Eltham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15700 (36.4%)
Labour: 18393 (42.6%)
Lib Dem: 1308 (3%)
Green: 1275 (3%)
UKIP: 6481 (15%)
MAJORITY: 2693 (6.2%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Eltham, Kidbroke, New Eltham.

Profile: A south-east London seat in the borough of Greenwich. Parts of the seat like New Eltham are largely suburban commuterland with more in common with areas like Bexley. There is also a large amount of open green space here, such as Oxleas Wood, Shooters Hill and Avery Hill park, now a campus for the University of Greenwich. The suburban parts of the constituency though are balanced out by the large proportion of council estates such as Middle Park, Page, Horn Park and Coldharbour.

Politics: Eltham is the more Conservative part of Greenwich - in fact it was a Tory seat from 1975 when Peter Bottomley won a by-election in the then Woolwich West until 1997. Like much of London it has moved towards Labour in the intervening years, to the point that it can still be held by Labour in an election like 2010, one of their worst ever results.


Current MP
CLIVE EFFORD (Labour) Born 1958, London. Educated at Walworth Comprehensive. Former London taxi driver. Greenwich councillor 1986-1998. Contested Eltham 1992. First elected as MP for Eltham in 1997.
Past Results
2010
Con: 15753 (38%)
Lab: 17416 (42%)
LDem: 5299 (13%)
BNP: 1745 (4%)
Oth: 1751 (4%)
MAJ: 1663 (4%)
2005*
Con: 12105 (34%)
Lab: 15381 (44%)
LDem: 5669 (16%)
UKIP: 1024 (3%)
Oth: 1126 (3%)
MAJ: 3276 (9%)
2001
Con: 10859 (32%)
Lab: 17855 (53%)
LDem: 4121 (12%)
GRN: 706 (2%)
Oth: 251 (1%)
MAJ: 6996 (21%)
1997
Con: 13528 (31%)
Lab: 23710 (55%)
LDem: 3701 (9%)
Oth: 1075 (2%)
MAJ: 10182 (23%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
SPENCER DRURY (Conservative) Born 1969, Woolwich. Educated at Colfes. Teacher. Greenwich councillor since 2002. Contested Eltham 2005, Greenwich and Woolwich 2010.
CLIVE EFFORD (Labour) See above.
ALEX CUNLIFFE (Liberal Democrat) Contested Erith and Thamesmead 2010.
PETER WHITTLE (UKIP)
JAMES PARKER (Green) Policy advisor.
Links
Comments - 94 Responses on “Eltham”
  1. Judging by the exit poll, Labour may be in trouble here.

  2. Exit poll has this as a Labour hold, Tories will get a majority if they win here which they wont.

  3. Efford increased his majority to 2,693. The result was never in doubt, but expected a slightly bigger majority.

  4. ”Efford increased his majority to 2,693. The result was never in doubt, but expected a slightly bigger majority.”

    I know this seat well. Read my post on the other page. Lots of aspirational voters who are staunch Tories in this seat so Labour majority will never be huge despite Efford being an excellent MP.

  5. Here’s the breakdown of results:

    LAB 42.6
    CON 36.4
    UKIP 15.0
    LD 3.0
    GRN 3.0

    A decent little increase for Efford. A reasonably good showing by UKIP. Where in the seat would they have potential?

  6. This was not a good result for Efford. He would have expected north of 5000 but arrogance, complacency and laziness meant he has been all but invisible except the last few weeks. Tired leaflets and invites to coffee mornings are a sign he takes this for granted. As said previously there are plenty of aspirational voters here, they just need an energetic tory to show them the way. Worth also noting that without UKIP this sou;don’t be a Labour seat this time round.

  7. ”This was not a good result for Efford. He would have expected north of 5000 but arrogance, complacency and laziness meant he has been all but invisible except the last few weeks. ”

    View from London – As I’ve said in this thread, I know this seat very well. I don’t agree with your comments about Efford as he’s a very hard-working MP.

    Thanks for mentioning the points I made about aspirational voters earlier in this thread. As I keep on mentioning, this isn’t a typical rundown/urban/gritty south London seat. I have a feeling Labour could lose this in 2020 if Johnson is PM once Cameron stands down.

  8. If you think Johnson has any chance of succeeding Cameron you need your head examined.

    Being a serial adulterer who pressured his mistress into having an abortion doesn’t bother most party members in London but the fusty blue rinses in the countryside are a different matter entirely.

    Plus Johnson needs to rely on MPs to get him into the membership ballot…very difficult as he’s not that popular in the commons.

  9. Of course you said anyone predicting a Tory election win needed their head examined as well, or words to that effect.

  10. OK…fancy a bet on Boris not becoming next Tory leader?

    After my defeated general election bets I’m feeling lucky!

  11. H. Hemmelig – Tory MP’s and in particular Tory members (who in the main adore Johnson) won’t give two hoots about his personal misdemeanours. Johnson is Teflon-coated. Look at all the gaffs he made. Most politicians would have been out of office by now but Johnson surprisingly manages to benefit from his gaffs. Tory MP’s and members want to stay in office at any cost and will choose the most likely person to win in 2020. That person is Johnson.

    Are you honestly suggesting Tory MP’s and or members will choose Osborne or May and risk the chance of not winning the 2020 GE on the basis of Johnson’s personal life most of which the electorate either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about?

  12. Well Runnymede?

    Don’t tell me you actually agree with me but were just trying to be snide….whoever would have thought it

  13. Christian

    The next leader of the Tory party is almost never seen coming and this time will probably be no exception….by 2020 Osborne, May and Johnson could well all be has-beens and the successor will be someone entirely out of left field.

    Johnson’s slim chance disappeared when Cameron won a majority.

  14. LOL

  15. Khan: 8877 (39.10%)
    Goldsmith: 8369 (36.86%)

    (Excluding postals)

    Not a good result for Khan. Labour did well here in the 2014 locals but Clive Efford’s majority didn’t increase that much last year. Added about a thousand extra votes to it.

    It’s been discussed in previous years on here that the seat seems to be getting better for Labour (and the last set of local elections suggested that was the case, though the Tories were harmed by a big UKIP vote). Did the local results from 2 years ago mask certain factors that suggest that Tories could still make a play for this in 2020?

  16. @Neil

    I know this seat very well. It isn’t a typical South London multicultural seat à la Camberwell and Peckham or Old Southwark and Bermondsey. It has more in common with the neighbouring safe Tory seat of Old Bexley and Sidcup than its neighbouring South London constituencies. In the whole, it’s suburban and leafy and even has mansions worth approximately £3 million in one or two streets. The Eltham seat has a high number of white British-born residents in comparison to other ‘inner’ London seats. I was shocked when the Tories didn’t win here in the General Elections of 2010 and 2015! However, Efford’s a very hard-working and popular MP and has a huge personal vote so I think that’s what saved Labour here in those aforementioned elections where the party performed very badly nationally. Without Efford standing here in future General Elections, Labour will be toast! However, the party could still be in trouble here in 2020 because this seat isn’t Corbyn territory.

  17. This seat isn’t out of play for the Tories. It just seems to be the sort of seat they can only win in a good year. The majority in 1992 was quite small iirc.

  18. By London standards Eltham is still relatively white working class in the more downmarket parts, which combined with some solid Tory wards may make it vulnerable if Corbyn is leading Labour. There is also a relatively high UKIP vote to potentially squeeze.

    However, the 2013 boundary changes added Charlton and Woolwich Riverside – both safe Labour wards – and if that was repeated there is virtually no chance of a Tory gain, however badly Labour do at the election.

  19. Yes its an even worse result for Khan if you reallocate the postal votes here (method explained on the Battersea thread). The new results are:

    Goldsmith: 11,260
    Kahn: 10,754

    Goldsmith win by: 506 votes

    Indicating that Goldsmith probably was ahead in the Eltham constituency unless in the very unlikely event that Goldsmith did extremely well with the postal votes in Greenwich and Woolwich and did very poorly here and vice versa for Khan.

  20. When the postal votes are taken into account, which seats would Goldsmith have carried? Could we have a map please? (:

  21. I haven’t calculated them all yet (I’m only doing marginals though). But my guess is that when all the postal votes are taken into account all Tory Westminster seats + Carshalton and Wallington + a couple of Labour seats (probably Harrow West, Eltham).

    When you look at the results in depth they are pretty good for the Tory’s at least as far as Westminster constituencies go.

  22. I agree. Did the Tories win Westminster North btw?

  23. Might you do Dagenham and Rainham, which looks tight without doing the maths?

  24. It’ll be interesting to see how the Mayoral/GLA votes broke down in Ilford North and Brentford & Isleworth.

  25. Well just done Harrow West and its come out as:

    Khan: 14,585
    Goldsmith: 14,436

    Khan win by: 149 votes

    So essentially its more likely than not Khan won it but its close enough that it could have gone to Goldsmith. We can’t ever be totally sure though as we don’t know exactly how the postal votes broke down (I am just estimating based on the same day vote by ward).

  26. Not bad given that it’s a Labour seat.

  27. What has the swing from the 2015 GE to the 2016 Mayoral/GLA election been?

  28. @Jack Sheldon.

    Dagenham and Rainham: (Though I would note this is only first preference votes, Kahn did do a bit better if you take into account second preferences).

    Kahn; 9,694
    Goldsmith: 8,981

    Kahn win by: 713 votes

    When you start to unpick it Khan’s performance in a lot of margin/ semi-marginal areas was actually rather poor. If labour performed at this level in London in 2020 they probably wouldn’t take any Tory held seats and may well be at risk of losing one or two themselves.

  29. Indeed.

    I was expecting Labour to win Croydon Central and Enfield, Southgate, based on the fact that Labour carried these in the 2014 locals.
    What I believe happened is that Labour supporters registered and voted while many Tories didn’t bother. I admit the turnout was higher than 2012 but I believe a lot of Tory voters didn’t bother voting as they weren’t inspired by Goldsmith. I believe this is especially true in places like Battersea, Hampstead and loads of other places.

  30. The first preference result was very similar to 2015 so if some areas were better for Labour than last year some areas obviously had to have been better for the Tories.

  31. Yes. I wonder if the 2018 locals will reflect the result.

  32. It seems as though the Tory campaign was somewhat succesful on suburban White British voters.

  33. Yes. I wonder how many GE 2015 UKIP voters voted for Goldsmith. Hindus didn’t come out in support of Khan either, at least not in Harrow. I would like to know how Brent North voted, given its sizeable Hindu electorate.

  34. @Maxim.

    Brent North:

    Kahn: 16,329
    Goldsmith: 13,511

    Kahn win by: 2,818

  35. Not too good a result for Labour in Brent North.

  36. @Maxim

    The second preferences give us some insight into this. Whittle voters split 174,271 to Goldsmith to just 20,482 to Khan. Meanwhile, Whittle was the second preference for 24,386 Goldsmith voters and only 5,969 Khan voters. This suggests a very large number of 2015 UKIP voters gave Goldsmith either their first or second preference, and very few gave it to Khan.

    The Pidgeon second preferences are also fairly interesting. Though I think most LD activists, probably including Pidgeon herself, will have given their second preference to Khan their voters split 155,232 to 142,598 in Goldsmith’s favour.

    Unsurprisingly Sian Berry’s second preferences leaned strongly to Khan – 298,932 to 111,971. Though those supporting Goldsmith’s candidacy had seen his ability to attract Green second preferences as one of his strengths.

  37. Those figures make me for enlightening reading actually.

  38. The Assembly results here were much better for Labour/worse for Conservatives.

    Not including postal votes

    List
    Conservative – 6406 (27.82%)
    Labour – 8500 (36.92%)

    Constituency
    Conservative – 6520 (28.25%)
    Labour – 9779 (42.37%)

  39. Hmmm so maybe Khan was seen as mediocre by much of Eltham, given that the Assembly scores were significantly better for Labour. Reckon there was any split ticket voting between the mayoral and Assembly contests?

  40. Eltham voted for leave while Greenwich and Woolwich was heavily remain:

    Eltham:
    Remain:22,828 (48.2%)
    Leave:24,548 (51.8%)

    Greenwich and Woolwich:
    Remain:32,806 (64.3%)
    Leave:18,187 (35.7%)

    The remaining three wards (Thamesmead Moorings, Abbey Wood and Plumstead) together delivered a margin for remain of 232 votes which given how Bexley voted (and the likely leave margins out of wards like Lesnes Abbey, Northumberland Heath, Erith, Belvedere probably suggests that leave won Erith and Thamesmead too.

    Every ward in Greenwich and Woolwich voted remain.
    In Eltham leave did better in Eltham proper than in the rest of the seat winning Eltham South, Eltham North, Eltham West, Coldharbour and New Eltham (the other three wards went remain). In Erith and Thamesmead, Thamesmead Moorings went for remain whilst Abbey Wood and Plumstead went for leave.

  41. Greenwich – was it the best result for Leave in Inner London?

  42. Newham was better if you count it as inner.

  43. Newham council itself now claims it’s outer London again. We(I live there) were in Outer London then there was a campaign by the council to move into inner London but now there are posters declaring Newham having the lowest council tax in outer London. Personally we more inner London than outer London.

  44. I count Newham as Outer London, but I then I go by the (somewhat archaic) borders of the old County of London as Inner London.

    It depends on how one defines ‘Inner London’ I guess. I go with the definition I set out above, but if you said that ‘Outer London’ comprises the London Boroughs that border the Home Counties and that the rest is ‘Inner London’ maybe that would be a more accurate refelection of what is ‘Inner London’ and ‘Outer London’.

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