Ealing North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 14419 (29.7%)
Labour: 26745 (55.1%)
Lib Dem: 1575 (3.2%)
Green: 1635 (3.4%)
UKIP: 3922 (8.1%)
TUSC: 214 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 12326 (25.4%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Northolt, Greenford, Perivale.

Profile: A north-west London seat, bisected by the A40. The seat covers Northolt, Greenford and Perivale and is mostly relatively homogenous semi-detached suburbia built in the 1920s and 1930s as a dormitory for Ealing, along with some slightly later built council housing. There is a substantial ethnic minority community, with just over half the population describing themselves as non-white in the 2011 census. There is also a substantial Polish community - in the 2011 census it had the highest proportion (8.5%) of people born in Poland of any seat in the country.

Politics: Ealing North was a classic marginal that has largely matched the ebbs and flows of the national political picture. Historically it has seen some extreme swings, sometimes thanks to local issues. The changing ethnic make up of the seat though have made it ever safer for Labour and, despite its history of volatility, it now looks out of reach for the Conservatives.

Current MP
STEPHEN POUND (Labour) Born 1948, Hammersmith. Educated at Hertford Grammar and LSE. Former area housing manager of Paddington churches housing association. Ealing councillor 1982-1998. First elected as MP for Ealing North in 1997. PPS to Hazel Blears 2005-2007. Shadow Northern Ireland Minister since 2010. Normally a Labour loyalist and a self-depreciating Parliamentary wit, Pound famously volunteered in 2003 to pilot through a private members bill on a subject voted for by listeners to Radio 4`s Today programme and quoted Dick Tuck in response to listeners` eventual decision to vote for a "Tony Martin Bill" allowing householders to use force against burgulars: "The people have spoken, the bastards".
Past Results
Con: 14722 (31%)
Lab: 24023 (50%)
LDem: 6283 (13%)
BNP: 1045 (2%)
Oth: 1605 (3%)
MAJ: 9301 (20%)
Con: 13897 (30%)
Lab: 20956 (45%)
LDem: 9148 (20%)
GRN: 1319 (3%)
Oth: 1187 (3%)
MAJ: 7059 (15%)
Con: 13185 (29%)
Lab: 25022 (56%)
LDem: 5043 (11%)
GRN: 1039 (2%)
Oth: 668 (1%)
MAJ: 11837 (26%)
Con: 20744 (37%)
Lab: 29904 (54%)
LDem: 3887 (7%)
Oth: 1191 (2%)
MAJ: 9160 (16%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
THOMAS O`MALLEY (Conservative)
STEPHEN POUND (Labour) See above.
KEVIN MCNAMARA (Liberal Democrat)
MEENA HANS (Green) Tutor.
Comments - 77 Responses on “Ealing North”
  1. I have bought a second hand copy of Times Guide to the 1970 General Election through Amazon and Labour appear to have done well in London that year retatining almost every constituency that they had lost in 1959 (Barons Court, Holborn & St Pancras South, Willesden East, except Clapham and Romford) but holding some seats that they had failed to win in 1955 (Norwood, Wandsworth Central, Putney, Ealing North, Battersea South, Lewisham North, Dulwich, Brentford & Isleworth).

    The movement to Labour in Harrow Central is already evident, and a closer result in Paddington South, Wembley South, Croydon North West, Streatham, Hampstead (although this was a Conservative gain) than had occurred in the previous decade.

    Labour also won more comfortably in Islington East, Islington North and East Ham North than in 1959 (then Labour marginals) as it seems there may have been once more Conservatives in the Northern part of Islington Borough than the South (the opposite now being the case). East Ham North also seems to have gone through the same process that Ilford South has done in latter decades. I assume just as Ilford South is now like a Newham constituency than a Redbridge constituency in 2010, then in 1959 parts of East Ham North may still have had many of the characheristis of a Redbridge constituency at that time.

  2. It’s funny that you say that about the old East Ham North seat.

    The area covered was mainly Manor Park and Little Ilford, both areas would have been considered very respectable places to live in 1959 and were much much less working class than the rest of Newham. The same has to be said for parts of Forest Gate.

    This all changed with the building of council estates in the 1960s and 1970s which would have resulted in more middle class residents moving out to Ilford proper or Romford. There was also a shift in demographics in these decades with West Indian and Indian immigrants moving in, albeit not in large numbers compared to elsewhere in Newham at the time.

    You are also right that Ilford South is very much like Newham now. None of that seat is particularly nice. Even the bungalow estate is poor condition. Ilford North is still ok.

  3. I wonder how far out these demographic and electoral changes are ultimately going to spread.

    In my lifetime (another 40-50 years hopefully) will we see Labour winning M25 border seats like East Surrey, Epsom and Hertsmere which are today solidly Tory? Thus moving the white flight out of Essex, Surrey and Hertfordshire into eg. Sussex, Northants and Suffolk.

  4. I would have hoped that race would have become much less of a factor in voting habits by then.

  5. Having just been to Surrey for the County Council elections where we slightly increased our number of seats despite a very difficult national position now
    losing control 20 years ago
    I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    I agree with the other Joe, but the left are skilful at the victim mentality and passing it down the generations.
    We have to work though.

  6. ‘In my lifetime (another 40-50 years hopefully) will we see Labour winning M25 border seats like East Surrey, Epsom and Hertsmere which are today solidly Tory?’

    It would be pretty disastrous for the Tories if that started to happen.

  7. But why wouldn’t it.

    40 years ago it would have seemed equally implausible that the likes of Streatham or Croydon North would ever be safe Labour seats.

  8. I would think that asian voters who live in plays like surrey would tend to be reasonably conservative though and are rarely first generation.

    If the first generation immigrants carry on moving to the centre and later generations moving out then I dont think we will be losing seats like Hertsmere. Ultimately areas like that are extremely desirable and expensive and will remain so.

  9. Streatham was extremely desirable and expensive in the 1950s and 1960s.

  10. H Hemmelig- if we are to assume that there will still be a largeish Tory-voting private sector middle-class working in London but living outside of it, where will it live if not in Surrey? I know that some people do commute from quite far out but I can’t imagine that droves of people would be willing to commute from Northampton etc every day, unless the trains sped up. I ask out of genuine curiosity- as someone who knows the south-east better than I do, I would be interested to read your views.

  11. 30 years ago the most prestigious bits of Surrey were in the north – Esher, Epsom etc.

    Now you could easily argue that the south of the county is the more prestigious – South West Surrey and Mole Valley.

    Whilst remaining relatively safe for the Tories, Epsom and Esher are certainly not the exclusive stockbroker belt they once were, and long-term election results do show this. That’s probably also possibly true of Reigate and East Surrey as well.

    In the future maybe we’ll see Reigate and Esher turning into Sutton and Surbiton, the south of Surrey becoming less exclusive, and the north of Sussex and Hampshire going up in the world.

  12. Yes, but there is a limit to how long people can be stuck on over crowded trains, whatever the advantages of laptops and mobiles.
    Esher is pretty exclusive,
    but you might see some nibbling away at Epsom and Woking, Redhill.
    Maybe it’s more likely to go down the Gatwick corridoor.

  13. I also think home working is not all it’s cracked up to be.
    It someone never comes in, they do actually tend to fade away a bit in terms of being up to date
    and at the forefront.

    It has a vital role, and is very handy
    but it’s not going to completely take over.

  14. I don’t think Epsom has every been a particularly amazing town by the way – it seems like a slightly croggy version of Sutton.

  15. LBernard – re the former East Ham North, it’s worth noting that there are remarkably few council-built homes in that area. The present East Ham seat has huge long owner-occupied & privately rented terraces, and only very small council estates especially in its northern half. The bulk of Newham council tenants live in the West Ham constituency, with quite large estates in Stratford, West Ham itself, Plaistow & Canning Tahn.

  16. Talking about constituencies outside the M25 which had the potential to become more Labour over time, in the 2001 General Election Labour came very close in Basingstoke and Gosport and were also a fairly strong third in Aldershot.

    Given that the Conservative majority in the Gosport constituency was around 2700 in 2001, its possible that Labour may have just won in Gosport Borough Council, with the Conservative majority being in the Fareham council part of the constituency.

    Basingstoke and Rushmoor (Aldershot and Farnborough) councils are becoming more like London boroughs.

    In all of these three seats Labour were pushed back, however, in 2005.

  17. Don’t quite see what you mean. Like London boroughs in what sense? I don’t think that Rushmoor’s demography can be seen anywhere in London, and Basingstoke as an expanded (mostly new) town is also very different from anywhere in London.

  18. Barnaby – There are quite a few council estates and blocks in Manor Park and Little Ilford hidden between the rows of Victorian terraces. Just before Ilford proper is a huge estate complimented with Tower blocks. Around Maor Park station and bordering Wanstead flats are numerous council blocks and mini estates. I understand what you are saying though, there are far more privately owned/rented houses than council properties.

  19. Yes there are some, but as I say East Ham has remarkably few council-built dwellings for a super-safe Labour seat. I think it has the largest number of terraced houses of any London seat.

  20. I thought ilford s had higjhes perc terraced although boundaries imn newham could hsve put that seat above higjhest

  21. think I understand that Joe 🙂

  22. “Don’t quite see what you mean. Like London boroughs in what sense? I don’t think that Rushmoor’s demography can be seen anywhere in London, and Basingstoke as an expanded (mostly new) town is also very different from anywhere in London.”

    Rushmoor has changed over the past 10 years and now his an ethnically Nepalese population of some 10%, the largest in the UK.

  23. That hardly makes it London though does it

  24. The Conservative vote here is BEHIND 6.3%, which I personally find highly interesting. Does anyone know why this is?

  25. Is it accurate to call this semi-marginal? A 19.5% majority is not medium sized in a seat that appears to be trending in one direction.

  26. You mean behind 1997? Yes, it’s quite simple. There has been pro-Labour demographic change – if you compare the 1992 result, in which in a very similar (though not identical) seat Labour was 12.2% behind the Conservative, with the 2010 LOCAL election results, when Labour was several points ahead of the Tories, one can readily see that. But surely you must know by now that Steve Pound has amassed a formidable personal vote since his win in 1997. Probably no Labour MP has a stronger personal vote, and very few other MPs of any party. Just compare the 2010 local election results with Pound’s personal result & you’ll see the difference, I’ve seen him in action, and basically he has an astonishing memory for his constituents, and either cares, or appears to care, greatly about their problems. One of my son’s friends describes himself as a libertarian, and even he voted for Pound in 2010 by which time he was old enough to do so. It seems that he outpolled his Conservative opponent in every ward, even Cleveland which is apparently fairly safe Tory in local elections, whereas in the local elections the Tories held 2 wards outright & split 3 with Labour. There are other London MPs, ranging from the right-winger Barry Gardiner in Brent N to the left-winger John McDonnell in Hayes & Harlington, who also have strong personal votes, but surely none as much as Pound.

  27. was in answer to TheResults.

  28. Incredible to look at the figures here now and compare them to the result in 1987, when the Tories got a 7.96% swing in their favour and an increase in their vote share of 10.89%. This is clearly a very unpredictable seat in the way it votes, given the Labour majority here was once as high as 26.3% in 2001, and then fell right down to only 13.5% in 2005, only to increase again against the national trend. Demographically, it is going right towards Labour, Neil is absolutely right. I still think the 1987 result here was very strange though.

  29. Not so strange at the time.

    Demographically now – probably that’s true – but many of these are the kind of voters the Tories need.

  30. Thanks Joe. The Tories did do well in Ealing as a whole in 1987, across the three seats, also increasing their majority in Ealing Acton, and cutting Syd Bidwell’s majority in Ealing Southall as well.

    I did get your post above Barnaby, but you must have sent it just as I was about to post my own comment about this seat’s erratic movement over the years above JJB’s comment.

  31. “I still think the 1987 result here was very strange though.”

    The consequence of a new Labour council increasing the rates by 65%.

    Ealing North being full of swing voters showed the reaction more than the other Ealing constituencies with their more fixed voting blocks.

  32. Ah, right I see, Richard, thanks for explaining that. It would clearly have had an impact.

    Of course Labour did not do well at all right across London as a whole in 1987, because of the obvious factors that we all know about- The Loony Labour Left councils, the demographics in certain places at the time, incumbency of certain Conservative MPs first elected in 1983, and also maybe Margaret Thatcher’s own seat being in the capital.

  33. In 1987 the Conservatives did best in the wwc areas of London.

    Partly as a result of the ‘looney left’ and partly because of the strong economy at the time.

    Labour though did do well in middle class areas which were declining and showing demographic change – Hornsey, Streatham and Dulwich for example.

  34. One thing I’ve observed is that London seats which the Tories lost in 1992 to Labour have not been regained by them since. Hornsey & Wood Green is the only former Tory seat lost in 92 to have changed hands, but that’s now with the Lib Dems. Glenda Jackson’s seat was one they narrowly lost out on in 2010 though. Many of them I recall were Inner London constituencies with increasingly changing demographics that haven’t been favouable to the party in more recent years. It’s very hard to conceive them taking back Streatham, Lewisham East, Croydon North or Ilford South for example.

    In contrast the Tories have managed to take back a number of seats they lost in 1997. Romford and Upminster in 2001 being the quickest. Of those they regained in 2005 and/or 2010, some like Putney, Battersea, Wimbledon and Bexleyheath & Crayford are certainly trending their way. Others like Enfield North, Brentford & Isleworth and Hendon appear to be going the opposite way and might be seen in the narrow majorities.

  35. I should damn well hope so – winning seats back from 1997 (if not 1992).

  36. It is interesting to look at seats in 1987 in the Capital where Labour actually advanced, and indeed the three seats Richard cites as ones that were going towards Labour because of demographic changes (Hornsey and Wood Green, Streatham and Dulwich) are all very good examples. The Conservative majority in Hampstead and Highgate actually went down, even though their own vote increased by 1.3%, Labour went up 3.89%. In next-door Holborn and St Pancras, the Labour vote went up 3.1%, and the Tories went up 0.42%. So in Camden there was obviously some resilience in the Labour vote, perhaps again because of demographic trends? In fact, thinking about it, there weren’t many seats in London in 1987 where the Tories didn’t increase in vote share.

  37. I don’t think you can really say that Brentford & Isleworth is, taken as a whole, trending Labour. Yes there have been boundary changes but the Tory majority in 2010 isn’t all that different from what it was in 1992. It is, rather, a seat where different parts are trending in different directions, which has been remarked on extensively before. Chiswick is clearly trending sharply Tory, and there are signs that there is a very slight pro-Tory trend in Syon & Brentford too (though Labour won both wards in 2010), whereas there has unquestionably been a pro-Labour trend in all the Hounslow wards, even in those where Labour was already strong 20 years ago, and arguably, to a very minor extent, Osterley & Spring Grove as well. We will get a better idea in the local elections; there’s no doubt that Labour will retain control in Hounslow but the detailed results in certain wards such as Hounslow South, Osterley & Spring Grove and, in the other constituency, Hanworth Park will be well worth watching. (The ICG are attempting a comeback on to the council, but the Labour-ICG contests don’t tell us much which is relevant to next year’s general election. )

  38. Hilary Benn was the Labour candidate in 1983 and 1987.

    In fact there have been only four Lab candidates since 1964: William Molloy, Hilary Benn, Martin Stears, Stephen Pound.

  39. Benn was of course an Ealing councillor, which presumably damaged him significantly in 1987 wrt the rates issue.

    All this was discussed extensively on the old site in any case.

  40. One thing that is interesting to note, from my perspective at least, is Pound’s increased majority in 2001 (I lived in this constituency at the time) especially as he was involved in some controversial incident or other (I’m very hazy over the details now, sadly) which in the end not only failed to dent his popularity but actually seemed to increase it.

    He clearly has a large personal vote, but I can’t see it unwinding when he hangs up his boots. Northolt, where I lived 2000-2004, remains very much at the lower end of the housing price bracket for London (possibly due to being Zone 5 with mediocre transport links into London).

  41. Oh, and I think Barnaby has B&I pretty much spot on in terms of trends. Long term I can see a pro-Conservative trend in Brentford and Syon, possibly bits of Isleworth too, but much of Hounslow could trend as strongly Labour as the likes of Heston and Cranford.

    The locals won’t tell us much around Isleworth and Syon, mind, depending on whether the ICG gets back to around its 2006 strength (which I think is unlikely).

  42. Northolt has always been a shit hole but it is much more of one now than it was in 2000-2004

  43. Northolt is rather split between the West End ward, which has never really been a very good residential area, and Mandeville which has some quite pleasant roads, in fact quite a large number of them. I think it unlikely that the Tories will be able to keep their council seats in the latter however; Northolt’s proximity to Southall has inevitably meant that the Asian population has risen quite sharply which has weakened the Tories. The same is of course true of much of the Ealing N constituency though Cleveland, while hardly exactly beautiful, is still a very good residential area for the most part & still heavily white by Ealing borough standards. I have recently worked in Northolt & while it has seen better days parts of it still remain very pleasant, more so than some who don’t know the area might expect.

  44. I lived in Mandeville ward, which I found *largely* quite pleasant, and the village itself is not without its charm. Yes, West End is what I would tend to call quite “tragic”.

  45. I never guessed how heavily concentrated the Sikh population of Ealing was in Southall. Before looking up the demographics for this seat, I somehow assumed that there were more Sikhs than Hindus in Ealing generally (Hindus being more concentrated in Brent and Harrow). Apparently their numbers are fairly even in the borough.

  46. Stephen Pound seems to have achieved stupendous momentum here.

    I am due to visit someone in Northolt so will take a look – have been through it a few times.

  47. ‘I never guessed how heavily concentrated the Sikh population of Ealing was in Southall. ‘

    I remeber going to Southall in 1992 on a field trip specifically to have a look at a Sikh temple when I was doing Religious Studies at A-level

    To all intents and purposes I could have easily been in Calcutta. They even had a cattle market just off the High Street

    It was certainly the most visibly ethnic place I’d ever been in the UK – and I’m not for one minute suggesting there’s anything right or wrong about that – far more than other places like Birmingham, Bradford, Harrow, Tower Hamlets and this part of Ealing

  48. Southall is very unusual. A comparison with Hounslow is quite instructive; there the main shopping street much more closely resembles a main shopping street anywhere else in the country, and there are loads of shops catering for people of almost all origins. In Southall there are 2 rival Indian musical instrument shops, far more Indian restaurants than in Hounslow, and very few shops catering for non-Indian people (though there is a big McDonalds). I do visit sometimes to eat out, which can be done very well & staggeringly cheaply, but the traffic & parking are a nightmare. Virtually the only pint of real ale one can now get is (apparently, though perhaps not surprisingly I have never been there) in the Conservative Club, whereas in Hounslow there are still quite a lot of pubs catering for whites as well as Asian residents, though their number is declining now. But the number of white residents in Southall is slowly rising again now, with a small but noticeable influx of people from Eastern Europe, so perhaps eventually the atmosphere of the town will change to reflect this to some extent.

  49. The Glassy Junction in Southall apparently accepts Rupees.

  50. Yes, Southall is to me something of an Indian version of Chinatown, it really is like another world and hits quite suddenly when you’re driving down Lady Margaret Road.

    Hounslow High Street these days is a heady mix of Asian (various backgrounds), Somali, Polish and Chav. I feel quite out of place at times…

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