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
Con: 18804 (42%)
Lab: 17112 (38%)
LDem: 5403 (12%)
BNP: 1228 (3%)
Oth: 1906 (4%)
MAJ: 1692 (4%)
Con: 16135 (40%)
Lab: 18055 (44%)
LDem: 4642 (11%)
BNP: 1004 (2%)
Oth: 913 (2%)
MAJ: 1920 (5%)
Con: 15597 (41%)
Lab: 17888 (47%)
LDem: 3355 (9%)
BNP: 605 (2%)
Oth: 698 (2%)
MAJ: 2291 (6%)
Con: 17326 (36%)
Lab: 24148 (51%)
LDem: 4264 (9%)
Oth: 1074 (2%)
MAJ: 6822 (14%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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.
Comments - 325 Responses on “Enfield North”
  1. This seat has sunk so far down (other than Chase, Town and Highlands) that it resembles Edmonton next door. The Tories are really going to struggle here.

  2. Interestingly as ‘Eastern’ Enfield continues to decline Waltham Cross’ Tory vote seems to be growing. It is common practice for people from Enfield to move to Waltham Cross and other parts of Broxbourne as well as bits of Epping Forest, Chingford and Harlow. So while Tory chances of holding on here are slim places like Harlow may start to see a much larger core Tory vote.

    In a way Enfield and Redbridge are both very similar boroughs. Both were areas which were hugely popular and quite heavily White British but have both become more diverse over the last decade, both have seen decay in many parts of the borough and both are now divided between a very urban Labour core (largely made up of various ethnic minorities) and more suburban/semi rural parts which have stuck to the Tories but not as strongly as they did 20 years ago.

    The fact Ryan only lost by a small margin I think it’s only fair that she gets to have another go at running for MP.

  3. I got the impression parts of broxbourne could start going the same way but it may be the reverse. I can see it happening more than droopy con majprities in epsom and ewell or reigate/redhill. L bernard is probably right though rebroxbourne/waltham x

  4. You get a good view of this area from the Stansted Express.

    It struck me the last time I travelled on it a few weeks ago that Enfield, Edmonton and Tottenham seemed to be uniformly grotty, with no visible difference between them, pretty much as LBernard says above.

    Incredibly, the area now seems to get much nicer when the train crosses over the river Lea and enters into the south of Tottenham around Seven Sisters then crosses into Hackney in Stamford Hill / Clapton.

    It would have been unthinkable 20 years ago that Clapton and Seven Sisters would have looked nicer than Edmonton and Enfield Town, but that is definitely the case today.

  5. It may be due to the housing HH. Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington and South Tottenham have rows of pleasant housing which is much nicer than the bland smaller terraces/30s housing/postwar council places that is found in Enfield and Edmonton.

    There are still some very nice bits in Enfield like Bush Hill Park and Oakwood, and obviously Hadley Wood.

  6. I assume this train line doesn’t go through Enfield Town itself which is still a reasonably pleaasant area, but rather through the Eastern wards like Enfield Highway which have always been fairly grotty. Its worth remembering that the old Enfield East was always a safe Labour seat and while the area did move strongly to the Tories from 1979 this wasn’t through gentrification but through class realignment. So in a way the more recent electoral trends have returned the area back to its original form with a black working class having replaced the white working class

  7. As I posted on the old site, I think the train which runs directly up the Lee Valley corridoor (Enfield Lock area) into Waltham X and as far as Cheshunt pretty much joins on the same, and is more urban than I remembered.
    But perhaps this was the usual back of houses argument.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see some shift in it’s demogrpahics towards Labour, but others here seem to have more detailed knowledge, and are saying that, for the moment, at least, the opposite is the case, and election results seem to back that.

  8. Pete is spot on. East Enfield has always been the poorest bit of the town and has always provided Labour with a solid base.

    I will point out that the new working class here are from all over the world, particularly parts of Africa, Turkey/Cyprus and naturally Poland/Eastern Europe.

  9. Presumably rather a lot of these newcomers won’t actually be entitled to vote?

  10. a lot can vote and in fact anyone from this list
    Antigua and Barbuda
    The Bahamas
    Brunei Darussalam
    Fiji Islands
    The Gambia
    New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea
    St Kitts and Nevis
    St Lucia
    St Vincent and the
    Sierra Leone
    Solomon Islands
    South Africa
    Sri Lanka
    Trinidad and Tobago
    United Republic of Tanzania

  11. Ireland can also vote in gen elections and for locals plus euro,s you can add eu countries to the above list.

  12. Pete

    I believe the main railway line through Enfield is used as the boundary between the eastern and western wards, in both Enfield North and Edmonton.

  13. This is statistically very sinful, as Im not talking about a weighted sample – but its at least noteworthy that of all Con/Lab marginal constituencies inlcuded in the recent Ashcroft poll, the gap between the unweighted number of people saying they’ll vote Labour in Enfield North, compared to the number who say they’ll vote Conservative is by a country mile higher than any other seat (assuming Im reading the tables correct). Could be a coincidence but it does seem to fit the narrative that this could be the most challenging hold for the Conservatives of any seat in the UK.

  14. Demographic change is taking place incredibly fast in this seat.

  15. Nick De Bois is a deadman walking after today’s announced closure of Chase Farm A&E. BBC London news just showed a great clip of Cameron in 2007 promising to reopen the A&E if Gordon Brown closed it!

  16. he already was, though. I guess once you’re dead you can’t be any more dead than you were before.

  17. Barnaby- that comment made me chuckle 😀

  18. Brilliant comment from Barnaby.

    The Tories were never going to hold Enfield North and will never win a seat called Enfield North again. All the closure has done is sped up that process a tiny bit more. It really does highlight the stupidity of those planning Conservative victory in 2015. You have a hugely marginal seat on the edge of London, very diverse with people on all incomes. Rather than leave this A&E dept open giving you a greater chance of holding the seat and actually gaining new votes, you close it undoing the years of hard work by De Bois.

    I do hope De Bois is offered a new seat somewhere. He deserves it.

  19. Pretty much agree with LBernard and Barnaby.

    The real stupidity was Cameron’s promise to save various hospitals and “to cut the deficit not the NHS”. He should have realised that “evens, dear boy, events” could well force him to break these promises in government.

    Nick de Bois comes across well and appears very hard working. It won’t help him to avert certain defeat here unfortunately. It is to his credit that he hasn’t tried to chicken run either. By 2020 I suspect he might be a bit old to start again in a new seat.

  20. It does strike me as silly to campaign on hospital closures if we couldn’t keep to the promise – unless they genuinely had to change their plans in exceptional circumstances.

    Labour supporters shouldn’t be quite so smug – I believed they closed the AE in Edgware after a similar campaign and it could well be we had to rework
    our plans when we discovered what a total mess they had made of the economy, opening those “books”.
    But that’s politics.

  21. 2015 IMHO (the approximate reverse of Southgate)

    Lab 47
    Con 35
    LD 8
    Others 10

  22. I doubt the swing will be more than 6% which would mean a Labour majority of less than 10%.

  23. LAB GAIN MAJ : 8%
    LAB 43
    CON 35
    LD 8
    UKIP 8
    GRN 4
    OTH 2

  24. Fairly likely – not certain though/ a fair range

    Lab 49% +11%
    *Con 40% -2%
    LD 5% -7%
    UKIP 4% +2%
    Green 2% +1%

    Lab GAIN

  25. I think the Tories will drop into the 30s here.

  26. Yes but there are virtually no votes for anyone else when you try to make it add up.
    UKIP won’t do very well here either.

  27. The demography’s not helping NDB here.

  28. I’ll go for

    Lab 50
    Con 38
    LD 6
    UKIP 5
    Grn 1

    Lab maj about 5000

  29. Those 2012 results were awful. Even Boris couldn’t resist it.
    But it’s not a certainty – national issues are relevant here too.

  30. Nick De Bois’ surname sounds like the French for drink- Pretentious perhaps, but there you go, it’s 01:18 in the morning.

  31. I take it you can get online now after midnight.

  32. Bloody hell you waited seven hours to ask that?! The answer is, seeing as you kindly asked, yes, however.

  33. I’m picturing The Results tiptoeing downstairs in his pyjamas after midnight to turn the internet back on, like the R White’s lemonade man.

  34. Ha ha ha! It’s not like that, it stays on throughout the night. After hours posting is now a formalitty thanks to the purity of my Wireless connection!

  35. I can vouch for all the demographic changes mentioned above. I was fortunate to go out drinking with a friend in London Fields spome weeks ago and the gentrification of that part of Hackney appears almost complete. £1million+ houses are not uncommon.

    But yesterday I went on the trainline through Seven Sisters and Turkey Street to Cheshunt for the first time in 10 years. Seven Sisters (which I remember being wary of) seemed much safer and much improved. However, heading north, words cannot describe what appears to have happened in Turkey Street. 1930s private houses now look very down at heel. I suspect most are now BTL.

    London is changing frighteningly quickly now. Many Inner areas have never been better while the suburbs are, in many cases, declining.

    What, of course, is galling is how few obvious FTB properties there are. London stock either appears gentrified beyond belief, or, in grotty areas, rented out and in multiple occupation. “To Let” boards ten a penny, “For Sale” boards very rare.

  36. Thanks RR. It’s interesting how London is now becoming like Paris, with the wealthy areas in the centre. The suburban dream lasted for a few decades it seems, from roughly 1930 to 2000.

  37. That’s why it will be fascinating to see how this rapid change in the capital is reflected in next month’s local election results. Will the Tories see a significant boost in historically poor boroughs for them like Camden, Islington and Lambeth?

  38. I’ve read before that the 1930s semis were only designed to last for 75 years.

    Presumably the 1930s architects and builders assumed that in the 21st century we’d be living in some Flash Gordon style advanced world and didn’t think the houses they were designing / building then needed to last longer.

    Now many of those 1930s semis will have been updated in the decades since, especially those owner occupied in ‘respectable’ areas.

    But with increasingly it seems those 1930s semis now being rented out and/or in declining areas we’re likely to see very little capital expenditure on them in coming years and consequently a very rapid decline in the quality of the housing stock.

    Meaning in another decade metroland will look like a total shithole.

  39. With the long term demographic change here I can see my party unfortunately dropping into the 20s in a decade or so

  40. To be fair the suburban dream is still being lived out, but increasingly it seems out in the Home Counties rather than the London Suburbs.

  41. I agree with you RR, but this place is more of a suburban nightmare.

    This seat is becoming so run down that the Conservatives will probably never win here again. It is a pity because Nick de Bois is an excellent MP.

  42. RR- indeed. In fairness, I think that the Kentish corner of Greater London (i.e. Bromley etc) remains pleasant though perhaps H Hemmelig could enlighten us further. I’d say the same goes for the Ruislip-Northwood area in the very far north-west.

  43. Barnet as a Borough has also remained broadly OK, if not improved, perhaps due to the good schools, the same goes for Kingston and Richmond.

    It is the Middle-Income suburbs that anecdotally have suffered the most. Greater London increasingly appears to be a County comprised of the richest and poorest with fewer people in-between.

  44. When the LCC was abolished in 1965 it had moved from a authority that swing between both major parties to one always dominated by Labour. Labour continued to win with ease in the former LCC area (I LEA Elections 1986).

    I had thought for some time that London was actually becoming demographically harder for the Conservatives to win in and was surprised by Boris’s victory….who clearly now has a personal vote that extends well beyond the natural Conservative base.

    Without Boris it is possible that Labour could dominate the mayoralty and the GLA in the future as they did with the LCC.

  45. @Dalek

    Wouldn’t want to praise Simon Hughes but he takes votes from all over the spectrum mainly through targetting small business owners of all colours. In fact he does what the Libs did in Norwich in the 1980’s before the social workers joined.

  46. “Without Boris it is possible that Labour could dominate the mayoralty and the GLA in the future as they did with the LCC.”

    Not quite as simple as that, I would say. Many Inner areas are continuing to gentrify and it is noticeable that Johnson picked up many trendy, banker-favoured inner areas in his 2012 election while sagging in the peripheral estates that favoured him in 2008 (as Right to Buy becomes Buy to Let).

    Note too that private sector renters are notorious for their lack of voting (often even of registering), while I am quite sure many wealthy incomers in the Inner area (aside from the foriegn investors right in the very centre) will get out and vote.

    There may come a time when the “natural” Conservative area in London is actually the former LCC area (it is already home to K&C and Wandsworth), while the sububs become, on balance, the more pro-Labour part of the capital (newly colossally safe Labour seats like Mitcham, Edmonton and N Croydon are in the Outer Area).

  47. @RR

    Certainly the biggest pro-Labour swing in the 2012 London election was in the areas you mentioned – Mitcham, Edmonton, North Croydon along with places like Dagenham, Feltham, Southall and Erith.

    Not everywhere in inner London is moving towards the Tories. Lewisham showed swings to Labour in every ward aside from Blackheath and Brockley. South Lambeth is on a clear pro-Labour trend too as are traditionally safe seats like Camberwell/Peckham, Tottenham and Walthamstow. I expect all these areas I’ve mentioned to remain a crucial element of Labour support in the capital in the years to come.

  48. Agree in part, though Tottenham and Walthamstow, believe it or not, are Outer London.

    The former was in Middlesex pre-1965, the latter in Essex. They were, however, always industrial, working-class, Labour-voting areas in those counties. As indeed was Mitcham (in Surrey), although nowehere near the level it is today.

  49. The answer to AKMD’s question is surely No. None of the boroughs he mentions are going to see particularly promising Tory results this year. I think that the Tories will just about remain on Lambeth Council, though they will struggle to win seats anywhere except Clapham Common ward. They will make some gains at the expense of the LDs in Camden – expect them to win Hampstead Town & Belsize wards outright – but none whatsoever at the expense of Labour. In Islington though the demography APPEARS to be moving more & more in favour of the Tories in the owner-occupied areas, they won’t win any seats at all, again. Maybe in a few years they will start figuring in that borough. But there’s no likelihood of them breaking into Labour areas in Camden, and in Lambeth (apart from perhaps in the still split ward of Thurlow Park, in the far SE) their only hope is Clapham Town – and even there there should still be enough council & co-operative housing to keep them at bay for the time being at least.

  50. Hammersmith and Fulham will be the borough to watch. The new Wandsworth if the Tories can hold on?

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