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. Brent North Conservatives will be selecting Kenton Ward by-election candidate tomorrow. Kanta Mistry or John Detre?

  2. Brent North Conservatives have selected Michael Maurice as their candidate for Kenton Ward by-election. He is also Chair of BNCA.

  3. In Brent there was once one opposition conservative group. They didn’t get on so divorced, thus becoming two groups. The Brondesbury Park Conservatives and the Kenton Conservatives. Kenton Conservatives were declared the ‘official’ opposition and so on it went until the Kenton Councillor died. Upon the death of the Kenton Councillor, a member of Brondsbury Park Conservatives declared themselves the opposition as they had 3 members to the Kenton 2. Now, although Michael Maurice has been selected by Kenton Conservatives it has been reported that Brondesbury Park Conservatives are putting up a challenger.

    You could not make this up.

  4. Splitters!!!

  5. Well if they want to let Labour in they’re going the right way about it.

  6. How can two candidates from the same party stand for one seat in a by election. Does not make sense. Is it not against all political party rules that candidates don’t run against one another in elections.

  7. D.Ajex

    Brondesbury Park Conservatives Group on Brent Council is supporting Conservative candidate in Kenton ward by-election.

  8. Labour will be selecting their candidate for Kenton Ward by-election on 04/02/15.

  9. Vincent Lo is Labour party candidate , former Councillor Bob Wharton is Lib Dem candidate & Michaela Lichten is Green Party candidate for Kenton ward by-election.

  10. Vincent Lo reached the longlist for Holborn and St Pancras PPC.
    Employers have included Price Waterhouse Coopers, Morgan Stanley and Reuters.
    Even typing that I’m surprised this is a Labour candidate.

  11. Lib Dems have selected Paul Lorber (former Brent Council leader) as their PPC for Brent North.

  12. the result of the Kenton ward by-election is in:

    CON – 51.4% (+0.1)
    LAB – 39.3% (+6.8)
    GRN – 5.7% (-4.3)
    LDEM – 3.7% (-2.6)

    CON held but another good swing to labour from last year’s result. london looking pretty good for labour at present.

  13. I agree. For Labour to be significantly up even on 2014 is very worrying for the Tories, especially given that it is usually harder for them to get their vote out in local by-elections. That noise I can here is David Burrowes anxiously shifting about in his seat.

  14. Well Barnaby the London wide polls (i.e. the swing) look about the same as the national polls for Labour indicating a swing of about 3-4 to Labour since 2010. This of course may be taken in context of the Tories doing rather poorly in London in 2010. There is little evidence that there will be a significantly different swing to Labour in London than the overall national swing.

    A fairly positive result for Labour in Kenton but this is an area probably trending in their favour and that this by-election happened in the midst of major Tory party infighting.

    As to how well seat wise Labour will do in London in May I think that:

    Almost Certain Gain:
    Enfield North
    Brentford and Isleworth
    Brent Central
    Hornsey and Wood Green

    Probable Gain:
    Ealing Central and Acton
    Croydon Central

    Knife Edge:
    Harrow East (only if UKIP runs otherwise it is an outside chance)
    Bermondsey and Old Southwark

    Outside Chance:
    Finchley and Golders Green
    Enfield Southgate
    Ilford North

    No Chance:
    The Rest that aren’t currently held.

    So overall I am predicting for London 5 Labour gains from the Tories and 2 from the Lib Dems. Perhaps this will be relatively better than their performance nationwide in terms of proportion of target seats won but the swing in London doesn’t look to be anything particularly different to the country as a whole.

  15. actually i agree with your conclusions. the last london poll, yesterday, did show a swing of 5% from the tories to labour, but as anthony says that does rather cancel out the recent predecessor poll that made it more like 3%.

  16. That noise I can here is David Burrowes anxiously shifting about in his seat.

    I have heard that enfield north will be a labour blow out (5k+ maj.) and southgate is too close to call.

  17. The really secure parts of Enfield Southgate for the Conservatives are now the northerly suburbs like Cockfosters and Hadley Wood. The southern parts like Palmers Green are strongly Labour while Southgate itself was quite close between both parties in the 2014 locals so that seems to be where the main battleground for the seat lies.

  18. the alarming thing for the Conservatives was labour winning a seat last year in winchmore hill, which used to be as safe as houses for the tories. labour would perhaps be a tad disappointed not to won outright in Southgate green ward, which had been very close in 2010, but overall the results were surely worrying for the Conservatives.

  19. It is becoming more evident that Tory voters are moving out of London in droves making seats such as Enfield Southgate much more marginal.

    Maybe this is due to high house prices in many suburbs, even the run down ones, the general down at heel feel of many of the suburbs especially those with high ethnic minority populations and the gentrification of Inner London which has attracted the younger city types.

    Overall Tory prospects in London look grim for the foreseeable future.

  20. I am sure the migration from the London suburbs to the ring of counties around London will make it even harder for Labour to get back in the seats they once held in Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and the Thames Valley. I have said before here, the political map has the same look, a blue bit in the centre, a Labour ring and then a Conservative outer ring. The Labour ring used to stop at the old LCC boundary, now it is touching the GLC boundary. The Conservatives have no way back in a host of seats such as Hornsey and Wood Green, Croydon North, Mitcham and Morden, the Lewisham seats or Brent North. Labour however will be lucky to see gains in Watford, Thurrock and have outside chances in Crawley and Harlow. There is no chance of Dartford, Welwyn Hatfield and Braintree being Labour.

  21. Labour dirty tactic during kenton ward by-election campaign.

    Labour Party apologises for distributing defamatory leaflets about Conservative rival in Kenton

  22. Lab hold 15000 (con 2nd)

  23. Khan 47.5 Goldsmith 35.2

  24. @Andrea if you redistribute postal votes it comes out as:

    Brent North:

    Kahn: 16,329
    Goldsmith: 13,511

    Kahn win by: 2,818

    I can’t be bothered to calculate % though as it would mean I would have to redistribute the postal votes to the Greens, UKIP, Lib Dems ect.

  25. I don’t think this seat will realistically come back into play for the Conservatives any time soon but this result is further evidence that the Hindu vote is becoming better for them – perhaps even more so in a contest where the Labour candidate was a Muslim.

  26. It is reasonably certain to assume that moneyed business minded, anti welfare state thinking British-Indian voters are identifying with and voting for the Conservative party.

    This is very bad news for the Labour party in a few seats in the London area but I am not sure it’s a significant shift in many areas elsewhere and where it’ll make a difference.

    Certainly Labour in the two Harrow seats must be worried.

  27. “This is very bad news for the Labour party in a few seats in the London area but I am not sure it’s a significant shift in many areas elsewhere and where it’ll make a difference.”

    Leicester East is Labour’s safest seat in the West Midlands. It has pretty much the same proportion of Hindus as Brent North. So you’re right in that respect that it may not affect them outside London.

    I think the Sikh vote seems to be holding up better for Labour though. There was a big swing to them in Southall at the GE, and Khan carried it quite significantly (if we go on non-postal votes) last week.

  28. @Neil

    It may well be a factor specific to the middle class Hindu population that is particularly large in Harrow. Harrow West has always been a prosperous area which without the growth in the Asian population would probably have comfortably stayed Tory even in 1997 and 2001 (in fact, traditionally it was the more Tory of the two Harrow seats – as late as 1992 there was almost an 18,000 Tory majority). Brent North also has some prosperous areas but is not nearly as affluent as Harrow West. Leicester East is obviously very different to these London seats.

  29. Yes I think it’s also a question of variations between Hindu communities who aren’t monolithic by any means. Middle class and/or affluent Hindus of the Gujarati community are probably more inclined to vote Conservative. Compare that to the more working class Hindu population of Mitcham, predominantly Sri Lankan Tamil (growing very quickly in that part of London) who are more favourable to Labour.

  30. Barry Gardiner MP says this about his constituency,
    “My constituency of Brent North is the 1st in the country that had more people at the last election voting who were born outside of the UK than born in it … much of that has been through Eastern European migration that came on top of East African migration… as a result we have one of the most vibrant economies in NW London.” (BBC2 Daily Politics 4/7/16)

    Comments please.

  31. Remember when this constituency was affluent suburbia ?

    ‘ Thirty-one migrants were found living in cramped conditions in a four bedroom house in north-west London.

    Brent Council found 26 beds crammed into squalid conditions in the Wembley house, as well a bed in a rodent infested garden shack made from wood offcuts.

    A total of 31 people were confirmed to be living there at the same time. Among them, a group of four tenants was found squashed into a box room on two bunk beds and six were found in another bedroom.

    Brent Council’s head of private housing services, Spencer Randolph, told the BBC they were “paying somewhere between £60 and £65 a week.”

    He said: “So we’re looking at an income on this property of £1,500 a week which is around £80,000 a year.”

    He added: “It’s dreadful to think that somebody could be exploited to living in what isn’t even a shed.”

    The shack was found to house the only woman living at the address and did not have any heating or lights.

    One of the residents, Bagharad, revealed he lived in the house on Napier Road because he worked as a carer for the elderly and was only paid £30 a day. ‘

    The metropolitan sophistication George Osborne thinks the rest of Britain should aspire to.

  32. ‘The MP for this seat is in trouble…’

    Much a do about nothing – just another example of the Murdoch press using anything as an excuse to go all out for one of Corbyn’s allies

    Whatever your political leanings – and I have no desire for Corbyn or any of his shadow cabinet to govern the UK – when you consider that some MPs get paid to represent the interests of drug dealers, tyrants and warlords, doing so for the interests of a Chinese law firm seems like small beer in the extreme

  33. How did this seat vote in the referendum?

  34. Remain won – 72.5k to 49k.

  35. Thanks. Nearly 60% then.

  36. Conservatives have selected Cllr Ameet Jogia (Harrow) as their candidate for Brent North.

  37. I think because of demograhics this will be a narrowish Labour hold where seats of similar Majorities fall.

  38. Historically Brent North was not only the most ethically diverse Conservative constituency but also a safe Conservative seat.

    It was 42% Asian around the early 90s census. Brent North in the early 1990s was like Harrow East today while Brent North today is more like Brent South was in the early 90s.

    The White population has declined here but I also think their may have been East African Asians and Hindus who may have be pro Tory and have moved out to Harrow or Herts being replaced by other Asian communities who more strongly favoured Labour.

  39. In 2011, Brent North was the most religious seat in the UK, as it had the highest population answering the census who had a religion.

    Top 50 by % of “has religion”

    1. Brent North
    2. Ilford South
    3. Harrow East
    4. East Ham
    5. Ealing, Southall
    6. Leicester East
    7. Blackburn
    8. Birmingham, Hodge Hill
    9. Bradford West
    10. Harrow West
    11. Slough
    12. Knowsley
    13. Sefton Central
    14. Brent Central
    15. Hayes and Harlington
    16. Liverpool, West Derby
    17. Birmingham, Hall Green
    18. Makerfield
    19. Ealing North
    20. West Ham
    21. Feltham and Heston
    22. Edmonton
    23. Birmingham, Perry Barr
    24. Oldham West and Royton
    25. Ilford North
    26. Hendon
    27. St Helens South and Whiston
    28. Wigan
    29. Liverpool, Walton
    30. Wyre and Preston North
    31. St Helens North
    32. Bootle
    33. Ribble Valley
    34. Bolton South East
    35. Garston and Halewood
    36. Copeland
    37. West Bromwich East
    38. Luton North
    39. Walsall South
    40. South Ribble
    41. Halton
    42. Workington
    43. Croydon North
    44. Birmingham, Ladywood
    45. Bradford East
    46. Chorley
    47. West Lancashire
    48. Leigh
    49. Hyndburn
    50. Warley

    Brighton Pavilion is actually right at the bottom of this list, although it’s #3 for “no religion”. It has fewer people who actually stated “no religion”, and slightly more whose answer was “not stated”.

  40. Great post. But seriously out of date… early 2011. I believe the Census 2021 is to go ahead as planned on time

  41. Thanks – yes, I know. It’s all we have until the next census, so maybe in a year’s time I can update the list?

  42. With the odd exception they are all in heavily urbanised and city areas. I imagine much of the list would change dramatically if non-Christians were taken out of the equation

    I imagine seats in Ulster, Scotland and South Wales would feature far more prominently than they do in the current list

  43. To me the list is shouting: very few British Asians are atheists!

  44. Tim, I posted the Top 50 Christian seats under Knowsley, which was #1 for that. It appears that the UK Parliament’s data sheet excludes Northern Ireland constituencies.

    I know the 2011 census was a while ago, but if they only do them every ten years, we have to make do with the same data nine years on.

  45. I suspect many Brits of Muslim heritage who are not religious nevertheless identify as Muslim rather than “no religion”. Minority religions are identities as well as belief systems.

  46. Yes, I would agree with that. I imagine it is similar for Jews, as 47% of them never pray!
    “57% of Britons never pray. This includes 33% of Christians and 47% of Jews.”

    Most white Brits would come from families who practiced Christianity, but in an increasingly secular society, no longer see it as part of their identity.

    The top Jewish seats (see Finchley and GG thread) are the areas historically known for having large Jewish populations, but I’m not convinced it means they are all practicing. The next census may include Jewish as an ethnicity, which I would welcome. People can be ethnically Jewish without practicing the religion. That isn’t true for other religions, except, I believe, Sikhs.

  47. Just to add my agreement to the above few posts.

    I’m not a particularly religious person but nor am I a militant atheist, hence I always tick the “Christian” box if asked for my religion on census forms and the like. Ditto there will be many nominal adherents of other faiths who do the same.

  48. Thanks for confirming that. I was raised by Jewish and Christian parents who celebrated both religions with me and my sister, but neither parent was particularly devout. In my teens I decided I didn’t want to live by a set of lifestyle rules and realised I was an atheist. My Jewish father appears to be a non-believer nowadays, and my Christian mother is Christian in what I gather is the usual C of E sense – church at Christmas, marking Christmas and Easter, and occasionally going to church at other times, but religion really doesn’t play much part in her life. My sister is also an atheist, I believe. Our generation perhaps gives more thought to these things.

    The list of top Jewish seats is as you would expect, but I suspect many respondents in those areas may be “culturally Jewish” rather than deeply observant. I would welcome “Jewish” being added to the census as an ethnicity (which has been suggested), so that secular Jews can still accurately select their background.

  49. I think most Tory members and voters are atheists nowadays – much more so than any of the other political parties – which obviously is the opposite of the Republicans in the US

    The days of the Church of England being the Tory party in prayer is well and truly over

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