Camberwell & Peckham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6790 (13.2%)
Labour: 32614 (63.3%)
Lib Dem: 2580 (5%)
Green: 5187 (10.1%)
UKIP: 2413 (4.7%)
NHA: 466 (0.9%)
TUSC: 292 (0.6%)
Others: 1219 (2.4%)
MAJORITY: 25824 (50.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Southwark council area.

Main population centres: Peckham, Camberwell, Nunhead.

Profile: One of the most poverty striken and deprived constituencies in the country. It has the highest proportion of afro-carribean residents of any constituency in the country and the highest proportion of social housing of any seat, with about half the population living in homes rented from the council or a housing association. Only Fools and Horses was never actually filmed in Peckham but it continues to be the public`s perception of Peckham, and its reputation for desparate crime ridden sink estates was, in the past at least, not inaccurate. This is where Damilola Taylor was murdered in 2000 and, while the worst of the concrete estates have been demolished in recent years as part of massive regeneration projects the area continues to suffer from problems of high crime and gang violence.

Politics: This is one of Labour`s safest seats in the South of England and, while there is some gentrification in South Peckham and pockets of Conservative support in the large Georgian houses in places like Camberwell Grove, there is presently no possibility of that dominance being challenged.

Current MP
HARRIET HARMAN (Labour) Born 1950, London, a niece (by marriage) of Lord Longford. Educated at St Paul`s Girls School and York University. Former legal officer for the NCCL. First elected as MP for Peckham in 1982 by-election. Shadow chief secretary 1992-1995, shadow health secretary 1995-1997. Secretary of State for Social Security 1997-1998. Solicitor general 2001-2005, Minister of State for constitutional affairs 2005-2007, Leader of the House of Commons 2007-2010. Shadow development secretary 2010-2011, shadow culture secretary 2011-2015. Deputy Leader of the Labour party 2007-2015. Harriet Harman was acting leader of the Labour party twice, following the resignation of Gordon Brown in 2010 and of Ed Miliband in 2015. She is married to Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington.
Past Results
Con: 6080 (13%)
Lab: 27619 (59%)
LDem: 10432 (22%)
GRN: 1361 (3%)
Oth: 1167 (3%)
MAJ: 17187 (37%)
Con: 2841 (10%)
Lab: 18933 (65%)
LDem: 5450 (19%)
GRN: 1172 (4%)
Oth: 595 (2%)
MAJ: 13483 (47%)
Con: 2740 (11%)
Lab: 17473 (70%)
LDem: 3350 (13%)
GRN: 805 (3%)
Oth: 736 (3%)
MAJ: 14123 (56%)
Con: 3383 (12%)
Lab: 19734 (69%)
LDem: 3198 (11%)
Oth: 1467 (5%)
MAJ: 16351 (57%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
NAOMI NEWSTEAD (Conservative) Born London. Former housing professional. Contested North East London 2012 London Assembly election.
HARRIET HARMAN (Labour) See above.
YAHAYA KIINGI (Liberal Democrat)
DAVID KURTEN (UKIP) Educated at St Andrews University. Chemistry teacher.
AMELIA WOMACK (Green) Born 1985, Newport. Deputy leader of the Green party since 2014.
PREM GOYAL (All People) Educated at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Businessman. Awarded the OBE for services to the economy and charity in 2012.
JOSHUA OGUNLEYE (Workers Revolutionary)
NICK WRACK (Left Unity-TUSC) Educated at Cambridge University. Barrister.
Comments - 125 Responses on “Camberwell & Peckham”
  1. Toby Eckersley was the Conservative candidate for Peckham in 1983, polling 7,792 votes against Harriet Harman. He’s now a councillor for Village ward on Southwark council:

  2. The Greens should at least hold their deposit in 2015; I predict them achieving at least 7%.

  3. And if Jenny Jones stands her after the mayoral elections and a higher profile, very likeable candidate I’m sure that 10-12% could be in reach.

  4. *here

  5. My friend Chris Frazer (he was chairman of the Tory students in Cambridge when I chaired the Labour ones) was Tory candidate here – it was called simply Peckham then – in 1992. He didn’t manage to get a better seat in the end, and is now a Tory councillor in Spelthorne. We often in the past have had enjoyable chats about politics, since we both can be relied on to say what we are actually thinking, and not bullshit.

  6. So Barnaby, would you agree with my predictions?

  7. Windsofchange: you make think the obsession that some of us have for historical results is a bit eccentric and doesn’t have much bearing on the future, but I would tend to disagree with that: past results are usually helpful in understanding the psephology of a constituency.

  8. No I fully understand Andy, it’s just I was thinking Jenny Jones, protests votes, LD support and the seat not being too different from Holborn and St Pancras which I predicted similar results for if Natalie Bennett stands and capitalises upon Green leadership. Sometimes you get anomalies like in Brighton Pavilion and so I sometimes neglect the numbers if I have a hunch- maybe too much in several cases if I’m being honest.

  9. Absolutely not. I think the prediction is nonsense to be frank. Nor is this seat in any way similar to H & St P ethnically or sociologically. The electorate in this seat just isn’t a fertile one for the Greens. Deptford is much better territory for the party.

  10. WoC, maybe do what I’m doing. I’m a novice at psephology, and when I started commenting everyone was nice but they did bring some of my predictions back down to earth. So, I only comment when I feel I definitely have some insight to share, and the rest of the time I read what other people here are saying, and everytime I do that I learn a little bit more about how predictions should be done.

  11. Thanks for the advice, Van Fleet-I’ll take it on board. And Barnaby, why would such a high profile Green as Jenny Jones contest this seat and not one of the as you say more ‘fertile’ ones then?

  12. It was you who suggested it!

  13. @BarnabyMarder
    I meant if as you say it isn’t fertile territory, then why would Jenny Jones stand here of all places?

  14. Jenny Jones was a Cllr here ( South Camberwell ward) between 2006 and 2010 when she lost her council seat.

  15. @Andrea
    Exactly, so being a local councillor, after the mayoral elections and being a prominent figure in London make this seat one where she has decent chances of at least keeping the deposit, surely?

  16. She might make 5% at a push, no other green figure would stand a chance.

  17. She was the candidate here in 2010 and didn’t get as much as 3%

  18. Well it would be a considerable push! I was just trying to give the absolute best case scenario and point out that a 10-12 prediction, especially if JJ isn’t the candidate is total insanity.

  19. Quite. I was backing you up.

  20. Maybe personalities like Jenny Jones and the like are far from the minds of most voters which is why although Green support might be at 10% or so nationally, few people actually vote for us!

  21. “although Green support might be at 10% or so nationally”

    It isn’t anywhere near it

  22. Some YouGov polls are putting Green support at about 9% amongst the youngest age group but only about 2-3% overall.

  23. This is going back to earlier discussions, but it is quite strange to think now that the Tories polled 24% in the Peckham seat in 1992, and similar figures from 1979 onwards.

    Perhaps it still had some of that skilled white working class population that voted for Thatcher (and Major at the start).

    Plus there are some affluent Georgean streets in parts of the area I believe.

  24. Jenny Jones has just been elevated to the House of Lords.

  25. JJB makes a valid point.

    I know Peckham certainly had a fairly large WWC community in the early 80s and it wouldn’t be surprising if this was where the Tories picked up support. The right to buy would have also helped Thatcher and to a smaller extent Major here but by the late 90s I would have thought that many sold their ex council properties and moved further out.

  26. Prediction for 2015-
    Harman (Labour)- 63%
    Liberal Democrats- 14%
    Conservative- 12%
    Green- 4%
    UKIP- 2%
    Others- 5%

  27. More or less the same article has been published every couple of years for the past couple of decades, so I doubt it.

  28. Yeah, she supported a group that helped people like Savile carry on as long as they did – who cares.

  29. As Edward says, nothing there is at all new, it’s been raked over many times, if it was ever going to be some great scandal it would already have been. It boils down what Shami Chakrabarti says at the end of the article – Liberty has an unfortunate history on that front, but it was all sorted out thirty years ago.

  30. Forecast for 2015

    Lab 63
    LD 14
    Con 10
    Green 9
    Others 4

  31. No UKIP candidate standing against our Hattie brother Brown?

  32. Presumably under Others. They wouldn’t get many votes here.

  33. I think the Tories might inch up a bit here. They’ll get a bit of the fall in the Lib Dem vote and there is some favourable gentrification going on from their point of view. Green at 9% is having a laugh. Take 5% from the Greens and put it on the Tories and it looks like a plausible forecast.

  34. LAB HOLD MAJ : 48%
    LAB 63
    LD 15
    CON 11
    GRN 5
    UKIP 4
    OTH 2

  35. The BBC are finally reporting the Mail allegations, although they mainly focused on Harman and Dromey’s denial. No legal action though and no response from Patricia Hewitt as yet.

  36. Liberty were somewhat naive, but Harman’s involvement was marginal. PIE were remarkably clever and plausible, though – manipulation being the name of the game

  37. H. Hemmelig – which bits of this seat is gentrifying?

  38. Presumably he’s referring to the Georgian terraces in Camberwell Grove and the area around Peckham Rye. These enclaves of gentrification may be enough to see the Tory vote rise by 1-2% and maybe even knock the Lib Dems into 3rd place.

  39. @Anthony Wells

    Just like Auschwitz then.

  40. ‘Liberty were somewhat naive, but Harman’s involvement was marginal.’

    Whilst that’s undoubtredly true – and this again shows what a quite frankly evil newspaper the Daily Mail is – I simply cannot fathom why Harman persistently refused to concede that Liberty made a mistake in not rooting out PIE sooner than they did

    I trhunk that was a massive gaffe – and one that plays right intro the Mail’s hands – wqho are clearly trying to paint her as a paedophile sympathiser

  41. Wolf, could you make it clear what in your mind was “just like Auschwitz” please?

  42. Tim – People like Harman do not like admitting when they are wrong so they either say nothing or argue why they were right.

    It must kill the BBC to report on this story.

  43. Presumably my (now obviously errorneous!) prediction further up that there was no way this could be worked up into some major scandal. No idea how it’s supposed to be related to Auschwitz.

  44. …..possibly a slightly inappropriate expletive Anthony…….(um, yes, should change that)

  45. I pretty much agree with Tim. Harman’s interview on Newsnight was dreadful. She should have said that she regretted that Liberty had allowed the paedophile group to be members and that it was a mistake.

    I really do not like the paedophile obsession of the past year. The acquittal of William Roache, DLT, Le Vell etc should sound a warning to the Daily Mail that they are going too far. Much as I personally dislike Harriet Harman, she is happily married with children and the idea that she could in any way be a paedophile sympathiser is ridiculous.

  46. I think HH has it about right. I think it’s fair to say that 30 years ago not everyone fully understood the full range of activities of active paedophiles, or child abusers as I prefer for philological reasons to call them. People didn’t fully grasp the deviousness of such people & the extent of actual sexual activity that they often engage(d) in. Nevertheless, many people were slow to find these things out & should accept that much more should have been done to warn about such activities; those who were not adults 30 years ago may not realise that the atmosphere was not quite the same. We should perhaps give credit to the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens for his early campaigns against child abusers which helped to heighten awareness of the issue, which is indeed a serious one. Harriet Harman isn’t a paedophile sympathizer, never has been, and nor is Jack Dromey, but an admission that more should have been done to combat PIE wouldn’t go amiss.

  47. You are right, but now we’ve gone to the opposite extreme. One of the points Harman was being pilloried about – her signature on the letter about when images of children should be considered illegal – is to me just common sense. We are now in the ridiculous situation where taking a perfectly innocent picture of a child swimming or on a beach – even your own child – could lead to you being accused of being a paedophile.

  48. Child abusers have a huge amount to answer for, but so do some campaigners against it, who have at times (witness the idiots who couldn’t distinguish between a paediatrician & a paedophile) been at best unwise, at worst criminal, which is a shame. I can’t disagree with your comments.

  49. ‘Much as I personally dislike Harriet Harman, she is happily married with children and the idea that she could in any way be a paedophile sympathiser is ridiculous.’

    The Mail will do ANYTHING to dis-credit any politocian on the Left/centre Left – and now we know the lengths the likes of Dacre and Pierce will go to to achieve their agenda, I dread to think the type of things they will get up to if Labour do get in in 2015

    As much as people dislike politicians, newspapers aren’t far behind in the ‘universally unpopular’ stakes andI think as stupid as Harmann has been by refusing to admit to the mistake, most people think the Mail has gone too far – as it did with its pilloring of Ed Milliband’s father

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