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Results & Constituencies
 
 Isle of Wight
Other Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Andrew Turner Conservative 25,223 39.7 +5.7
Peter Brand Liberal Democrat 22,397 35.3 -7.4
Deborah Gardiner Labour 9,676 15.2 +2.0
David Lott UK Independence 2,106 3.3 +1.8
David Holmes Independent 1,423 2.2  
Paul Scivier Green 1,279 2.0 +1.3
Philip Murray Isle of Wight 1,164 1.8  
James Spensley Socialist Labour 214 0.3  
Majority 2,826 4.5
Turnout 63,482 59.7 -12.3
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 6.6% from Liberal Democrat to Conservative
Lab-Con (against 1997) 1.8% from Labour to Conservative

Description
The Island, as it is known to residents, is the largest constituency in the country in population terms with over 100,000 electors, and remained undivided after the last boundary review.

The islanders suffer for their semi-detached status: the very high price of ferry journeys to the mainland is a running sore, and economic development has often been slower here the rest of the country. That has changed in the last five years, however, with unemployment declining faster than the national average. Still, at fewer than 4% the constituency has the lowest proportion of top-rate taxpayers in the country. It has its own Benedictine monastery in Quarr Abbey with its distinctive Byzantine architectural style and Osborne House was a favourite retreat for Queen Victoria. The island is also home to Parkhurst Prison.

The Liberals won the seat in 1974 and held it until 1987. The 1997 Lib Dem gain came despite their share of the vote actually falling compared with the previous election: the result of third-placed Labour tearing a great chunk out of the Conservative vote which enabled the Lib Dems to slip through the middle and take the seat.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Isle of Wight
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Peter Brand Liberal Democrat 31,274 42.7
Andrew Turner Conservative 24,868 34.0
Deborah Gardiner Labour 9,646 13.2
Tim Bristow Referendum 4,734 6.5
Malcolm Turner UK Independence 1,072 1.5
Harry Rees Independent 848 1.2
Paul Scivier Green 544 0.7
Clive Daly Natural Law 87 0.1
Jonathan Eveleigh Rainbow 86 0.1
Majority 6,406 8.8
Turnout 73,159 72.0
 
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