Though once a Liberal seat, Hexham has been in Conservative hands since 1924 and was the only seat in the North East to return a Conservative at the 2005 election. Colonel Douglas Clifton Brown, Speaker of the Commons during the last years of World War II, represented the seat for two separate tenures.
From 1966 for 21 years, Tory Sir Geoffrey Rippon held the seat. His successor Alan Amos was elected in 1987, he withdrew just before the 1992 general election. His successor Peter Atkinson increased the Conservative vote in 1992, bucking the national trend. His majority grew to more than 13,000.
In 1997 a swing of nearly 14% cut the Conservative vote from its highest to its lowest point, and the Labour candidate Ian McMinn came within 222 votes of winning.
In 2005 the Liberal Democrats polled 10,673 votes, their best performance in Hexham since the Liberal/Alliance polled over 14,000 votes here in 1987. The incumbent Tory MP Peter Atkinson saw his majority double to 5,020.
At this election, there are minimal boundary changes. To find out what might have happened had this boundary change been in force at the last election, see a notional - or estimated - result below.
Hexham stretches from the affluent commuter communities of Hexham and Ponteland outside Newcastle, across 1,100 square miles of sparsely populated countryside from Hadrians Wall to the Durham, Cumbrian and Scottish borders.
Despite its vast rural acreage, most of the population live [More...]