Meriden (UK Parliament constituency)

Meriden (UK Parliament constituency)
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Meriden in the West Midlands for the 2007 general election.
Outline map
Location of the West Midlands within England.
County West Midlands
Electorate 83,428 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Balsall Common, Hampton-in-Arden, Meriden and Chelmsley Wood
Current constituency
Created 1955 (1955)
Member of Parliament Caroline Spelman (Conservative)
Number of members One
European Parliament constituency West Midlands

Meriden is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It was first contested at the 1955 general election.



1955 - 1983

The Meriden County Constituency was created in 1955, following a review of parliamentary seats in Warwickshire by the boundary commission appointed under the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1949. The new constituency comprised three rural districts in the north of the county: Atherstone, Meriden and Tamworth.[2] The areas were transferred from the neighbouring constituencies of Nuneaton and Sutton Coldfield[3]

Tamworth Rural District was abolished in 1965, with most of its area redistributed between the two neighbouring rural districts. Accordingly, when parliamentary constituencies were reorganised throughout England in 1970, Meriden was redefined to consist only of Atherstone and Meriden Rural Districts.[4] This was only a minor boundary change.

The seat was a Labour/Conservative marginal, covering the coal mining areas of northern Warwickshire and the more affluent area near Solihull. It changed hands between the two parties several times, including in a by-election in 1968, which was won by Keith Speed of the Conservatives.

1983 to date

The next redistribution of constituencies was in 1983, reflecting the major boundary changes effected by the Local Government Act 1972. A new Meriden County Constituency was created as part of the parliamentary county of West Midlands, consisting of nine wards of the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, namely Bickenhill, Castle Bromwich, Chelmsley Wood, Fordbridge, Kingshurst, Knowle, Meriden, Packwood and Smith's Wood.[5] The boundaries were unchanged in 1997.[6]

The 1983 boundary changes transformed the constituency into a safe Conservative seat, with the areas favouring Labour becoming part of a new North Warwickshire seat. Iain Mills held the seat until he died in office in January 1997, with the seat remaining vacant until the dissolution of Parliament and no by-election being held. Caroline Spelman was victorious in the 1997 general election, though only by a narrow margin, and has held the seat since then, with the challenge from Labour becoming more distant.

For the 2010 general election the constituency was redefined, following redrawing of the wards of the metropolitan borough. It now comprises the following nine wards: Bickenhill, Blythe, Castle Bromwich, Chelmsley Wood, Dorridge & Hockley Heath, Kingshurst & Fordbridge, Knowle, Meriden, Smith's Wood.[7]


The constituency is one of two covering the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull. It covers the rural area, known as the Meriden Gap, between the West Midlands conurbation and Coventry, which contains villages such as Balsall Common, Hampton-in-Arden and Meriden itself. It also covers some urban parts of the borough, particularly Castle Bromwich and Chelmsley Wood (a large area of 1960s council housing on the eastern edge of Birmingham), but also the affluent areas of Dorridge and Knowle.

Members of Parliament

The current MP is the Conservative Caroline Spelman. She has been member for the seat since 1997, and Environment Secretary since 2010.

Election Member[8] Party
1955 Reginald Moss Labour
1959 Gordon Matthews Conservative
1964 Christopher Rowland Labour
1968 by-election Keith Speed Conservative
Feb 1974 John Tomlinson Labour
1979 Iain Mills Conservative
1997 Caroline Spelman Conservative


Elections in the 2010s

General Election 2010: Meriden [9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Caroline Spelman 26,956 51.7 +4.0
Labour Ed Williams 10,703 20.5 −11.7
Liberal Democrat Simon Slater 9,278 17.8 +1.0
BNP Frank O'Brien 2,511 4.8 N/A
UKIP Barry Allcock 1,378 2.6 −0.7
Green Elly Stanton 678 1.3 N/A
Solihull and Meriden Residents' Association Nikki Sinclaire 658 1.3 N/A
Majority 16,253 31.2 +15.7
Turnout 52,162 63.3 +3.2
Conservative hold Swing +7.9

Elections in the 2000s

General Election 2005: Meriden
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Caroline Spelman 22,416 48.2 +0.5
Labour Jim Brown 15,407 33.1 −6.1
Liberal Democrat William Laitinen 7,113 15.3 +4.2
UKIP Denis Brookes 1,567 3.4 +1.4
Majority 7,009 15.1 +6.6
Turnout 46,503 60.1 −0.3
Conservative hold Swing +3.3
General Election 2001: Meriden
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Caroline Spelman 21,246 47.7 +5.7
Labour Christine Shawcroft 17,462 39.2 −1.8
Liberal Democrat Nigel Hicks 4,941 11.1 −1.9
UKIP Richard Adams 910 2.0 N/A
Majority 3,784 8.5 +7.4
Turnout 44,559 60.4 −11.3
Conservative hold Swing +3.7

Elections in the 1990s

General Election 1997: Meriden[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Caroline Spelman 22,997 42.0 −13.1
Labour Brian Seymour-Smith 22,415 41.0 +10.1
Liberal Democrat Tony Dupont 7,098 13.0 −1.0
Referendum Party P Gilbert 2,208 4.0 N/A
Majority 582 1.1 −23.1
Turnout 54,718 71.7 −7.1
Conservative hold Swing −11.6
General Election 1992: Meriden[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Iain Mills 33,462 55.1 +0.0
Labour NJ Stephens 18,763 30.9 +4.8
Liberal Democrat Mrs JA Morris 8,489 14.0 −4.8
Majority 14,699 24.2 −4.8
Turnout 60,714 78.8 +5.0
Conservative hold Swing −2.4

See also

  • List of Parliamentary constituencies in the West Midlands (county)

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (Birmingham and North Warwickshire) Order, 1955 (S.I. 1955/177)
  3. ^ F A Youngs Jr., Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.II: Northern England, London, 1991
  4. ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1970 (S.I. 1970/1674)
  5. ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983 (S.I. 1983/417)
  6. ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/1626)
  7. ^ Statutory Instrument 2007 No. 1681 (section Schedule) The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007 (Coming into force 27 June 2007)
  8. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 2)
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Politcs Resources". Election 1997. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  11. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.118 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  12. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 Dec 2010. 

Coordinates: 52°24′N 1°43′W / 52.40°N 1.71°W / 52.40; -1.71

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