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Results & Constituencies
 
 New Forest West
Other Conservative hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Desmond Swayne Conservative 24,575 55.7 +5.1
Mike Bignell Liberal Democrat 11,384 25.8 -2.0
Crada Onuegbu Labour 6,481 14.7 +0.4
Michael Clark UK Independence 1,647 3.7 +0.6
Majority 13,191 29.9
Turnout 44,087 65.0 -9.7
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 3.6% from Liberal Democrat to Conservative
Lab-Con (against 1997) 2.4% from Labour to Conservative

Description
This is a rural seat with many small market towns and small businesses.

The forest attracts 7 million annual visits, ensuring that 7% of the areaís employment is tourism-related. This seat contains the forestís unofficial capital, Ringwood, and proposals to give the forest National Park status are a local concern. But, just as the other New Forest seat looks away from the forest towards the coast, so this seatís population is centred in the west and economically looks towards Christchurch and the Bournemouth conurbation.

New Milton and Lymington are the two largest centres in the constituency. Most industry is centred in the former town, where there is also an airport, though forestry, farming and market gardening take place in much of the seat. Lymington serves as a ferry port for Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, has good yachting facilities, and is also a centre for those touring the forest.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 New Forest West
Conservative hold
Name Party Votes %
Desmond Swayne Conservative 25,149 50.6
Bob Hale Liberal Democrat 13,817 27.8
Dave Griffiths Labour 7,092 14.3
Maureen Elliott Referendum 2,150 4.3
M Holmes UK Independence 1,542 3.1
Majority 11,332 22.8
Turnout 49,750 74.7
 
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