Colchester (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Colchester in Essex
Location of Essex within England
|Electorate||73,638 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||None|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Colchester North, South Colchester and Maldon|
|Number of members||one (two 1295-1885)|
|Replaced by||Colchester North and Colchester South & Maldon|
|European Parliament constituency||East of England|
The Parliamentary Borough of Colchester had sent two members to Parliament since the Model Parliament of 1295. In 1885, representation was reduced to one, being one of 36 English boroughs and three Irish boroughs to which this occurred under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. Under the Representation of the People Act 1918, the Parliamentary Borough was abolished and replaced with a Division of the County of Essex (later a County Constituency).
The constituency remained virtually unchanged until it was briefly abolished for the 1983 general election following the Third Periodic Review of Westminster Constituencies, but re-established for the 1997 general election as a Borough Constituency by the Fourth Review.
Boundaries and boundary changes
1918–1950: The Municipal Borough of Colchester, and the Rural District of Lexden and Winstree except the detached part of the civil parish of Inworth which was wholly surrounded by the civil parishes of Great Braxted and Kelvedon.
The area comprising the Rural District of Lexden and Winstree had largely been part of the Harwich Division.
No changes (the Urban District of West Mersea had been formed as a separate local authority in 1926).
For the 1983 general election the constituency was abolished, with the northern parts (comprising the majority) forming the bulk of the new constituency of North Colchester. Southern areas were included in the new constituency of South Colchester and Maldon.
Re-established from parts of the abolished constituencies of South Colchester and Maldon (Berechurch, Harbour, New Town, Prettygate and Shrub End wards) and North Colchester (remaining wards).
Local authority wards redistributed. Minor reduction in electorate, with Stanway ward being included in the new constituency of Witham.
Changes proposed by the Boundary Commission
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.
Once the basis for one or two semi-rural seats, the modern-day Colchester constituency is a compact, urban core, containing the town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods.
The seat has one of Britain's largest residential military populations. The non-military vote in Colchester swang further in favour of the Liberal Democrats since 1997 when Bob Russell stood. He was elected for the party with a small majority. Russell increased his votes and percentage share in three elections. In the 2010 election this was the only non-Conservative seat in Essex. Russell was defeated in the 2015 general election by Conservative Will Quince, by an 11.5% majority. In the 2017 election Quince was re-elected by a decreased margin by percentage (10.6%), with Labour moving into 2nd place after a substantial swing, making the seat a more marginal contest between them and the Conservatives.
Members of Parliament
|Parliament||First member||Second member|
|1386||Thomas Francis||Ralph Algar|
|1388 (Feb)||Thomas Francis||Simon Fordham|
|1388 (Sep)||Ralph Algar||Simon Fordham|
|1390 (Jan)||Thomas Francis||Simon Fordham|
|1391||Thomas Francis||John Christian|
|1393||William Mate||John Christian|
|1395||Thomas Francis||John Christian|
|1397 (Jan)||Henry Boss||John Seaburgh|
|1399||Thomas Francis||Thomas Godstone|
|1402||Henry Boss||Thomas Godstone|
|1406||Henry Boss||William Mate|
|1407||Thomas Godstone||William Mate|
|1411||Thomas Godstone||John Pod|
|1413 (May)||Thomas Godstone||Thomas Francis|
|1414 (Nov)||Thomas Godstone||Simon Mate|
|1416 (Mar)||John Ford||John Sumpter|
|1417||Thomas Godstone||John Ford|
|1419||Thomas Godstone||John Sumpter|
|1420||Thomas Godstone||John Kimberley|
|1421 (May)||Thomas Godstone||John Kimberley|
|1421 (Dec)||Thomas Godstone||William Nottingham|
|1485||Thomas Christmas||John Vertue|
|1510||No names known|
|1512||?John Clere||?John Makin|
|1515||?John Clere||?John Makin|
|1523||Thomas Audley||Ambrose Lowth|
|1529||Sir John Raynsford||Richard Rich|
|1545||John Lucas||Benjamin Clere|
|1547||John Ryther||John Lucas|
|1553 (Mar)||Sir Francis Jobson||?John Lucas|
|1553 (Oct)||John Lucas||John Best|
|1554 (Apr)||Sir Francis Jobson||William Cardinall|
|1554 (Nov)||George Sayer||Robert Browne|
|1555||Sir Francis Jobson||John Hering|
|1558||George Christmas||Thomas Lucas|
|1559||Sir Francis Jobson||William Cardinall|
|1562/3||Sir Francis Jobson||William Cardinall|
|1571||Henry Golding||Francis Harvey|
|1572||Robert Christmas||Henry Golding, died |
and repl, 1576 by Nicholas Clere, who alao died
and was repl. 1579 by Robert Middleton
|1584||James Morice||Francis Harvey|
|1586||James Morice||Francis Harvey|
|1588||James Morice||Arthur Throckmorton|
|1593||James Morice||Martin Bessell|
|1597||Richard Symnell||Robert Barker|
|1601||Robert Barker||Richard Symnell|
|1604–1611||Robert Barker||Edward Alford|
|1614||Robert Barker||Edward Alford|
|1621–1622||Edward Alford||William Towse|
|1624||Edward Alford||William Towse|
|1625||Sir Robert Quarles||William Towse|
|1626||Edward Alford||William Towse|
|1628||Sir Thomas Cheek||Edward Alford |
repl. on petition by Sir William Masham, 1st Baronet
|1639–1640||No Parliaments summoned|
- Succeeded to a baronetcy, April 1648
- Webster and Rebow were re-elected in 1714, but on petition the result was reversed and Gore declared to have been duly elected instead, following a dispute over whether foreigners could be made freemen of the borough and thereby acquire voting rights
- Webster was re-elected in 1710, but on petition the result was reversed and Gore and Corsellis declared to have been duly elected instead, following a further dispute over foreign freemen's voting rights
- At the election of 1741, Olmius and Martin were returned as elected, but on petition their election was declared void and their opponents, Savill and Gray, declared elected in their place
- At the election of 1754, Gray was re- elected, but on petition his election was declared void and his opponent, Rebow, declared elected in his place
- On petition, Potter's election was declared void on the grounds of defective qualification and his opponent, Affleck, declared duly elected
- Admiral from 1784
- On petition, Potter was declared ineligible on the grounds of bankruptcy, and a writ for a new election was issued
- Harvey was re-elected in 1820 but on petition his election was declared void on the grounds of defective qualification and a by-election was held
- On petition, Spottiswoode's election was declared void and a by-election was held
|1885||Henry John Trotter||Conservative|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Martin Goss||7,432||13.9||-3.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Russell||9,087||17.0||-10.5|
|Christian Peoples Alliance||Robin Rennie||177||0.3||+0.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Russell||13,344||27.5||−20.5|
|Christian Peoples Alliance||Ken Scrimshaw||109||0.2||+0.2|
|Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats||Swing||7.2|
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Russell||22,151||48.0||+0.3|
|English Democrat||Eddie Bone||335||0.7||N/A|
|Peoples Party Essex||Garryck Noble||35||0.1||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats hold||Swing||−0.2|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Russell||21,145||47.1||+4.5|
|Liberal Democrats hold||Swing||+0.6|
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Russell||18,627||42.6||+8.2|
|Grey Party||Leonard Overy-Owen||479||1.1||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats hold||Swing|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrats||Bob Russell||17,886||34.4||+1.7|
|Natural Law||Loretta Basker||148||0.3||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative||Swing|
Elections in the 1970s
|Labour||John G Bartlett||20,325||34.96|
|Liberal||Peter S Watts||7,248||12.47|
Elections in the 1960s
|Liberal||Peter S Watts||5,714||10.71|
|Liberal||Eric W Rodnight||7,566||14.93|
|Labour||John Wilson Fear||12,547||33.06||-2.81|
Elections in the 1950s
|Labour||Joan I. Edmonson||17,096||35.89|
|Liberal||Peter M Linfoot||5,942||12.48|
|Labour Co-op||Norman R Thomas||19,898||44.52|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing|
Elections in the 1940s
|Liberal||George Alexander Routledge||5,899||16.11|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing|
General Election 1939/40:
Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;
Elections in the 1930s
|Labour||Edward Aylmer Digby||10,725||32.49|
Elections in the 1920s
|Independent Unionist||C.C. Gray||172||0.5||N/A|
|Liberal||Arthur Horne Goldfinch||5,430||22.4||N/A|
Election results 1885-1918
Elections in the 1880s
|Conservative||Henry John Trotter||2,044||52.1||+3.7|
|Conservative||Henry John Trotter||1,996||54.0||+1.9|
Trotter's death a caused a by-election.
|Liberal||William Brampton Gurdon||1,687||44.2||-1.8|
Elections in the 1890s
|Conservative||John Medlicott Vereker||2,296||47.3||-3.4|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.4|
|Conservative||Edward Samuel Norris||2,270||47.8||−2.9|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+2.9|
Elections in the 1900s
Elections in the 1910s
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+8.6|
General Election 1914/15:
Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;
|C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.|
Election results 1832-1885
Elections in the 1840s
|Turnout||903 (est)||71.7 (est)||N/A|
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
Elections in the 1850s
Smyth's resignation caused a by-election.
|Whig||George Wingrove Cooke||389||38.5||+5.5|
|Turnout||1,011 (est)||80.9 (est)||+9.2|
Manners was appointed First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings, requiring a by-election.
|Conservative||William Warwick Hawkins||686||36.7||−0.9|
|Conservative||Henry Thoby Prinsep||98||5.2||N/A|
|Turnout||934 (est)||74.2 (est)||+2.5|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+3.7|
Manners resigned to contest the 1852 by-election in North Leicestershire, causing a by-election.
|Radical||John Gurdon Rebow||563||54.6||N/A|
|Conservative||Taverner John Miller||462||44.8||N/A|
|Radical||William Rawdon Havens||7||0.7||N/A|
|Turnout||1,032 (est)||80.5 (est)||+6.3|
|Radical gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Conservative||Taverner John Miller||599||48.8||N/A|
|Radical||John Gurdon Rebow||581||47.3||N/A|
|Radical||William Rawdon Havens||48||3.9||N/A|
|Turnout||614 (est)||47.9 (est)||−26.3|
|Radical gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Conservative||Taverner John Miller||651||36.8||+12.4|
|Conservative||Philip Oxenden Papillon||598||33.8||+9.4|
|Liberal||John Gurdon Rebow||518||29.3||−18.0|
|Turnout||884 (est)||70.3 (est)||+22.4|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+9.2|
Elections in the 1860s
|Liberal||John Gurdon Rebow||691||36.5||+7.2|
|Conservative||Taverner John Miller||640||33.8||−3.0|
|Conservative||Philip Oxenden Papillon||561||29.7||−4.1|
|Turnout||1,292 (est)||91.9 (est)||+21.6|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+7.2|
Miller resigned, causing a by-election.
|Liberal||John Gurdon Rebow||1,467||27.2||+8.9|
|Turnout||2,693 (est)||90.7 (est)||−1.2|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+9.0|
Elections in the 1870s
Rebow's death caused a by-election.
|Liberal||Henry Knight Storks||853||38.5||−15.0|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+15.1|
|Turnout||2,710 (est)||85.1 (est)||−5.6|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+4.1|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+3.5|
Elections in the 1880s
|Turnout||3,283 (est)||88.4 (est)||−0.7|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.5|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+2.1|
Notes and references
- "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, (48-49 Vict. Chapter 23), Schedule 2
- Fraser, Hugh (1918). The Representation of the people act, 1918 : with explanatory notes. University of California Libraries. London : Sweet and Maxwell.
- Craig, F. W. S. (1972). Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972. Chichester: Political Reference Publications. ISBN 0-900178-09-4.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
- Boundary Commission for England, 2018 Review, Associated consultation documents (September 2018). "Final recommendations report". Archived from the original on 15 February 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Cavill. The English Parliaments of Henry VII 1485-1504.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 5)
- Stooks Smith, Henry. (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 106–108. ISBN 0-900178-13-2.
- "Reference: D/B 5 Pb1/1". Essex Record Office. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "Neighbouring Counties". Norfolk News. 7 August 1847. p. 3. Retrieved 21 April 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Gardeners Chronicle & New Horticulturist, Volume 7. Haymarket Publishing. 1847. p. 233. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "Election Intelligence". Morning Post. 16 March 1857. p. 2. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The Coming Election". The Essex County Standard. 25 March 1857. p. 5. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- "The Dissolution". Essex Standard. 18 March 1857. p. 2. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Colchester Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- "Last night we selected our two candidates for the General Election. Mark Goacher will be standing in the Colchester constituency and Blake Roberts in Harwich and North Essex!". Colchester & District Green Party Facebook page. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- East Anglian Daily Times
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- BBC - Election 2010 - Colchester
- "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- The Times' Guide to the House of Commons. 1955.
- British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
- British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig
- The Liberal Year Book, 1907
- Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
- Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
- Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
- ‘GOLDFINCH, Sir Arthur Horne’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 29 Nov 2016
- Dictionary of Labour Biography
- Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book)
|url=(help) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
- "Representation of Colchester". Morning Advertiser. 8 February 1850. p. 2. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Colchester Election". Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette. 14 February 1850. p. 4. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "From our Private Correspondent". Dublin Evening Mail. 11 February 1850. p. 2. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Colchester". Chelsmford Chronicle. 9 July 1852. p. 3. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Colchester". Bury Free Press. 14 February 1857. p. 4. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Colchester Election". Essex Standard. 27 February 1857. p. 5. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Election Intelligence". Bucks Herald. 28 February 1857. p. 3. Retrieved 5 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Colchester Election". Essex Standard. 14 July 1865. p. 2. Retrieved 5 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Colchester Election". Essex Standard. 4 November 1870. p. 4. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Essex". Bury and Norwich Post. 21 February 1888. p. 8. Retrieved 25 November 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Robert Beatson, "A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament" (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807)
- D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
- Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808)
- F W S Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885" (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
- J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
- Henry Stooks Smith, The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847 (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig - Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)
- Victoria County History of Essex online at www.british-history.ac.uk