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Results & Constituencies
 
 Dorset West
Other Conservative hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Oliver Letwin Conservative 22,126 44.6 +3.5
Simon Green Liberal Democrat 20,712 41.8 +4.1
Richard Hyde Labour 6,733 13.6 -4.1
Majority 1,414 2.9
Turnout 49,571 67.0 -9.1
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 0.3% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 3.8% from Labour to Conservative

Description
This area is buoyant economically, with demand for land for industrial estates outstripping supply. New jobs are also being created as a result of economic development grants given to 65 local companies.

The main town is Dorchester; it was here that Judge Jeffries held one of the bloodiest of assizes, sentencing 292 to death or transportation following the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685, whilst in 1834 the Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced to seven years exile in Tasmania.

Today the trend is more towards incoming tourists than outward-bound "malefactors", and the area as a whole has much to interest the idle visitor. There is Thomas Hardy's old house at Max Gate, Sherborne Castle, Maiden Castle (the largest hill fort in Britain), and Lyme Regis, an increasingly popular seaside resort.

The Conservatives hung on to the seat in 1997, though their majority over the Liberal Democrats fell from 8,010 to 1,840. Labour's vote actually increased by more than the Lib Dems' did as the seat's electors declined to vote tactically against the Tories.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Dorset West
Conservative hold
Name Party Votes %
Oliver Letwin Conservative 22,036 41.1
Robin Legg Liberal Democrat 20,196 37.7
Robert Bygrave Labour 9,491 17.7
P Jenkins UK Independence 1,590 3.0
Mark Griffiths Natural Law 239 0.4
Majority 1,840 3.4
Turnout 53,552 76.1
 
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