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Boundary of Chippenham in Wiltshire for the 2010 general election
Boundary of Chippenham in Wiltshire for the 2010 general election

Chippenham is a parliamentary constituency, abolished in 1983 but recreated in 2010, and represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The 2010 constituency includes the towns of Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Corsham and Melksham.

A borough constituency of Chippenham was enfranchised in 1295. It sent two burgesses to Parliament until 1868 and one thereafter until the borough constituency was abolished in 1885. There was a county division constituency named after the town of Chippenham from 1885 to 1983, when the name of that constituency was changed to North Wiltshire.

Following the 2003–2005 review into parliamentary representation in Wiltshire, the Boundary Commission created a new county constituency, reviving the name of Chippenham as a seat. It is formed from parts of the previously existing Devizes, North Wiltshire, and Westbury constituencies.


The electoral wards which form the new Chippenham seat are taken from the former districts of North Wiltshire and West Wiltshire.

  • From North Wiltshire: Cepen Park, Chippenham Allington, Chippenham Audley, Chippenham Avon, Chippenham Hill Rise, Chippenham London Road, Chippenham Monkton Park, Chippenham Park, Chippenham Pewsham, Chippenham Redland, Chippenham Westcroft/Queens, Corsham, Lacock with Neston and Gastard, and Pickwick
  • From West Wiltshire: the wards of Atworth and Whitley, Bradford-on-Avon North, Bradford-on-Avon South, Holt, Manor Vale, Melksham North, Melksham Spa, Melksham Without, Melksham Woodrow, and Paxcroft

1295–1832: The parliamentary borough of Chippenham in the unreformed Parliament consisted of only part of the parish of Chippenham in Wiltshire. (However, as Chippenham was a burgage borough, in which the right to vote was confined to the resident occupiers of specific properties, the boundary had no practical function.) The borough had a population of 1,620 in 1831, and 283 houses.

1832–1885: The Boundary Act which accompanied the Great Reform Act extended the boundaries of the parliamentary borough, to include the whole of Chippenham parish, the adjoining parishes of Hardenhuish and Langley Burrell, and the extra-parochial district of Pewisham. This more than trebled the borough's population, to 5,270 by the 1831 figures, and 883 houses.

1885–1918: During this period, Wiltshire was split into five county divisions and one borough, of which The North-Western (or Chippenham) Division of Wiltshire was one; it was often colloquially referred to simply as either Chippenham or as North-West Wiltshire. It was bordered by the Cricklade division to the east, Westbury to the south and Devizes to the south-east. (Over the county boundary were the Thornbury division of Gloucestershire to the west, the Cirencester division of Gloucestershire to the north and the Frome division of Somerset to the south-west)

The Chippenham division included the towns of Calne and Malmesbury as well as Chippenham, both of which had also been parliamentary boroughs in their own right before 1885. By the outbreak of World War I, the population of the constituency was about 45,000.

1918–1950: In 1918 Wiltshire was split into five divisions, but there was no borough constituency in the county. The Wiltshire, Chippenham division was expanded, taking in the towns of Cricklade and Wootton Bassett, also former parliamentary boroughs, and the surrounding rural areas: in full, it was composed of the then Municipal Boroughs of Calne, Chippenham, and Malmesbury and the Rural Districts of Calne, Chippenham, Malmesbury, part of Cricklade and Wootton Bassett, and Tetbury Rural District (excluding the part in the administrative county of Gloucestershire).

1950–1983: In the redistribution, which took effect at the 1950 United Kingdom general election, Wiltshire was divided into one borough and four county constituencies. Chippenham County Constituency consisted of the same Municipal Boroughs as in 1918 and the Rural Districts of Calne and Chippenham, Cricklade and Wootton Bassett and Malmesbury.

Members of Parliament

The Chippenham name was revived in 2010 for the new constituency that includes Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Corsham and Melksham.


A general election was expected to take place in 1914/15. The following were to be candidates;

  • George Terrell (Unionist)
  • Harold Gorst (Liberal)

A petition was lodged in relation to the December 1910 election, but this was later withdrawn after a recount, resulting in the above numbers. The original count had placed the Conservatives with 4,139 votes and the Liberals with 4,113 votes.

Seat reduced to one member

  • Caused by Neeld's death.

It is notable that the constituency has been represented by a Conservative MP almost continually since 1924. The sole exception was when the Conservative Party fielded a black candidate at the 2010 general election.

See also

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