dk whether it’s possible/easy though.

  7. The name rings a bell, probably from LBC which I used to listen to in the 80s

    I shall have a look at that Middlesbrough thread..

  8. Lord Boyle of Handsworth was a noted Tory left-winger who later became known as one of the greatest authorities on the music of Faure, indeed presenting a lecture on that composer when I was reading Music at Cambridge University.

  9. (Thanks to Pete’s spreadsheet) I see that in Herts the Tories polled 50.4% in 2010 compared to 50.3% in 1983 although still below the 51.1% registered in 1979.

  10. I didn’t realise Joe meant Sir Edwards Boyle when he referred to a former MP. Clearly a different Ed Boyle. This one was about 30

  11. I’m not so sure – he did seem a bit similar.
    I think Sir Edward retired quite young,
    a son perhaps?

    The media work made me think it was possible as of course he did those radio programs soon after.

  12. It’s really strange –
    on Wikipedia it says Sir Edward Boyle died (tragicallly early) aged 57 in 1981.

    But I thought I was listening to him on Capital Radio around 1981-83, and it was definitely the former MP, as he would refer to his days in Parliament, and offer political views a lot.
    I must have been listening to it around early 1981, and for a shorter period than I recall. His death must have been quite sudden.

    I thought the Tories might have maintained their share in Herts in 1983 – didn’t entirely realise it fell a fraction against 1979. (although it rings a bell).
    It of course rose again in 1987 and 1992.

  13. This is what I used to listen to (must have been 1981)

    “MONDAY MATTERS: Current events and London affairs with Ed Boyle and Sarah Ward. 7pm ”

    Pete is correct that that 1979 program must have been a different Ed Boyle though.

  14. I don’t ever remember Edward Boyle being known as Ed, especially when he’d become Lord Boyle of Handsworth.

  15. I found this which mentions him and there is a link to a video of him recently on CBS in America. It’s clearly the same person as in the 1979 election clip and I do think I recognise his voice from LBC, though it was obviously a long time ago. Perhaps he used to make a joke of when he was an MP. I can’t find a proper biography of him, but he isn’t the former MP for Handsworth for sure

  16. Forgot to post the link

    htt p://

  17. I wonder why former new towns seem to swing so violently? Its not as if they are demographically distinct any longer, yet they do appear to be prone to very major and sudden swings.

  18. Yes you’re clearly right.
    It couldn’t possibly have been the former MP on the radio program.
    I’m sure I heard him say “when I was in Parliament” on one particular occasion,
    but it can only have been a joke.

    On New Towns, I’m not sure it’s actually been tested why they swing violently.
    One can understand them starting off as Labour,
    then swinging to the Tories in 1979,
    then back to Labour in 1997,
    as pretty obvious and well documented.

    What’s less clear is the swings post 1997.

    I wonder whether their political allegiances are fairly shallow.

  19. Perhaps among their population there is more of an ‘adventureous’ nature.

    By which I mean that those people who left their longstanding homes for the ‘new frontier’ are more naturally open minded and changeable than those who live in the same areas generation to generation.

    There might be an economic factor to it as well if new towns are affected more by economic changes than urban or rural areas.

  20. Yes I agree. There’s an obvious historical link to voting Labour based on tradition for working-class people still residing in the East End of London but when they move somewhere else that link will almost always become weaker to some extent.

  21. I think those explanations certainly stand ground for the first generation, but I’m not sure if they specifically apply today – yet the high swings appear to remain

  22. Do New Towns have a lower population turnover than other areas (i.e. people move there and never leave)? If so then, given the adage that people (generally) become more right-wing/Tory as they age, that could be another reason – that the population is simply ageing and drifting further rightwards.

  23. Well the age-group statistics are given at the top of the page. They don’t look that different to average at a quick glance.

  24. Labour made a fairly decent recovery in Welwyn Garden city gaining Peatree from the LDs and Hollybush, Haldens and one of thee two seats up in Howlands from the Conservatives
    They also came close to winning back Hatfield town council (now Con 8 Lab 7).
    More sign of life in Labour here than in Hemel

  25. Welwyn Hatfield becomes safer for the Conservatives:

    UKPR notionals result:

    Con: 30,621 (57.6%)
    Lab: 10,990 (20.7%)
    LD: 8,770 (16.5%)
    UKIP: 1,755 (3.3%)

    Con maj: 19,631 (36.9%)

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