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Results & Constituencies
 
 Surrey South West
Other Conservative hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Virginia Bottomley Conservative 22,462 45.3 +0.7
Simon Cordon Liberal Democrat 21,601 43.6 +3.8
Martin Whelton Labour 4,321 8.7 -0.7
Timothy Clark UK Independence 1,208 2.4 +1.7
Majority 861 1.7
Turnout 49,592 66.9 -10.6
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 1.5% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 0.7% from Labour to Conservative

Description
Former minister Virginia Bottomley was returned to Surrey South West in 1997 after a close fight with the Liberal Democrats. Her majority was substantially reduced from over 14,000 votes to a slender 2,694 votes which makes this seat the closest in the county to a marginal. For the first time since they both entered parliament, her husband Peter Bottomley, having moved from Eltham to Worthing West, has the more secure constituency.

Located towards the Sussex and Hampshire borders, this seat combines pleasant countryside and residential areas. The main towns in the constituency are Farnham, after which a very similar seat was named before the 1983 boundary changes, Godalming and Haslemere. Local landmarks include the Devilís Punchbowl and Frensham Ponds which characterise this rural home counties seat.

The main industries in the area are historically paper, leather, wool and cloth. However it is now more a base for mainly affluent commuters to London. Nearly half of the total population is aged over 40 and unemployment levels are among the lowest in the country.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Surrey South West
Conservative hold
Name Party Votes %
Virginia Bottomley Conservative 25,165 44.6
Neil Sherlock Liberal Democrat 22,471 39.8
Margaret Leicester Labour 5,333 9.4
Judith Clementson Referendum 2,830 5.0
James Kirby UK Independence 401 0.7
Josephine Quintavalle ProLife Alliance 258 0.5
Majority 2,694 4.8
Turnout 56,458 77.5
 
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