Dulwich & West Norwood

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11650 (22.7%)
Labour: 27772 (54.1%)
Lib Dem: 5055 (9.8%)
Green: 4844 (9.4%)
UKIP: 1606 (3.1%)
TUSC: 248 (0.5%)
Independent: 125 (0.2%)
Others: 62 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 16122 (31.4%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Lambeth council area and part of Southwark council area.

Main population centres: Brixton, Dulwich, West Norwood.

Profile: A diverse inner-city seat, containing both very affluent, very wealthy areas and deprived, racially mixed areas of social housing. Dulwich itself is wealthy and exclusive - Dulwich Village has million pound properties and well preserved 18th and 19th century buildings near Dulwich Park. There are two noted private schools here and following her resignation as Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher famously lived in a gated community here for a time. There are also wealthy areas in the West Norwood part of the seat, such as Thurlow Park. Further north the seat becomes poorer and largely afro-carribean. The parts of Brixton that fall within the seat, including the centre of the community, are dominated by council estates like Angell Town and Loughborough Estate, with their attendent problems of crime, drugs, unemployment and teenage pregnancy.

Politics: A reliable Labour seat - the working class areas are strongly Labour and the more affluent areas are just as much the trendy intelligentsia as suburban conservatives, splitting the non-Labour vote here between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Under the abandoned boundary changes the seat would have been abolished.

Current MP
HELEN HAYES (Labour) Born 1974. Educated at Oxford University. Former chartered town planner. Southwark councillor since 2010. First elected as MP for Dulwich & West Norwood in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 10684 (22%)
Lab: 22461 (47%)
LDem: 13096 (27%)
GRN: 1266 (3%)
Oth: 707 (1%)
MAJ: 9365 (19%)
Con: 9200 (22%)
Lab: 19059 (45%)
LDem: 10252 (24%)
GRN: 2741 (7%)
Oth: 737 (2%)
MAJ: 8807 (21%)
Con: 8689 (23%)
Lab: 20999 (55%)
LDem: 5806 (15%)
GRN: 1914 (5%)
Oth: 839 (2%)
MAJ: 12310 (32%)
Con: 11038 (24%)
Lab: 27807 (61%)
LDem: 4916 (11%)
Oth: 957 (2%)
MAJ: 16769 (37%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
RESHAM KOTECHA (Conservative)
HELEN HAYES (Labour) Born 1974. Educated at Oxford University. Chartered town planner. Southwark councillor since 2010.
JAMES BARBER (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Billericay Comprehensive School and Open University. Manager. Southwark councillor since 2006.
RASHID NIX (Green) Educated at South Bank University. Director and freelance cameraman.
ROBIN LAMBERT (Independent)
Comments - 210 Responses on “Dulwich & West Norwood”
  1. I see – about Putney

    Up until the mid to late 1990s most of inner London was decisively grim and felt scary and unwelcome to those unfamiliar with it. It’s completely different now and definitely up there with all the other major capitals in the world.

  2. I doubt many other major capitals have such a high homeless population, though…

  3. “It seems that there’s very few gentrification going on in NW London and W London.”

    Kensal Green, Willesden Green, Kilburn?

    Notting Hill has often been talked of as an area which has gentrified, but given the grander housing stock which has long existed there, I think this theory may have been somewhat exaggerated.

  4. Actually you’re right about Kendal Rise. And I would add Queens Park. But I wouldnt include Kilburn. But still seems a lot places that E and S Ldn

  5. *(…a lot FEWER places than E and Sth London)

  6. Kensal Rise, pretty much one and the same with Kensal Green I think. Queen’s Park does seem to have gentrified a lot too, but does have very good housing stock to begin with (like many of these areas). I think it’s happening slowly in Kilburn – the new Franco Manca which opened a few years ago is a sign to me.

    It does seem that inner East, South and South West London have been gentrified more, and favoured by young professionals/hipsters etc. I think it’s possible that some areas, maybe in West London, are becoming de-gentrified.

  7. @Tim

    ”67% of the voters in this seat are said to be A,B, C1 – but like many London seats this is actually an uneasy of council tenants and young A/B professionals – many of whom rent – which today are two fairly Labour-voting blocs”

    Yeah this exactly true. But the reason why they’re fairly Labour is because they rent and thus have much less disposable income, savings and assets (wealth) than a great deal of the rest of the country.

    Until homeownership in the big cities becomes accessible again with rents also being brought under control, parties of the right will continue their decline in these areas. Paradoxically the next Labour government doing something to facilitate this would, in the long term, be the thing that help the right recover.

  8. I find it remarkable that Labour can win so many – on the surface – middle class wards at council level in Dulwich. A well-to-do friend of mine lives in Thurlow Park. Just two council elections before the last one in 2018, it had two Tory councillors of the three. Then Labour took those in 2014 to win all three seats, when it still looked marginal. The 2018 result makes it look like a safe ward for Labour. Yet whenever I’ve visited the area, it looks solidly middle class owner-occupied territory for the most part. There is at least one council estate, but I suspect even if there are large parts of that ward I haven’t seen, Labour must do decently amongst the residents in the smarter terraced houses.

  9. I’m not an expert on Thurlow Park specifically but I suspect it has a significant amount of ‘hidden poverty’ as many such wards do as well as a lower owner occupier % than you would expect with many house shares. On top of this the vast majority who do own their homes in this kind of area will likely still be on a large mortgage which they’re watching their spending to be able to repay, this alone will make them more favourable to Labour than their counterparts in cheaper areas of the country. Plus the Tories were likely only able to win council seats in this ward anyway due to an unpopular Labour government, relatively low turnout amongst Labour leaning groups and a large defection to the Lib Dems amongst young, ideological lefties which split the vote.

  10. I imagine you are right. But perhaps home-owners in these semi-suburban London boroughs are generally more left-leaning.

    Thurlow Park is more or less the same area as West Dulwich. Labour also won the Dulwich Village ward in Southwark – the boundaries are probably favourable. Ditto the other Dulwich wards in Southwark, although I don’t know much about their social makeup. The Conservative vote was still pretty close in the new Dulwich Village ward, but I can’t see them improving in London wards like that until there’s another Labour government.

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