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Results & Constituencies
 
 Harwich
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Ivan Henderson Labour 21,951 45.6 +6.8
Iain Sproat Conservative 19,355 40.2 +3.7
Peter Wilcock Liberal Democrat 4,099 8.5 -4.6
Tony Finnegan-Butler UK Independence 2,463 5.1  
Clive Lawrance Independent 247 0.5  
Majority 2,596 5.4
Turnout 48,115 62.1 -8.4
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 1.5% from Conservative to Labour

Description
Harwich saw one of the most unlikely Labour gains at the 1997 election by a margin of just over 1,000. But for the intervention of the Referendum Party, Conservative Iain Sproat might well have held on to his seat, as his eurosceptic rival received nearly 5,000 ballots.

The constituency covers a coastal strip in the north eastern corner of Essex, and has an important place in maritime history. Harwich was the first landfall for the ships which defeated the Spanish Armada, and was the site of a naval dockyard, which was arranged to be built by the 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys, who himself served as MP for Harwich.

Today, it is still an important European ferry terminal, with a relatively new high speed ferry link to the Hook of Holland.

In addition to the port of Harwich, the constituency also includes the seaside resorts of Clacton, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze. Frinton is the most genteel of the Essex coastal resorts, priding itself on its lack of commercial activity. It is in marked contrast to its neighbour, Walton, where there are chip shops, candy floss stalls and amusement arcades, and Clacton.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Harwich
Labour gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Ivan Henderson Labour 20,740 38.8
Iain Sproat Conservative 19,524 36.5
Ann Elvin Liberal Democrat 7,037 13.1
Jeffrey Titford Referendum 4,923 9.2
Ralph Knight Independent 1,290 2.4
Majority 1,216 2.3
Turnout 53,514 70.5
 
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