Southampton Itchen (UK Parliament constituency)

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Outline map
Southampton, Itchen is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Royston Smith, a Conservative member of parliament.

The constituency was created in 1950, when the previous two-member Southampton constituency was abolished.

The constituency is named after the River Itchen, which flows through it and is the lesser of the two major rivers that reach the tidal estuary of Southampton Water at the city. Although until the 1970s it was a safe Labour seat, it elected a Conservative MP, Christopher Chope in 1983 and 1987 after the sitting MP Bob Mitchell left Labour in 1981 for the SDP. The combination of Mitchell as a strong SDP-Liberal Alliance candidate in both 1983 and 1987, together with Conservative landslides, made Southampton Itchen highly competitive.

The former Labour MP, John Denham, narrowly defeated Chope by 551 votes in 1992 and held the seat with more substantial majorities until 2010 when he won by just 192 votes. These two election results with marginal majorities, with moderate third-party polling, and the Conservative gain in 2015, indicate Southampton Itchen may now be thought of as a two-party marginal seat.

Royston Smith unexpectedly regained the seat for the Conservative Party in 2015. He had previously led the Conservative group on the city council and had contested the seat in 2010.

His majority of 31 in 2017 puts the seat at the top of the Labour Party's list of target seats.

This page was last edited on 19 August 2017, at 06:40 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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