The Conservative Sir Nicholas Lyell QC was elected to this seat in 1997 with an 11.6% majority. This was despite the presence of the Referendum Party and an Independent Conservative candidate, who between them polled over 4,000 votes. Sir Nicholas retired from politics in 2001.
His successor, current MP Alistair Burt, held the seat for the Conservatives in the 2001 general election with an increased majority and a 3.6% swing from Labour.
In 2005 Burt polled the same percentage of the vote as in 2001. However, with support for Labour falling by 5.8% the Conservative majority was increased to more than 12,200. The Liberal Democrat vote rose by 4.4%, but this was not enough to lift them out of third place.
At the election, boundary changes mean that this seat gains the part-ward of Langford and Henlow Village from Mid Bedfordshire, but loses its part-wards of Goldington, Kingsbrook to Bedford, along with losing Houghton, Haynes, Southill and Old Warden to Mid Bedfordshire. 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.
The constituency covers small communities to the north and east of Bedford. The historic towns of Biggleswade and Sandy are the largest population centres.
North East Bedfordshire is a popular area with wealthy London and Bedford commuters. However, employment prospects in the area have been helped by the excellent transport links and the d[More...]