South East Cambridgeshire (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 52°07′52″N 0°18′36″E / 52.131°N 0.310°E / 52.131; 0.310

South East Cambridgeshire
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of South East Cambridgeshire in Cambridgeshire
Outline map
Location of Cambridgeshire within England
Electorate84,668 (2018)[1]
Major settlementsEly
Current constituency
Member of ParliamentLucy Frazer (Conservative)
Number of membersOne
Created fromCambridgeshire, Isle of Ely

South East Cambridgeshire is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Lucy Frazer, a Conservative.[n 2]


The constituency was created in 1983 from parts of the former seats of Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely. Its first MP, Francis Pym, was a Conservative Cabinet Minister, serving in roles such as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1973-4) in the Heath government, and Secretary of State for Defence (1979–81), Leader of the House of Commons (1981-2) and most prominently Foreign Secretary (1982-3, during the Falklands War) under Margaret Thatcher. However, during the four years he served South East Cambridgeshire, he was a Tory 'wet' backbencher, having been sacked by Thatcher for famously remarking during the 1983 election that "Landslides don't on the whole produce successful governments."

It has to date been a safe Conservative seat, although in 2010 the margin was cut to a relatively small 10.3% by the Liberal Democrat candidate (possibly helped by controversies surrounding the Labour candidate). In 2015 and 2017 Labour achieved the largest increase in their share of the vote, and in 2017 achieved their highest ever vote share in the seat (27.7%) and overtook the Liberal Democrats for the first time since 1997; despite this, the Conservatives achieved over 50% of the vote in the seat for the first time since 1992.

According to approximate analysis of the 2016 EU referendum, South East Cambridgeshire (which is made up of wards from East Cambridgeshire District Council, which voted 51% to leave, and South Cambridgeshire District Council, which voted 60% to remain) voted 54% to remain in the EU.[2]

Constituency profile[edit]

The constituency is predominantly low-lying and agricultural, with many residents commuting to work in Cambridge. Workless claimants were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.4% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[3]

Boundaries and boundary changes[edit]

1983–1997: The District of East Cambridgeshire wards of Bottisham, Burwell, Cheveley, Dullingham Villages, Ely North, Ely South, Ely West, Fordham Villages, Isleham, Soham, The Swaffhams, and Woodditton, and the District of South Cambridgeshire wards of Abington, Balsham, Bar Hill, Castle Camps, Coton, Cottenham, Elsworth, Fulbourn, Girton, Histon, Linton, Longstanton, Milton, Over, Swavesey, Teversham, The Wilbrahams, Waterbeach, and Willingham.[4]

The seat was created for the 1983 general election which followed on from the merger under the Local Government Act 1972, of the two administrative counties of Huntingdon and Peterborough and Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely to form the non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire, with effect from 1 April 1974. It was formed from eastern parts of the abolished County Constituency of Cambridgeshire, together with the city of Ely, which had been in the abolished County Constituency of Isle of Ely.

1997–2010: The District of East Cambridgeshire wards of Bottisham, Burwell, Cheveley, Dullingham Villages, Ely North, Ely South, Ely West, Fordham Villages, Haddenham, Isleham, Soham, Stretham, The Swaffhams, Witchford, and Woodditton, and the District of South Cambridgeshire wards of Abington, Balsham, Castle Camps, Cottenham, Fulbourn, Histon, Linton, Milton, Over, Teversham, The Wilbrahams, Waterbeach, and Willingham.[5]

Western-most area transferred to the new County Constituency of South Cambridgeshire.  Minor gain from North East Cambridgeshire.

2010–present: The District of East Cambridgeshire wards of Bottisham, Burwell, Cheveley, Dullingham Villages, Ely East, Ely North, Ely South, Ely West, Fordham Villages, Haddenham, Isleham, Soham North, Soham South, Stretham, and The Swaffhams, and the District of South Cambridgeshire wards of Balsham, Fulbourn, Histon and Impington, Linton, Milton, Teversham, The Wilbrahams, Waterbeach, and Willingham and Over.[6]

Further minor loss to South Cambridgeshire.

The constituency includes the eastern half of South Cambridgeshire district and the southern part of East Cambridgeshire. Ely, the largest community, has cathedral city status, and there are many smaller settlements including Burwell, Fulbourn, Isleham, Linton, Milton, Soham and Waterbeach.

Changes proposed by the Boundary Commission[edit]

The Boundary Commission for England submitted their final proposals in respect of the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies (the 2018 review) in September 2018 which would reduce the total number of MPs from 650 to 600. Although the proposals were immediately laid before Parliament they were not brought forward by the Government for approval. Accordingly, they will not come into effect for the 2019 election due to take place on 12 December 2019, which will be contested using the constituency boundaries in place since 2010.

The Commission has recommended that three further wards (Fulbourn, Linton and Teversham) be transferred to South Cambridgeshire, partly offset by the gain of the District of Huntingdonshire ward of Earith from North West Cambridgeshire.[7]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[8] Party
1983 Francis Pym Conservative
1987 Sir Jim Paice Conservative
2015 Lucy Frazer Conservative


Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General election 2019: South East Cambridgeshire[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Lucy Frazer 32,187 50.0 Decrease3.3
Liberal Democrats Pippa Heylings 20,697 32.1 Increase13.2
Labour James Bull 10,492 16.3 Decrease11.4
Independent Edmund Fordham 1,009 1.6 N/A
Majority 11,490 17.9 Decrease7.7
Turnout 64,385 74.2 Increase1.0
Conservative hold Swing Decrease 8.3

Edmund Fordham was originally the Brexit Party candidate for the Bury St Edmunds (UK Parliament constituency) in the 2019 General election.[10][11][12]

General election 2017: South East Cambridgeshire[13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Lucy Frazer 33,601 53.3 Increase4.9
Labour Huw Jones 17,443 27.7 Increase12.5
Liberal Democrats Lucy Nethsingha 11,958 19.0 Decrease 1.2
Majority 16,158 25.6 Decrease 2.7
Turnout 63,002 73.2 Increase 2.8
Conservative hold Swing Decrease 3.8
General election 2015: South East Cambridgeshire[15][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Lucy Frazer[17][n 3] 28,845 48.5 Increase0.5
Liberal Democrats Jonathan Chatfield[17] 12,008 20.2 Decrease17.5
Labour Huw Jones[17] 9,013 15.1 Increase7.5
UKIP Deborah Rennie[19] 6,593 11.1 Increase7.4
Green Clive Semmens[20] 3,047 5.1 Increase3.8
Majority 16,837 28.3 Increase18.0
Turnout 59,506 70.4 Increase1.1
Conservative hold Swing Increase9.0
General election 2010: South East Cambridgeshire[21][22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative James Paice 27,629 48.0 Increase0.8[23]
Liberal Democrats Jonathan Chatfield 21,683 37.6 Increase6.2
Labour John Cowan 4,380 7.6 Decrease13.8 [n 4]
UKIP Andy Monk 2,138 3.7 N/A
Green Simon Sedgwick-Jell 766 1.3 N/A
Independent Geoffrey Woollard 517 0.9 N/A
Christian Peoples Alliance Daniel Bell 489 0.8 N/A
Majority 5,946 10.4 Decrease 5.0
Turnout 57,602 69.3 Increase4.0
Conservative hold Swing Decrease2.7

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General election 2005: South East Cambridgeshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative James Paice 26,374 47.1 Increase2.9
Liberal Democrats Jonathan Chatfield 17,750 31.7 Increase4.8
Labour Fiona Ross 11,936 21.3 Decrease5.1
Majority 8,624 15.4 Decrease1.9
Turnout 56,060 65.3 Increase1.8
Conservative hold Swing Decrease1.0
General election 2001: South East Cambridgeshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative James Paice 22,927 44.2 Increase1.2
Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton 13,937 26.9 Increase1.8
Labour Andrew Inchley 13,714 26.4 Decrease0.1
UKIP Neil Scarr 1,308 2.5 N/A
Majority 8,990 17.3 -
Turnout 51,886 63.5 Decrease10.8
Conservative hold Swing Decrease0.3

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General election 1997: South East Cambridgeshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative James Paice 24,397 42.9 Decrease15.0
Labour Rex Collinson 15,048 26.5 Increase6.5
Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton 14,246 25.1 Increase4.8
Referendum John Howlett 2,838 5.0 N/A
Building a Fair Society Karl Lam 167 0.3 N/A
Natural Law Peter While 111 0.2 Decrease0.2
Majority 9,349 17.3 Decrease20.2
Turnout 56,807 75.1 Decrease5.5
Conservative hold Swing Decrease10.8
General election 1992: South East Cambridgeshire[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative James Paice 36,693 57.9 Decrease0.9
Liberal Democrats Ronald Wotherspoon 12,883 20.3 Decrease7.2
Labour Arthur Jones 12,688 20.0 Increase6.3
Green John Marsh 836 1.3 N/A
Natural Law Bridget Langridge 231 0.4 N/A
Majority 23,810 37.5 Increase6.2
Turnout 63,331 80.6 Increase3.2
Conservative hold Swing Increase3.2

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General election 1987: South East Cambridgeshire[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative James Paice 32,901 58.8 Increase1.2
Social Democratic Peter Lee 15,399 27.5 Decrease2.3
Labour Thomas Ling 7,694 13.7 Increase1.1
Majority 17,502 31.3 Increase3.5
Turnout 55,994 77.4 Increase3.2
Conservative hold Swing Increase1.8
General election 1983: South East Cambridgeshire[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Francis Pym 28,555 57.6 N/A
Social Democratic Christopher Slee 14,791 29.8 N/A
Labour Mary Jackson 6,261 12.6 N/A
Majority 13,764 27.8 N/A
Turnout 49,607 74.2 N/A
Conservative win (new seat)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ Note: In January 2014 Lucy Frazer, a barrister, was "reaffirmed" as Conservative candidate for South East Cambridgeshire on Friday despite claims that she had been beaten in an open primary by another woman, Heidi Allen,[18] who is the Conservative candidate in the neighbouring constituency, South Cambridgeshire.
  4. ^ Note: In April 2010 John Cowan was suspended from the Labour Party following controversy over comments he had made which, if elected, would have led to a period as an independent MP. As nominations for candidates had closed, Labour were unable to replace him, nor did he withdraw his candidature.[24] He had previously been expelled from the Liberal Democrats.[25]
  1. ^ "England Parliamentary electorates 2010-2018". Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  2. ^ [1] Electoral Calculus]
  3. ^ Unemployment claimants by constituency The Guardian
  4. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  5. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  6. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  7. ^ Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 1)
  9. ^ "Cambridgeshire South East Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Candidates standing in the General Election in Cambridgeshire". ITV News.
  15. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  16. ^ [2], BBC News
  18. ^ "The battle of the Tory women: Farcical scenes after 'invalid' vote to select candidate for safe seat". Independent. 12 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-05. Retrieved 2014-11-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Clive Semmens confirmed as candidate for South East Cambridgeshire seat".
  21. ^[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Cambridgeshire South East, BBC News
  23. ^ Percentage changes based on 2005 notional results due to boundary changes
  24. ^ "Labour axes Muslim row candidate". BBC News. 26 April 2010.
  25. ^ "General Election 2010: Labour suspends candidate over online messages". The Daily Telegraph. London. 26 April 2010.
  26. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  27. ^ a b "British Parliamentary Election results 1983-97: English Counties".

External links[edit]