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Results & Constituencies
 
 Harlow
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Bill Rammell Labour 19,169 47.8 -6.3
Robert Halfon Conservative 13,941 34.8 +2.7
Lorna Spenceley Liberal Democrat 5,381 13.4 +3.9
Tony Bennett UK Independence 1,223 3.0 +2.3
John Hobbs Socialist Alliance 401 1.0  
Majority 5,228 13.0
Turnout 40,115 59.8 -14.5
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 4.5% from Labour to Conservative

Description
At the end of the Second World War, Harlow had a population of only 5,000. However, the post-war Labour Government took the decision in 1946 to create a New Town there, which now numbers nearly 80,000 residents.

The New Town was specifically designed as a group of neighbourhood communities and the council has sought to emphasise this in its devolution of power to local communities. The Community Associations are also very strong.

Harlow also prides itself on having pioneered innovative social and community facilities: the first all-purpose health centre in 1955; one of the first holiday play schemes in the early 1960s; and one of the earliest after-school care schemes in 1979.

Local employment has traditionally been in light industry, although in recent years the emphasis has switched more towards retailing and distribution. London's Liverpool Street station is just 40 minutes away by train and many workers commute to jobs in the City.

It is also a growing centre for scientific research and development - major international companies such as SmithKline Beecham, Northern Telecom, and Merck, Sharp and Dohme are centralising their research activities here.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Harlow
Labour gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Bill Rammell Labour 25,861 54.1
Jerry Hayes Conservative 15,347 32.1
Lorna Spenceley Liberal Democrat 4,523 9.5
Mark Wells Referendum 1,422 3.0
G Batten UK Independence 340 0.7
John Bowles BNP 319 0.7
Majority 10,514 22.0
Turnout 47,812 74.3
 
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