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. Journalists are in fact less trusted than politicians, in various polls. Not that they’re much higher, mind.

  2. What gets me about the Mail is its shameless inconsistency. They are often the first to loudly complain about barmy new laws, such as how taking a picture of your toddler on holiday could get you arrested as a paedophile. Yet they are deliberately feeding the frenzy with idiotic non-stories like this. There are plenty of loud political arguments I could have with Harriet Harman but this kind of hideous smear just isn’t on.

  3. It’s good that some Labour MPs including a former Cabinet Minister are saying she should just say Sorry. I find her response telling. Does she seriously think that showing bikinis is as bad as promoting paedophilia? It reminds me that some on the far Left think that racism/sexism has some moral equivalence with murder or rape. They said as much about the EDL after Lee Rigby’s murder. I realise Labour elects its Shadow Cabinet, but I doubt Harman will be a Cabinet Minister after this.

  4. With respect Lancs Observer, you naturally have a journalist’s mind. I can’t see much relevance in anything you have written above. Unfortunately for the male race, this certainly won’t stop Harman being a senior cabinet minister if Miliband wins in 2015.

  5. Anthony Wells – that isn’t quite true. The Mail has published some new details. I also understand from what Andrew Pierce said that they have further docs, some of which were only released either after FOI requests or the 30 year rule. HH – paedophiles can be married with children, so not sure of the relevance of that. The Mail isn’t stating Harman is, but that her organisation represented them. The Daily Politics today would be useful viewing re how some on the far Left used liberation language to argue children should have the right to have sex and many wouldn’t condemn gay men who were paedophiles because they were an oppressed group. Frankly, I’m surprised people are surprised. Such thinking led to LD Conf motions supporting 16 year olds in porn films.

  6. HH – we’ll have to see how it plays out, but Harman is doing herself no cause with a week of silence strategy; then a refusal to regret five times on Newsnight and then a regret but no apology today. I understand the/your view that we should let historic sex offences go. But having sat in on a trial of paedophiles, I’m pleased by the reality reaffirmed yesterday both by the new DPP and the head of the CPS in the North West that victims will be heard in Court, unlike the Savile and Cyril Smith victims. [Incidentally in the NW, upto now of the cases with multiple victims, 8 trials have resulted in convictions and 1 in an acquittal]. I don’t know if the Mail will print everything they are rumoured to have – I very much doubt that.

  7. Harriet Harman has raised a good point about her not being made Deputy Prime Minister by Gordon Brown after being elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. But did she really have to make this rather detailed point right when the papers were full of the problems with inpartiality for the inquiry into historic cases of sex abuse?

    Maybe Harman’s refusal to subordinate her personal hobby horses to wider political concerns is precisely why she was not the right person to be Deputy Prime Minister. It does not matter in this extremely safe seat, but more generally Harman’s lack of political acuity would cost votes.

  8. Frederic – I agree with your points but it’s because she’s in an ultra safe seat that she can spout out whatever she wants and whenever she wants and get away with it!

    She’s been MP for this seat and is still going strong. Won’t be surpised if she carries on here for another 20 years!

  9. Christina, I would agree, but arguably she hasn’t got away with it. With more discretion Harriet Harman could have had a more senior cabinet position and might even have become Leader.

  10. Frederic – Was meant to say she’s been MP for this seat for over 30 years and is still going strong and can see her going for another 20 years!

    Not sure if she could have become Labour leader even without her outspoken mannerism. She simply isn’t leadership material although I think she did a very good job as acting leader between Brown and Miliband!


    Very foolish comments by Harman. The graphic shown lower down the report is eerily reminiscent of those tax bombshell posters during the 1992 election campaign. It also IMO implies how utterly foolish and wrongheaded it was for Ed Balls to pledge the return of the 50p tax rate. In certain regions where living costs are higher, many households would be subject to this and they’re a billion miles from super rich. Also sends very bad signals to entrepreneurs wanting to expand.

    Labour needs to find ways to implement policies that aren’t reliant on statism.

  12. prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 66%
    Con- 11%
    Lib- 10%
    UKIP- 7%
    Green- 6%

  13. Not sure that Harriet will increase her vote share Robbie after the Liberty / PIE scandal and what happened under Labour in Rotherham.

  14. The Green party candidate is set to be Amelia Womack, one of the 2 deputy leaders of the Green Party, and a very active member of the Young Greens. So it is deputy leader against deputy leader!

  15. I think the Greens will hold their deposit here taking the type of ex-Lib Dem voters who won’t vote Lab.

  16. Greens may just beat the LDs.

  17. Just watch last weeks episode of the Sunday Politics with Harmon on it. Quite frankly she gave one of the worst interview performance I have ever seen from a high flying politician. She provided virtually no answers to a single question she was posed and it was quite clear she did not have a clue what she was talking about. How she became deputy-leader of the Labour Party God only knows. Saying that it is also shocking how Ed Miliband managed to become leader and unfortunately our next prime minister.

  18. Am the only person to think that the clearest message sent out by Harman’s publicity van, pink, red, cerise or whatever colour it may be, is that Labour doesn’t care about the interests of me?. Will this lose Labour votes of men and indeed of women who genuinely care about the interests of their families (e.g. mothers of teenage boys)? If not, why not?

    Arguably, men voting Labour are like turkeys voting for Christmas.

    While I am here, I expect that gentrification and the ridiculous cost of housing in London both mean that Harman is likely to get a worse result than the average for Labour candidates next May for purely demographic reasons. But there is a long way to go before she loses the seat. In fifteen years time it could be another matter. If Harman stands down at around that time it is easy to imagine Labour having difficulty in getting her successor as candidate elected.

    The Greens stand to do well here even if their chances of winning are negligible. This is a seat in which effort could pay the Greens dividends in the medium to long term.

    It would be useful if somebody could post some biographical details for Amelia Womack

  19. Is Camberwell and Peckham gentrifying that and gentrifying with non Labour voters. This seat is just over 50% non white and also 50% social or assisted housing. I cant see those parts of the electorate moving any time soon

  20. ”While I am here, I expect that gentrification and the ridiculous cost of housing in London both mean that Harman is likely to get a worse result than the average for Labour candidates next May for purely demographic reasons. But there is a long way to go before she loses the seat. In fifteen years time it could be another matter. If Harman stands down at around that time it is easy to imagine Labour having difficulty in getting her successor as candidate elected.”

    Frederic – I know this seat well. Despite the gentrification taking place here this is solid Labour territory and always will be. There is no way Harman/ Labour will ever lose this seat even in 15 years times. It’s hers as long as she wants. Labour losing this seat would be like the Tories losing Runnymede and Weybridge or Tunbridge Wells.

    Even at the age of 64 she’s still going strong and I wouldn’t be surprised if she stood until she claims the record of longest serving female MP.

  21. When will Harman clamming the longest serving Female MP. About 2020 seems right.

  22. Christian, the Tories have managed to lose once rock solid seats like Solihull and Blackpool South, not to mention a whole sathe in Scotland.

    As a class of middle-class, or even stinking rich, non-white voters emerges in a seat like this it is not a foregone conclusion they will stick with Labour. Admittedly on current trends the Thornberry/Harman tendency may stick to this cliques at the expense of caring about the interests of the poor.

  23. The fact that many posters don’t like Harriet Harman very much is beginning to affect their analysis here.

  24. I don’t think one has to have any particular views on Harriet Harman to observe that Labour Parties in a number of countries have shifted to the right and become middle-class, leaving a vacuum for people to represent the groups they once served. I discern a similar trend in this country, particularly in areas like Peckham.

  25. What does: “…Labour…have become middle class..” actually mean – in practice/reality?

  26. I think that the horseshit noun is called for here. This constituency has the highest proportion of Afro-Caribbean residents in the whole of the UK, and the highest proportion of council homes in the whole of London. These demographics are not going to change any time soon. A brief perusal of past & present local election results will show that Peckham Rye was a safe Tory ward in the past where the Tories, and indeed all other non-Labour parties, are way behind now. Very few of the other wards have sustained upmarket areas except Camberwell S to a certain extent, and although there are small pockets of gentrification this remains predominantly a poor, deprived, heavily non-white constituency. It’s hardly surprising that it’s still the second-safest Labour seat in London (only East Ham is safer, and it’s still more safe than West Ham, Tottenham & some extremely traditionally safe other seats). To suggest that Labour is going to lose it any time soon, other than in utterly exceptional by-election circumstances just about conceivably, is utter twaddle.

  27. Absolutely. Middle class hipsters may have colonised a few roads of desirable Victorian houses, but the massive amount of social housing here and the ethnic mix make it safe as houses for Labour as far as the eye can see.

  28. Other posters who oppose the Labour Party seem to be capable of looking beyond their own views when making predictions & analysing constituencies. Frederic who used to be a Labour Party seems to be joining some of the semi-literate posters like D.Alex who think Labour can lose anywhere. It’s a shame because he isn’t stupid, and often has some interesting & insightful things to say; but at the moment I can hardly take anything he says seriously any more. Sorry Frederic but there it is.

  29. used to be a Labour Party member* that should have read.

  30. I’d happily bet Frederic or whoever else that Labour will get over 60% of the vote here.

    The Greens might just squeeze a very distant second place but this seat is too gritty for them to do better than 10-15% at the very most.

  31. On the subject of Peckham, this hilarious clip from Beadle’s About from 1991 filmed in Peckham shows you just how much the place has changed…..25 years ago it still had a very large WWC population full of people just like the irate cockney lady….the change in the ethnic mix since then has been astronomical

  32. ‘’What’s fantastic about the Tory candidate in Thanet South? Pale imitations generally don’t make fantastic candidates.’’

    ‘’What evidence do you have that the Tory candidate is particularly good?’’

    ”Frederic Stansfield and H.Hemmelig – I think Mackinlay is an excellent candidate for the Tories because he’s a down-to-earth, local, working class lad from a humble background who managed to pass the 11 plus went to a local grammar school. He’s got more in common with most of the constituents here than London public school educated, former stockbroker Farage. Although UKIP may be putting on a brave face in public, I’m certain behind closed doors Farage and UKIP HQ are panicking at the thought of not winning this seat! Farage will come very close but I still believe this will be a Tory hold. ”

    I can see your logic but as others have said Labour will NEVER lose this seat.

    As I said in an above post, I know this seat very well. The Tories, Lib Dems and the Green could have Jesus as their candidate here and Labour would still win comfortably!

    Camberwell and Peckham as Labour is to its core!

  33. Frederic: there is a basic bio at:

    She is currently zipping around the country supporting local Green campaigns in her Deputy Leader role. There are definite pockets of Green support (eg., Camberwell South) in this seat, but of course the result here is a foregone conclusion 🙁

  34. I’m not convinced Harman has a personal vote as she comes across very poorly, so there is a good chance of a challenger and a change in 2020.

  35. a change??? utter, utter, utter, utter bollocks.

  36. I would agree Harmon is awful and it still bemuses me as to why she is so prominent in the Labour Party. But the idea Labour will lose this seat no matter who the candidate is (barring unforeseeable circumstances) is laughable.

  37. As a resident of this seat, I’d like to agree that any chance of a Labour loss here anytime soon is fanciful, despite the rapid gentrification of certain parts of the constituency.

    The most active local campaign here at the moment seems to be that of the All Peoples Party, who’ve delivered three communications to my house at least. Be surprised if they saved their deposit though.

  38. Agreed with yr first paragraph of course.

    To HHEMELIG who wants a bet on Labour <60% of total vote share, I would be willing to wager they will get <60% but would expect to get a odds on it, which I estimate 5/4 to be fair.

    So I would happily put up £8 of my money up against £10 of yours.

  39. Harman being annoying is one thing. But it doesn’t change the fact that is the one of the most boringly safe seats out there. Labour has enjoyed majorities over 35% in the last five elections (97 and 01 being closer to 60%).

  40. I agree with Barnaby. H Harman’s vote has increased since 1997. Her and Dobson’s views are blinkered/skewed/reinforced as they represent such unrepresentative seats. Whereas Healey, Burnham, Ed M had/have huge BNP & UKIP votes/potential in theirs. Some ignore their constituents’ views on immigration though eg the ex Member for Rotherham and the shadow Home Sec.

  41. Whig candidate Felicity Anscomb is standing here (studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford University).

  42. Why mention candidates who are listed above?

  43. Labour need to pink can to win here. Harman hold by 23000 over GRN!

  44. Try it again. Labour need the help of no Pink van to be elected here. 23000 over GRN

  45. I’ve lived in Peckham for years, and I can guarantee Harriet will hold this seat as long as she wants it. There has been gentrification of certain areas, some streets quite rapid but not enough to sway the vote markedly. Funnily enough I have had a flyer from the greens, lib dems and labour ( haven’t had one of these in a decade) so labour has taken note that my street/area is changing. But Harriet can sleep easy in her bed, the vote won’t change anytime soon

  46. This description in the Profile section is totally unrepresentative of my experience and understanding of this borough Whilst it might have its problems the emphasis on poverty, deprivation, crime and gang violence in the same breath as referring to the afro-carribean community is inappropriate and misrepresentative of an amazing, multi-cultural and vibrant community and borough. Please re-consider the emphasis of this language in this section.

  47. Harman has announced she is standing down as Labour Deputy Leader. She will be Acting Leader until a new Labour Leader is announced.

  48. “Harriet Harman interview: Even Labour supporters were glad we didn’t win the election, says interim leader”

  49. Notwithstanding the heavy losses in Scotland, it was probably for the best that Labour didn’t win most seats/form a government for their long term prospects. A stint in government after the May election would’ve sunk them in opposition for a long time. I don’t know what will happen in 2020, but at least another term in opposition buys them time to get on the right track. They weren’t ready for government at all.

  50. I see Harman says Labour won’t oppose the £20k Benefits Cap outside London, or the 2 child limit on Child Tax Credits.

    Do Burnham and Corbyn know?

    Seriously, I’m interested what authority the interim Labour Leader has on policy and Whips etc – Barnaby may know?

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