Croydon Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22753 (43%)
Labour: 22588 (42.7%)
Lib Dem: 1152 (2.2%)
Green: 1454 (2.7%)
UKIP: 4810 (9.1%)
TUSC: 127 (0.2%)
Others: 57 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 165 (0.3%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Croydon, New Addington.

Profile: While Croydon Central contains the commercial and shopping centre of Croydon, it is really the eastern part of the borough. Most of the seat is semi-detached, middle-of-the-road suburbia, places like Shirley and Heathfield, although to the north of the constituency is more ethnically mixed. At the southern end of the constituency is the large council estate of New Addington, a somewhat isolated development on the very edge of London that that has traditionally provided Labour with the core of their support in this seat.

Politics: Croydon Central may not really be central geographically (it is more the east of the brough), but it certainly is political, halfway between the safe Tory Croydon South and safely Labour Croydon North. It was held by Labour between 1997 and 2005 before being won by the Conservatives on a wafer thin minority. The new Conservative MP Andrew Pelling was subsequetly suspended from the party following his arrest on an allegation of assault. No charges were pressed and Pelling sued the Mail on Sunday successfully for libel. He contested the 2010 election as an Independent (one of four MPs at the election who stood against their former parties as independents), finishing fourth but saving his deposit, and was replaced by Conservative Gavin Barwell. The Conservatives narrowly retained it in 2015 on the smallest majority in London.

Current MP
GAVIN BARWELL (Conservative) Born 1972, Cuckfield. Educated at Trinity School of John Whitgift and Cambridge University. Former Conservative party director of operations and head of the party`s target seats campaign. Croydon councillor 1998-2010. First elected as MP for Croydon Central in 2010. PPS to Greg Clark 2011-12, PPS to Michael Gove 2012-2013. Government whip since 2013. Selected for Sutton and Cheam prior to the 2005 election, but withdrew due to family illness.
Past Results
Con: 19567 (39%)
Lab: 16688 (34%)
LDem: 6553 (13%)
BNP: 1448 (3%)
Oth: 5411 (11%)
MAJ: 2879 (6%)
Con: 19974 (41%)
Lab: 19899 (41%)
LDem: 6384 (13%)
UKIP: 1066 (2%)
Oth: 1634 (3%)
MAJ: 75 (0%)
Con: 17659 (39%)
Lab: 21643 (47%)
LDem: 5156 (11%)
UKIP: 545 (1%)
Oth: 857 (2%)
MAJ: 3984 (9%)
Con: 21535 (39%)
Lab: 25432 (46%)
LDem: 6061 (11%)
Oth: 885 (2%)
MAJ: 3897 (7%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
GAVIN BARWELL (Conservative) See above.
SARAH JONES (Labour) Campaigns and policy director.
JAMES FEARNLEY (Liberal Democrat) Educated at LSE. Communications consultant.
PETER STAVELEY (UKIP) Born 1962, Crawley. Educated at St Wilfreds and Polytechnic of Central London. Transport planning consultant. Contested Lewisham West and Penge 2010.
ESTHER SUTTON (Green) Educated at Winchester School of Art. Publican.
MARTIN CAMDEN (UK Progressive Democracy)
Comments - 721 Responses on “Croydon Central”
  1. “I’m in favour of devolution so that the Northerners can’t blame Westminster for their problems.”

    It doesn’t work like that. Plenty of Scots still blame Westminster for their problems. Hell, plenty of Brits still blame Brussels for their problems.

  2. Well what do you suggest? Forcibly relocating companies to the North when they don’t want to be there. If people want jobs they need to go where the employers and the jobs are. I’m ready to move anywhere after university to get the job I want.

    If you’d say that during the industrial revolution that the industrial revolution only favoured the towns you’d have starved to death in the countryside.

  3. I would be here all day if I described exactly how it would work but firstly there needs to be MAJOR investment to get the North/Midlands up to speed with the South, trains, high speed internet, innovative new forms of mass transit, renewable energy, new towns the works.

    Once the regions are an attractive place to invest the Gov needs to have more oversight, rather than just letting companies invest willy nilly wherever and whenever have proper plans in place for tech hubs, enterprise zones etc dotted about the North/Mildands. A lot of this really comes down to the Business Dee meeting and talking with these companies and really pushing the hard sell for the poorer regions. This used to happen a bit under New Lab, its basically dried up since the Cons got in.

    And this is the really brutal but I feel necessary measure in that the SE and London need to be semi choked of investment. I certainly don’t mean leave them to rot but imitate measures that not only make the rest of the country more attractive to invest in but actually make the South less attractive. For example one measure that probably needs thinking through could be an additional “Southern Levy” on investment into the SE. If a company is adamant it has to locate its HQ in Woking fine but it has to pay a proportionate levy for doing so to discourage them and perhaps get them to consider investing in the regions. Any money raised from such a measure would fund the aforementioned infrastructure projects. This obviously wouldn’t go on forever rather its a medium term solution to rectify things, affirmative action on geographic grounds.

  4. Why choke an area of investment forcibly?

    I think we should just make trains going to London from the Midlands faster to boost that region.

  5. “Why choke an area of investment forcibly?”

    Cos Capital is finite, money going down South is money that could be going to the regions and given that companies like to cluster together and most companies are already locate down South they NEED to be pushed elsewhere otherwise they just wont consider the regions.

    “I think we should just make trains going to London from the Midlands faster to boost that region”

    1) Why just the Midlands?
    2) That seriously lacks ambition and at best will improve things a tiny bit. The lack of trains is just a small part of the problem, there are other infrastructure issues.
    3) More likely that will just suck more wealth down South, that’s the consensus on what HS2 will accomplish. We need better connectivity between the poorer regions (trans Pennine routes creating a Northern Megapolis from Liverpool to Hull for example) not increased connectivity with London. If you want the North to stand on its own two feet it needs to be economically independent of London not a distant dormitory region.

  6. I see from ward breakdowns where available from the EU referendum results that Ashburton ward here was a dead heat – 3,885 votes for both Remain and Leave. It was the only one I saw on the full breakdown.

  7. What was the LEAVE vote for Croydon Central?

  8. According to the figures published in various places recently, the result in Croydon Central was Remain 49.7%, Leave 50.3%.,_2016#Result_by_Constituency

  9. Gavin Barwell (as Housing Minister) has published details of the proposed ban on private letting agents’ fees.

    He stated that there should be no admin fees for checks at the outset or for renewal of tenancies. The Govt is also considering a cap on deposits (as apparently some charge 2 months’ rent rather than the norm of 1 or 1.5).

    This should prove popular, including in this seat.

  10. Sarah Jones who stood for Labour in 2015 has been re selected to be the candidate. Seems unlikely that a Labour gain would happen this time through campaigners are being sent to the seat from both main parties.

  11. I don’t see any prospect of Labour winning here this time.

    1. It was no better than a 50-50 seat for Remain

    2. A fair proportion of the Labour vote still comes from WWC and non-muslim Asians, few of whom will be happy to vote for Corbyn

    3. A 9% UKIP vote, much of which will go to Barwell

    I think the Tories won’t be far shy of 50% here this time, though it’s going to be a key seat for Labour when they get their act together.

  12. This seat voted for GOLDSMITH and LEAVE and has a considerable UKIP vote, CON HOLD

  13. How much of an issue is Southern Rail here? I note that Croydon has a decent tram link to central London so maybe that is being used by commuters instead?

  14. The tram only goes as far as Wimbeldon so it probably is a fair issue here.

  15. Southern is a very big deal in this seat.

  16. Southern also a big issue where I live (Mid Sussex) but won’t have any impact on the election.

  17. Labour and UKIP have selected the same candidates as in 2015.

  18. The Southern issue was obviously massive here and the only topic of conversation for around 12 months up to March this year. Since then the trains have been pretty reliable, or at least as good as they are likely to get before London Bridge is finished. It’s amazing how quickly people move on and put to the back of there minds how bad it was. I honestly think this will have zero impact on the election.

    If the Tories end up 10% ahead nationally on Election Day
    then they will hold this. Obviously the polls are showing much higher leads so I would expect a pretty comfortable hold…

  19. I Finished straw poll for this seat on Monday evening and the results show a Labour gain with just over a 4.5% swing from the Cons, to Lab
    Straw phone poll result;
    LAB …. 49%
    CON … 40%
    LD …….. 6%
    UKIP …..2%

  20. Jesus.

  21. The most recent YouGov poll with Con 43/ Lab 38 shows a 0.8% swing from Con to Lab, enough to gain this seat and several others including Brighton Kempton.

    I think Labour will do relatively better in London than in the UK so if there is still a small swing to the Conservatives in the UK we could see a small swing to Labour in London.
    Both constituency polls in Battersea and Kensington show swings from Con to Lab (although these are strong Remain areas).

    It looks more likely than Gavin Barwell will lose and less likely that the Conservatives can regain the four seats lost to Labour in 2015.

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