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. something like this
    CON 40+8
    LD 38+3
    LAB 12-3
    UKIP 7 -8
    LD 3

  2. Green 3

  3. I will go with

    CON 44
    LD 40
    LAB 9
    UKIP 5
    GRE 2

  4. Although it’s geographically similar, this is very different seat to other Lib Dem seats in south west London like Richmond Park and Twickenham, and given what happened elsewhere, it seems odd that the Lib Dems held on here

    The Tories have to be favourites but might Brake defy the odds again?

  5. I’m not sure the Tories are favourites here – it is a credible scenario though given it’s not really demographically liberal inclined territory and I don’t think they targeted it in 2015 because of the history of poor results.

  6. The New Statesman article is interesting, could the LD run Sutton Council bins problem have a negative impact on Tom Brake’s support? Was a surprise that he held last time.

    However, read a cringe inducing article with Matthew Scott just after the last election going on about how bad he felt being just about the only Tory not to win a LD targetted seat. A bit surprised he’s their candidate again.

    Hard to call at this stage.

  7. It’s not that hard to call. Cons will win unless national dynamics change substantially between now and polling day.

    Surrey Politics’ prediction looks reasonable, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Tories a little higher.

  8. BT says,,

    Well it is London dynamics you have to look at, not national ones. But I agree that big UKIP vote is very dangerous for Brake. There are a lot more Tory to lib Dem and Lab to Lib Dem switchers in London that elsewhere

    I notice Tom Brake has often spoken out against Heathrow expansion, but I am not sure how big an issue it is here compared to further west.. If it is, then Tory to Lib Dem switchers over Heathrow could save him

  9. Heathrow is close to irrelevance here, I used to live not so far away from there and know the area in a broad brush kind of way.

    London dynamics – well there’s London and then there’s London!

    I’m well aware of the ‘big picture’ of the smaller London swing to Tories, but that masks a lot of different things. In fact, roughly speaking take away inner London seats out of the equation and actually the rest won’t vary that much from the rest of S-E England, relative to each seat’s demographics (and the odd seat or two with specific local factors that might mitigate swing, eg Heathrow).

    Greater London overall is going to have a peculiarly large variation in swings at this election.

  10. Can not see anything other than tory gain.

  11. “Heathrow is close to irrelevance here, I used to live not so far away from there and know the area in a broad brush kind of way” yes very true like I have stated before this seat is geographically closer to Gatwick. Carshalton is not typical Liberal territory and should really be a safe Tory seat that Labour could win years like 1997. It’s similar to Croydon South and the Shirley/Shrublands part of Croydon Central.

  12. I am sticking by my original prediction (now on page 4) of a Lib Dem win. The UKIP collapse will definitely boost the Tory vote, but think Tom will still have enough to hold on.

    Certainly, the impression I am getting from people on the ground is that Tom is once again running a highly visible and strong campaign and remains very popular as a hard working locally focused MP – plus – as the Lib Dem’s sole MP in the SE is also getting lots more broadcast media exposure this time – which is enhancing his name recognition.

    The Lib Dem brand is not as toxic as it was and people in the constituency are well aware that it really is a (to coin a favourite Lib Dem expression) two horse race and a straight choice between the Tories or Lib Dems.

    I still expect a fall in both the Labour and Green votes here – primarily switching to Tom (albeit Corbyn appears to picking up nationally, and so that fall may not be by as much as I originally anticipated).

    Similarly the UKIP collapse appears to be much more calamitous than I expected and much of this will go into the Tory corner. Which will make things tighter than I anticipated.

    That said, I don’t think all the people switching from UKIP will automatically go to the Tories as many of their votes in Carshalton and Wallington came from WWC areas and many could switch back to Labour – especially as Corbyn’s manifesto is proving quite popular.

    Similarly have noticed online that some self proclaimed Tory voters have indicated that they will be switching to Tom due to the Brexit issue.

    All told, I think Tom will have enough to hold onto the seat, but it may be closer than I expected at the outset.

  13. Betting odds, of course, aren’t everything. They are often wrong, but they do offer a corrective to the partisan view expressed by libdemsupportingobserver…

    Acc, to betfair,

    Con 2/5
    Lib dem 13/8

    Think brake will struggle.

  14. I am surprised how weak the Lib Dems are in the betting for this seat, indeed they are weaker here than in some seats that they didn’t win in 2015.

    Brake is currently a best price 13-8, a bigger price than the Lib Dems are to regain St Ives (the seat where I’ve backed the Tories and the Lib Dems have now drifted out to 6-4).

  15. I think it’ll be a Tory gain, but honestly I struggle to count Lamb or Brake out until all votes are cast. They’ve both held on against the grain before, and not just in ’15. Remember, the Tories tried very, very hard to oust Lamb in ’05, and Brake’s held this as a marginal since ’97.

    Everything points to Tory gains in both, and that’d be my bet, but I’m not going to be positive until election night.

  16. I honestly think North Norfolk is pretty much in the bag for the Cons this time.

    Carshalton is less easy to call. Much of Brake’s vote is not of the type that might otherwise go Con and the 2015 result is to me an indication of, possibly demographic driven, serious decline in Con fortunes here. The Con vote will rise this time thanks to UKIP’s collapse but Brake may be helped by some of the 15% that went Lab in 2015. Overall I’d say it is leaning Con, but no given.

  17. Think this an easier gain than Norfolk North which the Tories have been targeting since 2001. Having been involved in the Tory campaign in south west London, I can say the main focus of the Tories then were Kingston, Twickenham, & Sutton and cheam.

    Brake has not fought off the Tories the way Lamb has. Given current national polling, one might expect both to be Tory gains, but I think Carshalton is easier than Norfolk

  18. I’m with Jack on this one.

    There’s a lot of difference between a 55% Brexit vote (as in here) and a 68% one (as in NN).

    Cons also seem to finally have a stronger candidate in place this time in NN.

  19. On NN I’d also say that whilst the Cons did target heavily and come up short at previous elections since Lamb’s shock win, in 2015 I think I’m right in saying it wasn’t targeted particularly. Perhaps because of the majority he’d built up in 2010, perhaps because in the 2015 context he was seen as a friendly Lib Dem likely to want to keep the coalition going if possible.

  20. I think the Tories have made a big mistake with the Dementia Tax and Tim Farron has finally managed to score a goal in this campaign by coining that term and actually getting mentioned in the media for it.

    We will see if that becomes reflected in the Tory %, but every reduction in that gives the likes of Tom Brake a better chance. In London polls since the election the Tories have been barely up at all, but I accept that this seat with its large UKIP vote is not typical

  21. So Brake to hang on by 56?

  22. I think the Tories will gain both here and North Norfolk, but honestly I’m just not super confident on either. If you’d told me pre-2015 that the LDs would have 8 seats and asked me to predict which, I never would have guessed it’d be the ones they ended up with.

    Similarly, if you told me that the LDs will have, say, 10 seats going out of this, I couldn’t tell you which ones will be gains and which holds — reasonably, they could lose four (including RP) and gain five — or maybe it’ll all be holds and one gain. I just don’t feel confident on any of them right now.

  23. Brake might pull off a Lorely Burt miracle and hang on in here. Even he must have a personal vote of sorts. Plus id imagine the LDs would be working it harder than the tories. Just because in my experience thats what the libs do. They get a good local candidate and give a place a good working over. In 1997 Lynne Featherstone got 5000 votes, came third, and was 26k behind Barbara Roche. The next election she lost by 5 or 6 thou. It took her three to win.
    Brake’s been standing here for 25 years. Gotta mean something right?

  24. Brake’s problem here is that much of his support comes from WWC voters in & around St Helier who would normally be expected to vote Labour and who voted for Brexit. There is little natural Lib Dem support in this seat over and above their long-standing domination of local politics in Sutton borough.

  25. I wonder how many seats you could say that for, for any party. “Natural support” is an odd beast that relies on a notion of how a given voter SHOULD vote, which is always finicky.

  26. I mean that there are few voters here who would agree with the bulk of the Lib Dem manifesto.

  27. Ah, understood.

    Frankly, if most voters really thought about it, there aren’t many who would agree with most (or at least, a lot) of their chosen party’s manifesto.

    I certainly have never wholly agreed with the manifestos of the parties I’ve voted for — and sometimes I have barely agreed at all, but simply felt it was the best choice.

  28. HH
    I think what you mean by “the bulk of the LD manifesto” is another referendum on Brexit and possibly staying in the Single Market.
    I doubt if Carshalton voters would have many complaints about more for the NHS, more for schools, more affordable housing, better deal for renters etc etc etc

    All Lib Dem MPs hold their seats by defying gravity and of course it is much harder to do that when the floor is 8% rather than 20%. I think most of the Labour and Green tactical voters that deserted Brake in 2015 will return, but the Tories will gain from UKIP. Both Tories and LD will increase vote share and it is really a question of how much… The net switch between Tory and LD is of course very important..

  29. Andrew, do you think the party that gets more votes will win?

  30. Too early to tell.
    The mistakes in the Tory manifesto and whether things can be turned round.
    Looks like the damage is being picked up by Labour- not by the Lib Dems or UKIP though.
    If they can be I think it’ll go narrowly C (1,000).

  31. Mr Pitt
    Yes, i think I will come off the fence on that one!

    Joe James B. So far the Tory vote share has not really been dented (other than in Wales) but Labour has gone up at the expense of Lib Dem, Greens, UKIP (recently) and above all Don’t Know.
    I suspect that in the few seats where the Lib Dems are fighting the Tories seriously and Labour have no chance those anti-Tory votes will go Lib Dem much more than in 2015 and the Lib Dem vote share will go up. On current polls the Tory vote share will go up more however on the back of UKIP votes..

  32. Seems reasonable.

  33. Tom brake seen outside Wallington station today leafletting. Probably cost him the election. Tory gain

  34. It could upset people if it’s deemed insensitive.

  35. He’s not the only one been campaigning today Mike Gapes has said he’d be out this morning

  36. Yes, local campaigning is fine, according to the suspension agreement. Just no national campaigning.

  37. Former MP here Nigel Forman has died aged 74.

    The bitter warfare in his constituency party from the late 80s onwards is at least part of the reason for the very poor Tory results here after 1992.

  38. RIP Nigel Foreman – one of the old school wets who became very low profile in latter years, which might have contributed to his defeat in 97

  39. He was extremely unpopular in his constituency party. After his count in 1997 it was believed that he never set foot in Carshalton ever again.

  40. My God is that actually true? I know he was at odds with his local party but still… Interestingly he was briefly the Minster for Higher Education under John Major for a few months in 1992 after the election until suddenly resigning from the government, citing ‘personal reasons’…

  41. Still I’m sad to hear of his passing.

  42. Mountshaft (Con) 16,411
    Brake (LD) 16,355
    Ward (Lab) 6,782
    Helmer (UKIP) 4,133
    Bitchton (Ind Lib) 1,960
    McGuinness (SF) 101

  43. 56 Majority 0.1

  44. When controversial people pass away most folks say nice things. I call it the Thatcher effect.

  45. This is one of perhaps three Con gains in London.

    The other two being Eltham (this is getting likely) and Richmond Park

    Con maj. 7,000+ maybe even as high 12,000.

    The leave voting St Helier Estate and Hackbridge will be the key area for this seat. Brake might get the votes in Carshalton Central and Wallington South which are the most likely wards to have voted Remain.

  46. Re: Eltham

    *less likely

  47. RESULT:

    Liberal Democrat
    Tom Brake 20,819, 41.0 +6.1

    Matthew Maxwell Scott, 19,450, 38.3 +6.6

    Emina Ibrahim 9,360, 18.4 +3.4

    Green Party
    Shasha Khan 501, 1.0 -2.1

    MY PREDICTION (back on page 4)

    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%)

    Was just 81 votes off on my prediction for Tom’s total, 350 votes off on the Tory Just 1 – yes 1 – vote off on the expected Green tally.

    Main error was underestimating the turnout and the Labour surge (which almost cost Tom the seat) But I think my error is forgivable with hindsight gained over the past 6 weeks).

  48. Apologies – I was 499 out on my Green prediction – not 1. Green vote fell further than I thought.

  49. Maxwell Scott fails again. Poor chap.

  50. This seat has reverted to almost exactly the same result as in 2005. LibDem and Lab are up by 1% since then, with Con unchanged.

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