Brent North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 17517 (33.5%)
Labour: 28351 (54.3%)
Lib Dem: 2607 (5%)
Green: 1539 (2.9%)
UKIP: 2024 (3.9%)
Independent: 197 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 10834 (20.7%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Wembley, Kenton, Kingsbury.

Profile: A residential seat with a growing Asian population, the sizeable majority of the population here are non-white. High ethnic population in UK constituencies is normally associated with deprived inner city seats, but Brent North is most owner-occupied residential suburbs, a seat of upwardly mobile successful Asians.

Politics: Brent North was once a safe Conservative seat, represented by the eccentrically bewhiskered former schoolmaster Sir Rhodes Boyson. It has shifted radically towards Labour since those days, it had the biggest swing to Labour in the country in the 1997 landslide, and a further swing of almost 10 per cent to Labour at the following election in 2001 - presumably through the absence of the ideosyncratic Boyson and the growth in ethnic minority voters who, even when in an affluent seat like Brent North, are not inclined to vote Tory.

Current MP
BARRY GARDINER (Labour) Born 1957, Glasgow. Educated at Glasgow High School and St Andrews University. Former senior partner in shipping insurance and arbitration. Cambridge councillor 1988-1994. First elected as MP for Brent North in 1997. PPS to Beverley Hughes 2002-4. Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Northern Ireland office 2004-5, the DTI 2005-6, DEFRA 2006-2007. He was appointed Gordon Brown`s special representative on forestry in 2007, but stood down in 2008 after backing calls for a leadership challenge.
Past Results
Con: 16486 (32%)
Lab: 24514 (47%)
LDem: 8879 (17%)
GRN: 725 (1%)
Oth: 1694 (3%)
MAJ: 8028 (15%)
Con: 11779 (33%)
Lab: 17420 (49%)
LDem: 5672 (16%)
Oth: 811 (2%)
MAJ: 5641 (16%)
Con: 9944 (29%)
Lab: 20149 (59%)
LDem: 3846 (11%)
MAJ: 10205 (30%)
Con: 15324 (40%)
Lab: 19343 (51%)
LDem: 3104 (8%)
Oth: 403 (1%)
MAJ: 4019 (11%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
LUKE PARKER (Conservative)
BARRY GARDINER (Labour) See above.
PAUL LORBER (Liberal Democrat)
ALAN CRAIG (UKIP) Educated at Newcastle University. Former businessman and warden in a young offender institution. Newham councillor 2002-2010 for the Christian Peoples Alliance. Contested London mayoralty 2008 for the CPA.
SCOTT BARTLE (Green) Psychologist.
ELCENA JEFFERS (Independent)
Comments - 151 Responses on “Brent North”
  1. Michael Maurice (Brent North Conservatives Association Chairman) Mark Sabah, sitting Cllr Harshadbhai Patel will be Tory candidates for Preston Ward May 2014 Council elections.

  2. Kanta Mistry, Jayanti Patel and Seb Malde will be Tory candidates for May 2014 Council elections. Kanta Mistry lost by 3 votes in May 2010.

  3. When Sir Rhodes Boyson was MP here his seat was attributed as the most non-white Tory seat in the UK, with over 40% being non white.

    It is now 73% non-white (party to boundary changes, absorbing former Wemby South wards from Brent South), but also some social change, and personal support for the new incumbant Labour MP (who appears as popular as Rhodes Boyson was).

    My view is that their was and still is evidence of a strong upwardly mobile pro-Conservative asian vote in the North of this constituency whereas in the South the asian vote is solidly Labour.

    Historically, the Wembley constituencies were both solid Tory seats but by 1970, South was clearly now marginal while North remained strongly Tory.
    Pete’s previous analysis has shown that Wembley South would now be a very safe Labour seat while Wembly North would still be competitive (a seat much more marginal for Labour than Brent North).

    Some of the upwardly mobile Asian vote in the North (from Rhodes Boysons time) may have moved out to other London suburbs or even Hertfordshire but their must still be an element of a more pro-Conservative Asian vote in the north and a solid Labour Asian vote in the South?

  4. “Some of the upwardly mobile Asian vote in the North (from Rhodes Boysons time) may have moved out to other London suburbs or even Hertfordshire but their must still be an element of a more pro-Conservative Asian vote in the north and a solid Labour Asian vote in the South?”

    There is still evidence of it in the far north of the seat around Kenton, where the Tories can still win council seats. Everywhere else in the seat this factor has largely vanished.

  5. The most educated (or rather least uneducated) seat in the country, according to the Guardian:

  6. ‘The most educated (or rather least uneducated) seat in the country, according to the Guardian:’

    That’s interesting – I never would have had this seat down as that

  7. Not sure what ONS figures they based on them – it certainly doesn’t tally with the 2011 census data (though it wouldn’t, as it includes Scotland, and we don’t have their full data yet).

    In the 2011 census the most educated (i.e. highest proportion with a degree) was Battersea (57%) and the least uneducated (i.e. lowest proportion with no qualifications) was Richmond Park (9.6%)

  8. All 3 sitting Labour Councillors for the Queensbury ward have been re-selected to stand for 2014 Council elections. Cllr Ramesha Patel, Cllr Sandra Kabir & Cllr Kana.

  9. I think former Tory Councillor John Detre will try his luck at the next elections to win Northwick Park. Labour Councillor Margaret McLennan who defeated John Detre in the last Council elections has been elected as Lead member for Housing.

  10. My sources has informed me that Brent North Conservative Association membership has collapsed, many members have not renewed their membership after May 2010 elections.

    The Association Office is in the market for rent:

  11. Unless I am mistaken, the Brent Central Conservative Association barely exists, while any activity in Hampstead and Kilburn comes largely from the Camden half of the seat.

    If this, plus the perfomance of the Coalition comibines in 2014, then the trend of Brent becoming a two-party state could accelerate even further.

  12. Brent North Conservatives Association is selecting their candidates for 2014 Council elections today I wonder who they have selected for their Once super safe seats, Barnhill, Preston, Northwick Park, that they lost 6 Councillors in 2010 to Labour party paper candidates.

  13. I think next Conservative PPC for Brent North will be Kishan Dewani, who is also current V Chair of the Association

  14. Tories Northwick Park ward candidates for 2014 elections Harihar Patel, John Detre and Kishan Deewani.

  15. Rosa Mitchell I have been told that Brent Central Conservatives will field candidates in all wards and they are very hopeful to win few.

  16. What wards within Brent C do they think they can win? Mapesbury is the only one I can think of where they might have a slight chance

  17. Andy – do you have any way of working out how the new wards in Kensington & Chelsea, Hackney and Tower Hamlets would have voted in 2010?

  18. I can’t see the Tories winning anywhere in Brent C next year. If I were a Brent Tory I’d concentrate on the wards where they still have councillors, and maybe Queensbury.

  19. Matt: not at the moment. The only way would be do some estimates using census data I think.

  20. OK – I have seen the suggestion that the boundary changes in K&C have been very favourable to Labour, but its hard to prove that.

  21. The boundary changes have effectively removed a three member safe Conservative ward in the South of the borough (Brompton) and in turn created a three member ward in the North of the borough in North Kensington/ Notting Hill, that would at first sight be a Labour prospect in the next local elections (if not already notionally Labour).

    Demographic change, however, in North Kensington/ Notting Hill is working against Labour and this is an area that the bedroom tax could affect the Labour vote more than most others.

    Pete has also assessed that the Tories would have won the pre-1974 Kensington North constituency for the first time in 2010 since WW2, so its possible that the new ward may not actually deliver Labour councillors.

  22. Thanks Dalek – I know the Conservatives still won 1 seat out of 3 in St Charles, and the LDs 2 seats out of 3 in Colville, so will be interestng to see whether Labour can make a clean sweep of the 5 N Kensington wards.

  23. 2015 Estimate

    *Lab 31,147
    Con 17,475
    LD 2,685
    Green 1,411
    UKIP 1,393

  24. Matt – there used to be 5 N.Kensington wards, but in 2002 Avondale was abolished, so now there are only 4 – St Charles, Colville (both split as you correctly said), Notting Barns & Golborne (both still Labour).

  25. Matt
    Tories can win Welsh Harp & Tokyngton as well.

  26. Atiq: thanks for your posts on this thread, but you can post on others as well if you’d like to.

  27. lol!

  28. Are the Tories still that competitive here?

    Outside of Kenton I didn’t think we stood a realistic chance anymore

  29. The Tories still won seats in Northwick Park and Preston as well in 2010 and weren’t too far off the last seat in Barnhill. For many years before 2010 the Tories locally outperformed their strength in general elections and they lost so many of their seats then because of being held on the same day, general election voting patterns took hold. I think there could be some potential for a recovery of some of these seats – Barnhill in particular has an area in Chalk Hill which probably doesn’t turn out much in normal local elections. I don;t think they have much chance in the two wards Atik Mentioned but Brondesbury Park is a decent prospect again

  30. Pete,

    John Warren is contesting Brondesbury Ward with Cllr Carol Shaw.

  31. Looking at the 2010 results, in fact the Tories were much closer to winning a seat in Queensbury than in Barnhill. The top Tory was almost 300 votes behind the bottom Labour candidate in the latter, but in the former the bottom Labour candidate was only 9 votes ahead (I think – I looked at it more than an hour ago). I don’t think the Tories would have stood an earthly in Brondesbury Park until the defection of Carol Shaw – that could make it interesting, as it’s clear she had a very strong personal vote as an LD. As Pete says there surely can’t be any chance for the Tories in either Tokyngton or Welsh Harp. They’re about 3 to 1 behind Labour in Welsh Harp in particular.

  32. Tories bad luck is that 99.97% Black, Tamil & Muslim voters do not vote for Tory candidates. These 3 groups combined has 18000+ votes in the constituency and turn out among them is 50%+. In each ward Tories start with -1000 votes. 500+ Mulsim, 500 Combined Tamils & Blacks.

  33. Labour polled 2,366 votes and Conservatives 1,180 in Barnhill Ward by-election on 3 May 2012.

  34. “Tories bad luck is that 99.97% Black, Tamil & Muslim voters do not vote for Tory candidates.”

    What are the main reasons those groups don’t vote Conservative in your opinion?

  35. Andy JS
    local leadership never bothered to reach to these communities since Sir Rhodes Byson lost the seat in 1997.

    Have a look at the names of Labour and Conservative 2014 Council election candidates.

  36. I have long felt, as someone married to a South Indian, that South Indians are even less likely to vote Conservative than Indians in general. There is of course a number of people from Kerala in, especially, Newham & around Tooting & Mitcham. Some of these will have supported the Communist Party in Kerala (which often wins state elections there in alliance with other left-wing parties) & naturally the Conservatives have no attraction for such voters here in Britain. Tamils seem to be very rarely Tories either though there are some South Indian figures in the Conservative Party in N London. Sri Lankans however are different & I think they’re broadly less pro-Labour than Indians.

  37. Prediction for 2015 here

    Lab 55
    Con 29
    LD 8
    Others 8

  38. One might have through that Brent North would have been much more Labour than Wembley North but in Feb 1974 it appears to have taken in the more Tory wards from Wembley South while Brent South appears to have taken the more Labour areas.

    The 2010 boundary changes appear to have added some of the more Labour wards that were once Wembley South.

  39. New Census anlaysis publised by ONS shows Brent North as having the lowest proportion in England and Wales of the Parliamentary electorate born in the UK – only 35%.

    Every other seat in West London (apart from the safe Conservative ones) is in the lowest 30, all having roughly 60% or less born in the UK – crucially this includes all Labour’s target seats locally. Strikingly, key battlegrounds like Ealing Central and Acton and Harrow East have a lower UK-born % in the Parliamentary electorate than seats like Bradford West, Hackney North, Deptford, Leicester East (or indeed anywhere outside London apart from Slough). This confirms my view that the West London marginals are more winnable for Labour than their league table position might suggest.

    Remember the Parliamentary electorate doesn’t include EU citizens (other than Irish, Cypriot and Maltese people), which are included in the local government electorate, and that these figures from the Census are now three years old. Therefore the proportion of UK-born people for the London Boroughs elections next month will be even lower.

  40. IMO the Tories are almost certain to hold Ealing Central & Acton, and have at least an even chance of holding Harrow East. The Tories get a fairly high proportion of Indian votes in Harrow. In rich wards like Ealing Broadway, a lot of the non-UK born electorate will not fit the stereotype of the rest of Ealing borough, ie. Asians who primarily vote Labour.

  41. Ealing C & Acton on current boundaries would change hands in situations where – 1) the seat was extremely marginal, i.e. three figure majority; or 2) Labour were on course for a robust (as opposed to landslide) majority. I’d put Harrow East in the same box.

    Both should be competitive but I lean towards them being Tory holds. Since the Harrow East CLP had to choose out from an all woman shortlist it effectively shut out the possibility of expenses tainted McNulty applying for the seat. They went with a local Tamil female. But she has to contend with a strong Tory MP.

    I think Ealing C & Acton doesn’t have as much of a Labour-favouring demographic.

    Brent North is likely to be a secure Labour seat for the foreseeable future especially while Barry Gardiner is the MP.

  42. “especially while Barry Gardiner is the MP.”

    Barry Gardiner’s attractions as an MP are a bit of a mystery IMO.

  43. It’s a purely local phenomenon. He’s never claimed to be a major national Labour figure. He is hugely attentive to Indian communal affairs & works extremely hard. He doesn’t have the intensity of a McDonnell or a Corbyn, nor the wit of a Pound, but he has a very strong personal vote. When there was a council by-election in Kenton ward not very long after the general election, we found a quite large body of (especially Indian & Pakistani) voters who support Barry Gardiner in general elections but still vote Conservative locally. Otherwise, Labour would have taken that seat.

  44. Barry Cameron, the recently announced UKIP candidate for Queensbury ward is a former Tory and member of the Tory’s Barnhill ActionTeam

  45. Tories have now only 3 Councillors (Kenton ward) in Brent North.

  46. Rather similar then to next-door Ealing North, where they are now on only 2 (Cleveland ward).

  47. There have been mutterings that the independent labour group based in Harrow are planning to challenge this seat.

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