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Results & Constituencies
 
 Hereford
Other Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Paul Keetch Liberal Democrat 18,244 40.9 -7.0
Virginia Taylor Conservative 17,276 38.7 +3.4
David Hallam Labour 6,739 15.1 +2.5
Clive Easton UK Independence 1,184 2.7  
David Gillett Green 1,181 2.6  
Majority 968 2.2
Turnout 44,624 63.5 -11.7
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 5.2% from Liberal Democrat to Conservative
Lab-Con (against 1997) 0.5% from Labour to Conservative

Description
The Hereford constituency is shaped like a fan with the city of Hereford at its centre, and a large hinterland taking in the southern half of Herefordshire.

The city itself has a population of 50,000 and contains a number of historic buildings, particularly medieval almshouses and Hereford Cathedral, which houses the 13th century Mappa Mundi and the medieval Chained Library.

There is only one other town of note: the much smaller market town of Ross-on-Wye with 6,500 residents and an annual music festival. The rest of the constituency is a sparsely populated rural area of small villages. To the west the valleys flowing down from the Black Mountains in Wales and in the east the lusher area of the Wye Valley represent classic English countryside.

Hereford is a traditional liberal stronghold, and one which had been on the Liberal target list since 1974. The city council had been in Liberal and Lib Dem hands since 1980. In 1992, the Lib Dems had threatened finally to win it but failed. Come 1997 they selected a candidate with impeccable local credentials and successfully made the final push.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Hereford
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Paul Keetch Liberal Democrat 25,198 47.9
Colin Shepherd Conservative 18,550 35.3
Chris Chappell Labour 6,596 12.6
Clive Easton Referendum 2,209 4.2
Majority 6,648 12.7
Turnout 52,553 75.2
 
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