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Results & Constituencies
 
 Bury St Edmunds
Other Conservative hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
David Ruffley Conservative 21,850 43.5 +5.2
Mark Ereira Labour 19,347 38.5 +0.8
Richard Williams Liberal Democrat 6,998 13.9 -4.3
John Howlett UK Independence 831 1.7  
Michael Brundle Independent 651 1.3  
Michael Benwell Socialist Labour 580 1.2  
Majority 2,503 5.0
Turnout 50,257 66.0 -9.0
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 2.2% from Labour to Conservative

Description
The major town in this predominantly rural constituency is the market town of Bury St Edmunds.

It also includes the other much smaller towns of Stowmarket and Needham Market and a multitude of tiny villages such as Haughley.

Bury St Edmunds is home to the smallest pub in England, the Nutshell.

The decline in the agriculture industry has hit this seat hard, as arable and pig farming, as well as seed, feed and breeding merchants, play a significant part in the local economy.

There is a real sense of "village values" in this area, and the future of rural sub-post offices is a major issue of concern for constituents.

The A14 runs straight through this seat, and is a major Euro-route, but suffers badly from road accidents and under-investment.

Safety concerns have been dealt with by the introduction of a new 50mph speed limit at the accident black-spot Haughley Bends, but extra money is needed to build extra fly-overs and junctions.

This is a traditionally Conservative voting area, although there are pockets of Labour support in the council estates of north Bury and Stowmarket.

The sitting MP David Ruffley managed to cling onto the seat in 1997 with a tiny majority of 368 votes.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Bury St Edmunds
Conservative hold
Name Party Votes %
David Ruffley Conservative 21,290 38.3
Mark Ereira Labour 20,922 37.7
Dave Cooper Liberal Democrat 10,102 18.2
Ian McWhirter Referendum 2,939 5.3
Joanna Lillis Natural Law 272 0.5
Majority 368 0.7
Turnout 55,525 75.0
 
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