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 - 746 Responses on “Croydon Central”
  1. The Two Ronnies Mastermind routine is one of the greatest comedy sketches of all time in my opinion.

  2. Very sad news indeed, he was one of our national treasures.

  3. I thought he lived in Sanderstead!


  4. Mayoral result (excluding postal):

    Goldsmith 10270 40.0%
    Khan 10241 39.9%

  5. Pretty impressive result for Goldsmith here, I don’t think many people would have predicted this.

    As we thought the Tories in the southern half of the borough showed up in greater numbers than the Labour north…. 2 thoughts

    1. Labour did win Wadden ward quite convincing which bodes well for the next council elections. This is one of the key marginals on the council
    2. Croydon Central will be very interesting at the next election! Barwell might well have a good chance to hang on.

  6. On Electoral Calculus figures this is notionally Tory by about 1000 – but bottom line is still extremely marginal.

  7. I don’t get this argument of “dying Tory voters”. Yes, old people die between elections but everyone else gets older (and more Tory).

  8. I think that the trend in this seat has been somewhat overhyped on here. It is worth remembering that in 2015 London as a whole swung fairly significantly towards Labour, so in that context rather than the national context that result was not especially unusual. At the locals in 2014 – in the context of a strong Labour result across the city – Labour only carried Croydon Central by about 2,500. And as Maxim noted Goldsmith won it in the mayoral election. So whilst it is undoubtedly the case that the area has experienced significant demographic changes over the past 20-30 years it may well be that things have now settled down into the seat being highly marginal.

  9. Apparently ElectoralCalculus are “awarding” the new Croydon Central to the Tories by 5,000 votes. Not sure how they reached that outcome.

  10. It’s almost like stupendous momentum.
    Electoral Calculus is a bit of fun though.

  11. I’m assuming that’s a 2020 projection based on current polling, rather than a notional 2015 majority on the new boundaries.

  12. It must be strange for long-term Tory supporters like JJB. Between 2010 and 2015 most of them thought they’d struggle to hold onto power, and now it’s the complete opposite. No serious challenge to power for the Tories. Not sure whether it’s a good thing for the country though.

  13. I am confused by the notional results for Croydon Central and Croydon South. New Addington in Croydon Central and Purley in Croydon South are swapped but the notional results still list Croydon Central as an ultra Conservative marginal and Croydon South as a safe Conservative seat. How is this possible? I would have through that such boundary changes would have removed Croydon Central from being ultra marginal (perhaps even to just semi-marginal) and made Croydon South semi-marginal.

  14. Croydon South remains safe Tory because while it loses safely Tory Purely and picks up safely Labour New Addington it also picks up safely Tory Heathfeild and loses Lab facing Waddon thus keeping it as safely Tory (albeit less safe than the current Corydon South.

    As for Central yes it loses some safe Lab wards around New Addington and picks up safely Tory Purely but it loses the safely Tory wards around Heathfeild and Shirley, picks up the aforementioned Lab facing Waddon but also picks up some safely Labour wards from Croydon North thus keeping it as an ultra marginal.

  15. What new seat do the wards around Heathfield and Shirley go into – they are Croydon so it would have to be one of the Croydon seats – surely not North?

  16. Tim
    Gross as it is they’re lumped into a new cross authority seat with Beckenham…

  17. ‘Gross as it is they’re lumped into a new cross authority seat with Beckenham’

    Thanks Rivers

    That doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me

  18. Tim

    I take it you’re not the balding man in his early 40s called Tim Jones who sat next to me on the plane to Chicago O’Hare on Saturday? I was sorely tempted to ask him his views on seaside resorts, The Sun and working class people voting Tory!

  19. He’d have told you they were all VILE and NASTY and ergo not having the personality of a happy-go-lucky primary school teacher not entitled to cast a vote in any ballot

  20. Re. Croydon South, it’s still very safe because 6 of the 8 proposed wards have big Tory majorities. Prior to 2015, most of the anti- Tory vote was just as likely to split LD as Lab. I’m guessing that the Libs won’t do as poorly next time…. If that’s the case then the majority could easily be over 15k…

    If Purley and New Addington are switched back into their current seats (which seems sensible) does anyone know if both seats would still be in quota? There must be a reason the BC proposed this change…

  21. Can’t be bothered to check, but it also depends where they’ve put Fieldway ward which is basically a part of New Addington. If it is in the different seat to New Addington that really is silly.

  22. Don’t agree with H&F, RBK&C and Westminster.

    RBK&C works well as a constituency where the parliamentary and Borough boundaries are continious.


    Barwell says he won by giving constituents tours of Parliament (upto 40 each week).

  24. First of all hope everyone had a merry Christmas and a happy new year 😀

    Now onto the issue at hand, didn’t know where to post this so I decided to post it on the constituency of the MP making the announcement but has anyone seen todays announcement on the development of 14 new “garden villages” across the country. Each is due to contain between 1,500 and 10,000 homes and all 14 will amount to some 50,000 new homes. The full list of development areas are as follows…

    Long Marston in Stratford-on-Avon
    Oxfordshire Cotswold in West Oxfordshire
    Deenethorpe in East Northamptonshire
    Culm in Mid Devon
    Welborne near Fareham in Hampshire
    West Carclaze in Cornwall
    Dunton Hills near Brentwood, Essex
    Spitalgate Heath in South Kesteven District, Lincolnshire Halsnead in Knowsley, Merseyside
    Longcross in Runnymede and Surrey Heath
    Bailrigg in Lancaster
    Infinity Garden Village in South Derbyshire
    St Cuthberts near Carlisle
    North Cheshire in Cheshire East

    As has probably already been noted all are located in some very affluent areas bar Halsnead in Knowsley (which just happens to be the smallest development and almost seems to be a token gesture) no developments in Yorkshire or the NE with most developments once again skewed towards the South but even putting that aside 50,000 homes is just not good enough.

    Even adding on todays other announcements on some “New Towns” (rather their just major expansions of current towns) in Taunton, Harlow and Aylesbury this still only equals 200,000 homes over many years which is still way off target for what we should be building and according to experts amounts to clearing 1 year out of a decade long backlog.

    Really my view on this is that while its promising the gov have actually started to explore the possibility of properly planned New developments rather than just containing with the mish mash urban sprawl approach these announcement are pretty feeble and if the flagship “Ebbsfleet New Town” in Kent is anything to go by will probably be just more hot air. As has been pointed out the gov have made 1 major policy announcement on Ebbsfleet for every 16 homes built there and supposedly the scheme has been quietly abandoned. Even this latest set of plans fell into the same issue with much more ambitious proposals being scrapped or heavily watered down.

    Finally on another issue assuming these developments go ahead what might the partisan impacts on the respective constituencies be?

  25. Where in Cornwall is West Carclaze? People forget how poor Cornwall is, especially in terms of affordability of living since house prices are still fairly high even though jobs are scarce and commuting is impractical.

  26. “Where in Cornwall is West Carclaze?”

    I believe its a large brownfield site in South St Austell

  27. Also Lincolnshire is hardly rolling in cash. You know, just because they vote Tory doesn’t mean they’re not allowed to have problems 😉

  28. True re Lincolnshire more an observation that struggling post industrial areas are not being helped and neither are overpopulated Northern urban centres, most of the effort seems to be in the home counties (as always) or picturesque rural areas. Now I don’t object to building more in Lincolnshire, in fact its sparse population and flatness make it an ideal location for a “new city” but what is this reasonably small development near Grantham going to accomplish? Is Grantham at the heart of the housing crisis?

  29. Following vaguely on from the chat about geographical imbalances, I was doing some job-hunting this morning and found this (click on the “jobs by location” tab):

    There are 231 jobs advertised in London and the South-East. There are just 108 in the rest of the country – half the number of jobs for three times the number of people.

    I’m glad I live where I do…

  30. I assume you live in London or the SE?

    Seriously though the North/South divide has to be one of the biggest issues facing the UK, problem is I honestly don’t see any of the parties having the courage to do what needs to be done to rectify it.

  31. Con Estimate
    How very Tory of you. So I take it you support the policy of managed decline? That the entire UK should basically up sticks and move down South? Come on dude its not practical even if everybody was willing and able to do it which might I add most aren’t due to the huge cost of living down South. With respect that statement reeks of ignorance, inconsideration or both.

  32. Yes certain niche positions will always be located where they are nobody is questioning that and I don’t think anybody for a minute expects to attain parity between Surrey and South Yorkshire. Surrey will always be richer its by how much.

    The issue is practically every company HQ, every new factory, every substantial bit of investment heads towards London and the SE. These are jobs that could easily be done up North or in the Midlands as is proven by the few enterprises that do set up here. The reason these companies keep investing down South is complicated but its largely just become a self fulfilling prophecy. Companies invest down South so the gov invests huge sums in infrastructure down South so more companies invest down South to take advantage of the great infrastructure and so on and so forth all the while the rest of the country wilts. If nothing else its totally unsustainable.

  33. Big cities are doing “relatively” well but are lagging far behind the South. Smaller towns are really struggling.

    I’m in favour of devolution too but its sadly another area your party keep stonewalling cos they don’t want to lose their grip on the North.

    As for incentivising it depends what you mean, massive tax cuts just create a race to the bottom that only ever benefits the companies. We need to be smarter than that and develop a genuine industrial strategy but again Tories don’t like that cos its too much like central planning and supposedly the market will solve everything…eventually…

  34. “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.

  35. 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.

  36. “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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

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

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

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

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

  47. 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…

  48. First session on the doors in Central for a couple of weeks. Very much noticed a shift in the older voters to don’t know from Tory.

  49. 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%

  50. Jesus.

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