We've split the rural areas of Hampshire into three parts. The other two can be found here and here and the metropolitan areas of Southampton and Portsmouth also have their own posts. This post looks at the constituencies that are mainly in the District of New Forest and the Borough of Test Valley. The Conservatives are in control of Hampshire's Council holding 51 of the 78 seats. The also dominate the council seats this area of Hampshire as well as currently holding three of the four parliamentary seats. The Tories will be looking to take the fourth this year and they are certainly on course to do so.
Romsey & So'ton N
New Forest E
New Forest W
Sandra Gidley was already a risk of losing her Romsey and Southampton North seat before she was implicated in the recent Dolphin House revelations. These cannot have helped her chances of re-election in what is a very close marginal. Gidley won the seat in a by-election in 2000 and has held it against the odds in the last two General Elections. In 2005 she scraped home with a majority of 125 which has been increased with the boundary alterations. It was Test Valley Councillor Caroline Nokes who ran Gidley so close in 2005 for the Conservatives and she'll be trying to avenge that defeat this year. This seat will be very close by I think the Lib Dems will have just enough to hang on with the regional swing behind them; Lib Dem Hold..
New Forest East's MP, Julian Lewis, was initially implicated in the expenses row after a claim for a wooden floor was turned down as 'it could have been seen as extravagant'. He was eventually asked to pay back over £1,000 relating to mortgage payments and a washer dryer and had an appeal rejected. Lewis is up against former colonel Terry Scriven who will be hoping to take the seat for the Lib Dems. However, Lewis' majority should be too large for his expenses woes to unseat him in a constituency he has held since its creation in 1997; Tory Hold.
The Shadow Leader of the Commons, Sir George Young, should ease to victory in North West Hampshire. The seat was created in 1983 and has only ever been held by the Conservatives. Young enjoys a comfortable majority and has little against him with regards to his expenses; easy Tory Hold.
Desmond Swayne currently does not have a Lib Dem challenger in New Forest West. Not that he would be in any way at risk if he did as he has a massive majority that has remained almost unchanged since the seat's creation in 1997. It's worth noting that before 1997 New Forest was one whole constituency and the Tories held that seat since it's creation in 1950. In fact, only two MPs were elected in the old constituency in its 47 years making the current New Forest incumbents the third and fourth MPs to represent the area since World War II! The area clearly has a history of electing Conservatives that never die and it's safe to say Swayne will hold this very safe seat.