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. To follow up Dalek,,Croydon South had very different boundaries from the current Croydon South. It was won by David Winnick for Labour in 1966; but the majority was only 81 votes. Not surprisingly, David Winnick lost the seat to the Conservatives in 1970.

    David Winnick stood for Labour in the 1976 Walsall North by-election. This was following the resignation of John Stonehouse, who had tried to fake his death and had then been convicted of various serious offences. Allegations that Stonehouse was a Czech spy were later substantiated as being true, although he was not prosecuted as a spy.

    David WinnicK was returned as MP for Walsall North in 1979 and has remained as MP for that seat ever since, although his majorities have on a number of occasions (1983, 1987, 2010, 2015) been small, i.e. in the region of 1,000. David Winnick is on the left-wing of the Labour Party.

  2. P.S. I overlooked that David Winnick stood in Croydon Central in the October 1974 election, losing by 182 votes.

  3. Thanks for details.
    I thought Waddon borders West Croydon – does it actually cover it?

    I have to say, I got out in Croydon last summer and the main street through W Croydon was in a terrible state.
    In fairness, perhaps it is marked for demolition and the shops have moved more towards E Croydon.

  4. ‘I have to say, I got out in Croydon last summer and the main street through W Croydon was in a terrible state.’

    West Croydon has always been a dump – especially the bit you refer to – the main street

    I remember going there in 1992 – back when all four Croydon seats were Conservative-held – and it was just as bad

    Strange to think it hasn’t improved in any way in the 24 years since – as I discovered when I went past there a couple of months back

  5. It was definitely worse. I can’t remember when I had last been – it could have been about 10 years.
    To be fair it looked like it was earmarked for demolition and a lot of the shops had moved.

  6. “I remember going there in 1992 – back when all four Croydon seats were Conservative-held – and it was just as bad”

    I think younger members on here forget that in the 1982 council elections, Labour was reduced to 5 or 6 councillors on Croydon council, depending on how many councillors one of the two New Addington estate wards then had. That means all of the wards in what is now Croydon North, and most, possibly all of the northern ones in the current Croydon Central had completely Tory councillors apart from the Ratepayers/Residents who I think represented Thornton Heath.

    The first signs of serious change in the post GLC abolition council elections in 1986, when Labour easily recovered many of those wards, with significant majorities, which how now become mountainous in many cases.

    In my view this was the first sign of the serious impact of pro Labour demographic change in London, driven by ethnic minorities moving from Brixton, Clapham, Camberwell and Tooting, into areas such as Mitcham & Morden, Streatham, Norbury, Selhurst, Thornton Heath etc, and taking their voting habits with them, rather than them changing as had happened previously when white people made the same move, which has ben happening ever since.

    I would also contend that the gentrification of Battersea and parts of Wandsworth, as stimulated by Wandsworth Council played a significant part here, which while strengthening the tory hold on Wandsworth Council, had seriously negative impacts in Merton, Croydon, and the southern parts of Norwood and Streatham in Lambeth.

  7. Very True though Morden is a little different to Thornton Heath and Norwood it’s a bit more greener though the town centre is shithole like those places. It at least has the tube going for it. Think of Morden as more of a SW London equivalent of a Grove Park/Downham/Mottingham area but with a tube station.

  8. ‘’I have to say, I got out in Croydon last summer and the main street through W Croydon was in a terrible state.’’

    @Joe James B – The whole high street / shopping centre will be transformed into a Westfield shopping mall (in partnership with Hammerson) at the cost of £1billion. In addition, the redevelopment will include luxury apartments as well which won’t harm the Tories chances in this seat at the next General Election.

  9. How many of the new flats at Westwood Corydon will be owned let by UK voters, as opposed to foreigners?

    Croydon will need a very large amount of new transport infrastructure if a shopping mall on the scale of the Westfields near Hammersmith and Stratford is to work at all satisfactorily.

  10. In my last post of this the thread, I meant to say in my last sentence that the proposed luxury apartments as part of the Westfield development will enhance the Tories chances of holding the Croydon Central seat in 2020 (the development will be completed in late 2019).

    “Croydon will need a very large amount of new transport infrastructure if a shopping mall on the scale of the Westfields near Hammersmith and Stratford”

    @Frederic Stansfield – I agree. I’m really surprised Croydon has gained a new transport link as a result of this development e.g. linking Croydon town centre with the proposed Bakerloo line extention or integrating Croydon town centre into the proposed Crossrail 2 scheme. Very short-sighted in my opinion.

  11. I don’t know about this side of London but in north London we do have a significant ethnic minority population further north and into Hertfordshire but the nature of the available housing etc. means they tend to be much more middle class and so much more likely to vote like those they’ve displaced. This research, reported in the media yesterday, demonstrates this – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/boston-how-a-lincolnshire-town-became-the-most-divided-place-in-england-a6838041.html. Four of the five ‘most integrated’ places are just outside or just inside London and Sutton Coldfield is just outside Birmingham.

  12. “I’ve noticed that many aspirational second and third generation black and Asian families have moved from Norbury, Thornton Heath and other parts of South London to Purley (a leafy/affluent suburb in this seat) over the past five/six years.”

    I wish people would stop posting these Walter Mitty kind of statements.

    1. How many have you “noticed”? Note that votes are measured in tens of thousands.

    2. How do you know these thousands of people all live in Croydon South? And where they came from? Did you ask them all? And ditto, how do you know they all voted Labour.

    3. How do you know they are all “aspirational”? Did you interview them all? What is your definition of aspirational and what difference does it make?

    4. IIRC you live in Eltham, so you don’t even live here

    My three year old could tell you that it’s totally impossible for any single person to scientifically arrive at all those assertions so why insult our intelligence by claiming to have done so.

    One your last point, yes there will almost certainly be significant boundary changes here. In all likelihood there will have to be some kind of merger between Croydon South and Carshalton & Wallington which should still leave a fairly safe Tory seat and probably kill off the last Lib Dem seat in London.

  13. The merger H Hemmelig describes would probably also slow Labour down a bit.

  14. Yes it would, though it would depend whether the considerable tactical vote for the Lib Dems in C & W unwinds after the seat is abolished.

  15. And of course whether St Helier is included in the new seat (unlikely, IMO).

  16. What will protect places like Epsom and Orpington from turning into shitholes like Thornton Heath is the relatively poor transport links.

    Most of the people cramming into multiple occupancy slums can’t afford to drive nor to pay the train fares to central London from further than a few zones out.

    IMO the Croydon Tramlink has contributed massively to sending both Croydon and Mitcham & Morden downhill. In future we may well see middle class residents opposing major transport improvements on the fringes of London for this reason.

  17. It’s being reported that individual registration has resulted in the London electorate (for the mayoral election) to drop by nearly 400,000.

  18. Hardly a surprise.

    It will most likely have an impact in notorious boroughs like TH but whether it will elsewhere is an interesting question.

  19. ‘IMO the Croydon Tramlink has contributed massively to sending both Croydon and Mitcham & Morden downhill’

    Interesting…brings new meaning to the concept of infrastructure improvements leading to ‘economic regeneration’

  20. “you live in Eltham, so you don’t even live here”

    @H.Hemmelig – Despite being very difficult to commute between the two seats, they’re not that far apart, remember Eltham and Croydon are both in (Greater) South London. I know someone who lives in Eltham whose child attends Trinity School in Shirley.

    Also, I know people who live in Coulsdon, Purley and Selsdon and sometimes visit this seat so I know this seat fairly well.

    “IMO the Croydon Tramlink has contributed massively to sending both Croydon and Mitcham & Morden downhill”

    Are you suggesting that the influx of people from areas like Catford and Lewisham (many of whom board the Tram from Beckenham Junction) have contributed in the demise of Croydon town centre (which has become immensely rundown in the last ten years – Croydon suffered the most damage as a result of the 2011 England riots with the exception if Tottenham)?

  21. “1. How many have you “noticed”? Note that votes are measured in tens of thousands.

    2. How do you know these thousands of people all live in Croydon South? And where they came from? Did you ask them all? And ditto, how do you know they all voted Labour.

    3. How do you know they are all “aspirational”? Did you interview them all? What is your definition of aspirational and what difference does it make?

    4. IIRC you live in Eltham, so you don’t even live here.”

    @H.Hemmelig – As I stated in my last post, I attended a Parish Confirmation Mass in Purley where many of the candidates were black or Asian so I assume most of them live in Purley. If these families weren’t the ‘Jeremy Kyle brigade’ so I think it’s safe to say they’re aspirational.

    I know a few people who from Coulsdon, Selsdon and Purley so I know this area well and visit once in a while.
    Despite being very difficult to commute between the two seats, they’re not that far apart, remember Eltham and Croydon are both in (Greater) South London. I know someone who lives in Eltham whose child attends Trinity School in Shirley.

    “IMO the Croydon Tramlink has contributed massively to sending both Croydon and Mitcham & Morden downhill”

    Are you suggesting that the influx of people from areas like Catford and Lewisham (many of whom board the Tram from Beckenham Junction) have contributed in the demise of Croydon town centre (which has become immensely rundown in the last ten years – Croydon suffered the most damage as a result of the 2011 England riots with the exception of Tottenham)?

  22. The tram has opened up areas which used to be quite remote and made it much easier and cheaper to get to them from central London and indeed central Croydon. New Addington is perhaps the best example. One displeasing side effect is that it has opened up the relatively cheap housing in these places to people who work as cleaners etc in central London and don’t mind living 20 to a suburban slum. Before the tram they wouldn’t realistically have been able to commute from there.

  23. “As I stated in my last post, I attended a Parish Confirmation Mass in Purley where many of the candidates were black or Asian so I assume most of them live in Purley. If these families weren’t the ‘Jeremy Kyle brigade’ so I think it’s safe to say they’re aspirational.”

    So, inferences about many thousands of people made on the basis of just one gathering of much fewer than that? And of course you can’t just assume all the people live there. London is a small place with many neighbouring seats only a few minutes drive away.

  24. I’d be VERY wary about figures for alleged numbers dropping off register. Highly likely lots on the old register were dead, duplicates, fraudulent or have moved away. I attended an event on Monday where representatives from the Cabinet Office, Southwark Council and the Electoral Commission spoke about it and there was consensus that the number disenfranchised will be much lower than that bandied about. The Electoral Commission is running an exercise to try and establish approximately how many real people have gone but results not out until June.

  25. Yes but it must be a good thing to have a clear out of dead names on the register because each one of those was a potential fraudulent vote.

  26. Absolutely. Reality is that even the real people that drop off will almost all be non-voters. We must also remember that the registration deadline hasn’t passed and registration usually peaks as the deadline approaches, so those that still need to and want to vote can do so then.

  27. I don’t think anyone would deny that Purley is changing- H Hemmelig said it himself a number of time upthread. It’s still solidly middle-class but as of 2011 was notably less white British (60%) than all of the other constituency wards lying to its south where it was 70%-80%. If they ever remade Terry and June I doubt it would be set in modern Purley.

  28. As for its politics I suspect Purley may now be Labour’s third best ward here behind Waddon and Croham though I suspect the Tories will still have led by over 25% in 2015.

  29. ” In addition, the redevelopment will include luxury apartments as well which won’t harm the Tories chances in this seat at the next General Election. ”

    Aren’t all newly built apartments described as ‘luxury’ ?

  30. Whether it will help the Tories’ chances is a moot point, though Christian is right that there is a large amount of high-rise residential development going on around East Croydon station.

  31. We will have to wait for the results of research on Individual Electoral Registration. BY own reaction is that it is a mixture. Many of the people removed will be dead, have moved etc and it will be a clearout of “dead wood”. In a seat like this,I suspect this will be most of the effect. However, there are seats in which the informal information is that there has been large scale fraudulent registration. Responsible journalists did not get the stoires of people ging into the Retruning Offiers’ offices with large numbers of postal votes from nowhere.

    One indication that problems have arisen is the considerable differences between the number of voters being removed in different seats. If it were simply a matter of clearing up administrative inaccuracies, one would expect the number of voters eing removed from the register to be much the same in every consitituency. This does not explain the larger numbers being removed in, to take one example which comes to my mind, in Stoke.

  32. Separate topic. London is becoming an international capital sucking people in to an extend which is causing major problems for transport and possibly even for stable democracy. Look for instnace at the location of stations for the proposed Crossrail2 where it is manifest, for instnace that they have had to bypass having a station between Angel and Euston, i..e. at King’s Cross. London is reaching the stage where it is being strangled by its own success both politically and in many other sphres of life.

    One result of very large cities internationally is that poorer people, unable to afford the centre, get ghettoised in outlying areas. Croydon appears to be the first major example of this happening in London.

    The answer is to move infrastructure on a large scale to other parts of Britian. Moving parliament would be a good place to start,, not least because it could be accompanied by major efficiency savings in the British civil service.

  33. London is changing fast all the time more than anywhere in the UK. In the 1960s and 1970s Wandsworth was a poor working class borough with only the outposts of Putney and Balham returning Conservative councillors now it is one of the most affluent boroughs in the country with Battersea North seeing the most change as it was originally a very industrial area of London. Tower Hamlets which used to be poor all over has also seen huge change the north and south of the river. The WWC have moved out of both sides replaced by a largely Bangledeshi Muslim community away from the river, by the river it’s become a rich business district. Eastenders however has not caught up with this and stayed with it’s 1985 demographic. None of this demograohic would be anywhere these areas and be living in outer suburban areas like Loughton, Romford, Bexleyheath, Orpington, Epsom, Staines etc. Which also explains why it’s also a load of rubbish?

  34. I think Purley would definitely be Labour’s third best ward in 2015 after Waddon and Croham.

    But it would still have had a Tory lead of nearly 2,500.
    The weakest Labour ward would have been Selsdon, slightly below either of the Coulsdons.

  35. And Labour would have won in Waddon, only just though.

  36. JJB- thanks I thought so- I think the Tories will have led by just over 2 to 1. In fact I suspect the Purley result will have been very near to the result in the constituency as a whole i.e. Tories on about 55% with labour on about 25%.

  37. Yes – in fact Coulsdon West would be very similar as far as can guess. Slightly lower C lead but it’s a slightly smaller ward.

    I haven’t allowed btw for differing turnout between wards, I suspect in this seat it’s not that different ward by ward.

  38. Beautiful sunny morning in Coulsdon… Does anyone actually think the weather plays any part in influencing turnout for certain parties? Or is it just a load of nonsense!

    Regarding this seat… I think we’ll see a pretty high turnout from the Tory wards in Croydon South. Mainly due to new garden waste taxes which have just been introduced which seem designed to hit the southern part of the borough. I think this will keep the Croydon and Sutton seat in Tory hands.

  39. “I think we’ll see a pretty high turnout from the Tory wards in Croydon South. Mainly due to new garden waste taxes which have just been introduced which seem designed to hit the southern part of the borough. I think this will keep the Croydon and Sutton seat in Tory hands.”

    Interesting info. There’s a very long history of Croydon council neglecting the half of the borough which is dominated by the opposition. In the 80s and 2006-2014 the Tories showered favours on the south and neglected the north. Labour from 1994 to 2006 and from 2014 onwards have done the reverse. That is one reason why polarised boroughs tend to retain very strong areas for both parties.

  40. I don’t think either of those are especially good examples, Waltham Forest is a much better one.

  41. I meant in terms of long-standing polarisation, and the behaviour of the council. Enfield and Redbridge have only become very polarised quite recently. Waltham Forest is the most similar example to Croydon in that the Tory strength in Chingford is strongly fuelled by antipathy to the council, whose support is rooted in Leyton and Walthamstow and whose favours have always been distributed accordingly.

  42. Exactly. Sutton Coldfield vis-à-vis Birmingham city council is another very good example, though unlike Waltham Forest the Tories have controlled Birmingham within recent memory they are highly unlikely to ever do so again.

  43. To be fair until the 90s the furthest northern reaches of Croydon LB…Upper Norwood, Norbury…were pretty reliably Tory.

    It was the inner north around Selhurst and Broad Green that was more reliably Labour. Plus of course the distant outpost at New Addington.

    It is only relatively recently…and in my lifetime…that the whole of Northern Croydon has become a solid red phalanx.

  44. “To be fair until the 90s the furthest northern reaches of Croydon LB…Upper Norwood, Norbury…were pretty reliably Tory.”

    They were indeed, but the Tory administration still neglected these areas in the 80s. I know one of the Upper Norwood councillors who stood down in 1990 and says that Labour’s initial success in Croydon North in 1994 was fuelled by years of the Tories neglecting the northern wards of the borough.

  45. “The results in Croydon in 2014 were exactly the same as 1994. The Tories could control Croydon again though, given their strength in Croydon South and many of the Croydon Central wards, Ealing and Enfield look highly unlikely to be Tory again.”

    No. The 2014 results were better than 1994 for Labour, given that they gained Ashburton ward for the first time ever. Results and number of councillors, of course, were impacted by different ward boundaries. I strongly disagree that the Tories will ever control Croydon again unless there is a Tory landslide year of 1982 proportions. They aren’t competitive in enough wards now. Piling up huge majorities in South Croydon is not enough.

  46. Merton is different too, there are more ultra-safe Labour wards (nine) than ultra-safe Conservative (I would only call Village, Hillside and now Dundonald – ultra-safe) The 2014 results in Raynes Park and Wimbledon Park were a little unbrilliant compared to how they used to be though still safe, Labour were less than 200 votes off a seat in Trinity (though it is more Tory than it used to be). The Labour strength is being caused more by demographic change in the 1930s suburban parts of the borough firstly in East Mitcham and now around Morden Park. Wimbledon itself has trended more Tory but it doesn’t out balance the Labour trend in Mitcham and now Morden.

  47. ” I strongly disagree that the Tories will ever control Croydon again unless there is a Tory landslide year of 1982 proportions”

    I can see that it’s moving that way but I also think that if Labour are in the same dire situation in 2018 then there is a chance the Tories might take the council for one final time. They only require a 2% swing in the Waddon and Ashburton wards to take the council. Labour were in a better position in 2014 under Miliband than at the moment.

  48. I should also add that a new 700 house estate is going up in Coulsdon West over the next couple of years. People are just moving into the first phase now. This is going further increase the size of this ward and I can only imagine increase the Tory vote share further (I’ve had a look around the show houses)…. We could be in a position soon where the Tories win the vote share but end up with less councillors. This wasn’t far off happening last time.

  49. “The results in Croydon in 2014 were exactly the same as 1994.”

    In 1994 Labour had a 12% national lead in 2014 it was only 2%.

  50. I disagree with Surrey Politics’ characterisation of Merton. Both Raynes Park and Wimbledon Park are safer than Dundonald and so on his criteria would be considered ultra-safe. Wimbledon is one of the few seats that provides ward by ward box counts for general elections and they show that the Conservatived led Labour 54-21 in Raynes Park 56-24 in Wimbledon Park and 49-23 in Dundonald (so which is therefore the ward that best mimics the seat as a whole).

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