Chingford & Woodford Green

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20999 (47.9%)
Labour: 12613 (28.8%)
Lib Dem: 2400 (5.5%)
Green: 1854 (4.2%)
UKIP: 5644 (12.9%)
TUSC: 241 (0.6%)
Others: 53 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 8386 (19.1%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Waltham Forest council and part of Redbridge council.

Main population centres: Chingford, Woodford Green.

Profile: A north-east London seat straddling the boundary between Waltham Forest and Redbridge. This is white, owner-occupied Tory suburbia on the edge of Epping Forest and alongside the Chingford reservoirs in the Lee Valley. The majority of the seat is made up of Chingford; Woodford is split between Leyton and Wanstead, Ilford North and this seat, with the part west of the Central Line coming under Chingford and Woodford Green.

Politics: A safe Conservative seat represented by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, but perhaps more associated with his predecessor for the Chingford portion of the seat, Norman Tebbit.

Current MP
IAIN DUNCAN SMITH (Conservative) Born 1954, Edinburgh. Educated at HMS Conway and Sandhurst. Former Army officer. Contested Bradford West 1987. First elected as MP for Chingford in 1992. Shadow social security secretary 1997-1999, shadow defence secretary 1999-2001. Leader of the Conservative party 2001-2003. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since 2010. As a new MP Iain Duncan Smith immediately marked himself out as a right-winger and Eurosceptic by joining the Parliamentary rebellion against the Maastricht treaty. This would be one of the things that undermined his own position as leader a decade later. He became party leader in 2003, the first to be elected by the party membership. His leadership was short and troubled. He never had the full support of the Parliamentary party, his public speaking skills were derided and he was te victim of plotting within central office. Eventually he was ousted by a no-confidence vote of the Parliamentary party. On the backbenches he founded the Centre for Social Justice think tank, and returned as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions upon the Conservative partys return to office.
Past Results
Con: 22743 (53%)
Lab: 9780 (23%)
LDem: 7242 (17%)
BNP: 1288 (3%)
Oth: 2053 (5%)
MAJ: 12963 (30%)
Con: 20555 (53%)
Lab: 9914 (26%)
LDem: 6832 (18%)
UKIP: 1078 (3%)
Oth: 269 (1%)
MAJ: 10641 (28%)
Con: 17834 (48%)
Lab: 12347 (33%)
LDem: 5739 (16%)
BNP: 1062 (3%)
MAJ: 5487 (15%)
Con: 21109 (47%)
Lab: 15395 (35%)
LDem: 6885 (15%)
Oth: 1059 (2%)
MAJ: 5714 (13%)

2015 Candidates
IAIN DUNCAN SMITH (Conservative) See above.
BILAL MAHMOOD (Labour) Born Woodford. Educated at Nottingham University. Solicitor.
ANNE CROOK (Liberal Democrat) Teacher.
FREDDY VACHHA (UKIP) Businessman and entrepreneur.
Comments - 359 Responses on “Chingford & Woodford Green”
  1. @rivers10 have the boundary commission actually ever said anything about crossing the Thames there? If you don’t do this you are forced to lump several Hounslow or Feltham wards onto Hampton (which would not be popular to say the least) and would ruin the Twickenham constituency which is the rights size and probably shouldn’t be touched.

    One change I have just made to my above arrangement is I have switched Harrow Weald into Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner and moved Rayners Lane into Harrow Central because it looks nicer (although it does make Harrow Central even better for Labour).

    Nevertheless if I was a non partisan boundary commission I would be quite happy with my 68 constituencies.

  2. Pepperminttea
    I’m not sure if they have ever explicitly stated you can’t but they have a rule (which admittedly they often break) about respecting geographical divides and the Thames is a pretty obvious one, they have vetoed seats in the past fro crossing much smaller rivers put it that way. Since time immemorial that boundary has been preserved with no seat crossing the Thames I’m not sure if they’ll ever break it..

    Yes this does force a pretty nasty pairing between Richmond and Hounslow but the BC proposed just that last time with a “Teddington and Hampton” seat.

  3. Yeah I agree they will probably create a very odd seat around Hampton, Teddington and Hanworth although I think we both agree that avoiding this by putting Richmond with Chiswick is a far nicer option which gives you Twickenham, Richmond and Chiswick, Hounslow Central and Feltham, Southall and Heston, Ealing Central and Brentford (or something like that) which are all ok seats.

  4. The post-2011 rules for parliamentary boundaries cite constituency size as the only consideration. I am sure that the Boundary Commission won’t be too squeamish about crossing the Thames if they deem it necessary. Remember Mersey Banks?

  5. Andy
    The electoral figure is the primary focus but they still have other rules such as avoiding cross county seats at all costs, totally banning cross region seats or enclaves within seats etc

    Mersey Banks (monstrosity as it was) actually got hugely modified in the consultation period and in the end didn’t actually cross the Mersey, it just slithered along the length of it, crossing three boroughs in the process.

  6. IDS has endorsed Andrea Leadsom.

  7. Lord Freud has resigned as a DWP Minister.

    With McVey, Grayling and IDS gone, he was the last Minister still in the Dept who introduced Universal Credit and the welfare to work companies such as A4e.

  8. “At least in the case of the Tories IDS knew his time was up.”

    And that was even though he was polling better than his predecessor and as well as his successor, who never received the same flak. It would be interesting to know how well IDS would have actually polled if his party had stuck with him / got behind him. He was starting to move onto quite interesting, traditional Labour, ground – looking at sustainable models in Europe that could be used for the NHS, and taking what seemed a genuine interest in lowbrow estates in places like Glasgow.

    He was a poor communicator, particularly compared to Blair, but I think the above type policies / noises made in those areas, partly mitigated this in the eyes of the electorate – hence he didn’t poll that terribly all things considered. However, his more socially liberal colleagues decided he must go as there was a vocal minority of the public/celebrities generating a lot of negative publicity for his socially conservative stances (which he was too OTT with, insisting on 3-line whips for votes on civil partnerships that he was never going to defeat anyway).

    I always felt he might have done better at the 2005 election than Howard – but it’s also possible that Blair might have wrong-footed him in the campaign more than Howard, and caused his poll numbers to fall a lot more at the last hurdle I suppose.

  9. I remember the time well and I am pretty sure that Portillo would have been a touchy-feely disaster – they would then have lost part of the hard core loyalists as well as other groups they’d done well with in the 80s that had already been lost to Blair. There would have been no reason for metro types to vote Portillo in the main, as they were still broadly ok with Blair in 2001.

    Doubt JS would have done quite as well as Blair in 1997, obviously would have got a majority government though.

    DM would have done a little better than Ed I believe, and, more importantly, the military consensus would still exist and we would be less a bunch of pussyfooting pacifists now.

  10. Conservative Estimate, the three Hertfordshire seats you mention were difficult for Labour to win even in past times.

    Labour won St Albans (on 1997 boundaries which notably did not include rock solidly-Conservative Harpenden that time) from third place, not second.

    Hemel Hempstead (where I was the Green Party candidate in 2015) was won by Labour in October 1974 but not February 1974, and even then by only 485 votes (partly because Berkhamsted and Tring were also in the constituency), and even in 1997 (the most Labour-friendly boundaries of a Dacorum-based constituency to date) they needed a considerable swing to win. The same thing applies to Welwyn Hatfield.

  11. IDS isn’t very bright nor particularly popular locally, but given the polls he is sure to hold on. It will be interesting to see what happens to this seat in the boundary review.

  12. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Bilal Mahmood.


    The folk at the New Statesman feel this is toe-curlingly bad; personally I think it’s well into “so bad, it’s good” territory.

  14. IDS’ majority slashed to under 2 438 (5.2 %). Shame he didn’t lose though

  15. I’m guessing on boundary changes it would be notionally Labour now?

  16. It depends. If a Labour Majority occurs then yes it would fall but if Labour go backward then it is unlikely it be gained.

  17. The latest opinion poll would see a Labour gain here.

  18. Given how marginal this is now, I’m guessing Labour managed to make in-roads in Chingford. Possible they that carried the two Woodford wards. I know the latter quite well, particularly South Woodford. It’s a nice area overall, there’s been a visible growth in ethnic diversity.

  19. The swing to Labour here looks to me to be fairly close to the norm for places which had a narrow Remain lead in the referendum – it was 51:49 here.

    So taking a few similarly ‘narrow remain’ seats, the swing was 5% in Loughborough, and 6.5% in Ruislip & Northwood, 7% in Chingford and Woodford, and 8% in Wycombe.

  20. IDS will be targeted like hell for a Portillo Moment next time by Labour locally and possibly regionally as well- It’s one of their few targets for miles in the area, and I think they’ll go all out to try and take it- they’d do worse than look to readopt Bilal Mahmood for the first time, seeing as he’s already secured two big swings in his favour here.

  21. Norman Tebbit’s and IDS’s initial Chingford Constituency would have been a Labour Gain.

    The addition of Woodford in 1997 turned it from a safe Conservative seat to an ultra safe Conservative seat but so much has changed since then.

    Chingford’s was created in Feb 1974 combining the part of Epping that did not become Harlow with the part of Walthamstow East that did not merge with Walthamstow West to become Walthamstow.

  22. I doubt that the Woodford wards would have voted Labour personally, though perhaps Church End wouldn’t have voted Tory by much. I think that Labour won Valley & Hale End/Highams Park wards, were roughly up to the Tories in Larkswood & Hatch Lane wards and were behind by varying degrees in the other 4.
    But I could be completely wrong.

  23. I think Labour will have narrowly carried Church End- the Conservatives have not done terribly well there in recent years.

  24. Certainly a seat that is trending Labour at a rapid rate. I suspect the seat hasn’t been worked intensively in the past but will now become a key target. I could well see a number of wards in this seat fall to Labour next year at the council elections including Larkswood and Hatch Lane with Labour picking up the remaining seats in Valley and Hale End & Highams Park. Over in Redbridge, Labour may well pick up Church End. Any boundary changes in this seat are highly unlikely to favour the Tories going forward. Suspect IDS will retire next time round even if it’s an early election. In the longer term it will probably go the way of Ilford North.

  25. I was waiting to see if anyone responded to this trolling. Must be frustrating for you that nobody did (well OK, I guess I have). On the subject of your link, you seem to be saying that IDS supports No Deal Brexit. Well blow me down with a feather, that is certainly a piece of news guaranteed to take us all by surprise.

  26. I suspect that most people just saw the name in question had posted and didn’t even bother reading it…I know I did.

  27. It’s a sad decline and symptomatic of what Brexit has done to many formerly mainstream Tories. I’ve seen it with numerous people I know, I have to say usually from the older end of the age spectrum. Joe’s always been a bit partisan here but his views always used to be thoughtful and I respected him and often agreed. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have parroted simplistic garbage from IDS then. Who’s he going to cut and paste next I wonder, Tommy Robinson?

  28. Well,I didn’t just mean his views…more that there always seems to be some doubt as to whether it really is the ‘real’ JJB posting. Gets tedious after a while.

  29. Iain Duncan Smith set to be named Boris’s campaign chief. I wonder how George Osborne feels about that.

  30. I thought Gavin Williamson was running his campaign?

  31. Seems like he has been demoted for some reason.

  32. Fingers crossed this means GW won’t be back in the Cabinet.

  33. Presumably Boris going into hiding and dodging interviews and debates was in large part on Gavin’s advice. I’m not sure it will be as successful a strategy as it was in the MPs vote. Also don’t discount the possibility of Boris’s ex-wife launching some kind of bombshell to derail his chances.

  34. Could be from either of them Marina (Who he is not divorced from yet) or his first wife Allegra.

  35. Either woman would be offered a huge amount of money to talk (particularly his current wife, who he has quite frankly treated like shit). The thing is that both of these ladies are decidedly upper middle class and speaking to the press about this wouldn’t be the ‘done thing’. Marina Wheeler also has her children to consider.

  36. ‘Either woman would be offered a huge amount of money to talk’

    Wasted money in my opinion

    I’ve no doubt Boris behaviour towards both women has been absolutely vile but just as with the Trump tape when he bragged about “grabbing women by the pussy” it wouldn’t have any affect on his popularity within the electorate voting for the next PM

    Today’s Tory Party members aren’t the lovable old boy Christian types they used to be. They are Brexit-obsessed, Scottish-hating, Little Englander reactionaries – the British equivalent to Trump’s Make America Great rabble

  37. I kind of agree but I’m not sure which way round the cause and effect are. Is it that the attitudes of the Conservative Party changed, and this enabled Boris Johnson’s ascent? Or did Johnson capture the party’s soul, and forced the members to dance to his tune?

  38. I don’t agree with Tim’s view that most Tory members today are a cross between Alf Garnett and Loadsamoney. Many deeply dislike Boris. If they vote for him it will be because they are putting their reservations to one side in the cause of Brexit and/or winning an election. Nevertheless many grassroots Tories remain determined to oppose Boris and I am not of the opinion he has it in the bag yet. Polls of geriatric blue rinse ladies are never going to be easy to administer to any degree of accuracy.

  39. That’s the ironic thing about Johnson. For such a supposedly ‘fun’, ‘cuddly’ and popular figure, he is despised by a remarkably wide cross section of people. To paraphrase Max Hastings, to know Boris is to loathe him. If he indeed does make it, I think he will be appallingly bad PM. Worse than Corbyn? Tough to answer but perhaps..

  40. It makes you work backwards and wonder whether he was really all that popular in his pre-Bannon, “Heineken Tory” days when he was mayor of London. Was that just a media thing?

  41. Polltroll- it’s quite hard for me to say as I was living abroad during his time as Mayor. I’ve always thought that the boasts of him winning a ‘Labour city’ twice were disingenuous. Lab were really struggling in 2008 in particular, plus he was up against Livingstone both times who looked tired, cranky and has his share of detractors.

  42. That said, Boris’ backers have to go with the London mayor thing as there isn’t much else to say about him politically. ‘Completely disinterested constituency MP’ and ‘shite Foreign Secretary’ don’t have quite the same ring to it.

  43. I noticed one of his female backers (I think it was either Patel or Truss) mentioning how he had been a great mayor but simply had been foreign Secretary. Even the spinners don’t really try and spin his time there too much.

  44. The Times saying their Model still has IDS at risk. Sceptical of that out of seat Campaigners seem to be ignoring it in favour of defending the Enfield seats or campaigning to gain Chipping Barnet.

  45. This is going to be a Labour seat sooner rather than later, just on demographics. The only question is whether that happens before the seat is abolished by boundary changes.

  46. Hugh Grant has campaigned here for the Labour Candidate. Not just Lib Dems he is endorsing then.

  47. I predict Lab gain here.

  48. Any way old IDS can cling on here? I am almost certain this is the last election he’ll fight in this constituency.

  49. 97% chance he will hang on but I do think 2024 will see his retirement as he be turning 70 and boundary changes might make his task harder (through it might also make it easier.)

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