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Results & Constituencies
 
 Maidstone & The Weald
Other Conservative hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Ann Widdecombe Conservative 22,621 49.6 +5.5
Mark Davis Labour 12,303 27.0 +0.8
Allison Wainman Liberal Democrat 9,064 19.9 -2.5
John Botting UK Independence 978 2.1 +1.5
Neil Hunt Independent 611 1.3  
Majority 10,318 22.6
Turnout 45,577 61.6 -12.1
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 2.4% from Labour to Conservative

Description
Many of the seats in Kent are strange mixtures of the rural and the urban; the agricultural and the industrial. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that this constituency includes only part of Maidstone and only part of the Weald, yet takes the name of both. This seat has voted in wildly divergent ways at local and general elections. Ann Widdecombe currently has a large majority where the latter are concerned; at local authority level the Lib Dems have 21 of the Maidstone District Council seats to the Conservatives' 6.

This seat is home to commuters and light industry at Maidstone, and more agricultural pursuits on The Weald. The exclusive girlsí school of Benenden is to be found here, as is Sissinghurst Castle - the Tudor house famed for its gardens designed by previous residents Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson.

Maidstone is Kentís county town, and has seen some substantial investment in recent years. In particular, the £8.2m millennium river project in the town centre has had half of the cost paid for by the Millennium Commission. It has seen the river and access improved, and the award-winning Lockmeadow Bridge built.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Maidstone & The Weald
Conservative hold
Name Party Votes %
Ann Widdecombe Conservative 23,657 44.1
John Morgan Labour 14,054 26.2
Jane Nelson Liberal Democrat 11,986 22.4
Sarah Hopkins Referendum 1,998 3.7
Maureen Cleator Socialist Labour 979 1.8
Penny Kemp Green 480 0.9
R Owen UK Independence 339 0.6
John Oldbury Natural Law 115 0.2
Majority 9,603 17.9
Turnout 53,608 73.7
 
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