Devon and East Plymouth (European Parliament constituency)

Devon and East Plymouth (European Parliament constituency)
Devon and East Plymouth
European Parliament constituency
Europarl logo.svg
European Parliament logo
Created 1994
Dissolved 1999
MEP(s) 1
Member State United Kingdom
Source(s) [1]

Devon and East Plymouth was a European Parliament constituency covering all of Devon in England, with the exception of the city of Plymouth. It was created in 1994 to replace the majority of Devon and a small part of Cornwall and Plymouth.

Prior to its uniform adoption of proportional representation in 1999, the United Kingdom used first-past-the-post for the European elections in England, Scotland and Wales. The European Parliament constituencies used under that system were smaller than the later regional constituencies and only had one Member of the European Parliament each.

The constituency consisted of the Westminster Parliament constituencies of Exeter, Plymouth Sutton, South Hams, Teignbridge, Tiverton, Torbay and Torridge and West Devon.[1]

The seat became part of the much larger South West England constituency in 1999.


Members of the European Parliament

Elected Name Party
1994 Giles Chichester Conservative


Only one election was held in the seat, in 1994. When nominations closed, it was revealed that Richard Huggett was a candidate with the description "Literal Democrat",[2] a name very similar to that of the Liberal Democrats. They launched legal action in the High Court of Justice alleging that the Returning Officer had wrongly accepted a nomination which was designed to confuse voters. The Judge ruled that the nomination had to stand.[3][4] He won more than 10,000 votes, while Liberal Democrat candidate Adrian Sanders finished only 700 votes behind the winner. This prompted a change in the law, banning potentially confusing party descriptions.[2]

European Parliament election, 1994: Devon and East Plymouth[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Giles Chichester 74,953 31.7 N/A
Liberal Democrat Adrian Sanders 74,253 31.4 N/A
Labour Linda Gilroy 47,596 20.1 N/A
Liberal David Morrish 14,621 6.2 N/A
Green P. A. Edwards 11,172 4.7 N/A
Literal Democrat Richard Huggett 10,203 4.3 N/A
Independent J. A. Everard 2,629 1.1 N/A
Natural Law A. J. Pringle 908 0.4 N/A
Majority 700 0.3 N/A
Turnout 45.1 N/A
New creation: Conservative gain. Swing N/A


  1. ^ "David Boothroyd's United Kingdom Election Results". Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Research Paper, The Registration of Political Parties, Bill 188 of 1997-1998" (PDF). 1 June 1998. "The issue of misleading descriptions came to public attention in 1994 when Richard Huggett stood as the Literal Democrat candidate in the European Parliament elections in the constituency of Devon and East Plymouth." 
  3. ^ "Judge credited with thorough job" (html). BBC News. 31 January 2000. 
  4. ^ Patricia Wynn Davies, "Historic win for Ashdown in West Country", The Independent, 13 June 1994.
  5. ^ United Kingdom European Parliamentary Election results 1979-99: England: Part 1

External links