General election 2010: Slender Tory gain in Midlands

By Sam Dale

The Conservatives have taken Broxtowe from Labour – but with a surprisingly small swing.

As Conservative target number 42 the Tories would have expected a larger swing than 2.6% to elect Anna Soubry to parliament.

Ms Soubry won a slender majority of just 389 over Labour’s Nick Palmer who received 20,585 votes.

If repeated nationally the 2.6% swing would result in a hung parliament and the Conservative would probably not be the largest party.

However, the swing has varied wildly in different constituencies.

Broxtowe had become a marginal seat between the Conservatives and Labour since the seat was gained in 1997 by current Labour MP Nick Palmer.

Although Mr Palmer managed to reclaim the seat in 2005, his majority was substantially lower and now the Tories have marginally overturned his majority.

With a population of around 100,000, the suburban constituency Broxtowe lies to the west of the City of Nottingham and is bounded by the River Trent on the south and the River Erewash on the west.