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Results & Constituencies
 
 Harborough
Other Conservative hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Edward Garnier Conservative 20,748 44.7 +2.9
Jill Hope Liberal Democrat 15,496 33.4 +3.9
Raj Jethwa Labour 9,271 20.0 -5.2
David Knight UK Independence 912 2.0  
Majority 5,252 11.3
Turnout 46,427 63.3 -12.0
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 0.5% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 4.1% from Labour to Conservative

Description
A predominantly rural constituency, running right up to the south east of the city of Leicester and encompassing the suburbs of Oadby and Wigston, in addition to the rapidly expanding town of Market Harborough.

Oadby, the wealthier and more middle class of the two suburbs contains some big halls of residence from Leicester University (many of which are converted manor houses of old textile magnates) while Wigston, an old railway town, is more mixed.

The numbers directly employed in farming have declined over the past few decades, although farming and related services remain a major focus of the constituency. The good grassland around Welwyn Valley has attracted stock farmers over the centuries, but more recently some dairy and arable farms have also sprung up.

Market Harborough is said to be one of the most prosperous market towns in the country and is attracting increasing numbers of second home owners from London. This pressure for housing has led to increased speculation by housebuilders on farmland surrounding the town - an issue that causes particular concern.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Harborough
Conservative hold
Name Party Votes %
Edward Garnier Conservative 22,170 41.8
Mark Cox Liberal Democrat 15,646 29.5
Nick Holden Labour 13,332 25.2
Neil Wright Referendum 1,859 3.5
Majority 6,524 12.3
Turnout 53,007 75.3
 
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