East Ham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6311 (12.1%)
Labour: 40563 (77.6%)
Lib Dem: 856 (1.6%)
Green: 1299 (2.5%)
UKIP: 2622 (5%)
TUSC: 230 (0.4%)
Others: 409 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 34252 (65.5%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: East Ham, Beckton, Little Ilford, Manor park, Silvertown, North Woolwich.

Profile: This is the eastern part of Newham. It is a hightly multicultural area, over three-quarters of the population is non-white, making it the least white constituency in the country. Most of the population is south Asian, but it is more diverse than many of the other Asian seats which often have one community that is particularly dominant - here there are large numbers of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani voters, as well as a large black population. More than half of the residents are immigrants to the UK. Over a third of the population gave their religion as muslim in the 2011 census. Most of East Ham is deprived, densely packed inner city terraced housing. Beckton towards the south of the seat was once the site of the gasworks that served London before the switch to North Sea gas and is still home to the largest sewage works in the country, the destination of London`s victorian sewerage system. Further south on the riverfront the seat covers two of the three huge royal docks built before the war to service large ships that couldn`t be handled by the docks upsteam. The docks closed in 1981, and the whole of the south of this seat has become a major site of redevelopment. Beckton was largely redeveloped in the 1980s, more recently the Royal Docks have seen major development. London`s City Airport is situated here, and with the ExCeL exhibition centre just outside the constituency hotels and office space are rapidly springing up the docks alongside deluxe apartment complexes like Eastern Quay.

Politics: This is a safe Labour seat, though the high Muslim population was reflected in a strong performance by Respect in 2005 (they failed to put up a candidate in 2010). This is the successor seat to Newham North East, giving it an interesting political history. The MP here until 1979 was Labour cabinet minister Reg Prentice, who defected to the Conservative party after being de-selected by left-wingers in his constituency association, despite an attempt by Julian Lewis, now Conservative MP for New Forest East, to infiltrate and take over the association in order to protect Prentice. The seat has one of the largest electorate and at the 2015 election Stephen Timms was the only Labour MP to get over 40000 votes.

Current MP
STEPHEN TIMMS (Labour) Born 1955, Oldham. Educated at Farnborough Grammar and Cambridge University. Former manager in the telecommunications industry. Newham councillor 1984-1994, Leader of Newham council 1990-1994. First elected as MP for East Ham in 1997. Junior social security minister 1998-1999, Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1999-2001, Minister of State for Education 2001-2002, Minister of State in the DTI 2002-2004, Finanical Secretary 2004-2005, Minister of State for Pensions 2005-2006. Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2006-2007, Minister of State for Competitiveness 2007-2008, Minister of State for Work and Pensions 2008, Financial Secretary 2008-2010. Timms survived an attempted assassination attempt in 2010 when he was stabbed by a radicalised constituent, influenced by Al Queda sermons.
Past Results
Con: 7645 (15%)
Lab: 35471 (70%)
LDem: 5849 (12%)
GRN: 586 (1%)
Oth: 822 (2%)
MAJ: 27826 (55%)
Con: 5196 (13%)
Lab: 21326 (54%)
LDem: 4296 (11%)
Oth: 8751 (22%)
MAJ: 12575 (32%)
Con: 6209 (17%)
Lab: 27241 (73%)
LDem: 2600 (7%)
UKIP: 444 (1%)
Oth: 783 (2%)
MAJ: 21032 (56%)
Con: 6421 (16%)
Lab: 25779 (65%)
LDem: 2599 (7%)
Oth: 4245 (11%)
MAJ: 19358 (49%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
SAMIR JASSAL (Conservative)
STEPHEN TIMMS (Labour) See above.
DAVID THORPE (Liberal Democrat)
TAMSIN OMOND (Green) Educated at Cambridge University. Contested Hampstead and Kilburn 2010 as Independent.
MOHAMMED ASLAM (Communities United)
Comments - 142 Responses on “East Ham”
  1. Does anyone know what was behind the 8.9% swing to the Conservatives in Newham South in 1987, even in the circumstances effecting much of London’s politics at the time?

  2. There’s an enormous amount of discussion on that subject on the old thread. The main reason was the redevelopment of the docklands area with yuppies moving into the area for the first time. Things changed very quickly between 1983 and 1987 on that front.

    Stephen Timms was reselected yesterday.

  3. No no no no! Don’t you remember Pete and I both painstakingly demonstrating that that theory was completely wrong?

    The high Conservative vote in Newham South was based on the old WWC dockside vote, which has almost completely vanished now but was still the dominant demographic there in the 80s. The closure of the last remaining docks in 1981 damaged the Tory vote there in 1983, with the loony left boosting the Tory vote there substantially in 1987.

    When you fly from City airport you will see that south Newham has still regenerated very little. In that respect it is very different from the Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf)

  4. Oh yes, I should have actually gone back and read it myself.

  5. Interesting the way the BBC felt a need to televise the declaration for this seat in 2001. I think they must have thought they would make the return quite early on a night of ridiculously low turnouts in already low turnout areas.

  6. The term “docklands” is, in that way, very misleading.

    Even now, “Docklands” is only really highly gentrified up to the edge of the Isle of Dogs….when you get to Canning Town and Beckton it is still quite grim.

  7. Some of the best South Indian restaurants are found in East Ham. The main high street isn’t exactly like the stylish, trendier parts of London, but for an affordable and friendly dining experience it’s the place to be! Plus it is great for sweets.

  8. 2015 forecast for East Ham

    Lab 73
    Con 9
    UKIP 8
    LD 5
    Others 5

    Turnout 64 (+8)

  9. Doubt Conservatives will fall down that low – once you start hitting near 10%, you’re really getting down to a core Conservative vote. Maybe 11%. UKIP will be a non-entity here – check the demographics. Lib Dems will definitely fall, but expect a better performance than 5%. And what Others? Respect?

    One thing I can guarantee is your turnout prediction. Turnout here was 61% in 1997, so it certainly won’t be hitting 64% in 2015.

  10. Wouldn’t be surprised to see us go up a little in a seat like this.

  11. Who’s us?

  12. Tory

  13. 2015 forecast here

    Lab 39 (+6)
    Con 32 (-11)
    UKIP 16 (+8)
    LD 6 (-10)
    Others 4

  14. I visited this seat today, as I do every Christmas Day. It’s my former constituency where my in-laws live.

  15. LAB HOLD MAJ : 62%
    LAB 74
    CON 12
    LD 8
    GRN 3
    UKIP 3

  16. I can get behind that prediction.

  17. Only just noticed Alexander’s prediction above. Which seat was it meant to appertain to? Certainly isn’t this one.

  18. That A Brown prediction looks more suited to Ilford North not this seat, although the Tory/Labour vote would be tighter and UKIP not so high.

  19. I stayed with a friend in this constituency recently. I was surprised at how reasonable it seemed. Lots of young city workers in pretty reasonable riverside apartments.

    Is the south of the seat.generally getting better or is this highly untypical?

  20. It is highly untypical. Read yesterday’s Guardian about housing conditions in Newham.

  21. The Royal Docks is marginally better than the rest of the borough, and thats not saying much.

    Newham will never be more than a complete and utter dump

  22. It certainly isn’t where I would buy. I am thinking about Upminster / Cranham if I move down (a decent probability). (Please tell me if this is a bad idea!)

  23. Depends on your personal circumstances (age, married or single, kids or none), how much you can spend, and where you will work. I imagine Upminster is still OK for families…if I was still young and single I’d want to live somewhere a bit more exciting and closer in.

  24. I could probably spend about £250K – I know thats not much lol but its better living somewhere slightly worse than I am used too than wasting money on rent. Working in the city.

    Married with no kids – probably looking at having a couple in about 5 years. I personally like boring places that are full of pensioners.

  25. You won’t get anything big enough to have kids in in Upminster for £250k….a 2 bed flat in one of the less salubrious areas maybe. If you want a house for that price it would have to be on a council estate somewhere like Dagenham.

    You might look slightly further out, somewhere like Brentwood or Shenfield. Still quite an easy commute to the city but nicer and cheaper, and the schools are better.

  26. I think that we would have to upgrade when we have kids. The profession in looking to enter pays 30k ish for the first 4 years (trainee period) then 60-70k when you qualify and up from there, so the upgrade should be doable – getting the flat for the 4 years of poverty is the hard part!

  27. Upminster is a decent place to live Joe…lots of pensioners and no sign of sliding downhill like most of East London, probably because its quite expensive.

  28. Completely agree. Beckenham, where I used to live, is similar. In London it is worth paying to live in a nice area even if it means you can only afford something small. There’s nothing worse than being stuck amongst bad neighbours and being unable to move away. At least when you rent you can leave quickly if you don’t like a place.

  29. Forgot to wish you the best of luck Joe. I’m sure it will all work out for you, and make sure you and the wife enjoy everything London has to offer before the kids come along…you won’t have much chance afterwards.

  30. Flip sake, come back A Brown, all is forgiven.

  31. Come again Shankly?

    Personally, I have noticed A Brown isn’t posting anymore. Quite clearly he needed a break from this site, and I wish him well in getting back to his old constructive self.

  32. By contrast I can’t recall Shankly ever posting anything constructive. Just pointless one-sentence jabs, just like his contribution above.

  33. Cheers HH

  34. Van Fleet – Ive just had to trawl through a chummy chat about house prices in east London, really interesting if you are sitting in Ayrshire, which was about as relevant to this site as A Browns meaningless posts for which he was given a really hard time so I just felt like leaving a cheeky comment.

    H Hemmelig – Forgive me for polluting your website with my very occaisional comments, I didnt realise we were being given marks on them, I will endeavor to try harder in the future, sir.

    I like this site, it is very imformative and occaisionally amusing but the comments section feels like a closed shop for only thems that knows and those that knows. I expect there are a lot of people like me who come on here and read the comments but dont contribute cos they are made to feel like they are butting in on some private club.

    Anyway, East Ham – Lab Hold.

  35. Shankly, I don’t want to make a big thing out of this, but quite clearly A Brown was going through some issues. Yes, he got a hard time at the start, but once people realised something more was going on, that stopped, so unless you want to get on alot of people’s bad sides here, you should best avoid using A Brown as a chance to make such flippant comments.

  36. Areas with most underweight people:

    Newham: 4.6%
    Spelthorne: 4.2%
    Barnsley: 4.1% (???)
    Tower Hamlets: 4.0%
    Harrow: 3.8%
    Rochdale: 3.7%
    Calderdale: 3.6%
    Norwich: 3.5%
    Leicester: 3.4%
    Northampton: 3.3%
    Forest Heath: 3.2%
    Bolsover: 3.1% (???)
    Barking & Dagenham: 3.1%
    Nottingham: 3.0%
    Bath & NE Somerset: 3.0%
    Lambeth: 3.0%
    Preston: 2.9%
    Oldham: 2.8%
    Swindon: 2.6%
    Watford: 2.6%
    Cherwell: 2.6%
    Southwark: 2.6%
    Portsmouth: 2.5%
    Malvern Hills: 2.5%
    Liverpool: 2.5%
    Enfield: 2.5%
    Redbridge: 2.5%
    Colchester: 2.54
    Crawley: 2.4%
    Birmingham: 2.4%


  37. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10617126/Revealed-the-fattest-towns-and-cities-in-England.html

    According to the table in this Telegraph report, Bolsover scores highly. So not sure which figure is correct.

  38. It’s possible for a town like Bolsover to have a disproportionately large number of both fat and underweight people at the same time.

  39. I think there is some correlation with asian areas being more underweight.

  40. Are Labour likely to poll more than 40,000 votes here in 2015? I think they probably will do.

  41. Possibly, depends on turnout which tends to be low in very safe seats.

  42. Asian voters seem to be more likely to vote than average though, and there are many such voters here. My parents-in-law & 2 sisters-in-law all live here & will as always vote Labour, assuming my father-in-law is still around next year.

  43. This seat is the most likely of all to elect a full slate of Labour councillors in London in a few days’ time. I wonder how many others will, and how many a full slate of Tories. The Tories should still manage it in Ruislip Northwood & Pinner and Beckenham, and very likely other seats in Bromley & Bexley, but others could be touch & go. Labour may be able to break up the monopoly in Cities of London & Westminster this time, and Chelsea & Fulham is less certain than it was too. Walthamstow & Tottenham are 2 seats which have 1 LD councillor each which now surely will elect a full Labour slate this time & Greenwich/Woolwich is likely to see its remaining Tory councillor lose.

  44. Where in Cities of London & Westminster do you see Labour gaining a seat? It could of course be argued that the full slate has already been broken there, given Labour’s victory in the Portsoken by-election in the City.

  45. Churchill ward is still competitive between Conservatives and Labour so that was presumably where Barnaby was referring to.

  46. I really can’t see Labour winning any seats in Chelsea and Fulham. Labour didn’t even get near in Cremorne in 2012.

  47. Though I know Labour almost won Cremorne in a 2010 by-election.

  48. Little hope for Labour in Churchill, IMO. The area has gentrified significantly, and if anything all the new developments around Victoria are speeding that process up. Plus the general election turnout would have helped Labour enormously last time. Easy Con hold I think.

    Beckenham is pretty much guaranteed a full slate of Con councillors.

  49. Barnaby. …Conservatives could could win every council seat in Pitney as the general election many have brought Labour voters out in Roehampton who do not normally vote in local elections.

    Labour winning holding every council seat was quite typical in Glasgow in the 1980s where in 7 of the 11 constituencies Labour won all 6 Glasgow District Council wards and all 3 Strathclyde Regional Council divisions. The only exceptions were Cathcart, Hillhead, Pollok and Rutherglen.

    Things have changed hugely under STV.

  50. Likely Full Con Slates

    Ruislip Northwood & Pinner
    Chelsea & Fulham
    Old Bexley & Sidcup (depends on UKIP)
    Bromley & Chislehurst

    Likely Full Lab Slates

    East Ham
    West Ham
    Hackney South & Shoreditch
    Bethnal Green & Bow
    Mitcham and Morden
    Croydon North

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