General Election 2017: Newark constituency profile

Nottinghamshire constituency Newark is considered a safe Conservative seat – having had a Tory MP for every year but one since 2001.

Robert Jenrick won a by-election in 2014 and took over from Patrick Mercer, who won the seat as a Tory in 2001 but worked as an independent from 2013 until retiring in April 2014.

Mr Jenrick held the seat in the 2015 general election with a majority of 18,474; in comparison, a year earlier his majority was 7,403.

A big swing in voting will be needed if candidates from Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP are to get anywhere near winning the seat.

The Green party do not have a candidate for the seat.

Result in 2015: CONSERVATIVE HOLD – Robert Jenrick
Majority: 18,474
Electorate: 72,407
Turnout: 70.9 per cent

Constituency boundary

Newark Constituency boundary. Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right (2017)

Questioning the candidates

Xandra Arundel

Xandra Arundel – UKIP

Why should people vote for you?
“I feel a great affinity with them [people locally} I have experienced many of the difficulties they have in terms of housing and the job market. I understand the pressure they have. I think it’s important that people who have experience of what life is like here are able to relate that in Parliament.”

What local issue is most important in Newark?
“It’s a big Brexit-voting constituency and when we are free and have more and more power, we can look after our local area, particularly for farmers. It’s important for farmers who are our life blood and many of them have been given a bad deal of the EU. I am meeting them to understand what their needs are.”

What has the area most got going for it?
“Newark is one of the best places to be. I still live close to it and it’s a wonderful market town. It doesn’t get overcrowded and it doesn’t get stretched. I always come here, I come here to shop and I love it.”

Robert Jenrick – Conservative

Mr Jenrick had not responded to our attempts to contact him with our questions at the time of writing, but his stance on many local issues is well-publicised.

His website states: “In the constituency Robert has fought successful campaigns for investment in our local roads to try to end the gridlock around Newark, to upgrade the Castle Line railway that connects Newark to Lincoln and Nottingham.

“He has also fought to provide flood protection schemes and grants to hundreds of residents in Southwell, Lowdham and other Nottinghamshire communities at risk of flooding and has championed local healthcare provision, especially a secure future for Newark Hospital.

“He has sought to make politics as accessible as possible with regular surgeries at Newark ASDA, Southwell Co-op, Bingham Sainsbury’s, McDonalds at Newark and Markham Moor and with his mobile surgery bus which has held surgeries in over 100 villages.

“Robert holds regular community ‘Fish and Chip’ suppers in Southwell and Bingham.

“And Robert’s popular bus trips to Parliament have enabled over 3,000 residents to visit Westminster in the past six months alone.”

Picture: @Chantal4Newark

Chantal Lee – Labour

Why should people vote for you?
“People should vote for me because I’m local to Newark and I know about the issues here. I have a real interest in Newark as my daughter will be going to school here. I personally am living there and will be attending places such as the doctors. We are a party for the many and not the few and are there if you want a party to represent you with integrity and be accountable.”

What local issue is most important in Newark?
“The number one issue are the local health services here in Newark and the risk the hospital here may no longer be functional.”

What has the area most got going for it?
“The people are so special, they are so friendly and I feel like Newark has been taken for granted for so long. It’s one of the fastest-growing places in Nottinghamshire and people forget about it and their votes have been taken for granted. The Conservatives treat it as a safe seat and they are not taken seriously. I don’t think any seat should be treated as safe.”

David Watts

David Watts – Liberal Democrats

Why should people vote for you?
“Because we are the only party that offers an alternative to Brexit and it’s not the utopia that the leaders have promised us. We have an obligation to protect the NHS, which is desperately needed given how much they have been starved of.”

What local issue is most important in Newark?
“There is a desperate need to improve the quality of education here as there is a crazy starvation. A lot of parents in Newark send their children off to school in Lincolnshire and we need to ensure better provision.”

What has the area most got going for it?
“Newark is a fantastic area with a low crime rate. There is an awful lot of history across the whole of the constituency as it was the centre of the civil war. It would be an absolute honour to represent the people of the area.”


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