Created from Braintree, Colchester
|Electorate 67,451 (December 2010)|
Number of members One
|Member of parliament Priti Patel (Conservative)|
Witham is a parliamentary constituency represented by Priti Patel, who has served as Secretary of State for International Development since 14 July 2016 in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Following a review of parliamentary representation in Essex, the Boundary Commission for England made radical alterations to existing constituencies to allow for an extra seat to be created due to increased population. As a consequence, electoral wards from the districts of Braintree, Colchester and Maldon were used to create a new constituency of Witham.
One of the safest Conservative seats in the county and by extension one of the safest in the United Kingdom, Essex's newest seat seems likely to return only Conservative members, though paradoxically, the town of Witham is the only area of real Labour strength in the region, being represented by one District Councillor alongside seven Conservative Councillors.
Witham itself is an industrial town, on the Great Eastern main line railway from London to Norwich, with some heavy industry and London commuter belt residential areas – the strength of the Labour vote here was just enough to turn the former Braintree seat red in 1997 on the previous boundaries.
However, the town is small, and the Witham seat extends to cover a huge part of rural central Essex where affluent commuter villages and farming communities sit side by side, united in almost universal support for the Conservatives.