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Wimbledon UK Parliament Constituency
Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1885 onwards
In June 2016, 70.6% of voters of a referendum preferred to remain in the European Union. In September 2019 the incumbent lost his party's whip for rebelling on a key Brexit vote. He briefly sat as an Independent and the whip was restored on 29 October 2019, with 9 of 21 other rebels of the same party.
The area was created by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 and had lay in Mid Surrey that elected two MPs. The constituency covered great bounds, skirting around Croydon to its south to reach Caterham, Warlingham, Chelsham and Farleigh in the North Downs and bearing formal alternate titles of the Wimbledon Division (of Surrey) and the North East Division of Surrey which in all but the most formal legal writing was written as North East Surrey.
Since 1885 the seat elected Conservative MPs except for 1945-1950 and 1997-2005, when the Labour candidate won the seat during the party's national landslide years. While the 2005 Conservative majority was marginal, the 2010 majority was 24.1% of the vote, so on the percentage of majority measure, but not on the longevity measure, it bore a safe seat hallmark.[n 4]
In elections to the London Borough of Merton, the seat returns most of the council's Conservative councillors. The hillside and hilltop wards have since 1921 been unpromising territory for any party other than the Conservatives. However, since 1990, the ward of Merton Park has only ever returned councillors for Merton Park Ward Residents Association. Since 1994, the ward of West Barnes, which contains Merton's half of the town of Motspur Park, has swung between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats; the latter presently hold all three seats in the ward. In the local elections in 2018, Liberal Democrat councillors were elected in the wards of Trinity and Dundonald for the first time in the borough's history. Wards as currently drawn (see fair apportionment for equal numbers of voters) Abbey and Cannon Hill routinely return Labour councillors.
In 2010, the second-placed candidate was a Liberal Democrat. At 25%, this was the highest vote for the Liberal Party/Liberal Democrats in the constituency since 1987. The national collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote at the 2015 election meant that Labour returned to second place in 2015, an order which was repeated in 2017, with a swing of 7.6%.
First form. Extract from 1906 result: the L-shaped mid-tone blue area south of London. The southern limit fell into East Surrey from 1918 onwards.
1885-1918: The Sessional Division of Croydon except so much as is within a district of the Metropolis, the parishes of Caterham, Chelsham, Farley, Warlingham, Merton, and Wimbledon, so much of the Parliamentary Borough of Deptford as is in Surrey, and the area of the Parliamentary Boroughs of Battersea and Clapham, Camberwell, Lambeth, Newington, Southwark, and Wandsworth.
1918-1950: The Municipal Borough of Wimbledon, and the Urban District of Merton and Morden.
Cut-down version of 1918-1945 at a larger scale. Extract from 1923 result: the blue area between Kingston (keeping a SW, Chessington projection) and Mitcham, a new seat from Wimbledon, reaching further south than other semi-urban seats of the greater London area
1950-1955: The Municipal Boroughs of Wimbledon, and Malden and Coombe.
1955-1974: The Municipal Borough of Wimbledon.
1974-1983: The London Borough of Merton wards of Cannon Hill, Priory, West Barnes, Wimbledon East, Wimbledon North, Wimbledon South, and Wimbledon West.
1983-2010: The London Borough of Merton wards of Abbey, Cannon Hill, Dundonald, Durnsford, Hillside, Merton Park, Raynes Park, Trinity, Village, and West Barnes.
2010-present: As above less Durnsford ward and with Wimbledon Park ward added.
The seat has a commuter-sustained suburban economy with an imposing shopping centre, overwhelmingly privately-built and owned or rented homes and a range of open green spaces, ranging in value from elevated Wimbledon Village - sandwiched between Wimbledon Common and Wimbledon Park[n 5] - where a large tranche of homes exceed £1,000,000 - to Merton Abbey ruins and South Wimbledon, with more social housing in its wards.
Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.5% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.
Wards in this area often see a minority of Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors. Voters have quite high median and mean incomes, with an above-average public sector workforce which together means the seat resembles similar Tory-strong seats for London with other party traditions also followed: Richmond Park, Kingston and Surbiton and Putney. As widely touted in opinion polls the runner-up of the 2019 election became the Liberal Democrat.
^The other measure is the historic measure which was met also in this instance until 1997.
^This is where the All-England lawn tennis club and the croquet club where The Championships are held in June each year.
^The day before the vote Cllr Uddin (Labour) and his solicitors' business co-owner had their practising certificates suspended by their professional regulator, who seized the business' files and took control of its accounts. Crescent Law, the firm, specialises in personal injury. An investigation was opened into possible misconduct or unethical practices; it was set to report within weeks. Cllr Uddin remained on the ballot paper and his local Party took no action given the early stage of the intervention.