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Results & Constituencies
 
 Chatham & Aylesford
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Jonathan Shaw Labour 19,180 48.3 +5.2
Sean Holden Conservative 14,840 37.3 -0.1
David Lettington Liberal Democrat 4,705 11.8 -3.2
Gregory Knopp UK Independence 1,010 2.5 +1.5
Majority 4,340 10.9
Turnout 39,735 57.0 -13.6
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 2.6% from Conservative to Labour

Description
This seat provided one of the most improbable Labour victories last time around.

Aylesford and its environs are rural and comfortably-off. It is the former naval town of Chatham with its tough working-class districts which provided the core of Labour support in this constituency.

The seat is divided by the M2, with the North Downs and commuter towns to the south west and Chatham to the north west.

Chatham has grown up in the shadow of neighbouring Rochester and once held a naval dockyard.

This has since disappeared, but the docks have become an enterprise zone under the title Chatham Marina Estate, and the part situated in this constituency has been developed for tourist purposes.

Other service industry development has seen Lloyds of London relocate offices here, in an award-winning building.

The workforce of the seat is evenly split between manual and non-manual, and unemployment is below average.

There is very little council housing which reveals the commuter aspect of the seat.

Aylesford, once a village but now a sizeable town, reflects the population growth which has seen many old villages merge into one built-up area around Snodland.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Chatham & Aylesford
Labour gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Jonathan Shaw Labour 21,191 43.1
Richard Knox-Johnston Conservative 18,401 37.4
Robin Murray Liberal Democrat 7,389 15.0
Keith Riddle Referendum 1,538 3.1
Alan Harding UK Independence 493 1.0
Timothy Martel Natural Law 149 0.3
Majority 2,790 5.7
Turnout 49,161 70.6
 
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