Bermondsey & Old Southwark

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6051 (11.8%)
Labour: 22146 (43.1%)
Lib Dem: 17657 (34.3%)
Green: 2023 (3.9%)
UKIP: 3254 (6.3%)
TUSC: 142 (0.3%)
Independent: 72 (0.1%)
Others: 79 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 4489 (8.7%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Bermondsey, Borough, Rotherhithe, Elephant & Castle and Surrey Quays.

Profile: This covers central London south of the river, facing the City of London across the Thames. The riverfront has undergone massive redevelopment and gentrification, and is now backed with offices, luxury apartments, the cultural quarter of Tate Modern and the Globe theatre and skyscrapers popping up around City Hall, whose crash helmet style home sits on the riverfront here. The seat also includes Guys Hospital and the fashionable Borough market. Alway from the trendy apartments to the north though, the rest of the area is still poor, racially mixed and struggling with problems of crime and deprivation though the process of regeneration of troubled estates like Heygate is rolling slowly onwards.

Politics: Demographically you would expect this seat to return a Labour MP: a poverty striken inner city seat, over 20% afro-carribean, over 40% of properties council owned. In fact it returned to the Labour party only in 2015, having been the Liberals and Liberal Democrats for over twenty years. Simon Hughes long tenure was probably due to his own performance as MP, but he only became the MP for Bermondsey in the first place because of the unusual circumstances of his election. The Bermondsey by-election must be one of the most infamous in recent political history. The local Labour party had selected as their PPC the left-winger Peter Tatchell, who was disowned by the then Labour leader Michael Foot. He was opposed by a Labour right-winger, John O`Grady, who stood as a "Real Labour" candidate and was backed by the former MP Bob Mellish. The by-election was notoriously dirty, Tatchell was consistently attacked for his sexuality, received hate mail and a bullet in the post. The Liberal party took the seat on an overwhelming swing and remained here for almost a quarter of a century.


Current MP
NEIL COYLE (Labour) Born 1978, Luton. Educated at Hull University. Former policy director. Southwark councillor since 2010. First elected as MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 7638 (17%)
Lab: 13060 (29%)
LDem: 21590 (48%)
BNP: 1370 (3%)
Oth: 993 (2%)
MAJ: 8530 (19%)
2005*
Con: 4752 (13%)
Lab: 12468 (33%)
LDem: 17874 (47%)
GRN: 1137 (3%)
Oth: 1728 (5%)
MAJ: 5406 (14%)
2001
Con: 2800 (8%)
Lab: 11359 (31%)
LDem: 20991 (57%)
GRN: 752 (2%)
Oth: 960 (3%)
MAJ: 9632 (26%)
1997
Con: 2835 (7%)
Lab: 16444 (40%)
LDem: 19831 (49%)
Oth: 1140 (3%)
MAJ: 3387 (8%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Southwark North & Bermondsey

Demographics
2015 Candidates
JEAN-PAUL FLORU (Conservative) Born 1969, Belgium. Educated at Leuven University. Author. Westminster councillor since 2006. Contested London region 2009 European election.
NEIL COYLE (Labour) Born 1978, Luton. Educated at Hull University. Policy director. Southwark councillor since 2010.
SIMON HUGHES (Liberal Democrat) Born 1951, Cheshire. Educated at Llandaff Cathedral School and Cambridge University. Barrister. Contested London Mayoral election 2004. MP for Bermondsey 1983 by-election to 2015. Environment spokesman 1983-1988, education spokesman 1988-1992, environment spokesman 1992-1994, health spokesman 1994-1997, home affairs spokesman 1997-2003, President of the Liberal Democrats 2004-2008. The second longest serving Liberal Democrat MP, Hughes was first elected to Parliament in the notorious 1983 Bermondsey by-election. Contested the Liberal Democrat leadership elections of 1999 and 2006, during which he was outed by the Sun newspaper.
ANDREW BEADLE (UKIP)
WILLIAM LAVIN (Green) Born 1956. Contested Huntingdon 1987.
STEVE FREEMAN (Republican Socialist)
DONALD COLE (All People)
LUCY HALL (Independent) Born 1989. Educated at Waldegrave School and Manchester University.
KINGSLEY ABRAMS (TUSC) Former Merton councillor, Lambeth councillor 2006-2013. Contested Wimbledon 1992, North Southwark and Old Bermondsey 2001 for Labour.

Comments - 651 Responses on “Bermondsey & Old Southwark”
  1. Interesting – thanks, Richard.

    Yes, well gentrified in terms of residents but not necessarily housing. There’s still some tiny council flats just off Southwark Bridge Road and some other larger ex council flats which are now very expensive to buy or rent of course.

    Most cities still have some awful forgotten about housing (eg feel free to look up Cathedral Walk, Lpool on streetmap and there’s also some maisonettes which you hardly see anywhere else today).

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