2015 Result:
Conservative: 26730 (52.4%)
Labour: 18792 (36.8%)
Lib Dem: 2241 (4.4%)
Green: 1682 (3.3%)
UKIP: 1586 (3.1%)
MAJORITY: 7938 (15.6%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Wandsworth council area.

Main population centres: Battersea, Balham.

Profile: A London seat in the Conservative flagship borough of Wandsworth. As well as Battersea itself the seat stretches South to include half of Clapham Common and part of Balham. Once a reliable Labour area Battersea underwent gentrification in the 1980s as young professionals split over from Chelsea. As well as affluent areas the seat does still contain some very deprived areas such as the Winstanley Estate. The North of the constituency contains Battersea Park, the power station and New Covent Garden market.

Politics: Demographic change has been moving Battersea towards the Conservatives as it gentrifes. For much of the twentieth century the Battersea North seat which most closely approximates to the current seat was safely Labour (or was even more left wing - it returned a Communist MP for much of the 1920s). It was won extremely narrowly by the Conservatives in 1987, but returned to Labour in their 1997 landslide. By 2005 it was one of Labour`s most marginal seats, since 2010 it has been comfortably Conservative.

Current MP
JANE ELLISON (Conservative) Born 1964, Bradford. Educated at Oxford University. Contested Barnsley East 1996 by-election, Tottenham 2000 by-election. First elected as MP for Battersea in 2010. Public Health Minister since 2013.
Past Results
Con: 23103 (47%)
Lab: 17126 (35%)
LDem: 7176 (15%)
GRN: 559 (1%)
Oth: 828 (2%)
MAJ: 5977 (12%)
Con: 16406 (40%)
Lab: 16569 (40%)
LDem: 6006 (15%)
GRN: 1735 (4%)
Oth: 333 (1%)
MAJ: 163 (0%)
Con: 13445 (37%)
Lab: 18498 (50%)
LDem: 4450 (12%)
Oth: 411 (1%)
MAJ: 5053 (14%)
Con: 18687 (39%)
Lab: 24047 (51%)
LDem: 3482 (7%)
Oth: 377 (1%)
MAJ: 5360 (11%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JANE ELLISON (Conservative) See above.
WILL MARTINDALE (Labour) Educated at Kings College London. Oxfam policy advisor and former banker.
LUKE TAYLOR (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Imperial College. Transport planner.
Comments - 524 Responses on “Battersea”
  1. Battersea has the largest proportion of Remain voters in any Conservative seat.

  2. Dalek

    “Battersea has the largest proportion of Remain voters in any Conservative seat.”

    Yes, 75% was the percentage I heard. Brexit is a massive issue here. Jane Ellison was very strongly for Remain, which should help her. I have made clear to a number of people in my Association that my vote will be a personal one for her, and I think that feeling is common. My real beef, though, rather than the single market, is the lack of clear protection for the City, which is so vital to national finances, and to employment in this area, given so many commute to the City, and Mrs May’s insistence on keeping international students in the immigration figures. Working for an international church, as I do, this is a real issue for me.

    I also understand that Will Martindale, who was an excellent Labour candidate in 2015, and would have done better if he hadn’t been up against Jane Ellison, who is extremely popular with supporters of all parties, is extremely unlikely to be their candidate again. A Momentum supporter will most likely be selected. Matt/AKMD – have you heard anything?

    I wonder who is most likely to come second here. Perhaps the Liberal Democrats will pick up Remainers from both parties. Is something like this realistic?

    Con – 53
    Lab – 25
    LD – 16
    Grn – 3
    UKIP – 3

  3. Labour punched above 50% in Tooting last year

  4. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Marsha de Cordova.

  5. There has been a constituency poll here, paid for by independent candidate Chris Coghlan:

    CON 48%
    LAB 38%
    LD 11%
    OTH 3%

    Fieldwork was between 9-10 May, so before the polls tightened significantly.

    It looks fairly realistic to me. This may well be one of few seats to end up with a CON-LAB swing, given the extreme pro-Remain vote here and the LDs lack of strength.

  6. The Lib Dems will be exceptionally disappointed with that.

    It does point to Labour holding all their Inner London marginals. Outer London may be a different story.

  7. Also suggests Twickenham is toast, plus Tooting is a toss-up / leans Labour, whilst gains by Cons can be expected in the more Brexity parts of Greater London.

  8. Battersea Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 46% (-6)
    LAB: 38% (+1)
    LDEM: 13% (+9)

    (via @Survation, 09 – 10 May)
    Chgs w/ 2015
    Not const Q

  9. The Battersea poll is consistent with Kensington…both showing small swings to Labour caused by the Lib Dems gaining some Remain Tory votes.

  10. Nationally the polls have swung significantly Labour’s way since the fieldwork for this Battersea poll was done on 9-10 May, with the Tories’ lead being reduced by around 7-8 points.

    I’m not expecting a surprise here, but would now make Labour strong favourites to hold Tooting.

  11. Perhaps we are forgetting – or choosing not to remember – that ‘the polls’ have consistently overstated the Labour share of the vote since time immemorial.

    After a final two weeks of hard pounding, the 30% or so that Labour are now averaging will surely fall well below what Miliband and co. scored in the last election.

    Agree that Tooting and other inner London seats may well be held, but it is likely to be carnage elsewhere on the night of June 8.

  12. Labour are averaging well above 30% at present – more like 34-15%. And tonight’s YouGov even has them at 38%.

    While I think there is a high likelihood that the post-manifesto movements will subside by June 8th, you should also remember that the pollsters have altered their methodology post 2015 in ways which largely reduce the Labour VI.

  13. I have my doubts, but if tonight’s post-Manchester Yougov poll with Lab on 38% proves accurate then this seat would probably be competitive.

  14. # Labour currently averaging 34-35%

  15. Dr John
    “Perhaps we are forgetting โ€“ or choosing not to remember โ€“ that โ€˜the pollsโ€™ have consistently overstated the Labour share of the vote since time immemorial”

    That isn’t some universal law of polling, the pollsters acknowledge there past errors and after the 2015 debacle have went to great lengths to rectify the issue by applying some very brutal turnout filters.

    The polls could once again be wrong but at this stage one could equally argue they are understating Lab support rather than overestimating it, as it stands there is pretty much zero evidence for either so its prob best to just take the polls at face value.

  16. I’m aware there is ‘no universal law of polling’. I wasn’t making that case.

    However, the fact of the matter is that, even in years that Labour won handsomely such as 1997 and 2001, that polls have consistently overstated the Labour share of the vote and they do not seem able to eliminate this discrepancy, no matter what they do.

    We have recent polls in the last day or so putting Labour on 38%, so surely it’s happening again. If they get within 8 points of 38% on June 8, they will be doing extremely well. A vote share of 38% would not be very far short of the 40.7% share of the vote achieved in 2001. Completely mad.

  17. Labour are piling their resources into holding tooting. They arent going for battersea or Putney

  18. Yes, it’s obvious Lab’s London campaign is completely defensive. But if this polling trend continues they might want to take some more interest in at least Battersea and Croydon Central.

  19. To put today’s YouGov poll into perspective, it is the first in over 100 polls in the past 8 months to show the Lab/ Con gap as narrower than 8 points.

    @ Dr John – the polls were fairly accurate about the Labour share in 2005 and 2010. And as Rivers has pointed out, the filters applied post 2015 on likelihood to vote are such that the pre-May 2015 raw data would produce tory leads rather than the tie that the polls then showed.

    For what it’s worth, I think it’s likely that the Con, Lab and LibDem vote shares will all be up on 2015 due mainly to the collapse of UKIP. I’d guess something in the region of 45/33/10.

  20. I think I might not be the only one who is astounded that a respected UKPR poster is suggesting that Labour have a realistic chance of a gain in the Battersea constituency.

  21. I don’t necessarily think it is realistic because I have considerable doubts that the polls are right. But if the polls are right then if the swing over the last few weeks is applied to that Situation poll it is very much in play. Especially when it looks like one of the drivers of Lab’s surge is the Remain vote going more to Lab than was the case previously. Also remember Sadie Khan did very well here in 2016.

  22. * Survation

  23. YouGov’s latest survey – the one predicting a Hung Parliament – has Battersea “leaning” to Labour.

    Like many of their seat projections, the bookies still offer long odds against this happening.

  24. Lab gain here I think.

  25. If Lab gain this it will be truly extraordinary, though I have to say there seems to be an awful lot of Lab activity in this seat including multiple shadow cabinet visits…make of that what you will.

  26. This constituency has the largest Remain vote in any Conservative constituency.

    I think there could be a swing to Labour here but not sufficient to gain the seat.

  27. Today’s London poll shows a 4% swing from Con to Lab since 2015.

    As I’ve mentioned before, there is a record of recent London polling being correct, in that both the London mayoral election in 2016 and YouGov’s pre 2015GE London polls (of which there were 3 or 4) were very close to the actual result. In that context, a large swing to Labour here seems very plausible.

  28. There’re rumours that Battersea is very close! If Labour regain this seat, it’s possible Corbyn could be our next Prime Minister!

  29. It’d be hard to see Corbyn winning an actual victory. A moral victory on the other hand…

  30. I meant he could be PM without a majority if there’s a ‘rainbow coalition’.

  31. Unlikely – Tories + DUP + UUP gets them over the line.

  32. Ok, fair enough!

  33. Labour confident here!! Great call by JACK SHELDON. Labour clearly doing incredibly well in London

  34. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. BBC report Tories saying they’ve lost Battersea.

  36. Has anyone seen Chris Grayling in Bolsover recently?


  38. Joe James: “I want to make sure Labour never win here again.” Good job there.

    And the similar predictions by others in this thread now look risible in hindsight. I have to admit it shocked me on the night, but based on Leave/Remain, Jane Ellison would quite obviously be in trouble. (Her vote not being as strong as Kate Hoey on the other end of the spectrum.)

  39. There are reams of hilariously useless predictions right across these constituency pages, and not all by them were yours, Plop.


    (Looking back to just two weeks ago on this thread, one poster states that it is ‘completely mad’ to believe that Labour would achieve above 30% nationally.)

  40. Well, there’s numerous predictions in this thread from before this election that Labour would be unlikely (or would never) to win here again. I personally didn’t think it could happen under Corbyn…

  41. Fair play to Plop whilst his more articulate buddies have ran away – possibly never to be seen or heard from again – he’s hung around to face the music as it were – very un-Tory like

  42. Battersea has produced some surprising results before – and not just by being a Tory gain against the national trend in 1987.

    General Election 1922: Battersea North

    Communist 11,311 50.5%
    National Liberal 9,290 – 41.6%
    Liberal 1,756 – 7.9 %

    Communist gain from National Liberal

  43. I was quite wrong about the wealthy fearing higher taxes under Labour, in fact they had some of their best results in the wealthiest constituencies in the UK e.g. Chelsea and Fulham, Cities of London and Westminster as well as the two lost in this area. Obviously Remain played a much more significant role.
    You can see the contrast in Tory performance in boroughs which voted Leave e.g. Hornchurch, Sutton…although Boris’ result in Hillingdon was poor.

  44. Labour did an excellent job of reassuring voters that, however rich you were, the people going to pay those big taxes were going to be just a little bit richer than you.

  45. And I suspect some rich people are okay with paying higher taxes – which seems to confuse a lot of people!

  46. I wonder. I think SBJME19 has got a point. I think Brexit played a much larger role in these London seats than elsewhere. With the Tories doing so well in the polls, I can imagine lots of people in these seats deciding to punish them for Brexit thinking that there was no way that Labour could come close to government. If the polls had been much closer for longer, I wonder if that would have lessened the swing?

  47. “Fair play to Plop whilst his more articulate buddies have ran away”

    Like whom?

    PS – can a self-described articulate person get away with writing “have ran away”?

  48. WJ: “If the polls had been much closer for longer, I wonder if that would have lessened the swing?”

    We might see that hypothesis tested if there’s another election…

    I do agree that Brexit was a big issue in areas like this. Inner London was the only area of the UK where the Lib Dems put on significant non-tactical votes, often moving from lost-deposit territory to double figures

  49. Cheesus – of course plenty of wealthy people are happy to pay higher taxes, but those sort of people would not have voted Tory in the past either and so can’t really be held accountable for the swing.

    My point was that Labour made a very smart move. In 2015, Ed Miliband spoke passionately about the genuinely destitute, about food banks and zero-hours contracts, and Middle England didn’t listen. This time round, the rhetoric spoke of everyone, even the (relatively) comfortable middle classes, being oppressed by the 1%. The manifesto prioritised middle-class sops like ending tuition fees, which got a lot more airtime than pledges on tax credits and the like.

    This is not to say that Labour activists don’t care about poverty – of course they do. Plenty of them volunteer at food banks or other charitible organisations, and their efforts make the world a better place. But it’s lower down the list of priorities for the sort of *voters* they were targeting – and so we didn’t hear too much about it in the national campaign.

  50. I think that’s actually quite accurate – but of course Labour need to try to win over the middle-classes in order to win an election. This is a good step forward for them.

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