The Unitary District of Milton Keynes contains two parliamentary seats. Both were won by Labour in 1997, but the North East Division was taken by Mark Lancaster for the Tories in 2005 with a majority of just 1,665 (3.3%). The boundaries will change for the coming election. It is estimated that if the 2005 election had been fought on the new boundaries, Labour would have had a majority of 848 (1.71%). Central Milton Keynes – which includes the shopping centre; Snowdome; Railway Station (which doubled for the UN Building in the film Superman IV) and the theatre district are in this constituency. It includes the railway town of Wolverton; the historic town of Newport Pagnell and the rural area bordering Northamptonshire. It is reported to have the lowest proportion of pensioners outside London. It is more middle class than MK South – and there is much wealth in the rural areas – but some of the urban areas have great diversity. This is a seat that Mark Lancaster would hope to hold. His Labour rival is Andrew Pakes. The Liberal Democrats have performed well in recent local elections. Their candidate is Jill Hope.
Labour is stronger in the South Division, where the Chair of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, Dr Phyllis Starkey won with 4,010 in 2005. However the boundary changes deprive her of Campbell Park, Middleton and Wolverton. Her notional 2005 result would have been a wafer thin 1,497 (3.0%). The Open University is based in the seat. Bletchley is the main older area – and home of Bletchley Park – the codebreaking centre in World War Two. The Tory candidate will be Iain Stewart and the Lib Dems will no doubt put up a candidate - but I have been unable to find any details of a selected candidate.