Croydon South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 31448 (54.5%)
Labour: 14308 (24.8%)
Lib Dem: 3448 (6%)
Green: 2154 (3.7%)
UKIP: 6068 (10.5%)
Others: 286 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 17140 (29.7%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Purley, Coulson, Selsdon.

Profile: A seat in the far south of London that has more in common with residential Surrey than the inner city. Apart from Waddon in the north of the seat, which contains a large council estate and tower blocks and sometimes returns Labour councillors, this seat consists of affluent, leafy dormitory suburbs for Croydon and London, places like Coulson, Purley, Sanderstead and Selsdon (the site of the 1969 meeting that set free-market policies for the Conservative party and lead to the phrase "Selsdon man" and the later founding of the Selsdon Group).

Politics: This is a safe Conservative seat, held by the Tories since its creation in 1974 (the previous Croydon South seat, once held by Labour`s David Winnick, is a different seat that corresponds to what is now Croydon Central).


Current MP
RICHARD OTTAWAY (Conservative) Born 1945, Bristol. Educated at Backwell School and Bristol University. Former Royal Naval Officer and solicitor. First elected as MP for Croydon South in 1992.
Past Results
2010
Con: 28684 (51%)
Lab: 11287 (20%)
LDem: 12866 (23%)
UKIP: 2504 (4%)
Oth: 981 (2%)
MAJ: 15818 (28%)
2005*
Con: 25320 (52%)
Lab: 11792 (24%)
LDem: 10049 (21%)
UKIP: 1054 (2%)
Oth: 682 (1%)
MAJ: 13528 (28%)
2001
Con: 22169 (49%)
Lab: 13472 (30%)
LDem: 8226 (18%)
UKIP: 998 (2%)
Oth: 195 (0%)
MAJ: 8697 (19%)
1997
Con: 25649 (47%)
Lab: 13719 (25%)
LDem: 11441 (21%)
Oth: 759 (1%)
MAJ: 11930 (22%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CHRIS PHILP (Conservative) Born 1976, London. Educated at St Olaves Grammar School and Oxford University. Entrepreneur. Camden councillor 2006-2010. Contested Hampstead and Kilburn 2010.
EMILY BENN (Labour)
GILL HICKSON (Liberal Democrat)
KATHLEEN GARNER (UKIP)
PETER UNDERWOOD (Green) Former civil servant.
JON BIGGER (Class War)
MARK SAMUEL (Putting Croydon First)
Links
Comments - 267 Responses on “Croydon South”
  1. I think that’s right about Selsdon etc. not that they have n’t changed at all demographically but they are popular with wwc voters who have moved from more Inner London areas and are right-inclined.

  2. ‘This seat should really be renamed Purley and Coulsdon despite containing small parts of Croydon.’

    That would make more sense

    And Croydon Central ought to be renamed Croydon East

  3. East Croydon does confuse with the name of the rail station however…though the boundary commission agreed with you in the aborted review. Perhaps Croydon Central & New Addington would be an alternative.

  4. Croham could go eventually go Labour in a good year but Croham proper is still quite well healed. On the subject of constituency names there are plenty of inaccurate names for seats another example being Mitcham and Morden. Most of Central and North Morden is actually in the Wimbledon seat. The northern parts of Kingston upon Thames (Old municipal Borough) itself are in Richmond Park. And on innacurate ward names most of the Merton side of the St Helier Estate is in Ravensbury not St Helier (you will also massive demographic differences between this ward and St Helier (Sutton)). Isn’t half of Waddon in Broad Green and most of Waddon Ward actually South Croydon?

  5. In an ideal world I’d rename ‘Croydon South’ ‘North East Surrey’ but I’d settle for ‘Purley and Coulsdon’. Croydon North would stay as it is and what is now ‘Croydon Central’ would simply become ‘Croydon South’.

  6. I can see two recent boundary change proposals on the Internet regarding Coulsdon.
    1. Carshalton and Coulsdon – pretty marginal
    2. Croydon South (again incorporating a couple of Sutton wards). – safe Conservative

    I can also see something called Purley and Carshalton although I can’t find many details on this.

    Does anyone know which is the more likely? Or are they all going to be scrapped and a new review will take?

  7. There will be a new review. However where the seat entitlement remains the same over the surrounding area, the Boundary Commission will start from the seats it recommended last time, which have already gone through a consultation process.

    This applies across the whole UK, so can be borne in mind more widely. The recommendations of the last review are easily available on the web (although I think they have been deleted from this site), and Anthony also produced some nationals for them (based obviously on 2010 figures not 2015 figures).

    People really ought to look at all this before making predictions for specific seats here, rather than talking about trends in the general area.

  8. “Notionals” not nationals. Bloody predictive text on the iPad.

  9. “where the seat entitlement remains the same over the surrounding area, the Boundary Commission will start from the seats it recommended last time, which have already gone through a consultation process.”

    Not necessarily so, because even if an area’s seat entitlement remains the same, if the adjoining area’s doesn’t then there will most likely have to be some knock-on changes.

    The new rules on max/min constituency size are so restrictive that most of the previous proposals will have to be changed IMO, especially in London where population turnover is very rapid.

  10. The only main boundary change to the present constituency was in 1997 when Waddon ward was added from the old Croydon Central

  11. Both Waddon and Croham (the two wards that cover the actual area of South Croydon) were added from Croydon Central (pre 1974 Croydon South) to the current Croydon South. Addiscombe, Ashburton and Monks Orchard wards were then added to Croydon Central from Croydon North-East. Broad Green was removed from Croydon Central and added to the new 1997 Croydon North Seat.

  12. Croham could go eventually go Labour in a good year but Croham proper is still quite well healed.

    I have a friend that lives in Croham Valley Road. Yes, it’s very prosperous and leafy. Can’t see Labour ever doing well there, even in a landslide General Election for the party.

  13. My message above was in responce to ‘Surrey Politics” earlier post about Croham.

  14. So you’re trying to tell us that Labour will one day win Kensington yet never win Croham? Totally ridiculous.

  15. ”So you’re trying to tell us that Labour will one day win Kensington yet never win Croham? Totally ridiculous.”

    H.Hemmelig – Not as ridiclous at all! The Tory marjoirty in Kensington is much smaller than in South Croydon.

    There are Labour-held seats which are posher than some Tory seats. Just look at Hamsptead and Kilburn compared to Stockton South (yes, I know Yarm and Egglescliffe) is fairly affluent but most of the seat is deprived).

  16. I said Croham not the whole of South Croydon.

  17. Though as it happens I think (long term) there is more chance of there being a Labour MP elected in South Croydon than in Kensington….though the chance of either happening even in a landslide is almost nil.

    In Kensington you are disregarding the total solidity of the Tory vote south of Notting Hill, and the gentrification of the north of the seat which is already gathering pace to a much greater degree than in Westminster. There simply aren’t enough floating voters in Kensington for Labour ever to have a chance of winning even if the majority is quite modest.

  18. ‘Just look at Hamsptead and Kilburn compared to Stockton South (yes, I know Yarm and Egglescliffe) is fairly affluent but most of the seat is deprived).’

    There’s better examples of run-down Tory seats than Stockton South – which at least has Yarm and Eaglescliffe

    There’s plenty of Tory seats in places like Kent, Essex and the Sussex coast which don’t have any affluent or posh parts

    And look at the seats that Tories won from Labour in 2015. Apart from Bolton West, they were nearly all working class, urban and non-metropolitan

    And turn out is always minimal in Kensington and as with neighbouring Chelsea lot of that is down to people being so rich that voting makes little difference and earning so much that a trip to the polling station would leave them out of pocket

  19. “And turn out is always minimal in Kensington and as with neighbouring Chelsea lot of that is down to people being so rich that voting makes little difference and earning so much that a trip to the polling station would leave them out of pocket”

    LOL. It’ll be interesting to see whether the threat of PM Corbyn forces the Kensington elite out to vote en-masse. I’d guess many such people are often out of the country and consider themselves too busy to vote.

  20. It’s funny that turn outs nearly always seem to be lowest in both the richest and most deprived seats in the country

  21. I wouldn’t call Stockton South “mostly deprived”. Thornaby is obviously rather blue-collar but Hatburn, Yarm, Eaglescliff and Ingleby Barwick are all middle-class.

  22. The idea that the good people of Croydon South will vote in a Labour MP at some point in the future is pretty offensive. Please be more careful in your predictions as it can cause distress.

    Let’s. be clear… If it happens then the Tories will be in a pretty bad state. Much worse than 1997.

  23. As to Croydon South, I think the Conservatives can be quite pleased by the 2015 result in the circumstances. There were parts of Outer London where their performance was noticeably poorer.

  24. “As to Croydon South, I think the Conservatives can be quite pleased by the 2015 result in the circumstances.”

    It was at least partly because Richard Ottaway was a pretty terrible constituency MP, leading the Tories to somewhat underperform their potential after 1997. Very few people in Croydon Conservatives have much good to say about him, especially those in Croydon Central, which Ottaway was notoriously lazy in helping out.

  25. Interesting re Ottaway, I’d assumed the Tory decline was due to slow, gradual demographic change. Certainly it was a better result than in 2010.

  26. SBJME19- oh I think the primary reason for the Tory decline is changing demographics but if H Hemmelig is right (and I defer to his knowledge of Greater London Toryism) then it has been exacerbated by Ottaway’s incumbency.

  27. I take it that there is a mistake in the biographies at the head of this thread, and that Chris Philp is now the MP.

    It does not say much for Richard Ottawy that he never became a Minister or shadow minister between 1992 and 2015, but perhaps we can wish him well in the obscurity of his retirement.

  28. What do people think about Purley as a place?
    Main roads, but looks rather attractive away from them.

  29. ‘It was at least partly because Richard Ottaway was a pretty terrible constituency MP’

    Indeed – I find that very easy to believe

    A couple of years ago there was an incident where a group of constituents of pension age wanted to speak to him about the proposed Gagging Law.

    Instead of meeting and discussing the issue with them he called the old bill and demanded they be prosecuted. The police responded that they couldn’t identify any crime and left

    The Tories are well shot of such lazy and arrogant people

  30. I’m not sure about the particular incident Tim but I think a very large number of people descended on his office or tried to, in one go,
    and may have raised the alarm even if they were elderly.
    But I have no further details.

    I was looking at this seat recently because I’m a bit of a transport anorak, it certainly looks nicer away from the main roads.

  31. ‘It was at least partly because Richard Ottaway was a pretty terrible constituency MP’

    Just how would he have won the Labour stronghold of Nottingham North in 1983 if he was so terrible?

  32. 1. Michael Foot
    2. The SDP
    3. Obviously, nobody knew his performance as an MP before he was elected. Perhaps no coincidence he was defeated in 1987 when the two other Tories in Nottingham held their seats.

  33. ‘I was looking at this seat recently because I’m a bit of a transport anorak, it certainly looks nicer away from the main roads.’

    Funny you should say that Joe

    I went to a boarding school in next-door Surrey East and whilst there I always used to scratch my head wondering why the Tories were so strong in Croydon South, because I only knew the main roads which as you imply, don’t paint a true picture of the seat as a whole

    In between there’s plenty of large detached houses – considerably more so than in nearby seats like Kingston & Surbiton, Twickenham and Sutton & Cheam – which is one of the reasons why the Tories were able to hold their vote better here than in those other seats

    It will take more than demographic change to move this seat into the Labour column

  34. The ‘current MP’ part of this profile is out of date, if AW is reading. Chris Philp was elected in May to replace the retiring Ottaway.

  35. Perhaps, though I’m not sure this seat shares many of the characteristics of Enfield and Redbridge. I don’t know the seat well (or at all, in fact) but if it is as described in AW’s pen-picture it probably isn’t experiencing the ethnic change and middle class flight that much of outer London is.

  36. I think some people have mistaken LAB picking up lots of ex-LD votes in 2015 in some seats for wider trends…. this is especially evident in the London and Merseyside areas where UKIP were weak and so LD-LAB wasn’t effectively cancelled out by LAB-UKIP switching.

  37. On Tim’s point, I think I had a perception that Purley was over-run with traffic the first time I went there (Purley Way), and the junction rather dominates,
    although it is actually a nice residential area.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/24066943266/in/photolist-8Tcxha-7mP71v-7kfhXe-CEHnKG-7nviAx-eFSmAA-8E4swH-ai6v9n-riPpzu-fqrhzt-fqZBMx-fqZsMR-freMP1-ggdbRm-nTD6pV-oPb4Q2/

    There has been some long term swing to Labour in the seat but not as much as in other parts of London.
    There was some LD threat developing in Coulsdon in 1994-2002.

  38. I don’t know South Croydon at all well but I can’t think I would come and live here if I won the lottery. (Actually, there are some nice hideaways in South Thanet and without going abroad you can’t beat our weather)..

    South Croydon is one of a large number of seats in which there is currently no realistic alternative to the Conservatives. I am tempted to say that voters regard the Conservatives as the least bad party here.

    In current circumstances this seat is hardly going to go Labour, or LIbDem come to that. But after the results in Scotland last year it would be a rash person who believed that no alternative could ever appear.,

  39. Most of “Purley Way” isn’t in Purley….it stretches through Waddon all the way up to Ikea and Thornton Heath

  40. Is “Purley Way” in the constituency of Croydon South, though?

  41. Partly yes, whilst the northern end is in Croydon North.

    The bit in Croydon South is mostly in Waddon ward rather than Purley.

  42. Fred, the south, especially Coulsdon Way is ideal for those who want a bit of countryside in the city. Very wealthy suburb with many city workers commuting into London Bridge.

  43. Good rail services.

    Old Coulsdon, Tudor Rose.

    This is a very divided Borough. Obvious maybe, but it needs to be said.

    Off at a tangent, many commentators keep saying the two party vote has declined nationally, and apart from certain recoveries, that is true.
    However, they ignore the number of Others including Liberals contesting seats who didn’t in most seats before 1974.
    But in 2015, particularly marginals where UKIP made little impact, the Con-Lab vote was at 1950s levels.
    Added to that, there are a large number of Conservative and Labour seats with very large majorities indeed.

    Local government control is overwhelmingly C-Lab.
    Scotland is of course completely outside all of this now.

  44. The Tories in Croydon South will also, from now on, be aided by the likelihood of Croydon council being permanently Labour controlled. There is a history of pork barrelling in Croydon with Labour administrations focusing resources on the north and Tory administrations on the south. There will therefore be a pretty permanent grievance built up in the south against Labour which will bolster the Tory vote. Very similar to Chingford vs Waltham Forest and perhaps Sutton Coldfield vs Birm ingham.

  45. Probably here it would embolden the Tory position yes.
    But as we know, it can have the opposite effect eventually, as people move out of the area.
    This seat almost does fade into Surrey.
    I see little prospect of the Tories getting control back unless there is a very unpopular Labour Government, but the relatively close majority and the increases in Con support in some wards could back up what you say.

  46. The odd increase probably more to do with the LD decline actually

  47. In the council wards the surprisingly strong Tory result in 2014 reflected zero Labour campaigning effort in Croydon South outside of Waddon.

  48. Croydon South actually had a Labour MP from 1966 to 1970.

    The pre-1974 Croydon South became Croydon Central and most of Surrey East became Croydon South (with the residual Surrey East extending to pick up parts of Reigate and Dorking).

    I think I am right in saying that Wadden Ward was returned from Croydon Central to Croydon South in 1997.

    Wadden Ward is effectively South Croydon while the former Surrey East part of the constituency (Coulsdon and Purley) remain with different character to the rest of Croydon borough.

  49. “Wadden Ward is effectively South Croydon”

    No. Waddon is West Croydon; it stretches right up to the grim terraces of Broad Green, Selhurst and Thornton Heath.

    South Croydon is more like Croham ward, which has also started to inch in Labour’s direction.

  50. Croham ward is noticeably becoming more Labour though the posh bits of the ward around Croham Hurst itself will probably still outvote the declining bits around Brighton Road. They are some parts of Surrey that getting better for Labour too. Like Croydon South, Epsom and Ewell proper (not the parliamentary) is heading that way too particularly in Town Ward there was actually quite a swing to Labour in that ward in the disastrous 2015 election mainly due to decline of the Lib Dem, surprisingly Cuddington (basically it’s the bit of Worcester Park that falls into Surrey) Labour jumped from 8 to 18% nearly as good as former Labour strongholds like Wandle Valley and Tolworth were in 2014 and better than poorer wards like Ruxley. Spelthorne due to it’s proximity to Hounslow may over time get better for Labour in the next 20-30 years. In contrast places like Sutton and Havering seem worse than ever for Labour.

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