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Results & Constituencies
 
 Bedford
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Patrick Hall Labour 19,454 47.9 -2.7
Nicky Attenborough Conservative 13,297 32.8 -0.9
Michael Headley Liberal Democrat 6,425 15.8 +3.5
Richard Rawlins Independent 973 2.4  
Jenni Lo Bianco UK Independence 430 1.1  
Majority 6,157 15.2
Turnout 40,579 59.9 -13.6
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 0.9% from Labour to Conservative

Description
The creation of a sixth and extra seat in Bedfordshire by the Boundary Commission before the 1997 General Election stripped the constituency of its very Conservative villages in the northern tip of Bedfordshire and meant that Patrick Hall, the Labour candidate, needed a swing of just 5% to be elected. In the event, he achieved a 13% swing.

The seat's population is growing and Bedford is expanding to accommodate it. The electorate is ethnically diverse, with significant Italian, black, Asian, Polish and Irish communities.

The area has suffered from significant job losses - Texas Instruments, George Fischer Castings and the Ministry of Defence research centre at Thurleigh Airfield have all closed in recent years.

Bedford town has many commercial, service and educational facilities with industry and brewing interests too. It has long been a major administrative centre with good residential areas and De Montfort University, formerly Leicester Polytechnic, has a campus in Bedford.

Patrick Hall is the town’s third Labour MP since the war, winning the seat in his second attempt in 1997.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Bedford
Labour gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Patrick Hall Labour 24,774 50.6
Robert Blackman Conservative 16,474 33.7
Christopher Noyce Liberal Democrat 6,044 12.3
Peter Conquest Referendum 1,503 3.1
Patricia Saunders Natural Law 149 0.3
Majority 8,300 17.0
Turnout 48,944 73.5
 
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