Chelsea & Fulham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25322 (62.9%)
Labour: 9300 (23.1%)
Lib Dem: 2091 (5.2%)
Green: 1474 (3.7%)
UKIP: 2039 (5.1%)
MAJORITY: 16022 (39.8%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Kensington council area and part of Hammersmith and Fulham council area.

Main population centres: Chelsea, Fulham, West Brompton.

Profile: An extremely affluent and upmarket pairing, the fantastically wealthy Chelsea and the now expensively gentrified Fulham. The 2011 showed a high proportions of rented property and one of the highest levels of education - over half of the adult population have degrees. It also has a very diverse population... if not necessarily quite so diverse an electorate - only just over half the population were born in the UK, with large numbers of European and American born residents. The seat includes the Royal Marsden Hospital, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and both the Chelsea and Fulham football grounds - as of 2013 two of only three Premiership Football grounds that lie in Conservative held seats..

Politics: The seat was newly created in 2010 from parts of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham - making an unassailable Tory fortress. Chelsea has always been extremely Conservative - the old Chelsea seat that existed until 1997 was solidly Tory. The old Fulham seat was more interesting, held by Labour in the 1950s and 60s, it became more Conservative as it gentrified, but was still briefly held by Nick Raysnford after a Labour by-election victory in 1986.

Current MP
GREG HANDS (Conservative) Born 1965, New York. Educated at Dr Challoner`s Grammar School and Cambridge University. Former banker. Hammersmith and Fulham councillor 1998-2006. First elected as MP for Hammersmith and Fulham in 2005. PPS to George Osborne 2010-11, government whip 2011-2013, Deputy Chief Whip 2013-2015. Chief Secretary to the Treasury since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 24093 (60%)
Lab: 7371 (18%)
LDem: 6473 (16%)
GRN: 671 (2%)
Oth: 1248 (3%)
MAJ: 16722 (42%)

2015 Candidates
GREG HANDS (Conservative) See above.
ALEX SANDERSON (Labour) Educated at Durham University. Operations and Finance Manager.
SIMON BAILEY (Liberal Democrat)
GUY RUBIN (Green) Health researcher. Hammersmith and Fulham councillor 1986-1994 for the Labour party.
Comments - 145 Responses on “Chelsea & Fulham”
  1. The Western End of Kings Road and Fulham Road appear much more ordinary that the Eastern End. There is much more visible council housing (Worlds End Estate) and lower end of the market shops.

    This is part of Kensington & Chelsea that appears to be not as wealthy as parts of the adjacent Hammersmith & Fulham.

    This area has been lifted by Chelsea Harbour and Sands End nex door will be further gentrified by the Chelsea Football Club development.

    Sands End and Stanley use to return Labour councillors some years ago but the party has declined in this area in more recent years.

  2. Greg Hands carried Sands End by a thousand or so in 2010. I think the closest contest was Fulham Broadway where the Tory lead was probably slightly less than a thousand.

  3. I suspect that the Chelsea and Fulham grounds are now the only 2 premiership grounds in Tory seats.

    Can’t think what the other one might be, but am assuming it was Reading, who have now been relegated.

  4. They are:

    1 Arsenal – Islington North (L)
    2 Aston Villa – Birmingham Ladywood (L)
    3 Cardiff City – Cardiff West (L)
    4 Chelsea – Chelsea & Fulham (C)
    5 Crystal Palace – Croydon North (L)
    6 Everton – Liverpool Walton (L)
    7 Fulham – Chelsea & Fulham (C)
    8 Hull – Hull West & Hessle (L)
    9 Liverpool – Liverpool Walton (L)
    10 Man City – Manchester Central (L)
    11 Man Utd – Stretford and Urmston (L)
    12 Newcastle Utd – Newcastle Central (L)
    13 Norwich City – Norwich South (LD)
    14 Southampton – Southampton Test (L)
    15 Stoke – Stoke on Trent South (L)
    16 Sunderland – Sunderland Central (L)
    17 Swansea – Swansea East (L)
    18 Tottenham – Tottenham (L)
    19 West Brom – Warley (L)
    20 West Ham – East Ham (L)

  5. That is correct – they’re the only 2 Premiership teams in Tory seats for this season. There will however be the odd one in an LD seat I think.
    In fact Labour’s strongest ward in this constituency now isn’t either Sands End or Fulham Broadway – it’s Cremorne in K & C. Although Greg Hands will have carried it comfortably, it would have been by rather less than either of the other 2, and Labour were only 13 votes away from gaining it in a by-election. Although the circumstances of that by-election were unusually awful for the Conservatives, Labour are doing better in the national polls than at the time of the by-election (when the Tories still had a small lead), and may run the Tories close again next year. The odds are still, however, on a full slate of Tory councillors in the constituency, even if not by much.

  6. This seat doesn’t really do the Tories any favours. It gathers together a laid of wards they will never lose making adjacent seats closer

  7. does cremorne ward contain public sector workers

  8. ‘This seat doesn’t really do the Tories any favours.’

    It certainly doesn’t

    It says a lot about the Tories that one of their safest seats is represented by Greg Hands – hardly the good, healthy image of the liberal Toryism that Mr Camereon used to advocate whilst in opposition

  9. Barnaby: I thought Hands carried Cremorne by two-to-one over Labour- a better ratio than Broadway and Sands End. Am I wrong on that?

    Cremorne has quite a lot of social housing- in fact 43% of households are socially rented- compared with 22.6% in the constituency as a whole. It also home to noticeably lower proportions of professionals and managerial workers than nearby wards.

  10. The Tories will be frustrated here no matter what the configuration of constituencies is. If you put Fulham back with Hammersmith to create a Tory-leaning seat there, Chelsea would just end up back with south Kensington in a seat which would be even more strongly Tory than Chelsea and Fulham. Of course would leave the Tories exposed at the northern end of Kensington. So it is swings and roundabouts.

  11. One of the criteria of the boundary commission is to make as little change to existing constituencies as possible.

    In re-twinning Kensington & Chelsea with Hammersmith & Fulham there was no reason to abolish either ‘Kensington & Chelsea’ or ‘Hammersmith & Fulham’ constituencies.

    The wards Hammersmith & Fulham wards from ‘Ealing Acton & Shepherd’s Bush’ and Kensington & Chelsea wards from ‘Regents Park & Kensington North’ could have formed the cross border constituency (Shepherd’s Bush & Kensington North), leaving the two existing constituencies intact.

    I think that ‘Shepherd’s Bush & Kensington North’ would be a safer seat for Labour than Hammersmith.

    When one of the criteria of the boundary commission is to make as little change to existing constituencies as possible I wonder why the changes here were so radical?

    I also think that the ‘Kensington & Chelsea’ and ‘Hammersmith & Fulham’ constituencies worked very well. Shepherd’s Bush and North Kensington are also of similar character but perhaps the boundary commission felt that they were not as well connected as Chelsea and Fulham?

  12. A closer look at the result in Fulham in 1992-
    Carrington (Conservative)- 21, 438 (53.37%, +1.59%)
    Moore (Labour)- 14, 859 (36.99%, +0.26%)
    Crystal (Liberal Democrat)- 3, 339 (8.31%, -2.08%)
    Streeter (Green)- 443 (1.10%, -0.1%)
    Darby (Natural Law)- 91 (0.23%, N/A)

    Majority- 6, 579 (16.38%)
    Swing- +0.665% From Lab to Con.

  13. A higher swing to the Conservatives might have been expected as not only was there the gentrification effect but a double incumbancy effect as well.

    In comparison the Conservatives achieved a better performance in Battersea in 1992 than in Fulham.

  14. Prediction for 2015-
    Hands (Conservative)- 59%
    Labour- 22%
    Liberal Democrats- 12%
    UKIP- 3%
    Green- 2%
    Others- 2%

  15. CON HOLD MAJ : 25%
    CON 50
    LAB 25
    LD 11
    UKIP 8
    GRN 6

  16. I think here that TheResults is likely to be closer than WindsofChange. Perhaps the Tory vote will be a little less than 59% but it will surely be well over 50%. The Tories are much less likely to experience slippage to UKIP in this area than most seats; for the most part their vote is implacable & immovable.

  17. I think The Results’ prediction is bang on. As Barnaby says, this is very much a ‘core vote’ kind of seat and the Tory core happens to be very solid indeed. Labour may recover a bit in the Fulham bits of the seat but if 2013 is anything to go by, the best they’ll be hoping for is 30-35% each in Sands End and Fulham Broadway.

  18. *30-35% in Sands and Fulham Broadway.

  19. Crenmorne Ward in Chelsea has more natural Labour areas (Crenmorne Estate and Worlds End Estate) than some of the Fulham wards. The part of Kings Road in Crenmorne Ward is less gentrified than stretches of New Kings Road in Fulham.

  20. True- though I think the Tories led Labour two-to one there in 2010 (i.e. a better ratio than in Sands End and Fulham Broadway). But yes, Cremorne is Labour’s best ward in Chelsea, with an above average proportion of social housing.

  21. Chelsea and Fulham was, in case you do not remember, one of the five safest Conservative seats in Britain. In 2015, four of these will have their Conservative vote significantly damaged by UKIP (two of the seats in question are in Buckinghamshire, where UKIP is growing strong), but given its profile, Chelsea and Fulham will not suffer from this factor, and thus will become the safest Conservative seat in 2015, in my opinion:

    Con 57
    Lab 25
    Lib Dem 11
    Green 3
    UKIP 2
    Others 2

  22. That would scarcely be unprecedented:

    South Kensington was the safest Tory seat at every election from 1945 to 1970 with the exception of 1964 when it was second. Chelsea was:

    1945 20th
    1950 13th
    1951 20th
    1955 10th
    1959 10th
    1964: 11th
    1966: 10th
    1970: 7th

    Following redistribution in 1974 and the abolition of South Kensington (split in half), Chelsea was:

    1974 (both): 1st
    1979: 4th
    1983: 5th
    1987: 1st
    1992: 2nd

    Kensington & Chelsea following redistribution:

    1997: 11th
    2001: 3rd
    2005: 1st

  23. What was 1st in 1964?

  24. CON: 60%
    LAB: 25%
    LD: 6%
    UKIP: 5%
    GRN: 4%

  25. Error in my data (haven’t checked it in a decade). South Kensington was first in 1964 too.

  26. John- yes I was going to say. IIRC, the second safest was Alec Douglas-Home’s seat of Kinross and W Perthshire. I also noticed that Birmingham Edgbaston was in the top 15. How times change!

  27. In those days some seaside resorts were among the safest but by 1997 most were Labour or Libdem.

  28. Hove was the 9th safest Conservative seat in 1964, and Bristol West was 6th. But other places like Richmond, Worthing, Fylde, Wealden have remained very safe.

    Tory – yes Alec Douglas-Hume was 2nd safest. People have always liked having party leaders as their MP.

  29. The 10 safest Tory seats from 1964 (% majority)

    1. Kensington S
    2. Kinross and W Perthshire
    3. Richmond (Yorks)
    4. Worthing
    5. Bristol W
    6. Solihull
    7. Rye
    8. Hove
    9. Fylde S
    10. Chelsea

    Four seaside divisions including three from Sussex.

  30. S Fylde has never deviated from total safety for the Tories either (it’s basically a rather bigger version of the present Fylde seat). In 1979 for example the Tories racked up a majority of 32,000 there with a close battle between Lab & Lib for a very distant second place. The proximity of Blackpool has had not the slightest effect on the huge Toryism of St Annes & Lytham as far as I can see.

  31. Barnaby- the Tory position has eroded a bit in the S Fylde area but to nowhere near the extent that it has in some seaside constituencies. And it’s arguable that the 2010 result may have been better for the Tories but for the change of incumbent.

  32. Was there any demographic change benefiting the Conservatives in the 1950s?

    I’ve read the before then that Chelsea, whilst still being a highly affluent area, had a rather raffish/bohemian/artistic side.

    And that it was only during the 1950s that it became associated with wealthy businessmen and suchlike.

  33. I think that’s right, it did have that atmosphere way back whereas Kensington was always solidly upper middle class but now there’s no perceptible difference.

  34. Richard- well that was certainly true of the 1850s, when the Rosettis lived there. But I think Chelsea has been seriously moneyed for quite a bit longer than 60 years.

  35. And let us remember that even in 1945, the Conservatives held this seat with a 32.64% majority over Labour, making it the 13th safest opposed Tory division at that election.

  36. The South Fylde boundaries in 1979 mopped up various Conservative areas around Preston, such as villages South of the Ribble e.g. Hutton (where the Lancashire police, whose HQ is there, then voted Tory in large numbers) and Longton.

    We might also comment that until the 1990s the two Blackpool seats were also safe for the Conservatives. I don’t recollect their majorities in 1959 but they were pretty huge.

    Coming back to Chelsea and Fulham, a (perhaps the) major issue for the next General Election is the large number of houses which are being bought up by foreign capitalists.

    Part of the reason was that until a generation ago there was a fair sized religious vote in Lancashire, with the Protestants (many of them Freemasons) voting Conservative and the Catholics Labour. The Fylde is a mainly Anglican area in terms of religious allegiance.

    Coming back to Chelsea and Fulham, a, probably the, major issue for the next General Election is the large number of houses which have been bought for investment/speculation purposes by foreign capitalists. This is likely to result in a considerably reduced electorate and also a low turnout.

    I am tempted to suggest that the richer voters in this seat may regard voting as largely trivial because they use lobbying techniques instead to obtain much greater influence.

  37. I am puzzled about Lotus A White’s prediction that this will become the Conservative party’s safest seat in 2015. I am puzzled above all because Labour was in second place here in 2010. Surely, it will be more likely that the safest Tory seat in 2015 will be one in which the Lib Dems finished in a distant second in 2010. I think it could be Richmond again or possibly somewhere like Sevenoaks where the Lib Dems were 35% behind last time.

  38. Beaconsfield would be another strong candidate.

  39. In this regard, I sometimes mean ‘safest’ seat as in the seat having the highest vote for that party (rather than the largest majority for that party) almost always representing a high core vote that will not drop below 50% under standard circumstances. Chelsea appears to have a core Conservative vote of greater than 50%, and the Cities of London and Westminster’s core Conservative vote is at least 48%.

  40. Thanks for clarifying that. On share of vote, I agree with you that Chelsea and Fulham will be very much up there, though I think Richmond (Yorks) and Beaconsfield may both give their MPs over 60% again.

  41. I too, like LAW, tend to think of the safest seat as being the one with the highest percentage share of the vote, even though that is strictly speaking not always correct. The trajectory of this seat is such that I think it is bound to end up no.1 in the country in that respect before long, perhaps indeed next year.

  42. Tory – I have South Fylde as 5th, otherwise the same. My data is based on newspaper reports in the 1960s, when I first started collecting this data. Probably yours is right.

    As a teenager I had to calculate % shares and swings longhand, as pocket calculators (let alone computers) didn’t come in until the early 1970s. It took weeks!

  43. Of the 20 safest Conservative seats (expressed by % of Conservative vote) only 3 have Labour second. The other 2 are Broxbourne & Aldridge-Brownhills (which remarkably was Labour in 1974 on virtually unchanged boundaries).

  44. John Chanin- I approve of your dedication 🙂

    Aldridge-Brownhills has changed markedly hasn’t it? Why do you think this is? I’m no expert in that area but IIRC, it has become more residential in the post-war decades. I suppose you could also point to the strong C1/C2 presence in this constituency and to the popularity of Richard Shepherd.

  45. I wonder how much traction these independents will get? I can see them winning a couple of seats in May. It’s not a place where Labour or the Lib Dems will ever get traction but if the Tories carry on treating the borough like a personal fiefdom with only the minor inconvience of an election every four years the council could end up like some in Surrey with a large vote for independents. Turning a successful business into housing seems daft. It seems that Chelsea will become a very large and very rich soulless housing estate.

  46. I don’t live there so would have no idea what the silent, staunch Tory-voting majority might stand on the issue, but on the face of it the two independents do have an uphill struggle really.

    Although the business itself is in a back street of sorts, with residential areas around it, it is pretty much directly off Kings Road and also a short walk from Fulham Road, as well as nearby both South Kensington and Sloane Square stations. The general nature of that area in particular seems unlikely to be hugely affected anytime soon.

  47. Any details of the candidates for the local elevations yet?

  48. I think the rise of west ham will really hurt Chelsea and Fulham here , I think Arsenal’s popularity will make a recovery before 2015 but we will surely see them dropping. QPR will be an intriguing one to watch- perhaps they will save their deposit , not something you’d see when Wimbledon were still in the premier league that’s for sure.

  49. Following the re-warding of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the ward makeup of that part of this constituency is: Chelsea Riverside; Redcliffe; Royal Hospital; Stanley; Brompton and Hans Town (part).

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