General Election 2019: A look back at the history of the Scarborough and Whitby seat

Polling stations have opened their doors for voters to decide who will be the next prime minister.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:13 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:14 am

Today's election, the most important in a generation, is likely to be dominated by issues like Brexit and the NHS which make the outcome highly unpredictable.

As the UK heads to the polls to elect a new parliament, we look back at the history of the Scarborough and Whitby constituency - one of the most marginal seats in the country.

The constituency of Scarborough and Whitby was formed in 1918 when Unionist candidate Gervase Beckett was elected MP.

Voters are heading to the polls today.

Initially, the Boundary Commission had recommended the constituency be called Scarborough, however, this was ignored and a decision was made to name the seat after both towns.

In 1974, Whitby went on to form the Cleveland and Whitby constituency. However, when Cleveland became a new county, Whitby rejoined Scarborough. The constituency's current name was re-instated in 1997.

Over the years, the seat has been held by a succession of Conservative MPs.

Labour's Lawrie Quinn has been the only candidate outside of the Tory party to ever gain control of the constituency. He was elected for the first time in 1997 with a majority of around 5,000 votes, and retained his seat at the following election four years later.

However, in 2005, Conservative Robert Goodwill returned the Tories to power. He's been the constituency's MP ever since, currently defending a majority of 3,435 votes.