South West Surrey

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South West Surrey is a county constituency represented since the 2005 General Election by Conservative Party Member of Parliament Jeremy Hunt, who succeeded his cousin Baroness Bottomley, South West Surrey's MP for over 21 years.

The MP from 1984 until 2005, was former psychiatric social worker, Virginia Bottomley, who became Secretary of State for Health in 1992.[1] She then served as Secretary of State for National Heritage from 1995 to 1997, and briefly as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in 1997.[2]

Similarly, Jeremy Hunt served in the David Cameron's first administration as Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and then Secretary of State for Health. Although it was expected Hunt would be replaced as Heath Secretary, the new Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed him in the post in July 2016.[3]


The constituency was created in 1983, largely replacing the former seat of Farnham. It has been consistently won by the Conservative Party, though the majority dropped to a mere 861 votes in the 2001 General Election, leaving it the Liberal Democrats' third target constituency (by swing required). Since then, however, the Conservative majority has substantially increased, exceeding 28,000 in 2015.

Constituency profile

The constituency includes one end of the Greensand Ridge, including the Devil's Punch Bowl and visitor centre at Hindhead. The area has two railways, a branch line via Farnham, the Alton Line and the Portsmouth Direct Line. The A3 three-lane highway passes through the seat.

Workless claimants (registered jobseekers) were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.5% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.[4]