Braintree lies in north Essex on the Roman road that links Colchester with St Albans, close to Stansted airport. Apart from the market towns of Braintree and Halstead the constituency has a rural flavour. Braintree is a relatively prosperous and affluent constituency.
Services are the largest employment sector, although Braintree district has a higher than average percentage of employees in manufacturing industries. There is also a small tourist industry, and many residents commute into London.
- Conservative majority in 2010: 16,121
- Braintree is the 10th safest seat in the Anglia region
- Labour would need a swing of 16% to win in 2015 and the Lib Dems would need a 17% swing
At the 2010 General Election, Braintree became one of the safest Conservative seats in the Anglia region but as recently as 1997-2005 it has a Labour MP.
The current MP for Braintree, Brooks Newmark, is stepping down at this election. He was a Cabinet Office Minister for a short while in 2014 until he resigned over a newspaper scandal.
The Braintree constituency is similar to the council area of Braintree except for Witham and Hatfield Peverel which are now in the neighbouring Witham seat.
Braintree Council has been run by the Conservatives since 2007 but Labour last had an overall majority 1995-2003.
Candidates in 2015
- Richard Bingley - UKIP
- James Cleverly - Conservative
- Malcolm Fincken - Labour
- Paul Hooks - British National Party
- Paul Jeater - Green
- Matthew Klesel - Liberal Democrat
- Toby Pereira - Independent