Enfield North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 19086 (41.4%)
Labour: 20172 (43.7%)
Lib Dem: 1059 (2.3%)
Green: 1303 (2.8%)
UKIP: 4133 (9%)
TUSC: 177 (0.4%)
Others: 207 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 1086 (2.4%)

Category: Marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Enfield, Enfield Lock.

Profile: The northernmost seat in London, bounded by the M25 along its northern border, the Lee valley reservoirs to the east and the green belt countryside of Enfield Chase to the west. It is a varied seat, with very affluent, village like areas in the west of the seat and far more industrial areas and council blocks to the east of the seat by Enfield Lock.

Politics: A classic marginal seat between Labour and the Conservatives, with the more Labour east of the seat largely balancing out the more Conservative west.


Current MP
JOAN RYAN (Labour) Born 1955, Warrington. Educated at St Joseph Secondary School and Liverpool College of Higher Education. Former teacher. Fomer Barnet councillor. MP for Enfield North 1997-2010. First elected as MP for Enfield North in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 18804 (42%)
Lab: 17112 (38%)
LDem: 5403 (12%)
BNP: 1228 (3%)
Oth: 1906 (4%)
MAJ: 1692 (4%)
2005*
Con: 16135 (40%)
Lab: 18055 (44%)
LDem: 4642 (11%)
BNP: 1004 (2%)
Oth: 913 (2%)
MAJ: 1920 (5%)
2001
Con: 15597 (41%)
Lab: 17888 (47%)
LDem: 3355 (9%)
BNP: 605 (2%)
Oth: 698 (2%)
MAJ: 2291 (6%)
1997
Con: 17326 (36%)
Lab: 24148 (51%)
LDem: 4264 (9%)
Oth: 1074 (2%)
MAJ: 6822 (14%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
NICK DE BOIS (Conservative) Born 1959, Ely. Educated at Culford School. Managing director of a marketing communications company. Contested Stalybridge and Hyde 1997, Enfield North 2001, 2005. MP for Enfield North 2010 to 2015.
JOAN RYAN (Labour) Born 1955, Warrington. Educated at St Joseph Secondary School and Liverpool College of Higher Education. Former teacher. Fomer Barnet councillor. MP for Enfield North 1997-2010.
CARA JENKINSON (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Cambridge University. Former IT manager, director of a community energy company.
DEBORAH CAIRNS (UKIP) Learning support assistant.
DAVID FLINT (Green) Educated at Handsworth Technical School and Imperial College. Retired management consultant.
YEMI AWOWLA (CPA)
JOE SIMPSON (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 325 Responses on “Enfield North”
  1. “However – don’t black and minority ethnic people live in families? Perhaps they don’t have the same concerns about their kids growing up in London?”

    Perhaps because they have to balance the disadvantages of bringing up children in London with the fact that they are living amongst their own people in London whilst outside they would not be.

    However nobody – black or white – would choose to bring up kids in a flat through choice. If you are on housing benefit or in council housing you just don’t get the choice.

    We sold our flat to a nice 30something professional couple with no kids. I assume if or when their own kids come along they’ll probably do the same as we have done.

    “It does appear that all you Tories do is moan about how terrible it is that you are all crowding into already-safe Tory seats making it easier for Labour.”

    I don’t think I moan about it personally. It is just a fact of modern life. I don’t think it’s wrong however to point out that it is clearly a trend.

  2. I don’t either, but its just one of those things, and its not unique to London. Paris is very much the same. Lots of professional couples without kids, with a mix of poor suburbs in the banlieus and the better off housing to the south and east

    I think Britons have a problem with flats, though – in Spanish cities, for example, all but the very well off live in flats including families. We have a Victorian double fronted detached which we actually can’t hear each other if we are at either ends! And that cost in 1997 far less than would be paid for a garage in London.

  3. “I think Britons have a problem with flats, though”

    I have always been a big fan of flats, this is the third I have owned and I’ve rented many more than that.

    If you get a nice block, top floor with plenty of space and no noise above, conveniently located for everything, you really can’t beat it.

    But little kids need outside space and balconies are exceptionally dangerous for them. Maybe in Spain there is more communal outside space, and it is less dangerous.

    Your profession allows you to live where you do, and I’m happy for you, however the private sector is increasingly focused on London and the south which is why so many of us have to live in or near it. The domination of London has, in my observation, got much stronger since the 2008 financial crisis.

  4. I think flats are very dangerous for small children and I pity those who live in them.
    But I don’t wish to spread scare stories.

    Your comment about the dominance of London from 2008 onwards is very perceptive, and ties into something Richard predicted at the time.

    In London, things haven’t felt too bad economically since the initial drop
    but anywhere which regenerated on shopping and public sector jobs looks very much exposed as a bit of a facade.
    I’ve told the story about visiting some people in Barnsley in 2004 and noticing some quite decent shops, then seeing how tatty the place was in 2010 with many of them closed.

  5. The problem is that having a hugely overheated south-east really isn’t sustainable

    Still, the next Labour government will undoubtedly focus on regional policy and no matter what they are saying at the moment, that will mean public sector jobs for their areas. They can’t afford not to.

  6. The way to regenerate the north is to build up an aggregation of smaller scale businesses, and a strong focus on technology, and to take advantage of it’s lower costs.
    This I hope we are doing at the moment – but there is lots more to do.

  7. MerseyMike/JJB is right – we cannot keep relying on the South East to power the whole country. We need to make the most of the North. The US has two financial centres (New York and Chicago) and I think the UK should be the same. I also think we need to grow our manufacturing base again and focus on helping small businesses grow.

    I do not agree with Labour aimlessly creating more public sector non jobs to keep their voters happy as that’s not sustainable either.

  8. ‘I do not agree with Labour aimlessly creating more public sector non jobs to keep their voters happy as that’s not sustainable either.’

    Very few would disagree – but I actually think those jobs that were created from 1997 onwards, were part of a very New Labour electoral strategy to have a core vote amongst the middle classes – people who probably voted SDP/Liberal Alliance in the 1980s and early 90s, or even Tory as Labour at that time were considered too proletariat and left-of-centre

    Thus it wasn’t ‘their’ traditional core voters Labour were trying to keep happy , but new voters and had Labour’s support dropped amongst the middle classes as much as it did the working classes in 2010, they might have got a worst result in terms of the popular vote than that they managed in 1983

    Again, it was an economic strategy embarked on for political reasons

  9. I think there is a good deal of truth in Tim’s last post – the strategy he outlines wasn’t the only one Labour pursued but it is one that gets relatively little attention.

  10. Thats an excellent post by Tim.

  11. There can be no rebalancing of the north-south divide without a massive expansion of the manufacturing sector.

    Whatever Labour say now, they would continue to cut the public sector after 2015 quite simply because financially they will have no choice.

  12. ‘Thus it wasn’t ‘their’ traditional core voters Labour were trying to keep happy , but new voters and had Labour’s support dropped amongst the middle classes as much as it did the working classes in 2010, they might have got a worst result in terms of the popular vote than that they managed in 1983

    Again, it was an economic strategy embarked on for political reasons.’

    Good post- and if you look at how Labour did in a whole host of middle-class edge-of-conurbations seats, the strategy worked.

  13. HH; not true, but it would mean higher taxation and nationalisation of the banks. And protectionism. All will happen, because globalisation is a road to disaster. It will mean a very major shift away from the nonsense of ‘choice’, but by then the majority will realise the lie that always was…..

    Won’t happen after 2015 nor under labour as it is currently formulated, though. Too much infiltration of neo-liberal free traders

  14. Interestingly, one or two right-wingers are beginning to talk about the virtues of Protectionism again- including David Starkey, who considers that globalisation has been a disaster.

  15. You are right. I think that is intriguing since both labour and Tory have a protectionist tradition. As does the EU. I differ from Starkey in that he is a Little Englander whereas I am a European federalist who actually advocates Fortress Europe.

    Globalisation is largely about benefiting large corporations and dictatorships. It has been sold to the public on the false premise of choice – that we are somehow enjoying a better standard of living because we can and are encouraged to change our TV every two years purely for reasons related to fashion not whether it has stopped working. Or that fifty identikit ‘brands’ mostly made by two or three companies in Chinese sweatshops is a true manifestation of ‘choice’.

  16. The things Mike is suggesting might happen if we are forced into a mass sovereign debt default. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that however.

  17. I think it may be necessary to restore sanity, though, HH. I think sustainability may call for it.

    When I go to my part time job at a nearby HE institution, I take a packed lunch. I take a sports bottle of iced water. I watch people with far less then me spend a tenner on pre-packed food.

    I’m definitely no ascetic – I’m well known as a foodie who loves travel. But I do find it amazing just how easily many people seem to dispose of things which have little wrong with them or spend money for the sake of convenience. So, I’d rather buy an artisan loaf and make my own sandwiches for a fraction of the cost of buying plastic bread rubbish made five days previously.

  18. is it david starkey the historian

  19. This country is crying out for a new manufacturing base. One that can be competitive, which makes products that we can afford to buy here in the UK, and employs thousands, if not millions, of local workers again. The only thing that worries me is that unions and their hypocritical leaders would start to play games like they did in the 1970s.

    I’m very much with Starkey on Globalisation. I’ve always thought it had naff all to do with choice and more to do with making countries dependant on each other so the world is less likely to go to war.

  20. It’s funny how people from both Left and Right are beginning to question the so-called virtues of globalisation – and agree wuth Mike, L Barnard and even Starkey *who I literally can not stand) 100%

    However, sadly I think the UK as one of the world’s manufacturing super-powers has come and gone because the emergence of countries like China who can do it cheaper and employ all the up-to-date technology

    That’s because of globalisation and i think protectionism will definitely come back into political fashion as a result

  21. ‘I’m definitely no ascetic – I’m well known as a foodie who loves travel. But I do find it amazing just how easily many people seem to dispose of things which have little wrong with them or spend money for the sake of convenience.’

    I’m very much with you on that.

  22. Energy production – this country can be more competitive.
    Flexibility – we have an edge as I’ve argued elsewhere.

  23. Protectionism brings crap products, overpriced products, damages your industry in the long term as it has less incentive to be competitive and lean, causes inflation and damages your export markets.

    It is the “la la la i’m not listening” approach to solving economic issues. Do people not remember how crap/expensive state sponsored products were in the pre-thatcher era.

    Its economically incoherent. One way or another, we need to answer our problems rather than building another levee, which when it breaks (which it will) will see us in a worse position than we are already in. We need a way to become a low-tax, high-skilled economy who have a reputation for doing things well and efficiently.

  24. “Do people not remember how crap/expensive state sponsored products were in the pre-thatcher era.”

    I certainly (just about) remember my Dad’s new British Leyland cars in the late 1970s, which were excellent proof of your point.

    In the 1970s, new cars literally fell apart after 3 or 4 years.

    Cars are an interesting counter-example to what Merseymike says about people changing their TV unnecessarily every year. By contrast, people can and do keep their cars far longer these days simply because the quality is so much better. It’s quite usual to keep a normal car 10 or 15 years nowadays which was absolutely unheard of before globalisation.

  25. Impossible, Joe. Can’t compete with slave labour wages. That’s why globalisation has to go because it’s going to collapse in any case. We may as well prepare for it. I skso think products used to be made to last. If they went wrong we got them repaired. That’s sustainable. Now they end up in landfill if something minor goes wrong because the item gets made obsolete after a year and there are no spare parts. Or they are so cheap because of slave labour level wages thereunto incentive. Or the myth of choice has led to items being dumped purely because of fashion.

  26. That’s to do with technological advance though. A car is a major expenditure. Most consumer goods are not.

  27. “That’s to do with technological advance though.”

    No. It’s because the European and US markets were opened up to mass competition from the Japanese. It forced Ford and General Motors to massively improve the quality of their cars to survive. The weaker manufacturers who couldn’t adapt to what the customer wanted (eg. Rover excluding Mini and MG) disappeared.

    The technological know-how behind today’s cars has been known for decades, but before a competitive car market was imposed the manufacturers could get away with producing low quality crap.

  28. “Can’t compete with slave labour wages. That’s why globalisation has to go because it’s going to collapse in any case. We may as well prepare for it. I skso think products used to be made to last. If they went wrong we got them repaired. That’s sustainable. Now they end up in landfill if something minor goes wrong because the item gets made obsolete after a year and there are no spare parts. Or they are so cheap because of slave labour level wages thereunto incentive. Or the myth of choice has led to items being dumped purely because of fashion.”

    This will hopefully not be the case for much longer.

    I speak here as somebody with a lot of day-to-day contact with China in my own business, I have also travelled there frequently.

    Labour costs in China are rising at 10-15% per year in US dollars, and environmental awareness and regulation is becoming much more important. They will not be a cheap place to make things for much longer, nor a country prepared to accept extreme pollution from industry cutting corners.

  29. We shall have to see. I don’t have your optimism but then I have no belief in global capitalism!

  30. You should also remember China’s demographic timebomb – much worse than ours because of the one child policy. If nothing else ends their “cheap labour” then that will.

  31. It’s possible that the Chinese population will peak in about five years time. The latest figures showed an annual increase of just six million.

  32. Yes there are projections which envisage the Chinese population declining in a few years, leaving India as the most populous country within a few decades

  33. Barnaby and Mike

    Surely you can’t be very optimistic about the future for the ideals of socialism in the UK when you read something like this (written by a Labour man, I may add).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/26/generation-y-young-voters-backing-conservatives

    I would be really interested to hear your views.

    It seems to back up my view that over the long term, austerity is going to entrench Thatcherism rather than overthrow it.

  34. I quite liked that article. Most times I avoid The Guardian like the plague.

    I don’t think Labour have anything to worry about in the long term. They have millions of new voters.

    “It seems to back up my view that over the long term, austerity is going to entrench Thatcherism rather than overthrow it”

    Agreed.

  35. I think those sort of outcomes and findings make the assumption that most will be ‘winners’. I think that’s profoundly mistaken. Left to the market most will lose and lies badly. Maybe less so in London but most people don’t live there.

  36. “I don’t think Labour have anything to worry about in the long term. They have millions of new voters.”

    I wasn’t talking about the prospects for the Labour party, I was talking about the potential for socialism to make a comeback in Britain. It’s perfectly possible that we will have plenty more Labour governments who will portray themselves as the acceptable face of capitalism and continue to support both globalisation and, in office, the cutting back of public spending.

    “I think those sort of outcomes and findings make the assumption that most will be ‘winners’. I think that’s profoundly mistaken. Left to the market most will lose and lies badly. Maybe less so in London but most people don’t live there.”

    But John Harris is making the point that he has been talking to plenty of young “losers”, and that their misfortune often leads them to be more angry with the welfare system and immigration rather than with the government for not implementing tax and spend policies. With barely 20% of young people valuing the welfare state, how can it possibly survive against the irresistible need to keep cutting back spending? And in the long term the health service will go the same way.

  37. John Harris doesn’t seem to be as annoying as he used to be

  38. Interesting article Hemmelig. Similar points were made in this recent article in The Economist:

    http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21578666-britains-youth-are-not-just-more-liberal-their-elders-they-are-also-more-liberal-any

  39. Thanks Kieran.

    It is quite an irony that older people are both much more likely to vote Tory and much more likely to support and value the welfare state. That can’t really be very sustainable in the long term.

    Maybe we’ll increasingly see the older Tory voters heading towards UKIP, with a more liberal Cameron-Osborne Toryism taking root amongst the under 40s.

  40. But you are assuming they will keep doing the same even when there is no welfare state left to blame.
    If this sort of false class consciousness is taking hold then Marx was right after all.

  41. “If this sort of false class consciousness is taking hold then Marx was right after all.”

    It’s nothing new. A very significant minority of the working class were opposed to the welfare state from the very start (without these kind of voters the Tories would never have won an election).

    In David Kynaston’s excellent history of the late-40s, he published some polling done by Mass Observation in 1947 which found that about 30-35% of working class voters were opposed to the founding of the NHS, nationalisation of the coal mines and railways etc etc.

  42. Mike, in a democracy whittering on about things like “false class consciousness” is a one way ticket to political irrelevance. You can’t win people over to your side by shaking your head and bemoaning the fact that if only they knew what you know then they would think differently. It comes across as an arrogant, defensive reaction designed to prevent yourself from actually having to even consider the possibility that your view of the world might be incorrect in some way.

    Regarding the fact that younger people seem to be ever more sceptical as to the value of the welfare state, I think it is part of a generational shift. What has happened centres around the fact that genuine, grinding poverty in the UK has gradually become a more distant memory. The polling cited in the articles linked to above shows that the post WW2 generation are the most supportive of the ideals of the welfare state. They or their immediate family would be able to remember a time when there existed genuine deprevation in parts of the UK, even among those in work. They would have been enthusiastic about the welfare state because they never wanted to see the like of that in this country again.

    More recent generations though view the welfare state as having suffered from a form of mission creep. In this view the support available from the welfare state has gone far beyond ensuring people have access to basic necessities, to creating a situation where the option of existing, with moderate degree of comfort, via the support of the state is a viable one. That a situation has been created where it is possible to take or leave employment as the fancy takes.

    You, Mike, probably think that that view is nonsense. But if a party supporting the post war ideal of the welfare state is to win popular support it is going to have to explain why the welfare stare we have now is so essential to the well being of those at the bottom of society. Simply bemoaning the ignorance of those who support the “mission creep” view of the contemporary welfare state just won’t cut it.

  43. No. Kieran. What goes around comes around. The reality is that there are 30+ applicants for every job here. Short term it’s easy to think it will be about someone else. But given that I haven’t any faith that the market will provide what the Right assume it will, it may be a case of allowing that to become obvious. If society does go down the route where only the successful minority are valued and that is accepted as the way to go then I’m glad I am in my 50’s… and it doesn’t make the original statement any less true. Marx was good at analysing capitalism but hopeless at forecasting the future and social change.

  44. HH – please see Anthony’s article on the main thread about this poll. It’s just one poll with a small subsample. That doesn’t mean I’m complacent, but the poll itself isn’t worth considering seriously in isolation from other polls, most of which are likely to find different opinions & figures altogether. But yes, I am troubled by the apoliticism of young people. Being a socialist isn’t easy, but then when has it been.

  45. A nice little map that probably sums up Londons demographics trends nicely.

    http://boundaryassistant.org/elections/london/londongla2012.htm

    Nothing new – but its pretty. Not pretty reading for this MP though.

  46. Demographic changes in London might benefit Labour, but will it really help them in Enfield North given who the local party re-selected to take on the incumbent?

  47. Swings from Boris to Ken at the Mayoral Election 2012.

    London 1.7

    Enfield Highway 14.7
    Enfield Lock 14.4
    Turkey Street 12.7
    Southbury 10.81
    Chase 6.0
    Highlands 1.8
    Town 0.4

    I think demographic change is too great for candidates to effect overall result. Easy Labour gain here.

  48. Absolutely correct

  49. Demograpich changes allowed her not to do badly in 2010. Without boundary changes, she could have held the seat.

    What’s the issues with Ryan? Expenses? If they didn’t impact her much in 2010, I don’t think they will in 2015. Tories will remind people of them but I guess they did in 2010 too.

    Local party is not particularly united though. There was a vocal anti Ryan faction briefing the local media during the selection.

  50. Still should not have been selected. If Ed Miliband had any wits, he’d have made her a peer.

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)