| County constituency |
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Wells in Somerset
Location of Somerset within England
|Electorate||79,989 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||James Heappey (Conservative)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Mid Somerset and East Somerset|
|Number of members||Two|
|Type of constituency||Borough constituency|
|Replaced by||Mid Somerset|
Wells is a constituencyrepresented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by James Heappey of the Conservative Party.
The original two-member borough constituency was created in 1295, and abolished by the Reform Act 1867 with effect from the 1868 general election. Its revival saw a more comparable size of electorate across the country and across Somerset, with a large swathe of the county covered by this new seat, under the plans of the third Reform Act and the connected Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 which was enacted the following year.
The seat was largely Conservative-held during the 20th century and has never elected a Labour MP ever in its history. The only other political party to have been represented is the Liberal Democrats or their predecessor, the Liberal Party, who achieved a marginal victory in 2010, see marginal seat.
Sir William Hayter was chief government whip of the Commons under three Liberal Prime Ministers governing from the Lords, (Lord John) Russell, Aberdeen and Palmerston.
So too in this role was Lord Hylton from 1916 to 1922 alongside the Lord Colebrooke in the Conservative-Liberal National coalition.
Robert Sanders was Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Commons, 1918–1919, and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1922–1924.
Robert Boscawen was a government whip (1988–1989).
David Heathcoat-Amory was Minister for Europe (1993–1994) and later a Shadow Cabinet member (1997–2001).
1885–1918: The Municipal Borough of Wells, and the Sessional Divisions of Axbridge and Wells (except the civil parish of Binegar).
1918–1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Glastonbury and Wells, the Urban Districts of Shepton Mallet and Street, the Rural Districts of Shepton Mallet, Wells, and Wincanton, and in the Rural District of Frome the civil parishes of Cloford, Marston Bigot, Nunney, Wanstrow, Whatley, and Witharn Friary.
1950–1983: The Municipal Boroughs of Glastonbury and Wells, the Urban Districts of Frome, Shepton Mallet, and Street, and the Rural Districts of Frome, Shepton Mallet, Wells, and Wincanton.
1983–2010: The District of Mendip wards of Ashwick, Avalon, Chilcompton and Ston Easton, Ebbor, Glastonbury St Benedict's, Glastonbury St Edmund's, Glastonbury St John's, Glastonbury St Mary's, Moor, Nedge, Pylcombe, Rodney, Sheppey, Shepton Mallet, Street North, Street South, Wells Central, Wells St Cuthbert's, and Wells St Thomas, and the District of Sedgemoor wards of Axbridge, Axe Vale, Berrow, Brent, Burnham North, Burnham South, Cheddar, Highbridge, Mark, Shipham, and Wedmore.
2010–present: The District of Mendip wards of Ashwick and Ston Easton, Avalon, Chilcompton, Glastonbury St Benedict’s, Glastonbury St Edmund’s, Glastonbury St John’s, Glastonbury St Mary’s, Knowle, Moor, Nedge, Pylcombe, Rodney and Priddy, St Cuthbert Out North and West, Shepton East, Shepton West, Street North, Street South, Street West, Wells Central, Wells St Cuthbert’s, and Wells St Thomas, and the District of Sedgemoor wards of Axbridge, Axe Vale, Berrow, Brent North, Burnham North, Burnham South, Cheddar and Shipham, Highbridge, Knoll, and Wedmore and Mark.
Aside from energy, transportation, retail and distribution which are major sectors, agriculture and tourism are still important areas to this central and quite quintessential part of Somerset which includes the coastal resort of Burnham-on-Sea, the city of Wells with its cathedral, and notable natural landmarks such as the Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury Tor. The site of the Glastonbury Festival also lies within this seat, causing a major influx of visitors in late June.
Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.1% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian .
|Parliament||First member||Second member|
|1386||Nicholas Cristesham||Thomas Phelpes|
|February 1388||Richard Ferrour||Nicholas Cristesham|
|September 1388||John Blithe||Thomas Hore|
|January 1390||Nicholas More||Thomas Tanner|
|1391||John Newmaster||Roger Chapman|
|1393||John Newmaster||John Blithe|
|1394||John Newmaster||Thomas Hore|
|1395||Nicholas Cristesham||John Comelond|
|January 1397||Nicholas More||Thomas Wynchester|
|September 1397||Roger Chapman||William Greynton|
|1399||Thomas Tanner||John Blithe|
|1402||John Wycombe||Roger Chapman|
|January 1404||Roger Chapman||Richard Groos|
|October 1404||Walter Dyer||John Bowyer|
|1406||Thomas Wey||Thomas Jay|
|1407||Walter Duddesdon||John Newmaster|
|1410||John Russell||Luke Wilton|
|February 1413||John Horewode I||John Podmore|
|May 1413||John Horewode I||Luke Wilton|
|April 1414||John Podmore||Thomas Dynt|
|November 1414||John Hynden||Thomas Dynt|
|October 1416||Simon Bailly||John Cutte|
|1417||Richard Setter||Hildebrand Elwell|
|1419||Richard Perys||Richard Langford|
|1420||Richard Setter||Hildebrand Elwell|
|May 1421||Hildebrand Elwell||Richard Perys|
|December 1421||Robert Elwell||John Pedewell|
|1510||John Welshot||John Mawdley I|
|1512||Walter Sarger||Richard alias Robert Ruynon|
|1515||Walter Sarger||Richard alias Robert Ruynon|
|1523||Walter Sarger||John Mawdley I|
|1529||John Cutte||John Mawdley II|
|1539||John Mawdley II||John Godwin|
|1542||John Godwin||James Dyer|
|1545||John Mawdley II||Anthony Gilbert|
|1547||Thomas Clerke||John Aylworth|
|First Parliament of 1553||John Aylworth||William Godwin|
|Second Parliament of 1553||Thomas Lewis||John Godwin|
|Parliament of 1554||John Mawdley II|
|Parliament of 1554–1555||William Gedney or Godwin|
|Parliament of 1555||Maurice Llewellyn|
|Parliament of 1558|| John Aylworth died during the 1572 Parliament|
In his place Ayshton Aylworth
|John Mawdley II|
|Parliament of 1559|
|Parliament of 1563–1567||John Hippisley|
|Parliament of 1571||Henry Newton|
|Parliament of 1572–1581||William Bowerman|
|Parliament of 1584–1585||James Bisse||George Upton|
|Parliament of 1586–1587||Thomas Godwyn||William Smith|
|Parliament of 1588–1589||Thomas Purfrey||John Ayshe|
|Parliament of 1593||Richard Goodwin||James Goodwin|
|Parliament of 1597–1598||Leonard Crosse||William Watkins|
|Parliament of 1601||James Kirton||George Upton|
|Parliament of 1604–1611||Sir Robert Stapleton (Edward Forsett)|
|Addled Parliament (1614)||Sidney Montagu||Thomas Southworth|
|Parliament of 1621–1622||Sir Edward Rodney|
|Happy Parliament (1624–1625)|
|Useless Parliament (1625)||Sir Thomas Lake|
|Parliament of 1625–1626|
|Parliament of 1628–1629||Sir Ralph Hopton||John Baber|
|No Parliament summoned 1629–1640|
|Election||1st Member||1st Party||2nd Member||2nd Party|
|April 1640||Sir Edward Rodney||Royalist||John Baber|
|November 1640||Sir Ralph Hopton||Royalist|
|August 1642||Rodney and Hopton disabled from sitting – both seats vacant|
|1645||Lislebone Long||Recruiter||Clement Walker|
|December 1648||Walker excluded in Pride's Purge – seat vacant|
|1653||Wells was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament|
|1654||Lislebone Long||Wells had only one seat in the First and |
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
|January 1659||Sir Lislebone Long||Thomas White|
|May 1659||Not represented in the restored Rump|
|April 1660||Henry Bull||Thomas White|
|1661||Sir Maurice Berkeley||Lord Richard Butler|
|1679||Edward Berkeley||William Coward|
|1685||Edward Berkeley||Thomas Wyndham (died December 1689)|
|January 1690||William Coward|
|February 1690||Hopton Wyndham|
|1701||Henry Seymour Portman|
|1708||Edward Colston||William Coward|
|1713||Sir Thomas Wroth||Tory|
|1715||Thomas Strangways Horner||Tory|
|May 1716||William Coward||William Piers||Whig|
|June 1716||Thomas Strangways Horner||Tory|
|1727||Edward Prideaux Gwyn|
|1735||William Piers||George Speke|
|1754||Lord Digby||Charles Tudway|
|1757||Captain Robert Digby|
|1761||Lord Digby||Clement Tudway|
|1790||Henry Berkeley Portman|
|1796||Sir Charles Taylor||Whig|
|1815||John Paine Tudway||Tory|
|1830||John Edwards-Vaughan||Tory||John Lee Lee||Whig|
|Election||1st Member||1st Party||2nd Member||2nd Party|
|1832||Norman Lamont||Whig||John Lee Lee||Whig|
|1834 by-election||Nicholas Ridley-Colborne||Whig|
|1837||Richard Blakemore||Conservative||William Hayter||Whig|
|1855 by-election||Hedworth Jolliffe||Conservative|
|1868||borough constituency abolished|
|1885||Sir Richard Paget, Bt.||Conservative|
|1899 by-election||Robert Edmund Dickinson||Conservative|
|1906||Thomas Ball Silcock||Liberal|
|January 1910||George Sandys||Conservative|
|1918||Harry Greer||Coalition Conservative|
|1924||Sir Robert Sanders, Bt.||Conservative|
|1939||Lt. Col. Dennis Boles||Conservative|
|2010||Tessa Munt||Liberal Democrats|
|Liberal Democrats||Tessa Munt||23,345||37.9||+0.3|
|Motherworld Party||Susie Quatermass||207||0.3||+0.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Tessa Munt||22,906||37.6||+4.9|
|Christian Peoples Alliance||Lorna Corke||320||0.5||+0.5|
|Liberal Democrats||Tessa Munt||18,662||32.8||−11.2|
|Independent||Gypsy Watkins||76||0.1||+ 0.1|
|Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats||Swing||+7.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Tessa Munt||24,560||44.0||+6.1|
|Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.6|
|Liberal Democrats||Tessa Munt||20,031||37.8||−0.5|
|Liberal Democrats||Graham Oakes||19,666||38.3||-0.1|
|Wessex Regionalist||Colin Bex||167||0.3||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Gold||21,680||38.5||−0.2|
|Natural Law||Lynn Royse||92||0.2||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats||Humphrey Temperley||21,971||38.0||+0.5|
|Wessex Regionalist||Alexander Thynn||155||0.26|
|United Democratic Party||P. Howard||778||1.42|
|Labour||Frank R. Thompson||16,335||32.3|
|Liberal||William Fedde J Pinching||9,174||18.1|
|Labour||John G Cousins||16,989||35.6|
|Labour||Reginald George White||15,080||31.5|
|Labour||Jon Antony A Evans||16,452||34.2|
|Liberal||Paul R Hobhouse||8,220||17.1|
|Liberal||Violet Bonham Carter||7,910||25.2|
General Election 1939/40: Another general election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;
|Liberal||Arnold H Jones||7,277||26.1|
|Labour||William James Waring||5,716||20.5|
|Labour||R. D. Q. Davies||4,472||15.0||+3.7|
|Labour||Wilfred Thomas Young||2,726||11.3||+3.7|
|Unionist gain from Liberal||Swing|
|Labour||Charles Henry Whitlow||1,713||7.6||-11.3|
|Liberal gain from Unionist||Swing||+9.1|
|Conservative win (new seat)|
Joliffe's elevation to the peerage, becoming Lord Hylton, caused a by-election.
|Conservative||Robert Edmund Dickinson||Unopposed|
|Conservative||Robert Edmund Dickinson||Unopposed|
|Liberal||Thomas Ball Silcock||5,146||51.9||N/A|
|Conservative||Robert Edmund Dickinson||4,761||48.1||N/A|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||N/A|
|Liberal||Thomas Ball Silcock||4,871||44.1||−7.8|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+7.8|
|Liberal||Arthur Lane Wills||4,094||39.9||−4.2|
General Election 1914/15:
Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;
|Liberal||John Coleby Morland||6,935||39.6||−0.3|
|Cindicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.|
Hayter was appointed Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces, requiring a by-election.
|Radical||John Alexander Kinglake||101||21.8||N/A|
|Turnout||232 (est)||71.2 (est)||N/A|
Tudway's death caused a by-election.
|Radical||John Alexander Kinglake||121||45.3||+23.5|
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