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”
  1. no, it does NOT stand for Conservative. It still stands for Community.

  2. Yep, definitely “Community”. Presumably the switch from “Isleworth” to “Independent” is designed to give the ICG a greater potential reach across the borough?

    The political slot in the Hounslow Chronicle was given over to Phil Andrews last time out:

    http://www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk/columnists/houseguest/2013/07/01/phil-andrews-community-exclusion-is-no-laughing-matter-109642-33550407/

  3. Don’t get me started on the ICG.

    As for the parliamentary seat, I think the odds are slightly shaded in favour of Mary Macleod. (Incidentally, I gave her a hard time in the letters pages of the local press in 2009/10 but think she’s basically a decent sort – very much a Cameron loyalist). Should be an interesting one to watch.

  4. that would depend on the extent to which Labour’s vote in 2010 was depressed by Keen’s candidacy, not just the state of the parties at the time. If there were such an effect – and I think there was – the swing needed for Labour to win would be a pretty gettable one, and the factor would tend to outweigh Macleod’s first-time incumbency factor.

  5. If people think the economy is on the mend in this bustling part of West London
    they may not want to throw it all down the drain
    so I hope Robin Hood is correct.

  6. I wish the government would stick to that strategy rather than doing unnecessarily risky and potentially very unpopular things like privatising the Royal Mail.

    However much the economy recovers, if the price of posting a letter goes up to £10 outside the M25 then the government will not be re-elected.

  7. I’ve never seen why Conservatives are so obsessed with privatising things.

    Perhaps auctioning off the postal service is a cunning plan by our political masters to reduce the number of constituency letters they receive.

  8. I can see the good reasons behind privatisation of British Leyland, British Airways, British Steel etc.

    And also some utilities such as water and electricity, although the latter may come back to bite us hard when foreign owners refuse to invest in the massive new capacity we are going to need.

    For me however, British Rail and Royal Mai, and also prisons and justice, are in a category of public services that should not be sold off.

  9. “that would depend on the extent to which Labour’s vote in 2010 was depressed by Keen’s candidacy, not just the state of the parties at the time. If there were such an effect – and I think there was – the swing needed for Labour to win would be a pretty gettable one, and the factor would tend to outweigh Macleod’s first-time incumbency factor.”

    This was significant in a large number of traditionally Labour constituencies gained by the Conservatives in 1983 that they retained in 1987.

  10. I think the economy might actually be in quite good shape in 2015
    and the real risk is a Labour Government on 33% squanders it all and gets in again
    before the real damage is apparent.
    Then it’s back to square 1 in 2025
    to clear it up – much worse than 2010.

  11. No offence, Barnaby, but I think you’re assessment is flawed.

    As H Hemmelig pointed out on page one, the swing in B&I from the 2010 General Election (when Ann Keen stood) to the May 2012 GLA list vote election was 5.5% to Labour.

    Whereas the swing nationally from the 2010 General Election to the 2012 local elections (based upon the BBC’s Projected National Vote Share) was 7% to Labour.

    Surely if Ann Keen’s candidacy had been a drag on Labour’s performance in 2010 then there would have been a BIGGER swing back to Labour in B&I in 2012 as a result of her absence?

    Remember that Labour also lost the aggregate vote that was cast in the local elections in B&I in 2010 (on the same day as the general election) though admittedly the Tories won that with a margin of less than 1% – against a 3% Conservative margin for the parliamentary seat.

    As I’ve opined previously, yes Ann Keen may have been damaged by the expenses issue but based upon the slightly contradictory statistical signals mentioned above it would seem she was hurt only enough to remove the small personal vote that she, like most incumbents, had enjoyed.

    I’m not going into the rights and wrongs of the expenses as in terms of B&I that’s now ancient history issue but as I said on Cllr Ruth Cadbury’s blog a year ago (posting under the pseudonym of ‘Multiculturalist’) Labour would be making a mistake if we think this seat is just going to fall into our laps just because Ann Keen is no longer around.

    The bottom line is that on the basis of the 2012 list vote we can conclude that demographic change in this seat is not uniformly benefiting Labour (as it is in most parts of London). In the 2012 list vote the Tories beat Labour by solid 2:1 margins in all three Chiswick wards. Yet in 1994, when Labour’s lead in the GLC area was only slightly greater than in 2012, Labour actually won seats in two of the Chiswick wards.

    That is unthinkable now because Chiswick is being gentrified in favour of the Tories (and moving demographically in the direction of nearby Fulham and Putney) just as much as the west of the constituency (around Hounslow and Osterley) is being ‘ethnified’ in favour of Labour. [I’ve just created a new word there!!].

    Mary Macleod is probably the most suitable Tory candidate to defend a seat like this, and would certainly do better than an Andrew Rosindell-type. As a Cameron loyalist she appeals more to the fiscally conservative yet socially liberal sensitivities of Chiswick’s cosmopolitan electorate while at the same time subscribing to an inclusive brand of Toryism that gives her a shot at winning a quarter of the Asian vote in Hounslow/Osterley.

    My prediction: shaded towards the Tories but will be interesting to see what challenge Labour can put up here.

  12. The UKIP factor cannot be entirely overlooked.

    The number of votes won by the ICG in Isleworth and Syon wards, and in others, over several consecutive local elections demonstrates that there is an appetite for extreme right wing policies amongst voters in this constituency that is maybe absent elsewhere.

    UKIP are likely to achieve good support in these substantial pockets of ignorance and bigotry and that may well prove to be primarily at the expense of the Conservatives. Lab gain for that reason alone.

  13. What a stupid post by Reynard.

    UKIP are not extreme right wing and people who vote for them are not ignorant or bigoted so get off your high horse.

    I do not think that this is a seat that UKIP would do well in at all.

  14. “I think the economy might actually be in quite good shape in 2015”

    😉

    JJB goes for the UKPR comedy award.

    “and the real risk is a Labour Government on 33% squanders it all and gets in again
    before the real damage is apparent.”

    😉

    Don’t you mean that ther’s a real chance that Labour don’t get in and the real damage only becomes apparant during a minority Conservative government of 2015-18?

  15. I think it is fair to say that the economy is in better shape now, under the Coalition government, than it was under Labour with their fake growth and ridiculous spending.

    If Labour are to gain power in 2015 I have a feeling that they would struggle to deal with the nations economic problems as they have never had to sort the economy out before. They create the mess, the Tories clear it up.

  16. We are experiencing the start of a 1-2 year short term recovery, largely on the back of an improving housing market in southern England.

    However the fundamental problems of debt, suppressed inflation, trade imbalance and a looming energy crunch have not gone away, and will eventually have to be faced up to by whoever wins in 2015.

  17. On this seat, Robin Hood’s opinion seems very plausible.

  18. It is, can’t really see much fault with any of that analysis.

  19. We need a recovery in anything but housing
    but
    there is no reason why that will not be achieved.

    Reynolds – it’s bigoted, patronising attitudes like that which drive people to other parties.
    FWIW I think most people probably think the Community Group is what it says on the tin.

  20. Fascinating post by Robin Hood there- thanks for that analysis, Robin.

  21. Yes, sorry not to mention that – thanks for your knowledgeable posts Robin Hood – you are a very courteous poster aswell.

  22. “I think it is fair to say that the economy is in better shape now, under the Coalition government, than it was under Labour with their fake growth and ridiculous spending.”

    As opposed to the coalition’s fake growth and ridiculous spending?

    Actually the fundamentals of the economy haven’t improved since 2010 even though they might have been expected to. Industrial production, the trade balance and productivity are dredfully poor whilst retails spending and debt continues to increase.

    What makes things worse is that there is now a widespread mentality that ‘austerity’ is something which has happened and it we will soon be able to start spending ‘again’.

    This mentality will make actual austerity even harder to accept when the time comes.

  23. And another thanks to RH for his analysis.

  24. Richard
    what makes you think manufacturing won’t increase?

    We are also improving skills and apprenticeships for the longer term aswell.

  25. If manufacturing can’t increase during a period of a 30% fall in sterling, as we have seen since 2008, it suggests that we have fundamental capacity problems meaning it is going to be very difficult for it to increase at all.

    But even if it does improve a bit, there’s no way it can increase by enough to close our balance of payments deficit, which is so massive it beggars belief. This deficit has been financed by borrowing, more and more every month since the late 1990s.

    When eventually the borrowing cannot be sustained any longer, because we cannot increase exports to fill the gap, we will quite simply have to stop consuming imports to the tune of billions and billions of pounds a month. That is, I presume, the real austerity that Richard alludes to.

    The problem with our economy is that the majority of services cannot be exported and so the trade gap can only be plugged by reducing consumption. North Sea oil enabled us to avoid these problems in the 80s and 90s but now that North Sea output is in significant decline it has exposed how painful our predicament is.

  26. The trade deficit is appalling and even more so that so few people even mention it now – they just talk about house prices.

    I too have concerns that this is the panic button of growth at any price

    but it may get us through the next election
    and the longer term plan is to get skills and manufacturing up.

  27. We are on the same side I think.

    The question is whether we can keep the show on the road long enough for restructuring and rebalancing to take effect.

  28. Well that’s a funny thing Joe James B because the tin says they are a bunch of self-proclaimed fascists.

  29. Methinks Reynard is reading a bit too much into their leader’s former life. Isleworth isn’t exactly a hotbed of fascist activity.

  30. There’s nowhere in Greater London where anyone who was seriously fascist / racist could stand to live now. Even the Bromleys and Haverings are becoming quite mixed. Almost all who seriously have those views would have moved out by now, as Nick Griffin found in Barking.

  31. You might find a bit of borderline support in Hanworth and we were worried there in the by-election in Hanworth Park in 2007
    but that is 6 years ago.
    But before 2010 you’d be worried about the Lib Dems more in most by-elections.

  32. I’ve no idea who their leader is or what his former life consisted of, but can I urge people not to libel anyone in further discussion of it (not to mention that its really not in the spirit of the comments policy to go round calling people fascists)

  33. I don’t know anything either about them.
    To make that absolutely clear, please can you snip my post at 2.45pm today, Anthony.

  34. Reynard will have been referring to ex-NF man Phil Andrews (a piece of his I linked to at the top of this page of this thread), another link to an old article here:

    http://www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk/west-london-news/local-hounslow-news/2009/10/27/hounslow-councillor-ashamed-of-racist-past-109642-25024841/

    What Reynard probably hasn’t got with his/her accusations (and they most certainly are NOT “self-proclaimed fascists” – indeed quite the opposite in terms of what they proclaim!) is that the good burghers of Isleworth/Syon will have voted for the “Community” aspect of the ICG and not hinting at all towards fascism. The NF may have had some traction in the 70s/80s especially around the Ivy Bridge Estate, but that simply isn’t the case these days to any extent.

  35. With such a high trendy vote across all big parties, am I correct in saying the Greens would do well to campaign hard here and that UKIP will have a reduced effect here compared to most areas?

  36. “There’s nowhere in Greater London where anyone who was seriously fascist / racist could stand to live now. Even the Bromleys and Haverings are becoming quite mixed. Almost all who seriously have those views would have moved out by now, as Nick Griffin found in Barking”

    Exactly. With so many homeowners finding that they were sitting on a small fortune, those with such views would have sold up and shipped out of the capital.

  37. I don’t know, some Essex seats saw the BNP hold their deposits and there are UKIP councillors arriving in Greater London as well.

  38. The Greens would do very well to scrape 5% here. Most of their support is in the 3 Chiswick wards

  39. Really? Could you explain that for me?

  40. Windcomingoutofyourarse-

    Essex is not in London. Do you need a geography lesson?

  41. Essex is in GREATER London, I should know seeing as I come from there!

  42. And by the way, your attempt at mockery was catastrophic by all definitions of the word 😉

  43. “Essex is in GREATER London, I should know seeing as I come from there!”

    Oh dear

  44. I assume he means the “old” Essex boundary when the likes of Havering, Barking and Ilford were in Essex. Thsat was pre 1974 though.

  45. What Romford (IN ESSEX) isn’t in Greater London? You really thought I meant he entire county was part of G London? Lol :p

  46. Romford is not in Essex it is in London.

  47. I don’t think it is quite so cut and dried, Hemmelig. Romford may be administratively London but it is undoubtedly part of the traditional county of Essex, as is Ilford, where Essex County Cricket Club still plays. Indeed, the local MP Mr Rosindell considers himself an Essex man and Romford a part of Essex-

    ‘I have lived all my life in the community of Marshalls Park, which is where I went to school. That lies within the town of Romford, situated in the county of Essex, which forms part of a country called England. My home, until a future local government review takes place, may lie within the so-called Pettits ward of the London borough of Havering, in the region of Greater London, but those are names with no meaning, designed for administrative and electoral purposes only.’

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070131/debtext/70131-0004.htm

  48. Thanks for that Tory. Never thought I’d say that 😉

  49. You are 39 years out of date Windsofchange.

    P.S. Anyone think TheResults, Bob, Windsofchange and 111 (or at least the last 3) are the same?

  50. In terms of parliamentary boundaries and local government, it is cut and dried.

    The traditional counties no longer exist except for post codes.

    Andrew Rosindell’s attitude is dying out, gradually, as memories fade, old residents die or leave and new ones arrive.

    Here in Bromley you do not often hear people refer to living in Kent as you did all the time 10-15 years ago, although that is still our postal address. It is a consequence of the mass immigration into the suburbs and the substantial white flight that we have seen.

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