Gazette: Election 2015 header

Gazette: Braintree map Terracotta Gazette: Clacton Terracotta map Gazette: colchester map terracotta Gazette: Harwich & North essex map terracotta Gazette: witham map terracotta

Gazette: General election news grey

Gazette: Candidates grey

Gazette: History terracotta



COLCHESTER has had a member of Parliament since 1312.
From 1640 – 1885 it actually had two.
In more modern times, other than a Labour candidate taking the seat in 1945, it has been divided by Conservatives and the Liberals.
From 1961, Tory Sir Philip Antony Fyson Buck held the seat for more than 20 years until 1983 when boundary changes split the constituency in two.
He served nine more years in the Colchester North seat, until he was replaced by fellow Conservative Bernard Jenkin.
The Tories also held the newly-created Colchester south, with John Wakeham and then John Whittingdale sitting in Parliament.
However, in 1997, both the boundary and political maps both changed with Colchester getting its own constituency MP once again.
And the town returned a Liberal Democrat, Bob Russell.
His victory was a relatively narrow one, as he polled just 1,551 more votes that the Conservative candidate and 1,995 more than Labour.
However, since then the gap has been far wider with the veteran MP seeing off the Conservatives into second place in every contest.
We shall see what happens after 10pm on May 7.



HARWICH has had an MP since 1604 and even had two from 1604 to 1868.
During that time Samuel Pepys was one of the areas member of parliament – he held a seat from February to August 1679.
In 1868 the constituency was reduced to one member. 
From then until 1997 the seat was divided between wins for the Conservatives and wins for the Liberals.
But in 1997 the seat was won by Labour’s Ivan Henderson.
He would hold onto it for had eight years before it became Conservative once again with Douglas Carswell winning in 2005.
In 2010 the seat was abolished. Clacton became its own constituency and Harwich was merged with North Essex.
In the 2010 general election Bernard Jenkin won with a majority of 11,447.



THE Clacton constituency was created for the 2010 General Election.
It was formed from parts of the Harwich and North Essex constituencies.
The new seat covers most of the former Harwich constituency, excluding the town of Harwich itself and the surrounding villages, but includes St Osyth and Weeley, which had been part of the North Essex constituency.
The seat was won by Douglas Carswell, who had previously been Conservative MP for Harwich.
He increased his majority from 920 in 2005 to more than 12,000 in 2010.
Mr Carswell shockingly left the Conservatives and resigned his seat in August last year, triggering a by-election.
He went on to win the seat with an increased majority of 12,404 in Ukip colours on October 10.
Mr Carswell has been the constituency’s only MP to date, although he was appointed as the Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead for a short period after his resignation.
Technically MPs are not allowed to resign, so Mr Carswell was appointed to the position allowing the Clacton seat to become vacant, prompting the by-election.



BRAINTREE constituency was created in 1974.
Its inaugral member of Parliament was the Conservative Tony Newton.
He was MP until 1997 when Alan Hurst captured the seat for Labour with a 1,451 majority.
Mr Hurst clung on again in 2001 with a tiny majority of 358, just seeing off the challenge of Tory new boy Brooks Newmark.
However, Mr Newmark defeated Mr Hurst in 2005 to regain the seat for the Conservatives with a 3,893 majority.
Braintree might have remained a Tory marginal if not for the boundary change of 2010 which excised the area’s Labour stronghold- Witham- and returned Mr Newmark with a thumping majority of 16,121.
In the absence of detailed polling data, March’s Essex County Council by-election for the Bocking seat gives the closest indication of how it will go.
The Tories won with 34.3% of the vote, Labour finished second on 31.2% and Ukip third on 27.4%.
How much can be read into the results of an election in which just 22% of the electorate bothered to vote is up for debate.