The Corby and East Northants constituency encompasses many of the issues that face the country as a whole. Perhaps that is why in its fairly short history (created in 1983) it has always gone the way that the country as a whole has voted and reflected the result of the general elections. Thus the result of the coming by-election may indicate how much Labour has recovered and/or how much ground the Coalition government has lost.
The constituency consists of the borough of Corby and the small towns of Raunds, Thrapston and Irthlingborough set in a matrix of rolling farmland dominated by arable farming with the ‘posh’ town of Oundle with its famous school. Around 80% of the electorate are found in these five settlements.
Stroll around Oundle, pop into the bookshop or an up-market butcher or coffee shop and you will find yourself in something that feels like the typical homeland of the Tory voter of the shires. But 10 miles along the road, a road through the attractive countryside with lots of reintroduced red kites above your head, you find yourself in Corby where you are likely to be surprised by the run-down look of the place and the Scottish accents in the shops (those that are not boarded up).