Carshalton & Wallington

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15093 (31.7%)
Labour: 7150 (15%)
Lib Dem: 16603 (34.9%)
Green: 1492 (3.1%)
UKIP: 7049 (14.8%)
Others: 226 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 1510 (3.2%)

Category: Marginal Liberal Democrat seat

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

Main population centres: Carshalton, Wallington.

Profile: An affluent residential seat, but less so than some of the other Liberal Democrat strongholds in south-west London - this is more middle-of-the-road suburbia than it is luxury. There are also substantial council estates here, with the Roundshaw development on the old Croydon Airport site and the southern half of the large St Helier estate.

Politics: Once a solid Conservative seat this fell to the Liberal Democrats in 1997. The old core of Labour support has been squeezed by the Con-Lib Dem contest, with the old areas of Labour strength on the council estates now bases of Lib Dem support.

Current MP
TOM BRAKE (Liberal Democrat) Born 1962, Melton Mowbray. Educated at Lycee International, St Germaine and Imperial College London. Former computer software consultant. Hackney councillor 1988-1990, Sutton councillor 1994-1998. Contested Carshalton and Wallington 1992. First elected as MP for Carshalton and Wallington in 1997. Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 2012-2015.
Past Results
Con: 16920 (37%)
Lab: 4015 (9%)
LDem: 22180 (48%)
UKIP: 1348 (3%)
Oth: 1455 (3%)
MAJ: 5260 (11%)
Con: 16289 (38%)
Lab: 7396 (17%)
LDem: 17357 (40%)
UKIP: 1111 (3%)
Oth: 908 (2%)
MAJ: 1068 (2%)
Con: 13742 (34%)
Lab: 7466 (18%)
LDem: 18289 (45%)
GRN: 614 (2%)
Oth: 501 (1%)
MAJ: 4547 (11%)
Con: 16223 (34%)
Lab: 11565 (24%)
LDem: 18490 (38%)
Oth: 856 (2%)
MAJ: 2267 (5%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MATTHEW MAXWELL SCOTT (Conservative) Born 1976, London. Educated at Eton and Edinburgh University. Speechwriter. Wandsworth councillor since 2010.
SIOBHAN TATE (Labour) Art and design teacher.
TOM BRAKE (Liberal Democrat) See above.
WILLIAM MAIN-IAN (UKIP) Born Scotland. Educated at Nairn Academy. Retired police officer.
ROSS HEMINGWAY (Green) Educated at Nottingham University. Communications officer.
RICHARD EDMONDS (National Front) Born 1943, Hounslow. Educated at Southampton University. Contested Deptford O1974 for the National Front, Lewisham East 1983, Bethnal Green and Stepney 1992 for the BNP, Croydon North 2012 by-election for the NF.
Comments - 264 Responses on “Carshalton & Wallington”
  1. Tom Brake is now the Lib Dem Chief Whip. This does not mean that much, in a Parliamentary party of 8, but it may put Mr. Brake in a position to contest the next leadership election (if the boundary changes do not get him defeated next time)

  2. I can’t see Farron losing the leadership this side of the 2020 GE, and I think that he’s likely to hold on to it after that if he wants to so long as the party doesn’t crash & burn any further than in 2015. A low bar is something of an advantage for Tim! He could well outlast any leadership ambitions Brake might have, which I’m sceptical of the existence of anyway. There may even be some new blood gunning for the leadership by next time around, which could be as far off as the mid 2020s.

  3. Looking back this was probably one of the worst Tory showings in the country, 5% less vote share than even in 2010 and their worst performance in this seat since it was created in 1983. UKIP seem to have done much better than in most London seats, and LAB rather than the Tories taken the votes that Tom Brake lost. Something demographic or something wrong with the Tory candidate?

  4. Yeah this was a mixture of things, UKIP taking Tory votes, former Lib Dems going to Labour/UKIP/staying at home rather than switching to the Tories, and local Conservative resources being diverted to Twickenham and Kingston. Don’t know too much about the demographics but maybe Tory voters in this seat are slowly drifting to Richmond and/or Twickenham. Even Tom Brake himself has admitted that his re-election here was somewhat fortuitous.

  5. I don’t think this has ever been nearly as wealthy as Richmond and Twickenham, or even Kingston and Sutton, but it has historically been broadly a middle class suburban seat. Resources may have been a factor, though I guess the thinking – as well as wanting to decapitate Cable and Davey – was that this one would probably take care of itself if the on paper tougher seats in the area also went. It didn’t prove that way.

  6. I suspect when Brake said he was lucky he was a/ being modest (he must have run a good campaign) and b/ alluding to the fact that he held on whilst Ed Davey and Paul Burstow lost on a similar vote share and Vince Cable with 3% more than he got.

  7. The Tory vote was poor here at the same time as the LD drop so that seems to be the main reason.
    In fact the LDs here are only down about 3% since 1997.

  8. It’s really weird that Tom Brake is the Lib Dems’ longest-serving MP. The other seven were all from the 2001 or 2005 intakes.

  9. It also always surprises me that Brake is in his mid-50s. He looks younger. Though I’m not a Lib Dem supporter I think he’s one of the good guys in politics and I was quite glad he held on. Previously a quiet but effective operator as Deputy Leader of the House, he’s now seemingly the Lib Dem spokesperson on everything as well as being their Chief Whip.

  10. It will be interesting to see which London Boroughs do vote to Leave in the referendum. Sutton LB, which voted for UKIP in 2014, could be close.

    Ironically, Carshalton which has a pro-Remain Lib Dem MP is likely to be more pro-Leave than Sutton & Cheam which has a pro-Leave Conservative MP!

    It really is a shame we will not get the results by parliamentary constituency…

  11. Combined electorate for Croydon and Sutton is 370,192. Entitlement = 4.95 seats. Probably means the western edge of Croydon Central will be added to Carshalton & Wallington.

  12. Mayoral result (excluding postal):

    Goldsmith 9340 40.6%
    Khan 6713 29.2%
    Pidgeon 3217 14.0%

  13. St. Hellier estate winning it for Leave in Sutton?

    Hopefully Libdems lose enough votes to ukip to lose the seat after their call to ignore the ref result.

  14. Am I the only person who thinks that Tom Brake actually, retrospectively speaking, did very well to hold on here? I mean, his vote share decrease was 1.8% below the national average so to speak, and the Tories had an awful result to fall further back by 5.1%, while in next-door Sutton and Cheam, although they fell 0.8% they at least managed to gain the seat- I kind of get the feeling actually that given Paul Burstow’s own vote share decrease was only 12.0%, so not too far away from Tom Brake’s, because his was a real marginal seat the Tories effectively gained it by default.

    I have a feeling that there are changing demographics in the Sutton seats that are going against the Tories by the looks of these results. In fact, by now, you would expect Labour to do as well here as they do in say Croydon, which isn’t that far from Sutton, as I think the area is getting better for them as the 2010s wear on. Could just be me thinking all of this but I have a feeling Tom Brake may be difficult to ever beat given he was able to hold this seat in the Lib Dem’s worst general election in more than a generation.

  15. I think exactly the same. Were it not for the Lib Dems here, Labour would be in contention potentially for both the Sutton seats, however unlikely that may sound. At least if they weren’t, these would both be semi-marginal with the Tories in the driving seat no doubt- I don’t see any signs the Lib Dem strength in Sutton will die away any time soon, however, so Labour may have to wait a while still yet before they can really fulfill their potential properly in local and parliamentary elections in Sutton.

  16. @TheResults Labour would certainly not be in contention in Sutton and Cheam that seat is far too wealthy and contains demographics not at all favourable to Labour except in the Sutton Central ward. Apart from that ward the Tories would crush Labour in every ward except Sutton Central if the Lib Dems had never gained a foothold, they may well have been able to get 70%+ in some of the very wealthy wards in the south of the seat with Labour as the main opposition.

    In Carshalton and Wallington though they would win or at least be somewhat competitive in Wandle Valley, St Helier, The Wrythe and Beddington North though they would still struggle to win except in very good years as the Tories would obliterate them in wards like Carshalton South and Clockhouse.

  17. So Labour would not get very far in Sutton and Cheam without the Lib Dem strength and tactical voting. Interesting. Could this seat however realistically become a Labour target in years to come though perhaps maybe?

  18. @TheResults my best guess (obviously I can’t work out what would have happened in alternate history) is that Labour would have won Carshalton and Wallington in 97′ and 01′ if the Lib Dems never materialised in the borough but it would have returned to the Tories in ’05. But even in their two landslides they would have still been miles behind in Sutton and Cheam.

  19. Results
    Brake himself admitted after the election that he was lucky to hold his seat and admitted it happened kind of by accident. According to him SW London Tories were gunning for a decapitation of Cable and Davies in Twickenham and Kingston and if that evaded them they at least thought they could get in contention for a future election thus they poured resources into the two seats. In Sutton though the Tories were not gunning as much cos the prize of a high profile scalp was not on offer. In Sutton and Cheam their limited efforts were sufficient to secure the seat due to its marginality but in Carshalton Brake held on thanks to his more substantial majority.

    Makes sense to me.

  20. He did get lucky – his vote declined by an amount not untypical for LD incumbents and to the sort of level of many LD incumbents yet he held on. However, he must have leafleted hard and got some reward for 18 years service. It was a pretty miserable Tory performance. Resources may have been a factor, as might demographics (I don’t know the area but the Tories have collapsed in Mitcham and Morden, and Croydon North – the two seats directly to the north of this; it would be a surprise if C&W had been totally unaffected). UKIP also scored well and might have been the difference (though they will have taken some votes from Brake too).

    The candidate seems to be planning on another go in 2020 (and hoping for boundary changes)

  21. I know this seat as does Surrey Politics, so I will give you my 2p worth and hopefully he will also do so.

    The key factor here IMO, not mentioned at all by Jack Sheldon, was the dire Labour vote share, arguably their worst performance in London in 2015. Something like one third of this seat is what you would term traditional Labour territory, and had the Liberals not secured significant tactical support from Labour voters here from the 1980s onwards, Labour would be looking at a 30-40% vote share in this seat in an even year. Indeed at the 1973 GLC election Labour even did well enough to win it.

    The naturally Labour areas here, centred around St Helier and the Wandle Valley, remain fairly WWC in character and hence did not abandon the Lib Dems in such droves, unlike trendier and/or more ethnic London seats like Bermondsey, Hornsey and Brent Central. Also a lot of UKIP’s vote would have come from this part of the seat.

    In summary, Brake retained quite a lot of tactical votes from naturally Labour areas, and many of those he didn’t retain went over to UKIP, with UKIP also sapping some Tory votes from the leafier areas.

    Even without boundary changes it will get progressively harder for the Lib Dems here as demographic change gradually alters the WWC nature of the St Helier area into a more multi-ethnic community, making it likely that fewer Labour voters will be willing to vote Lib Dem. It is purely the hard work of the Lib Dems locally which enables this degree of tactical voting to persist at the present time.

    Boundary changes will inevitably lead to this seat being merged with some part of Croydon and it’s incredibly difficult to see how the Lib Dems could survive that. If it merges with Waddon and/or some of the Croydon North wards, Labour would have a good chance of winning if it can unwind its natural support in St Helier. If the seat merges more into Croydon South in some kind of Carshalton & Coulsdon constituency, the Tories will win comfortably.

  22. @H.Hemmelig it looks likely that St Helier will be lost to Sutton and Cheam at the next set of boundary changes which will help the Lib Dems there (Labour having very little base/natural support in Sutton and Cheam except in the Sutton Central ward).

  23. Agree pretty much with H. Hemeligs analysis here. Without the Libs presence CW probably would have gone Labour in 1997 and 2001 though not by much. Remember in the 2004 mayorals it voted for Norris not Livingstone. It would be at 2015 be s safe Tory seat. St Helier and Wandle Valley would not vote for Miliband (or Corbyn for that matter). Both Sutton seats had huge Tory majorities in 1987 and would have been even bigger if not for the Alliance vote.
    The working class parts of Sutton back then would have been Thatcherite.
    It’s also likely that without the Libs Labour would have gained Twickenham and Kingston in 1997 too. Sutton and Cheam no chance even Richmond Park back then had Canbury, Mortlake, Ham and Petersham and even the middle class parts would be more left leaning than the white van man parts of Sutton.
    Epsom and Reigate would be more likely to go Labour than Sutton and Cheam.

  24. I’m going to bravely make a prediction for 2020-
    Brake (Lib Dem)- 33%
    Conservative- 31%
    Labour- 20%
    UKIP- 13%
    Green- 2%
    Others- 1%

  25. Labour won’t get anywhere near 20 here with Corbyn as leader. On current boundaries I can see Brake holding on or even increasing majority, Labour could even drop to below 10 in this seat. I think Con and LD vote will increase which has happened in both ward by-elections here.

    LD – 42
    Con – 38
    Lab – 10
    UKIP – 6
    Green – 3
    Other – 1

  26. It’s amazing that Sutton (in London) voted Leave but Epsom and Ewell (in Surrey) and had a leave MP voted Remain when isn’t as overly rich as say Esher and Walton or Mole Valley. Though I have noticed with Epsom to an extent and also with South Croydon and even Purley recently that the centres of those areas have slightly declined in the last couple of years though not enough to say they are the next Ilford North. The centres of Sutton (though not overly pretty), Carshalton and Wallington seem much tidier.

  27. Surrey Politics- mildly surprising perhaps but amazing is overdoing it- the result in Epsom was notably closer than in Elmbridge, Esher, Woking, and Guildford.

    I think southern commentators do sometimes forget that although there are subtle differences between the wealth of various Surrey boroughs they are still all wealthy in the grand scheme of things.

  28. Perhaps,the funny thing was that in the European 2014 elections UKIP were only 112 votes behind the Conservatives (much closer than Runnymede and Reigate were). Around the Downs and East Ewell it is wealthy like Carshalton Beeches, Sutton South, Belmont, Banstead, Burgh Heath etc. However a lot of the borough is comparatively MOR like Spelthorne and is still predominantly white and I have gone to a lot of pubs in Stonleigh, Ewell and Epsom and there seem to be a lot of people that sort of resemble Harry Enfields ‘loadsamoney’ character from the 1980s. It’s a well off area but it’s not particularly posh there is also a high number of retired people which I thought also would swing it for leave.

  29. Surrey Politics- were you surprised that Reigate & Banstead narrowly voted Leave?

  30. I would have put Reigate and Banstead in the 50/50 column. Redhill, Reigate South, Preston, Merstham and Horley would have probably have had most of the Leave vote, with the other areas being remain I expected it to be close.

  31. These are NOT official ward EU referendum breakdowns I know some local authorities have published them, this is just a guess as to how each ward would have voted in the three local authorities menitioned in the last few posts.


    Beddington North – LEAVE
    Beddington South – LEAVE
    Belmont – REMAIN
    Carshalton Central – REMAIN
    Carshalton South and Clockhouse – REMAIN
    Cheam – REMAIN
    Nonsuch – LEAVE
    St Helier – LEAVE
    Stonecot – LEAVE
    Sutton Central – REMAIN
    Sutton North – LEAVE
    Sutton South – REMAIN
    Sutton West – LEAVE
    The Wrythe – LEAVE
    Wallington North – LEAVE
    Wallington South – REMAIN
    Wandle Valley – LEAVE
    Worcester Park – REMAIN


    Auriol – LEAVE
    College – REMAIN
    Court – LEAVE
    Cuddington – REMAIN
    Ewell – REMAIN
    Ewell Court – LEAVE
    Nonsuch – REMAIN
    Ruxley – LEAVE
    Stamford – REMAIN
    Stoneleigh – LEAVE
    Town – REMAIN
    West Ewell – LEAVE
    Woodcote – REMAIN


    Banstead Village – REMAIN
    Chipstead, Hooley & Woodmansterne – REMAIN
    Earlswood Whitebushes – LEAVE
    Horley Central – LEAVE
    Horley East – LEAVE
    Horley West – LEAVE
    Kingswood with Burgh Heath – REMAIN
    Meadvale & St John’s – LEAVE
    Merstham – LEAVE
    Nork – REMAIN
    Preston – LEAVE
    Redhill East – LEAVE
    Reigate Central – REMAIN
    Reigate Hill – REMAIN
    Salfords & Sidlow – LEAVE
    South Park & Woodhatch – LEAVE
    Tadworth & Walton – REMAIN
    Tattenhams – REMAIN

  32. The consistency of Sutton and Cheam apparently voted Remain narrowly

  33. I live in Epsom and Ewell and agree that the area is more nouveau riche than posh. I’d imagine lots of the residents are naturally eurosceptic however I’m sure Cameron’s economic warnings convinced many to vote Remain. Epsom and Ewell residents are way more wealthy, educated and less deprived than most UK councils. Lots of residents have well-paid jobs in London, run a successful business, have large mortgages etc and consequently probably did not want to take the large economic risk with leaving the EU.

    It’s likely places like Bromley, Mid Sussex, Woking, North Hertfordshire, Chelmsford and Hertsmere either voted Remain or just narrowly voted Out for similar reasons. Its likely that nearby places such as Banstead, Nork, Cheam, South Sutton and Worcester Park, with a similar demographic to Epsom, voted Remain too.


    It seems we haven’t heard the last of this story (after LD Cllr Alan Salter was convicted of theft of £8,225 from a local pensioners’ group)

  35. My prediction for 2017

    Lib Dem (Tom Brake): 20,900 (44%) + 4,300
    Con (Candidate still to be selected): 19,100 (40%) + 4,000
    Labour (Candidate still to be selected): 3,500 (7%) -3, 600
    UKIP (Candidate still to be selected): 3,000 (6%) – 4,000
    Green: 1,000 (2%) – 500
    Others: 250 (around 1%)

    Total 47,500 (slightly lower than the 2015 turnout)

    Logic: Tom Brake is an extremely well known and respected local MP who is given a lot of credit due to the monumental amounts of casework he and his team get through.

    The Liberal Democrats are extremely strong locally with Councillor representation in every ward in the C&W half of Sutton Borough. In fact Labour have zero Councillors in this half of the Borough and the Conservatives just 3, split across two wards.

    There have also been two local council by-elections since 2015, both of which saw the Lib Dems retain their seats, with increased vote share – albeit the Tories also improved by more in both elections.

    Tom has an extremely efficient campaigning operation in place, honed in battle since 1992 (when he first stood unsuccessfully for the seat).

    The Conservatives have not yet picked their candidate and will likely be a complete unknown which will reinforce Tom’s incumbency bonus. They also have a dilemma in choosing whether to fight a hard campaign (with very little prior notice in this seat where there chances are quite slim), or dedicate their member’s efforts in neighbouring Croydon Central and Sutton, where they have slim majorities from 2015.

    Local media reports are suggesting Labour are actually having a hard time finding anyone willing to stand at all.

    Tom was clearly punished in 2015 for his part in the Coalition with an unwinding of some of the tactical Labour vote which saw Labour’s vote share rise by 6% and Tom’s share drop by 13% in total. Luckily for him UKIP also performed strongly, with the Tories also dropping in vote share by around 5% – enough to result in a surprising (for many non-locals) hold (the Lib Dems only hold in London)

    This time around I expect much of the Labour tactical vote to return to the Lib Dems as a) more people actually realise the Lib Dems actually did a good job holding the Tories in check during the Coalition and because Labour is doing so badly so wavering Labourites will once again vote Tom to stop the Tories here. Historically Labour received just 4,000 votes in 2010 and I think they could drop even further this time as a result of the unpopularity of Corbyn, down to around 3,500.

    The Tories will also benefit from a weaker UKIP vote this time, down from around 7,000 in 2015 to about 3,000 this time around I would think.

    I also think the Green vote will weaken this time. Down from around 1,500 to 1,000 (which is still above most of its historic results here) and think that Tom will primarily benefit from this as the ‘two horse’ race nature of the campaign becomes obvious.

    I don’t think Brexit will have a huge impact overall. Sutton Borough did vote Leave and Tom is a Remainer, but the vote was quite close and I expect the effect here will be quite marginal.

    Of course the campaign has just got started and the Lib Dems do tend to improve as General Elections go along, so I am fairly confident Tom will hold on, but this assumes that their are no major unexpected developments.

  36. Good analysis, there’s also a chance that Tom Brake’s vote could go up but still loses the seat. Really depends on how much Con eats into UKIP and LD eats into Labour. I think the Conservatives will hold Sutton and Cheam with an increased majority, nothing to do with Burstow not standing I just the feel the seat is now naturally Conservative and reverting to type.

  37. Solid analysis. I think Brake wins largely because there’s no Tory candidate yet. He’s popular enough locally that I have no reason to think he’d lose without a Tory getting well and truly embedded in the seat first.

  38. – Conservative candidate from the last election returns –

    He presided over a drop in the Tory vote in 2015 (down to 31.7%) however does have some name recognition in the constituency now, albeit not much. He is also the heir presumptive to the Constable Maxwell-Scott Baronetcy according to Wiki.

  39. Odd to think that Tom Brake has been since 2015 the longest serving Lib Dem MP : a veteran at 55.

  40. With this seat’s profile saying Lib Dem strength is drawn mainly from the council estates, and with council estates typically favouring leave, could the Lib Dem’s Brexit stance cost them this seat as it alienates their core support here?

  41. “With this seat’s profile saying Lib Dem strength is drawn mainly from the council estates, and with council estates typically favouring leave, could the Lib Dem’s Brexit stance cost them this seat as it alienates their core support here?” yes this could be very much so, the council estate areas are still fairly WWC compared to other parchances of holding on this seat may hinge on wards like Carshalton Central and Wallington South (where the LDs won both council by-elections) which may have voted remain.

  42. Too hard to call but I slightly favour Conservative at this point, with LD likely increasing their vote as well as Cons.

  43. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Cllr Emine Ibrahim.

  44. If the Tories do take this seat it will be awkward for the Liberal Democrats.

  45. I have a feeling the Tories may end up gaining this.
    I don’t think it was targeted in 2015.
    Whereas it is true that the Lib Dems have been very hard to shift in Sutton, I think it has more been a case of them being dug in once they got in at a time of deep Tory unpopularity rather than being a particularly Liberal place.

  46. If the Lib Dems lose this seat, do they have to select a new leader or can their leader lead when not an MP?

  47. Since Brake isn’t the leader anyway it doesn’t matter

  48. Eh?? Perhaps Thomas is being cryptic.

  49. Tories must have a shout here. just favourites acc. to some bookies.

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