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Results & Constituencies
 
 Gravesham
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Chris Pond Labour 21,773 49.9 +0.2
Jacques Arnold Conservative 16,911 38.8 0.0
Bruce Parmenter Liberal Democrat 4,031 9.2 +1.4
William Jenner UK Independence 924 2.1  
Majority 4,862 11.1
Turnout 43,639 62.7 -14.2
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 0.1% from Conservative to Labour

Description
Like neighbouring Dartford, Gravesham has swung with the political tide since 1964.

The constituency is coterminous with the borough of the same name, the council of which Labour runs with a large majority. Conservatives retain control of the rural hinterland in such wards as Meopham North and South, Istead and Cobham and Luddestone even in the worst years, but Labour is all-conquering in the built-up areas on the south bank of the Thames, like Northfleet.

The topographical landscape is diverse, the seat being comprised of industrial, agricultural and commuter towns and villages, with some very picturesque areas. The ethnic minority population is the largest of any seat in Kent, and the level of council house accommodation is also the county’s highest, at 20%.

There are two Enterprise Zones in the constituency, and industry is helped by a situation on the Thames and the A2 trunk road. But, as elsewhere along the Thames Gateway, traditional industries such as paper making and cement manufacture are being overtaken by the service sector.

As part of a river-front revival, it will soon boast a renovated town pier, and the Pocahontas trade (she is buried here) continues to attract American tourists.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Gravesham
Labour gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Chris Pond Labour 26,460 49.7
Jacques Arnold Conservative 20,681 38.8
Merilyn Canet Liberal Democrat 4,128 7.8
Patricia Curtis Referendum 1,441 2.7
Anthony Leyshon Independent 414 0.8
David Palmer Natural Law 129 0.2
Majority 5,779 10.9
Turnout 53,253 76.9
 
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