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Hastings and Rye is a constituency represented in the House of Commonsmarker of the Parliament of the United Kingdommarker. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.


The main settlements in the constituency are the larger town of Hastingsmarker and smaller nearby town of Ryemarker. The constituency also includes the Cinque Port of Winchelsea (the smallest town in Britain) and the villages of Fairlight, Winchelsea Beach, Three Oaks, Guestling, Icklesham, Playden, Iden, Rye Harbour, East Guldeford, Rye Foreign, Camber and Pett.

It includes the whole of the Borough of Hastings and the four wards of the District of Rother: Brede Valley, Eastern Rother, Marsham, and Rye.

The constituency is set in a relatively isolated part of Sussex and so does not enjoy some of the more general affluence of this part of the country. Hastings is a traditional seaside resort, but with some light industry. Rye is a largely historic tourist town, though with a small port. The seat is considered a deprived area.


The constituency was created in 1983 from parts of the former seats of Hastings and Rye. The Conservative MP for Hastings since 1970, Kenneth Warren, won the new seat, while the Conservative MP for Rye since 1955, Bryant Godman Irvine, retired. Warren held the seat until his retirement in 1992; it was formerly a Conservative stronghold, with the Liberal Party (now the Liberal Democrats) regularly coming second. Jacqui Lait held the seat for the Conservatives on Warren's retirement. However, the 1997 general election proved to be a dramatic watershed: the Labour candidate Michael Foster narrowly defeated Lait, becoming the second-least expected Labour MP in the landslide of that year and turning the seat into a three-way marginal. Foster held the seat, again with slim majorities over the Conservatives, at the 2001 and 2005 general elections. The Liberal Democrat vote has fallen considerably, leaving them in a distant third place.

Members of Parliament

Election Member Party
1983 Kenneth Warren Conservative
1992 Jacqui Lait Conservative
1997 Michael Foster Labour



See also


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