Cities of London & Westminster

2015 Result:
Conservative: 19570 (54.1%)
Labour: 9899 (27.4%)
Lib Dem: 2521 (7%)
Green: 1953 (5.4%)
UKIP: 1894 (5.2%)
Others: 348 (1%)
MAJORITY: 9671 (26.7%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. The City of London and part of the Westminster council area.

Main population centres: Mayfair, Marylebone, Pimlico, Belgravia.

Profile: The core of London, covering the most of the major landmarks, parks, shopping areas, financial headquarters and housing the main organs of the state. One can be in no doubt that the United Kingdom is a largely centralised state looking at what falls under this single constituency, in the west is Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the Queen, surrounded by the royal parks. Nearby the government departments on Whitehall itself and now spreading down Victoria Street, also the location of New Scotland Yard. The seat covers Downing Street, official residence of the Prime Minister and the Houses of Parliament itself. Heading north there are the major shopping areas of Knightsbridge, Regent and Oxford Streets, the West End theatreland and Soho, then eastwards there are the Inns of Court, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Old Bailey and then finally the City of London itself, with St Paul`s Cathedral, its skyscrapers, the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange..

Politics: The City of London is the small medieval core of the city, originally bounded by the city walls (although it includes some wards outside the line of the old physical walls). It continues to be governed as a separate local authority, the smallest in the country and the only local authority still to have a business franchise. Despite a weekday population of hundreds of thousands, there are relatively few permanent residents here, mostly concentrated in the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate. The vast bulk of the electorate are in Westminster, covering some of the most insanely expensive (and solidly Conservative) residential real estate in the country in Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair. There are dwindling cosmopolitian residential areas in Soho and social housing around Victoria and in Mayfair, but overall this is Conservative territory, with every ward in the constituency returning Conservative councillors since the boundary changes in 2002.

Current MP
MARK FIELD (Conservative) Born 1964. Educated at Reading School and Oxford University. Former Solicitor and director of an employment agency. Kensington and Chelsea councillor 1994-2002. Contested Enfield North 1997. First elected as MP for Cities of London and Westminster in 2001. Opposition Whip 2003-04, Shadow Minister for London 2003-05, Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury 2005, Shadow Minister for Culture 2005-06.
Past Results
Con: 19264 (52%)
Lab: 8188 (22%)
LDem: 7574 (21%)
GRN: 778 (2%)
Oth: 1127 (3%)
MAJ: 11076 (30%)
Con: 17260 (47%)
Lab: 9165 (25%)
LDem: 7306 (20%)
GRN: 1544 (4%)
Oth: 1212 (3%)
MAJ: 8095 (22%)
Con: 15737 (46%)
Lab: 11238 (33%)
LDem: 5218 (15%)
GRN: 1318 (4%)
Oth: 464 (1%)
MAJ: 4499 (13%)
Con: 18981 (47%)
Lab: 14100 (35%)
LDem: 4933 (12%)
Oth: 980 (2%)
MAJ: 4881 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MARK FIELD (Conservative) See above.
BELINDA BROOKS-GORDON (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Middlesex Polytechnic and Cambridge University. Psychologist. Cambridgshire councillor. Contested West Suffolk 2010, East of England 2014 European election.
HUGH SMALL (Green) Educated at Durham University. Former management consultant.
JILL MCLACHLAN (CPA) Contested Cities of London and Westminster 2005, North West European region 2009.
Comments - 570 Responses on “Cities of London & Westminster”

    GRUMPY: CON 302 LAB 269 LD 18 SNP 37

    BM11: CON 377 LAB 187 LD 21 SNP 42

    HEMMELIG: CON 335 LAB 225 LD 25 SNP 42

    LANCS OB: CON 340 LAB 235 LD 15 SNP 35

    LAMBETHGRN CON 304 LAB 270 LD 12 SNP 40

    TIM JONES: CON 326 LAB 232 LD 24 SNP 42

    TRISTAN: CON: 348 LAB 224 LD 15 SNP 42

    POLLTROLL: CON: 318 LAB: 262 LD: 12 SNP: 35

    DEEPTHROAT: CON 361 LAB 211 LD 14 SNP 39

  2. Well done Deepthroat

  3. RESULT: CON 365 LAB 203 LD 11 SNP 48
    Thanks Matt. Yes, I think I was the closest. I made a nice amount of money backing the Tories 340 seats +, maj 75-100 and BXP zero seats & betting on Tories in N & Mid seats. I lost a quite bit though backing turnout <66%

  4. Grumpy is happy that his prediction was wrong.

  5. Well done deep.

    I had bets on Cons in Ashfield, Blackpool S, Barrow, Bassetlaw, Brecon, Cheltenham, East Devon, Finchley & GG, Moray, Vale of C.

    DUP in East Belfast, Antrim S, SDLP in Foyle.

    Lab in Birkenhead.

    Think my only seat loss was N Down.

    Waiting on St Ives for my all Cornwall seats Cons bet.

  6. Ty. Well done. Was it on exchanges or with normal bookies?

    I had Moray and Banff B; & Blackpool;. I lost on Leica E & Kensington (Lab)

  7. Wifi went down yesterday lunchtime. gone to a relative to post here – might get a doddle working.

    Congrats deepthroat and Lancs on yours wins.

    I will anaylise the result more when i have time.

  8. Well done Deepthroat. What is your prize?

  9. I’ve had a look at the odds with Ladbrokes and they aren’t much different from 2016.

    eg 10/11 Florida for either Trump or Biden

    To lose the popular vote but win is 23/10

    I think only the Trafalgar Group polling & Michael Moore tip Trump to win, which is also the same as 2016.

    I realise Biden is keeping a low profile, but it strikes me as odd that he’s repeating the same omission as Clinton (by missing out some swing states in the final week).

  10. Not sure what that has to do with this seat? Perhaps it was intended for the Western Isles thread.

    Nickie Aiken was quite lucky to win this seat – at least partly thanks to the split opposition, like the other inner London Lib Dem targets. She won on 39.9%, with Chuka on 30.7% and Labour on 27.2%. Large swing against the Tories. I was very surprised when Chuka’s candidacy was announced. I thought he might have been been gifted Twickenham to take over from Vince Cable. The Lib Dems got a bit overexcited by their EU election performances. There was a big improvement in the Lib Dem vote share here, but as Chuka said, it was a mountain to climb. They did well to replace Labour in second place.

    Labour, of course, had selected a far-left vicar, Steven Saxby, who had a rather dubious history. Following stories of an extra-marital affair in the Daily Mail, Saxby was suspended from the party, pending an investigation relating to sexual harassment, and withdrew his candidacy. The replacement PPC, Gordon Nardell, was Labour’s general counsel under Corbyn and set up its in-house legal services operation. The party still campaigned there although it quite clearly wasn’t going to win the seat, both thanks to Chuka and Corbyn. Still, at least it probably shook the Tory complacency in this seat. Nicky Morgan was seen campaigning for Nickie.

    Electoral Calculus currently has this as a Labour gain, although the boundary review is coming so it may be different at the next GE. It’s quite possible that Labour could win from third place in a similar seat. Depends who the LDs select, although I can’t see any of those detectors standing for them again.

    There was a very interesting discussion on the North East Somerset thread about Islam in the UK a while ago and I noted that H. Hemmelig lived just off Edgware Road in the late 90s as a student… probably in this seat? The boundary between CLW and Westminster North currently runs across Edgware Road. In WN, the part nearer Maida Vale has bits of Little Venice ward but is largely covered by Church Street. It’s very Middle Eastern, and fairly rundown. There is the new West End Gate development of luxury flats on Edgware Road though. The council ward is safe for Labour but those flats might bring in more Tory voters. Church Street ward includes the Edgware Road Bakerloo line station. Across the Marylebone Road flyover, its Hyde Park ward in CLW, and it’s still very Middle Eastern, but far more upmarket. Tony Blair lives in that bit. I was at school near Edgware Road from 1998-2005 so I would have been around there at the same time as HH was local.

  11. 4pm News Conf from Boris (brought forward from Monday due to the leak).

    Expected to be a 4 week closure of non-essential shops and pubs from next week, but schools to remain open.

    The only saving grace is how much that’ll annoy both Dan Carden and the NEU rep who both enjoy a drink or 7. [For those not aware, bars in Lpool had already banned him and other Labour MPs who voted in favour of closing bars at 10pm a month ago]

  12. Thanks for the information, but surely the only connection to this thread is the likely location of that news conference being in this seat.

  13. Wow…the predictions for the GE above on December 13th, 2019 at 1:12 am.

    Who is that Deepthroat character…he got it almost exactly right! Spooky.

  14. This is TM from the previous post, I thought I’d use my old login (registered to Harry Perkins, which I’ve previously commented under) and a more better username than just two letters. I tried to post this the other day but it got stuck “awaiting moderation” for some reason. I’m not sure Anthony is still checking those posts.

    The Local Government Boundary Commission published its final recommendations for Westminster City Council earlier this year. They can be seen at:

    Based on the current wards in this seat:
    Hyde Park, West End, Knightsbridge & Belgravia, St James’s and Vincent Square will still exist.
    Bryanston and Dorset Square and Marylebone High Street are replaced by Marylebone.
    Churchill, Tachbrook and Warwick (the latter being the ward in which Nickie Aiken is still a councillor, a by-election had been planned for May) would be replaced by Pimlico North and Pimlico South.
    There are no new or abolished wards from those currently in Westminster North.

    There would be 54 councillors, down from 60, representing 18 (down from 20) three-councillor wards.
    I can see Labour taking the council in 2022. I think the demographics are going against the Tories, unless all the new builds help them. Labour currently have 19 to the 41 Conservative councillors. Labour start out with 17 councillors in the existing wards, plus another two in Churchill which will come under Pimlico South. So with another nine councillors, they’d have a majority. Three wards currently have split representation, so that’s a good foundation for a clean sweep by Labour in those wards.

    In 2018 they underperformed, probably thanks to boundaries, Corbyn and Brexit. In 2022 they’ll have in their favour a more acceptable leader, the post-Brexit blowback, new boundaries and the usual mid-term dissatisfaction with the government.

    Much of the West End and Hyde Park wards feel like a typical inner-city Labour stronghold in terms of the ethnic composition, which will also help with them being able to win CLW. Of course, the visible population in the West End ward itself may not actually be residents there, as the area would have a significantly higher ‘daytime population’ than that of its permanent resident population.

  15. I found an old article from 1996 in the Spectator recently by Sir Alfred Sherman, a former adviser to Thatcher and councillor in K&C. He was defending Shirley Porter against the charge of gerrymandering (the charges were later upheld by the legal process):
    “INSTEAD of being pilloried on the basis of trumped-up charges, Dame Shirley Porter deserves praise for fighting to save the heart of our capital from Islingtonisation, Washingtonisation and dereliction — a fate still hanging over it. Wealthy enough to choose any occupation she pleased, or none, and to live in Israel or California if she wished, she chose instead to stay and fight to save Westminster from a fate which threatens so many Western capitals and major cities in our age of welfare democracy and mass migration.
    Several factors combined to threaten Westminster with inner-city blight and Labour rule, which elsewhere in London has proved the certain harbinger of a seemingly irreversible downward spiral, as Hackney, Islington, Lambeth and Southwark demonstrate. High rates, rising crime and hotelisation to provide for tourist hordes drove middle-class families who work in central London out to the suburbs or beyond the Green Belt.
    Harold Wilson’s 1968 Tourist Promotion Act, with its generous subsidies to hotels to allow them to spread into residential areas, was ostensibly designed to create employment. But from the outset its effect was to draw in labour on a vast scale from the southern Mediterranean, Morocco and south-east Asia, with consequences for central London’s demographic composition. As a result of tourist promotion, so many citizens have been driven out that the number of (Tory-held) constituencies has been reduced.
    Dwellings were also acquired by firms, both British and foreign, to the exclusion of day-to-day citizens and voters. Worse still, Sixties legislation, which turned its back on Elizabeth I’s wisdom and forced local authorities to house all homeless from all over the British Isles and the four corners of the earth, created an endless siphon drawing in a welfariat: the modern version of that class for which Marx coined the term lumpenproletariat’ (criminalised degraded class). It was destined to reproduce slums wherever it landed.” (paywalled)

    I would post the whole article, which is a bit longer, but I don’t want to get in trouble. The point is that Sherman was defending Porter on the basis that she was saving Westminster from becoming a Labour fiefdom and the associated problems he perceived. What she did was ruled illegal, but it may have only delayed the process by thirty years or so (from the late 1980s when she began her Building Stable Communities project). The boroughs mentioned by Sherman have gentrified a lot since 1996, I believe, and become more trendy, especially with young people. With or without Labour, they still have their issues, but I feel there’s limited scope for that kind of gentrification in Westminster.
    Porter also intended to keep the then-marginal Westminster North Conservative, but cramming the safe Labour wards with rehoused homeless people (keeping them out of marginal wards) won’t have helped with that.

    There was a Radio 4 play about Porter broadcast in 2009, Shirleymander, in which she was played by Tracy-Ann Oberman. It was staged at the Playground Theatre in North Kensington in 2018, starring Jessica Martin.

  16. There’s more important things to discuss today perhaps but I disagree that the council will take this next time.

    Lab will win in west of St John’s Wood, in the Kilburn and North Westminster area but the Tories will still reign in st. John’s Wood Marylebone and Mayfair. I don’t understand how you can say the area of Mayfair might be labour friendly; you use the word ethnic but most of the “ethnic people” are well off or very well off! Most won’t be voting labour

  17. Ps. I lived in W1 for years

  18. I presume you are disagreeing that Labour will take the council next time (it isn’t clear from your comment). Yes, of course the Tories will still have their safe areas. St. John’s Wood has two wards though – Abbey Road and Regent’s Park. The latter is marginal. I didn’t specify Mayfair. Of course that area wouldn’t be Labour friendly, but it’s in the West End ward, where Labour won a councillor last time. The ward also includes Soho and Fitzrovia. Mayfair probably also has a lot of absentee voters or those who can’t even register.

    The Guardian article about Mayfair’s first ever Labour councillor (linked here I believe) was interesting, although a tad disingenuous. I would imagine that the polling station ballot box for Mayfair was easily won by the Tories. West End ward had the lowest turnout last time actually.

    And the Tories only won the popular vote by 1.7% in 2018.

  19. JTAC has raised the UK’s terror threat from substantial to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.

  20. It looks like my prediction from November 2020 was accurate:
    “I can see Labour taking the council in 2022.”

    Mark Felt disagreed. A pity I didn’t put a bet on it, though I’m not sure I’d have made much.

    Still, the thought that Labour might win Westminster was off the radar for the media. The BBC only bothered to have cameras at Wandsworth and Barnet. The footage used on their news broadcasts for Westminster appeared to have been taken from someone’s phone!

    Quite totemic, but surely it must have been a major exception to the rule of Labour running the councils in major English urban centres. I think Thatcher’s former adviser Alfred Sherman was worried about Westminster becoming another Brent – the north of the borough is like that in parts. This constituency (CLW) won’t exist at the next election it seems, but the successor is currently projected as Labour by Electoral Calculus.

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