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Results & Constituencies
 
 Christchurch
Other Conservative hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Christopher Chope Conservative 27,306 55.1 +8.7
Dorothy Webb Liberal Democrat 13,762 27.8 -14.8
Judith Begg Labour 7,506 15.1 +8.2
Margaret Strange UK Independence 993 2.0 +0.9
Majority 13,544 27.3
Turnout 49,567 67.4 -11.1
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 11.8% from Liberal Democrat to Conservative
Lab-Con (against 1997) 0.2% from Labour to Conservative

Description
Christchurch, previously one of the 10 safest Conservative seats in Britain, made its mark on electoral history in a by-election on 29 July 1993 in which a Conservative majority of 23,000 was turned into a Liberal Democrat one of over 16,000 votes.

Although the Conservatives failed to regain by-election losses such as Newbury and Eastleigh, former minister Christopher Chope beat Diana Maddock here by 2,165 votes.

The constituency covers much more than the town of Christchurch itself.

To the north west of the town are such centres as Hurn, Ferndown and Verwood on the northern boundary. The seat includes Bournemouth's International Airport and there are some defence-related industries based here.

It is predominantly a retirement area, over one third of the population was of retirement age in the 1991 census. Owner occupation is over 85%, a proportion only exceeded by six constituencies.

As part of an earlier Bournemouth seat, it was represented by Nigel Nicholson during the 1950s.

From February 1974 the constituency was represented by Sir Robert Adley, his sudden death in May 1993 causing the by-election.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Christchurch
Conservative hold
Name Party Votes %
Christopher Chope Conservative 26,095 46.4
Diana Maddock Liberal Democrat 23,930 42.6
Charles Mannan Labour 3,884 6.9
Ray Spencer Referendum 1,684 3.0
R H Dickinson UK Independence 606 1.1
Majority 2,165 3.9
Turnout 56,199 78.5
 
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