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. Everyone is forgetting Camberwell & Peckham. Lewisham Deptford is fairly likely too if they can take the last Green seat there and Holborn & St Pancras is not impossible (likewise)

  2. I was going to disagree with Bethnal Green & Bow before realising that St Katherine ‘ s ward was now in Poplar & Canning Town.

  3. Surrey Politics-

    Bromley & Chislehurst is not a likely Con full slate. The Tories are unlikely to hold Cray Valley West, where both Labour and UKIP will have high hopes of picking up seats.

    Mottingham is also a long shot for Labour and UKIP though quite unlikely IMO.

  4. Lewisham East is a possible Lab full slate, if they can beat the Tories in Grove Park and wipe out the Lib Dems. It’s the type of seat where a Lib Dem wipeout is quite plausible despite how many seats they currently hold.

    Lewisham West & Penge is unlikely because Lib Dem and Tory representation will remain in the Bromley wards.

  5. Not sure the LDs will hold any of their seats in Lewisham W & Penge – they could well all go to Labour (Crystal Palace) or the Tories (Clock House because the Labour vote rises at the expense of the LDs).
    There is a distinct possibility of Labour breaking through in Fulham Broadway ward which includes the Clem Attlee estate (which used to dominate the safe Labour old Normand ward). Labour simply didn’t work it in 2010, since it was in a safe Tory parliamentary seat & preferred to concentrate on the wards in Hammersmith to see off the threat to Andy Slaughter. This time it is being worked very hard & the hospital closure issue is having a serious effect. On paper it looks safe Tory but I’m not ruling out a Labour partial gain at least. Sands End is probably still beyond Labour (luxury flats have made it a posher area than Fulham Broadway, which still has a substantial council estate presence not just in the Clem Attlee) but is likely to see a much closer result than in 2010. I could of course be totally wrong but there are people I know well who are not exactly noted for wild over-optimism who think interesting things are happening in that area. As for Cremorne, however, any lingering hopes that Labour may have continued to entertain have disappeared with the ward boundary changes which will now ensure that the World’s End area will be in a totally safe Tory ward.

  6. No chance of Labour winning Crystal Palace. The Lib Dems are absolutely bomb proof there (I lived there from 2000 to 2003). You’re right they will most likely lose the one seat they have left in Clock House.

  7. Presumably the tories didn’t work Sands End very hard either as C+F is extremely safe and would have also spent their time in Hammersmith wards.

    I can’t see it for labour in that ward. I don’t have any local knowledge (yet!) but it looks impossible.

  8. Crystal Palace is interesting as despite being a Liberal/Lib Dem stronghold for so long, it has always voted Labour in every mayoral election since 2000. I assume continued success in this ward locally for the LDs is largely down to personal votes and good organisation.

  9. Joe I tend to agree. The luxury flats on the river & the upmarket trend of the owner-occupied terraces should make a Tory defeat in Sands End impossible. Fulham Broadway with its large council estate presence is a slightly different matter.
    Interesting what you say about Crystal Palace HH. Several Bromley people in another place have been predicting an LD wipeout in the borough. I don’t have sufficient local knowledge to argue one way or the other.

  10. It doesn’t seem very far fetched that Labour could gain Crystal Palace. The majority w3asn’t all that large in 2010 and I get the impression that LD popularity has slipped a little since then

  11. The Lib Dems have held Crystal Palace for over 40 years. They work the patch like masters. Tom Papworth is quite high profile locally and has stood for the GLA and parliament. I’d be very surprised if he loses. It isn’t such a natural Labour area as Penge any more.

  12. “I get the impression” lol – masterful British understatement from Pete there

  13. Yes I noticed that. Crystal Palace has also had quite a strong Green vote in the past 10-20 years. Their long-standing former candidate Karen Moran is now standing for election as a Tory. I’d personally expect the Lib Dems to defend that ward above their other two in Bromley. Incidentally I might not rule Labour out of getting a seat in Clock House, they have won seats there many years ago.

  14. Ilford South is quite likely to elect a full slate of labour councillors this time as well.

  15. Yes good point

  16. Ah yes, forgot about Ilford South. Labour certainly stands a good chance there – Cranbrook ward will probably be their biggest thorn in getting a full slate elected, but the 2010 election of a Labour councillor in what used to a Tory bastion speaks to the big demographic changes in even the best Tory wards in Ilford South. Ilford South’s 1992 marginal status is a world away now.

  17. Well the Tories carried Fulham Broadway relatively straightforwardly in the 2012 GLA elections (47-33 Member; 44-32 List). However, I’m aware at these elections are a different ball game and if Labour works hard I dare say it could get closer but I’d still be somewhat surprised if the Tories don’t have a clean slate in the Chelsea and Fulham division.

    Barnaby- what do you make of Labour’s chances in the Churchill ward of Westminster? I noticed that it was incredibly tight in 2012.

  18. What do people think about the possibility of a Tory clean sweep in Richmond Park? How well-entrenched are the Lib Dems in the Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside ward?

  19. I know the Lib Dems also have a councillor each in Kew and Canbury.

  20. I don’t have enough knowledge of Westminster to hazard a guess at Churchill ward.
    I would be very surprised if the LDs were completely wiped out in Richmond Park. Don’t forget the councillor elected as an LD in Canbury left the party, and is standing as an independent (despite apparently getting into trouble for something benefit-related). The Tories surely will take that seat. But beating all 3 LDs in Ham Petersham & Richmond Riverside is rather a lot to ask. It could happen but will they really vote David Williams out after 40 years? A Tory clean sweep in Kew is possible, though it hasn’t happened since 1978.

  21. A Conservative clean sleep of Richmond Park is possible though I believe there will be at least 1 LD councillor in the Ham Petersham and Richmond Riverside ward, this ward in parts. Most likely LD clean sweep?
    would be Carshalton and Wallington but this almost certainly not going to happen tthe Cons should at least have councillors in Beddington South and Carshalton Beeches.

  22. The Conservative results in Newham in the May 2014 local elections were actually quite good.
    There are, alas, 60 Labour councillors and Zero Tories.

    The vote share was 24% on aggregate vote – I haven’t done the average vote per candidate which is recommended.

    Even so, it’s an indication.

    It seemed Asian candidates did better. I wonder whether the Tories are getting somewhere at last. Or whether there has been some improvements in the area.

    Unfortunately for us, the one ward which had been marginal, Royal Docks, returned a safe Labour majority, and it couldn’t be won even in 2008, when there was a by-election.

  23. A number of Conservative candidates were Labour Party members up until the publication of the SoPN or shortly before. So I suspect it’s about certain interest groups losing out in internal power struggles then trying their luck at the ballot box, rather than any particular enthusiasm for the Tories.

  24. “It seemed Asian candidates did better. I wonder whether the Tories are getting somewhere at last. Or whether there has been some improvements in the area”

    No chance. This is run down, suburban London at its worst which means its a Labour stronghold with zero hope of being anything other than that.
    The Tory vote was due to fielding candidates whom have got their friends, neighbours, religious pals etc to vote for them regardless of the party. This is quite common in some parts of the UK with poorer heavily Asian communities

  25. Thanks all for your replies. Interesting stuff.
    But it is a fairly respectable C vote across the area – sadly not in the one ward which on past form might have carried us through.

  26. Royal Docks is a strange ward. It should be a great deal nicer than it is but the fact it is within Newham hinders people moving there who may be more inclined to vote Tory.

    That may change as there is now a lot of development, better transport links and some reasonably priced riverside/dockside properties but it will take years to translate into Tory votes coupled with some cleverly drawn ward boundaries like in Tower Hamlets.

  27. The result from the by-election of Beckton ward of yesterday, which lies in this constituency, was as follows:

    Labour 1006 (51%)
    Conservative 584 (29.7%)
    UKIP 215 (10.9%)
    Green 70 (3.5%)
    Lib Dem 43 (2.2%)
    CPA 33 (1.7%)
    TUSC 21 (1.1%)

    Interestingly, the Labour vote share in this by-election fell more than the Conservative vote share did….

  28. Impressive result for UKIP in unpromising territory for them, although this ward is probably one of their best in Newham if not the best.

  29. Which seat will be the safest Labour seat in London at the next GE?

    East Ham
    West Ham
    Mitcham and Morden
    Croydon North
    Camberwell and Peckham

  30. East Ham IMO.

  31. Local results have been (by labours high standards) poor in Newham.

  32. I mean … is Beckton the type of area that you would expect to give Con plus ukip over 40%…

  33. There was a very low turnout in the local by-election IIRC.

  34. The turnout in the Beckton by-election, Andy JS, was an appallingly low 18.8%, to be precise.

  35. @ LBERNARD

    “The Tory vote was due to fielding candidates whom have got their friends, neighbours, religious pals etc to vote for them regardless of the party. This is quite common in some parts of the UK with poorer heavily Asian communities”

    It’s also quite common with some wealthy white communities. Take Hillingdon’s ultra white middle class Brunel Ward for example. The Liberal Democrats stood a full slate of three candidates who all appeared together on the alphabetical listing of names on the ballot sheet:

    The combined vote of the two candidates who had South Indian Tamil names was equivalent to less than two thirds of the vote won by the candidate with a traditional English Christian name…

    Barry John Penny (Lib Dem) 162
    Bhavinchandra Suryakant Purohit (Lib Dem) 63
    Hetal Bhavinchandra Purohit (Lib Dem) 42

    Full details here:

    A blatant display of discrimination.

    For the record, here in Southall we have a growing Tamil community. They are overwhelmingly law-abiding and peace-loving.

  36. When the votes are that low it may just be that he is well known and respected and 100 or so vote for him on a personal level. If it were 1400, 400, 400 then I would agree with you Robin.

    Are you suggesting that 3 in 4 Lib Dem voters wouldn’t vote for an Indian? This is an extreme example and as such may not be for the reasons you suggest.

  37. Brunel had a White British population in 2011 of 54.4% and White other 7.5% so a total White population of just over 60% and a total non-white population just under 40%. Not what most people would categoraise as ‘ultra-white.

    What may be of more relavance to the poor votes by the 2nd and 3rd LD candidates is the fact that they lived in Slough while the other candidate lived just outside the ward

  38. It’s probably ultra-white for someone used to Southall.

  39. @ PETE

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I haven’t visited that ward since the late 1990s and so it’s demography has clearly changed a lot since then.

    Also if it’s true that the candidates with South Indian names lived in Slough then that could obviously have accounted for some of the difference. Presumably they had businesses in the borough otherwise they would not have qualified to stand as candidates.

    I highlighted this as one of the more extreme examples of apparent prejudiced voting as an antidote to what LBernard has stated. In fact I’ve recently undertaken a full analysis of voting in this year’s Hillingdon Council elections to ascertain what affect a candidate’s name has on their vote: overall for Labour and Tory candidates with Asian names it knocked an average of about 10% off their vote, pretty much the same as four years ago in fact.

  40. As it happens Robin my long-time acquaintance, Tory Cllr Paul Lynch from your borough, has in the past bemoaned the voting patterns in Feltham W ward, in which in successive elections (or was it just 2006) the ward was split between Labour & Conservative. All the councillors elected for both parties were white, and all the defeated candidates of both parties were Asian – Paul was very unhappy about this, being himself no sort of racist whatsoever. This of course all changed in this year’s elections in which Labour won a full slate of the Feltham & Heston seats. I myself have tried to analyse the reasons for me missing out in a split in Mortlake, and wondered whether my foreign-sounding name could have had an effect – the 2 Labour elected councillors were (and happily still are) called Langford & Matthews. That would be richly ironic if true since Langford is my first cousin.

  41. It could of course be simply down to people knowing all 3 of us, and liking Barry & Brian more than me………but that would be ludicrous of course 🙂

  42. LOL – of course!

    Could it have something to do with where you all live in relation to the ward? If not then I would say your surname probably was the decisive factor, being as it is slightly more unusual than Langford and Matthews.

    Regarding Feltham West, yes I have noticed previous patterns of very heavy discriminatory voting in that ward and in fact the BNP came within 300 votes of winning a seat there in 2006.

    Having leafleted the ward I must say it doesn’t really surprise me. (My group – Middlesex Anti Racist Action – did an anti-BNP leaflet drop there in 2010). The place does have a slightly unsettling feel to is, not sure why. I mean that as no criticism of the majority of its residents.

  43. Brian lived close to that ward but outside its boundaries (he’s moved now). Barry & I both live in a neighbouring ward but equal distances away from Mortlake (about a mile from the ward boundary as it was then).

  44. Angie Bray, MP for Ealing Central & Acton, is a former Tory candidate for this seat. In 1992 Mark Prisk (Hertford & Stortford) stood in this borough too, for Newham NW.

  45. Tamsin Omond, who stood against Glenda Jackson in 2010 as an Independent polling 123 votes, is the Green candidate for this seat:


  46. It might be worthwhile having a punt on this seat being the largest majority in the country…..I bet that the odds wouldn’t be so great – !

  47. Well it was last time too, numerically (though it doesn’t have Labour’s largest share of the vote), partly because it has a huge electorate. It is however the safest Labour seat in London, whichever way you look at it. I have 4 in-laws living there & they will all vote Labour as always.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)