General election 2010: Kingswood is first Conservative gain

By Marina Kim

Kingwood is the first Conservative gain from Labour, in a seat which the governing party had held since 1992.

Conservative Chris Skidmore achieved a convincing victory with 19,362 votes (40.4%). Labour candidate Roger Berry came second with 16,917 votes (35.3 %). A swing of 9.4% exceeded the expectations of the Conservative party.

The constituency covers part of south Gloucestershire, including the town of Kingswood itself.

The seat is split between urban and rural regions with many small manufacturing industries. The area is a part of the city’s commuter belt, boosting its Conservative vote.

Kingswood used to be an important coal mining and shoe-manufacturing district. However older factories in this area have been replaced by the likes of Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace.