2015 Result:
Conservative: 7019 (16.3%)
Labour: 24826 (57.7%)
Lib Dem: 562 (1.3%)
Green: 879 (2%)
UKIP: 9554 (22.2%)
TUSC: 183 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 15272 (35.5%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Barking and Dagenham council area.

Main population centres:

Profile: This was a traditional white-working class seat, centered upon the Becontree council estate - the largest social housing estate in Europe. Over the last decade though there has been a transformation of the demographics, with the white population going into sharp decline and ethnic minority residents booming. The south of the constituency is earmarked for major redevelopment and will see large scale housing development as part of the Thames Riverside development over coming years.

Politics: Barking is a safe Labour seat, held by the party since its creation in 1945. In recent decades it became a target for the BNP, who won 12 seats on the local council in 2006. The party`s then leader, Nick Griffin, contested the seat in 2010 but a concerted effort by the Labour party kept the BNP in third place and wiped them off the local council. The collapse of the BNP meant they did not even contest the seat in 2015, through UKIP performed strongly to take second place.

Current MP
MARGARET HODGE (Labour) Born 1944, Egypt. Educated at Oxford High School and LSE. Former market researcher. Islington councillor 1973-1994, Leader of Islington council 1982-1992. First elected as MP for Barking in 1994 by-election. Minister for Universities 2001-2003, Minister for children 2003-2005, Minister for culture 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. In 2006 was criticised for giving the BNP publicity after saying that a majority of white working class voters in her constituency would consider voting BNP. Took a year off from ministerial duties in 2008-2009 to care for her terminally ill husband Sir Henry Hodge, the High Court Judge and former Chair of Liberty. Awarded the MBE in 1978.
Past Results
Con: 8073 (18%)
Lab: 24628 (54%)
LDem: 3719 (8%)
BNP: 6620 (15%)
Oth: 2303 (5%)
MAJ: 16555 (37%)
Con: 4943 (17%)
Lab: 13826 (48%)
LDem: 3211 (11%)
BNP: 4916 (17%)
Oth: 2010 (7%)
MAJ: 8883 (31%)
Con: 5768 (23%)
Lab: 15302 (61%)
LDem: 2450 (10%)
BNP: 1606 (6%)
MAJ: 9534 (38%)
Con: 5802 (18%)
Lab: 21698 (66%)
LDem: 3128 (9%)
Oth: 1053 (3%)
MAJ: 15896 (48%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MINA RAHMAN (Conservative) Social housing manager.
MARGARET HODGE (Labour) See above.
PETER WILCOCK (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Magdalen College School and Warwick University. Uttlesford councillor 1995-2013. Contested Saffron Walden 2010.
ROGER GRAVETT (UKIP) School site manager.
Comments - 151 Responses on “Barking”
  1. Are there anymore BNP councillors in Barking? If so will they have to stand as Ind

  2. AFAIK there’s only one BNP councillor in the whole country (in Pendle)

  3. actually that should probably now read “there WAS only one BNP councillor…” 😀

  4. They aren’t really that professional of an outfit are they?

  5. Just looked at the old page for Barking on UKPR and the white percentage in 2001 was 83% which means white British was probably around 80%. Could be less than 40% now. Astonishing rate of change. 2001 doesn’t seem that long ago to me, although it probably does to others.

  6. “In terms of demographic change, 15 years is a long time.”

    Its less than a generation and Andy’s calculation suggests that over half the population of this constituency has changed during that time.


    Very interesting article about the views and voting intentions of the people of this seat regarding the forthcoming EU Referendum.

    If REMAIN are unable to win over residents in a seat of this nature (as the article suggests), then we’re in for a huge surprise on 24th June!

  8. MP-R – taht’scos you’re so young! Ha

  9. Such change really is rapid and previously unheard of.

    Hence the BBC docu re Newham too.

    Christian – I would have expected here to Vote Leave irrespective of the national outcome though.

  10. UKIP got 22% here last May, despite a high profile MP who must have a relatively strong personal vote. So whilst there has been demographic change there is still a fair chunk of WWC. Barking and Dagenham will very likely go Leave.

  11. The analysis from Hanretty which Jack Sheldon linked showed Barking and Dagenham as being on the leave side, but only by a fairly arrow margin (7 points, I think).

  12. The polling I’d seen suggested that the BAME vote is dividing about 2:1 for Remain, and that this was on a lower likelihood to vote that average.

  13. James E – I agree.

    It’ll be interesting how that breaks down. I recall in Scotland the Jewish vote was heavily No (and heavily Tory last month as it was amongst Jews in the 2015 GE.)

    Sikhs & Hindus just favoured Tories over Labour, but Labour had a huge lead amongst the Muslim community and amongst the Black population.

  14. Looking at the figures by James Hanretty which Jack Sheldon linked on the Europe South East page, these seem to me rather lower than I would have expected for Remain in places with high Asian populations; one that stood out for me was the narrow Remain lead in Redbridge, but I think the same is true of Bradford, or indeed Birmingham.

  15. Yes. A Leicester seat might show that up best (for Hindus) and maybe Wolvs re Sikhs.

    There’s a Ref joint poll with the Jewish Chroncle (as they did in 2015), but I’m not sure when it’s due out. In fact IIRC the 2015 one only came out after the GE. But I don’t know if that was deliberate editorial policy or just down to timing.

    (Incidentally I wouldn’t usually consider the Jewish vote to come under BAME but I know some do)

  16. The BME vote is notoriously hard to poll. What I would say is that there is no particular reason to think people from non-EU BME backgrounds should be more pro-EU than average once other factors (income group, party preference, location etc.) are accounted for. In fact it is likely that some resent the ease with which people from EU countries can come to the UK when they/their friends and family had to meet strict criteria.

  17. The Guardian has an article on Barking. The Barking and Dagenham recorder apparently did ‘a poll’ and it was 67% for leave. So I can see Leave winning the Borough.
    BAME support for Leave seems to have declined in recent weeks. Reaction to Immigration gaining more of a focus in the debate and the more Tv Coverage for People like Farrage who are especially unpopular among many BAME people probably among the reasons why.

  18. Anecdotally interesting but surely it was a voodoo poll and therefore unreliable. I can’t see a local newspaper having the funds to commission a scientifically accurate survey.

  19. I think it was as basic as voting online which anyone could do.

  20. JS – true.

    Although the Jewish Chronicle/Survation ones have been accurate in 2005, 2010, 2015 GEs, Scottish Ref etc.

    Their samples are usually over 1,000 and weighted so as to include a rep sample of the J community ie London, Manc, etc. IIRC their last poll in March had the community almost evenly split and similar to the then UK polls and 20% undecided.

    There was an article from a religious Jew supporting Brexit and I know a couple have stood for UKIP up here in the NW Euros and locals in Salford.

  21. Scanning the figures on the spreadsheet (posted on Cambridge) then leave are ahead in most small town rural areas and many old Labour areas, and would surely win.

  22. My current guess as to the overall result is a very narrow win for Remain but England voting Leave, not a happy situation in many respects.

  23. Terrible.
    If we are to stay in the damn thing then I think I’d rather it had more robust support.
    If nearly all the ordinary Tory and Labour areas vote out (outside London) then this is very serious.
    But I don’t yet know what is likely to happen.
    I think the credible range is still from remain by a good few points as people go back to the “status quo” to a leave win by about 4%

  24. Tory rural and old Labour I think I meant to say

  25. There is something in me that would like to take the plunge – but as you said Andy, I am inside the M25

  26. That was a bit of crass comment from me before, apologies.

  27. @ Joe James B

    “Scanning the figures on the spreadsheet (posted on Cambridge) then leave are ahead in most small town rural areas and many old Labour areas, and would surely win.”

    Those figures are modelled around a result which is effectively a tie. It does look like a Leave win, as they are shown ahead in so much of England, but Remain’s leads tend to be in more populous council areas.

  28. MP-R – the caveat being that the above % are Census figures ie they count under 18s.

    Half of the UK BME population are under 30 (and we know the lower propensity to be registered and to vote amongst the black population in particular).

    In short, an area can be eg 20% Asian but they only account for 10% of the votes in ballot boxes for those reasons once the marked registers are checked, as happened in a few marginal in 2015 such as Bury N.

    Conversely there are cases where BME turnout is higher than the rest of the population, but that’s usually in local elections where eg a community figure is standing and gets the vote out almost en bloc.

  29. I agree re Hounslow. It’s changed dramatically since the BNP had a small presence there in a couple of ward by-elections in the ’90s.

    There’s a high churn of the electorate there due to DWP Welfare Reform so turnout won’t be huge.

  30. Hillingdon is most likely of those three to vote leave.

  31. @rivers10 Heston is very multicultural and thus will probably vote to remain. The White working class Feltham will be where Brexit easily does the best in Hounslow.

  32. Hillingdon could conceivably vote for Brexit, but in a 50-50 result I’d be surprised.

  33. London is a worry from my perspective but it’s looking like Outer London isn’t quite doing it for Remain. I think this was a good Leave result.

  34. Great slogan from an independent standing here :

    “Barking Man
    Barking Priorities”

  35. Margaret Hodge has said McDonnell is using the language of the hard left.

    “They don’t own the Party – and I say ‘not in my name.’ It was wrong to use the word murder.”

  36. Didn’t know until a moment or 2 ago that the TV presenter William G.Stewart was once secretary to Tom Driberg (MP for this constituency 1959-1974).

  37. Twitter is a horrible place sometimes

  38. A lot of social media is toxic, not just Twitter. I think a lot of younger people would benefit massively from spending less time on it, particularly young women.

  39. Calls from the members of the Whatsapp group of Corbyn backers for Margret Hodge to be expelled from Labour.

  40. Fortunately for Hodge, the recent anti semitism row means that she would have to do something far worse before being expelled.

  41. Hodge will undergo a full selection process as she lost the trigger ballot. She won the automatic reselection in 6 branches and lost in 5. Per new rule, open selection take place if 1/3 of the ward branches OR 1/3 of the affiliates’ branches voted for it.

  42. A multi millionaire should not in the 1st place, have been selected as a representative of the party of the working classes and poor, some might say.

    Let’s not forget she led a vilified assault on Corbyn in 2016 leading to a VONC in the leader

  43. @ Andrea

    According to skwawkbox, which may or may not be reliable, she actually lost in 5 out of 7 branches and, having reached the threshold, the other branches did not hold a vote. They also claim that 71% of members who did vote supported a trigger ballot. A further claim is that the impetus for the trigger ballot came from the right of the party rather than Momentum.

    I wouldn’t want to be passing on fake news but it would be interesting to know if those claims are true or not. I assume there should be some documentation for this and someone can find out?

  44. @SHEVII

    Labourlist reported the 6 to 5 tally. That’s why I wrote that comment yesterday.

    It may be that they were informed she lost in 5 of the 11 branches and they assumed she won the other 6 rather than some of them didn’t vote at all.

  45. “A multimillionaire should not have been selected as a representative of the working classes in the first place.”

    Not many multimillonaires have campaigned as heavily against tax avoidance as Margaret Hodge has.

    In general, it is insulting to say that you have to have suffered to understand, empathise with, or care about suffering. I walk past homeless people every day on my way to work, doesn’t mean I think “Well, it will.never happen to me” and ignore it.

  46. I think sadly some people do and tbh I can’t pretend I have thecfirst clue what its like to live in poverty

  47. Of course some people do… but those people don’t join the Labour Party.

    Which is very different from Deepthroat’s contention that Labour values are incompatible with personal wealth.

  48. PT – Tax avoidance is probably the worst issue you could have cited to defend the Barking MP, given that she and her family have been accused of just that.

    Plus many millionaire politicians in fact came from humble backgrounds and made money. I think it’s inherited wealth that people dislike ie it’s why GO was hated by Tory MPs such as Nadine Dorries, because it proved that they just didn’t understand the implications of policies they were proposing, as well as the fact that he was just rude whereas DC tended to be polite. Although there have been a few citing his rudeness in response to his book praising himself.

    I agree that she was decent as chair of the Public Accounts Committee. It’s also how David Davis got a name for himself (by scrutinising failings of the State).

    Nicky Morgan was underwhelming, however.

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