Brentford & Isleworth

2015 Result:
Conservative: 24631 (42.9%)
Labour: 25096 (43.8%)
Lib Dem: 2305 (4%)
Green: 2120 (3.7%)
UKIP: 3203 (5.6%)
MAJORITY: 465 (0.8%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Hounslow.

Profile: A long seat that snakes along the north bank of the Thames, opposite Barnes and Kew Gardens. This is a mixed seat that changes as follows the Thames west, from upmarket and now reliably Conservative Chiswick, a mix of residential and office areas, home of the Fullers Brewery and popular with young urban professionals; past Gunnersbury and the council estates around Brentford Towers into the lower quality housing and more mixed areas of Brentford. There are large green spaces here around Osterley Park House and Syon House and Tory areas like Spring Grove, but moving south-west it becomes better for Labour. Isleworth was once considered a Conservative area but there is a far amount of council housing around the sewage works here and, moving westwards into Hounslow a large asian population.

Politics: This is a key marginal between the Conservatives and Labour. It was represented by the Conservatives between 1974 and 1997, latterly by Nirj Deva, later a Conservative MEP. In 1997 and 2001 Labour secured towering five figure majorities here, but it slumped to only 4411 in 2005 before falling to the Conservatives in 2010. In 2015 it was regained by Labour.


Current MP
RUTH CADBURY (Labour) Former local government officer. Hounslow councillor since 1998. Deputy leader of Hounslow council 2010-2012. First elected as MP for Brentford & Isleworth in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 20022 (37%)
Lab: 18064 (34%)
LDem: 12718 (24%)
UKIP: 863 (2%)
Oth: 2098 (4%)
MAJ: 1958 (4%)
2005*
Con: 13918 (30%)
Lab: 18329 (40%)
LDem: 10477 (23%)
GRN: 1652 (4%)
Oth: 1641 (4%)
MAJ: 4411 (10%)
2001
Con: 12957 (29%)
Lab: 23275 (52%)
LDem: 5994 (13%)
GRN: 1324 (3%)
Oth: 964 (2%)
MAJ: 10318 (23%)
1997
Con: 17825 (32%)
Lab: 32249 (57%)
LDem: 4613 (8%)
Oth: 1448 (3%)
MAJ: 14424 (26%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MARY MACLEOD (Conservative) Born 1969. Educated at Glasgow University. Management consultant. Contested Ross, Skye and Inverness West 1997. MP for Brentford and Isleworth 2010 to 2015.
RUTH CADBURY (Labour) Former local government officer. Hounslow councillor since 1998. Deputy leader of Hounslow council 2010-2012.
JOSEPH BOURKE (Liberal Democrat) Chartered accountant. Contested Dagenham and Rainham 2010.
RICHARD HENDRON (UKIP) Barrister and former police officer.
DANIEL GOLDSMITH (Green) IT consultant. Contested Feltham and Heston 2011 by-election.
Links
Comments - 532 Responses on “Brentford & Isleworth”
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  1. The Conservative lead here might depend on just one ward out of the ten that comprise the constituency. In the 2010 local elections the Tory lead over Labour in Chiswick Riverside was about 2,400 votes (looking at the highest-placed candidate for both parties).

  2. Edit facility required: it’s actually 1,400 not 2,400. So not crucial although a very high proportion of the Tory majority must come from the ward.

  3. That was the only ward in the entire Borough to elect a full slate of Conservative councillors in 1994, though the boundaries were different then. It does have a significant council estate minority dotted around the ward but mostly as with all of Chiswick nowadays it’s extremely upmarket, even posh at times. Even Dec from Ant & Dec is now revealed to have voted Conservative in 2010.

  4. Barnaby: is it a fair summary that Chiswick is trending Tory while Brentford is trending Labour and that the two processes are broadly cancelling one another out?

  5. Chiswick is definitely trending Tory, and so to some extent is Brentford, where some pretty exclusive apartments have been and are being built (not just on the river – hard by the M4 too) though there is also some social housing being built. It’s Hounslow & Osterley where there is a countervailing trend, which probably is more or less cancelling out the pro-Tory trend in Chiswick & Brentford. Central & western Hounslow have been Labour strongholds for a generation now, but Hounslow South ward & the Osterley area are now moving swiftly leftwards too. Isleworth does also appear to be trending slightly towards Labour, which unlike what has been seen in Osterley & Hounslow isn’t much to do with ethnicity – it’s still a surprisingly heavily white area but even its better roads (except the exclusive riverside enclave of Old Isleworth) have tended to become less Tory over the last generation or so, though fairly gradually. If Labour draws level with the Tories in Hounslow South ward it would probably provide an insurmountable obstacle to the latter holding the seat. So, the answer to your question Tory is, no not quite. Brentford still votes Labour but the trends are not pro-Labour in the town.

  6. Thanks, Barnaby- very helpful as always.

  7. I’m not sure that Osterley is trending Labour quite so rapidly as you suggest Barnaby. There has certainly been a very gradual pro-Labour trend over a number of years now – likewise in Hounslow South. I guess we will see next May the extent to which they have trended Labour. On the other hand I think Syon is also trending towards the Tories and that therefore the counterveiling trends will more or less cancel each other out. As you say Labour support in Central and West Hounslow is almost at saturation level.

  8. Yes perhaps rapid wasn’t quite the word in Osterley. I think it is applicable in Hounslow South ward though – I’d be surprised if it doesn’t see a Labour clean sweep next year.

  9. Hounslow South could easily have fallen to Labour in 2010 but the Tories threw the entire kitchen sink at holding it thinking it would be pivotal (while Labour just ran a traditional campaign with little in the way of extra resources from outside the ward). Actually it might have been pivotal had the ICG – who were allied to the Tories on the council – managed to hold neighbouring Isleworth Ward and Syon Ward.

  10. Just thinking about this today and the chances Labour may take it back in 2015. Do folk think its possible that had the Labour MP not had any expenses issues in 2010 Labour may have held it? After all they had a bigger majority than nearby Westminster North which was retained by a well regarded incumbent. Presumably if not retained then it would have at least been closer than the already narrow margin of under 4%.

    That’s also a rather large Lib Dem vote, at almost a quarter, for both parties to target next time.

  11. We had this discussion at some length, and the general feeling was that while Keen’s vote was definitely affected by this issue, the Tories would probably have narrowly squeaked home even if she had been completely innocent of the transgressions she did in fact commit. If she had been innocent AND been a better constituency MP, she might possibly have just survived.
    The predecessor Brentford & Chiswick seat was gained for the Tories in 1950 by the noted golfer & wartime flying ace, Percy “Laddie” Lucas, who was actually born in the clubhouse in Sandwich. He didn’t lose the seat, but retired in 1959 & handed the seat over to Dudley Smith, who did (in 1966). Bearing in mind that this pretty densely populated area of West London isn’t exactly noted for the sport, it is rather odd that the neighbouring seat of Acton also had a golfer as a Tory MP not long before; older UKPR contributors may remember Henry Longhurst as a golf commentator, but in fact he was Tory MP for Acton before losing the seat to Labour in the 1945 landslide.

  12. Labour will take Brentford and Isleworth with great ease in 2015. Ed Mayne is a likely candidate for the seat.

  13. Bob – I get the feeling you might be interested in taking a look at my Labour target list for next year’s London elections:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0At91c3wX1Wu5dGViNUppLVFxalJKN21kQXlfNWo0d1E#gid=0

  14. Regarding next years elections, I’ve heard that the Tories might only end up with overall control in the flagship boroughs, Havering and Bromley.

    Is that realistic?

  15. I’m not an expert on London politics, but looking at the figures, I can’t see the Tories losing control of Richmond or Bexley, unless UKIP do even better and start winning a significant number of London seats.

    Are you including Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Wandsworth as flagship boroughs?

  16. The Tories will certainly retain control in the following boroughs, in my humble opinion : Bexley, Bromley, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond-upon-Thames & Wandsworth. As it happens Havering is by no means in the bag. I expect UKIP to have a major spoiling role in that borough, in which they will probably win some seats, and the Residents to hold on to almost all, if not absolutely all, of what they hold, and the Tories may well lose control, even if Labour do poorly, which is possible. They may well just hold Barnet now that Coleman has departed the scene though I wouldn’t be sure of that. Other Tory outright wins in my view are unlikely. Hammersmith isn’t a certain Tory hold, but I’d be very surprised if they failed to keep Labour out at this stage despite their ability to piss some of their normal supporters off quite considerably (e.g. the Hammersmith riverside/skyline issue).

  17. Trawling through the County Council elections I’m filled with optimism about Tory prospects – but a Labour victory in 2015 remains a serious threat.

  18. A couple of days after I considered speculating as to whether Hounslow Councillor Ruth Cadbury would consider fighting this seat in 2015 for Labour, she has quit her position in the Hounslow cabinet to forward her MP ambitions:

    http://www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk/west-london-news/local-hounslow-news/2013/05/15/ruth-cadbury-leaves-cabinet-to-focus-on-mp-ambitions-109642-33333429/

  19. Just reading back some of the comments here. Robin Hood – I think the ICG were very much hamstrung by the 2010 locals taking place the same day as the GE, which will of course get the “party” voters out at the expense of the slightly more hardcore “local” voters who may vote away from party politics in favour of local candidates.

    I can’t see much change here in the locals next year, Labour may gain a few seats. On a local level aside from the usual issues around “sheds with beds” and the local myopia around this (leading to a few appearances in Private Eye’s “Rotten Boroughs” section), the council has done very little “wrong” since it returned to Labour control in 2010. The row over the redevelopment of the area behind Hounslow High Street could have an influence on proceedings, mind.

  20. It would be quite an achievement for the Tories to hold any of the seats in the split wards, and they are likely to lose 2 (but probably not all 3) seats in Feltham N as well. Labour will also fancy its chances in Hounslow S but could, if the party has a good night, win at least a share in Osterley/Spring Grove & Hanworth Park. The Tories are obviously safe in their 3 Chiswick wards but they will do well to win more than perhaps one other ward outright.

  21. Maybe something like, Labour 45, Conservative 15

  22. When the seats in a three member ward are split between two parties what is the average difference in the top (or average) votes between party A and B ?

  23. I don’t think Matt’s prediction is a bad one at all. If it’s out I don’t think it will be by much. Richard’s question is an interesting one, but I certainly can’t answer it. I suspect Pete is our best hope

  24. “Even Dec from Ant & Dec is now revealed to have voted Conservative in 2010.”

    Who did Ant vote for ?

    As Ant is always on Dec’s right hand sight perhaps he voted UKIP.

    But as Ant is always to the left of Dec as viewers see them perhaps he publicly claims to be Labour ?

  25. As far as we know Ant stuck with Labour.

  26. I assume Chiswick is becoming more Tory and Heston and Isleworth more Labour.

  27. I think it may be a little closer than Matt suggested, as a major factor to possibly consider is the relative turnout in 2010 vs what it’s likely to be in 2014. As I alluded to previously the fact the 2010 locals were at the same time as the GE pushed up the turnout in terms of getting those who wouldn’t normally vote in the locals out to the ballot box (hence the wiping off the map of the ICG and indeed the Lib Dems!), whereas I’d expect the 2014 turnout to be similar, or slightly down on, that of 2006.

    Brentford is an interesting one – for a long time chiefly comprising sink estates, now they are still there but are mixed in with large gated communities, meaning this could be a key battleground in years to come.

    Having grown up in the Osterley & Spring Grove ward, I don’t necessarily see much evidence of change in recent years in terms of demographic, it remains a heady mix of decent Housing Association stock (I would say that, the old family home was in a HA street), small blocks of flats and decent-sized family homes.

  28. Yes, Chiswick is trending Conservative, Dalek. I would have thought that the Conservatives will have carried the two Chiswick wards by a combined total of 3000 or so in 2010.

  29. The housing stock in Osterley & Spring Grove remains, for the most part, very good indeed. What has changed is the increasing number of Asian residents. The area isn’t moving down the social scale but the increasing number of Asian residents does tend to give Labour a slightly better chance.

  30. Labour gain.

  31. put an estimate % please Neil

  32. OK, Labour majority of around 5%.

  33. Barnaby – I’d dispute that there has been that much of a shift in demographic in Osterley & Spring Grove in recent times, it doesn’t appear on the face of it to be much more “Asian” than it has been at any time over the last 20 years or so.

    This seat will be keenly contested, certainly not the foregone conclusion that Bob suggests. Mary Macleod has been (in my personal experience in any case) a very decent constituency MP, and she has done some good “profile” work, e.g. her appointment as a business ambassador and getting herself on Question Time. First time incumbency could come into play too.

    That said, were Ruth Cadbury to get the Labour gig this would improve their chances, probably to the point of victory – she has maintained quite a high profile locally and has steered well clear of the scandals affecting Labour councillors elsewhere in the borough.

  34. As a matter of fact I had the pleasure of a drink with Tory Cllr Paul Lynch last night (we do from time to time as we have used the same pub for many decades). We discussed the likely outcomes in the council election next year & he was very gloomy about the Feltham & Heston wards. He did raise an eyebrow when I suggested Hounslow South as a quite likely Labour gain but I don’t think he visits that ward any more than I do & I still feel that at least a split is likely in that ward, if not an outright gain. I suspect the Tories are heading for wipeout in Feltham & Heston, except for Mark Bowen’s seat in Feltham N which he will probably hold. The hard one to predict is Isleworth if Phil Andrews stands – we just don’t know if the shadowy “Community Group”‘s writ runs as large as it did.

  35. Re Jason’s comments, I tend to agree. As things currently stand I think Labour should shade the seat, but it won’t be easy. The Tories will build up a large lead in the 3 Chiswick wards, and may still be slightly ahead in Osterley & Spring Grove. However, I doubt whether there will be a statistically significant Tory lead in Hounslow S this time. Labour’s main problem perhaps is that there are only 2 wards where they can expect a really solid lead, Hounslow C & Hounslow Heath, but they should be a fair distance ahead in Isleworth & Brentford too, and probably at least slightly ahead in Syon. Logically this should be just enough to win – certainly if Labour draws level with the Conservatives nationally, or even to within 2%, MacLeod’s first-time incumbency vote won’t be enough. There is also the factor that Labour’s vote may have been depressed by Ann Keen’s continued candidacy last time – if so, that would at least nullify the incumbency for MacLeod. If Ruth Cadbury were selected she would probably win Brentford ward more heavily than other Labour candidates would be capable of, and she does come over well in general.

  36. GLA list votes Brentford & Isleworth, May 2012
    (change versus May 2010)

    Lab 41 (+7)
    Con 33 (-4)
    Grn 9 (+7)
    LD 6 (-18)
    UKIP 4 (+2)

    Suggests that most of the Lib Dem vote was left leaning here and that even if the Tories can hold up around 37% it will not be enough due to win due to former Lib Dems switching over to Labour.

  37. The LD vote in Chiswick probably did include a fair number of Tories and we saw that with the way people double crossed their local election ballot in Chiswick Riverside in 2010.

    The trouble is, most of any LD > Con switch in the more affluent parts of the seat may have already been factored in in 2012
    so we do need to really work to get the turnout and hope for a lacklustre Labour performance, and recent months suggest there is hope on that score.

  38. To clarify
    The LDs put up just one candidate in Chiswick Riverside
    and at the count it was clear many people had put one X for this LD lady, and 2 for the Tories.
    She got around 2,000 votes which on a normal local election would have been enough to get her in.

    But as I say, the Chiswick area was already pretty strong for the Tories in 2012.

  39. The other lifeline for the Tories would be if Labour’s new found conversion to austerity propelled a large number of their own core voters and 2010 Lib Dems to the Greens.

  40. The Greens rather flatter to deceive these days I think – Brighton apart.
    But if it is close then anything like that could help.

  41. Barnaby – interesting you should mention Cllr Lynch, a name guaranteed to get the blood boiling round our way after his comments in the press about my mother’s industrial tribunal (aka a massive cover-up symptomatic of how whistleblowers have been treated in public services in recent years…)!

    I live on the edge of the Hounslow South ward these days – in fact had the boundary review gone ahead I’d have had the distinction of living in one constituency and parking my car at night in another (plus our polling station would have been in the other constituency). It’s a bit of a mix of Hounslow overspill and the altogether more pleasant surroundings of the side streets towards Whitton.

    Labour *ought* to take Hounslow South next year, I’d have thought.

  42. I was canvassing last week.
    Filthy dirty streets but a nice area.
    Who runs the council?
    Oh silly me.

  43. Barnaby – I don’t think Isleworth will make a lot of difference to the overall outcome in Hounslow in 2014 and in any case the way Labour are treating the ward would suggest the ICG are a spent force. Indeed Labour seem to goading the ICG into contesting the ward in the belief that they will lose and then disappear off the scene completely rather than remain the minor irritant they are now. There is even a strong rumour that Phil Andrews tried to join the Labour Party and was rebuffed, certainly he has never made any attempt to deny this.

  44. I agree that Isleworth itself won’t affect the overall outcome. Labour will almost certainly gain further seats from the Conservatives (and from defectors from that party). I also doubt that seats will be lost to other smaller parties including the ICG, but it can be difficult to be confident about how small local groups will do.

  45. Well it’s all over the place that the ICG are standing in Isleworth and are confident of winning so either Labour have miscalculated or the ICG have lost the plot. For me though the biggest danger in the long term comes not from the ICG has-beens but from the so-called Group of 15 residents associations which are starting to agitate about community involvement and are located all across the borough. This apparently all stems from the ICG when they were in office in a right-wing coalition with the Tories. Goes to show that you give an inch to these kinds of organisations and invariably they take a mile.

  46. What does ICG stand for?

  47. It used to be Isleworth Community Group, now it’s Independent Community Group.

  48. is ruth cadbury part of the chocolate family

  49. Dalek – Independent Conservative Group. Except they are much to the right of the Conservatives.

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