General Election 2024: The Essex areas guaranteed to have a new MP at upcoming polls

A polling station sign outside a venue in Nottingham. File image
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post)


Several areas across Essex are guaranteed to have a new MP when voters head to the polls later this year. More than 100 MPs have announced plans to stand down ahead of the General Election on July 4.

Among them are five Essex MPs meaning more than 350,000 people who are guaranteed to have a new person representing them in the House of Commons. A total of 77 Conservative MPs, which is the highest number in modern political history, are standing down.

The record for the total number of MPs standing down at an election is 149, which was set in 2010. There are 29 Labour MPs stepping away from frontline politics too.

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Below is a list of the Essex areas where people are guaranteed to have a new MP after July 4.

Basildon and Billericay

Conservative John Baron said it was "time to move on" from representing Basildon and Billericay in Parliament when he announced his intention to step down back in October 2023. Mr Baron served as the MP for Billericay and district from 2001 before taking on Basildon and Billericay from 2010.

John Baron was the only Essex MP who openly voted to oust Boris Johnson in the Prime Minister's no confidence motion at the beginning of June. The PM survived that challenge only for him to resign as the leader of the Conservative Party a few weeks later.

Colchester

Will Quince said he was "incredibly proud" of what he had achieved and delivered for the area when he announced intentions to stand down as Colchester MP. Mr Quince, who was elected in 2015, said the decision was to spend more time with his two young daughters.

The outgoing MP helped campaign for Colchester to be given city status during his time as MP. He was previously Minister of State in Education between July and September 2022 and in the Department of Health and Social Care from September 2022 to November 2023.

Colchester currently has the county's smallest majority (9,423). Mr Quince won the seat from Liberal Democrat Bob Russell in 2015.

Epping Forest

Dame Eleanor Laing has been a Conservative MP for Epping Forest for 27 years but has announced she will not be standing in the next election. In her letter sent to the chair of the Epping Forest Conservative Association, Dame Eleanor said it had been an "honour and a pleasure" to serve the area for so long but felt the time was right to allow others the opportunity to take over.

She said: "It is very difficult to give up the job you love. I have come to the conclusion, however, that it is now time for me to move aside and give others the opportunities that I have been so fortunate to have." Dame Eleanor said she had hoped to inform the local Conservative association in person but the July election announcement had been "sooner than she expected".

Harlow

When Robert Halfon announced his resignation as Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education he also declared his intention to stand down at the next election. Mr Halfon chose to quote Lord of the Rings in his resignation letter saying the words "perfectly capture my feelings as I move onto my next journey in life".

Robert Halfon
John Baron MP

In his resignation letter, Mr Halfon said he believed there was "quiet admiration" for Mr Sunak across the country. He was Deputy Chairman of the Tory party under David Cameron. His departure ends a run of 14 years representing Harlow. He's currently the longest-serving MP to represent the area in Westminster.

Southend East and Rochford

Sir James Duddridge has been an Essex MP for almost 20 years but will not be representing Southend East and Rochford after July 4. The Tory MP, 52, says he is looking forward to "new chapter" having served as an MP since 2005.

Sir James was most recently a Minister of State in the Department for International Trade between September and October 2022. He was given the appointment by Liz Truss before being dismissed a month later by Rishi Sunak. In a letter to the Prime Minister, he said it is "time for a new chapter."

Sir James increased the total votes to the Conservatives for the Rochford and Southend East constituency in the past five General Elections and increased the percentage share in each election too, aside from the 2015 election (46.4%) which was a decrease on 2010 (46.9%). In 2019 he was elected with more than 58 per cent of the vote.

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