Enfield, Southgate

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22624 (49.4%)
Labour: 17871 (39%)
Lib Dem: 1518 (3.3%)
Green: 1690 (3.7%)
UKIP: 2109 (4.6%)
MAJORITY: 4753 (10.4%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Southgate, Hadley Wood.

Profile: This the the prosperous, leafy western part of the Borough of Enfield and natural Conservative territory. It is more cosmopolitan than the Conservative suburbs of south-east London, there are sizeable Muslim, Jewish and Cypriot populations here, and the Bowes Park area to the south of the constituency is solidly Labour, but overall Southgate tends towards a middle-class Conservative area. To the north the seat becomes semi-rural as it takes in Trent Park and the Middlesex University campus and stretches into the hugely expensive Hadley Wood area.

Politics: Enfield Southgate is normally a reliable Conservative seat that was famously won by Labour in 1997. Many elections have particular contests that capture the public imagination and Stephen Twigg`s victory over Michael Portillo in Enfield Southgate symbolised the Labour victory in 1997 in the same way that David Amess`s defence of Basildon characterised the Conservative win in 1992. A book about election night 1997 by the journalist Brian Cathcart was later published with the title "Were you still up for Portillo?". Enfield Southgate was won back by the Conservatives in 2005 and its brief time as a Labour seat seems to have been an aberration in its otherwise constant representation by the Conservative party.

Current MP
DAVID BURROWES (Conservative) Born 1969, Cockfosters. Educated at Highgate School and Exeter University. Former solicitor. Former Enfield councillor. Contested Edmonton 2001. First elected as MP for Enfield Southgate in 2005. Founded the Conservative Christian Fellowship along with Tim Montgomerie.
Past Results
Con: 21928 (49%)
Lab: 14302 (32%)
LDem: 6124 (14%)
GRN: 632 (1%)
Oth: 1366 (3%)
MAJ: 7626 (17%)
Con: 18830 (45%)
Lab: 17083 (40%)
LDem: 4724 (11%)
GRN: 1083 (3%)
Oth: 490 (1%)
MAJ: 1747 (4%)
Con: 16181 (39%)
Lab: 21727 (52%)
LDem: 2935 (7%)
GRN: 662 (2%)
Oth: 403 (1%)
MAJ: 5546 (13%)
Con: 19137 (41%)
Lab: 20570 (44%)
LDem: 4966 (11%)
Oth: 518 (1%)
MAJ: 1433 (3%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
DAVID BURROWES (Conservative) See above.
BAMBOS CHARALAMBOUS (Labour) Educated at Liverpool Polytechnic. Solicitor. Enfield councillor since 1994. Contested Epping Forest 2005, Enfield Southgate 2010.
PAUL SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Oxford University. Contested Enfield North 2010.
DAVID SCHOFIELD (UKIP) Enfield councillor 2002-2006 for the Conservatives.
Comments - 296 Responses on “Enfield, Southgate”
  1. The same study doesn’t clearly indicate which party would benefit from such a “collapse” either since there were small drops in Conservative support recorded as well.

  2. Such a collapse will never happen if you are importing 200k people to the UK every year. Even if some ethnic minorities start to move away from Labour there are plenty to fill their place once these newcomers are settled and registered to vote in the UK.

    The ethnic minority vote is the safest Labour ‘core’ vote after the white middle class public sector types from Islington.

  3. It doesn’t appear to show anything beyond that fewer people identify with the major political parties than before. Which is not really news, but provides the Telegraph with a nice story that fits in with the “Ed is useless” narrative.

  4. UK Polling Report wouldn’t be the same without LBernard’s stereotypes I guess. It’s rather silly nevertheless to talk about public sector types from Islington. By definition, if they were all from Islington their votes wouldn’t be much help to Labour. Public sector workers are indeed disproportionately likely to vote Labour, but this is the case almost throughout England & Wales. The Tories need to address this difficulty, since they have pissed off many voters they didn’t really need to piss off to help this situation on its way.

  5. What I said may be stereotypical but it is definitely true.

    Labour have nothing to worry about in regards to their ethnic minority base.

    I do agree that the Tories do need to tap into the public sector worker field like they used to do 20 plus years ago. The main issue the party has is Labour spent a decade increasing the public sector, creating a huge wave of ‘jobs’ and inflating pay…that type of politics is not the Conservative way. No public sector worker is going to vote for a party that wants to cut that sector down to size, where needed, if there is a worry that their jobs may be on the line.

  6. From Labour List as advised by Political Bookie

    Southgate Tory David Burrowes was out doorknocking last week in Bush Hill Park, Enfield. Except that’s not part of his constituency, it’s part of the neighbouring constituency of Edmonton where Andy Love has been the MP for 18 years (and where a new Labour PPC is currently being chosen).

    Lets let local resident Ruth Rosenthal explain what happened next:

    “A young woman knocked on my door and told me she was there on behalf of my MP, David Burrowes from Enfield Southgate. She argued with me when I said that Bush Hill Park is part of Edmonton and the MP is Andy Love. It wasn’t until I told her who I am that she gave up.”
    Oh yes, we forgot to mention – as well as being a Labour activist, Ruth is the wife of local Labour MP Andy Love:
    “I told her that she was half a mile from Enfield Southgate. I just assumed that she was on her own and as she didn’t have a list of residents and she had made a mistake. A few minutes later my next door neighbour phoned to say that Burrowes has knocked on her door, handed her a leaflet and told her that he was her MP. She of course put him right. He then took the leaflet back. I then looked out of the window and sure enough Burrowes with the young women were just leaving the street.”


  7. This is an almost certain CON hold. Burrowes won convincingly last time by 7700 votes and nothing much has altered in this seat.

    Certainly safer than ENFIELD N, Finchley GG, Ilford N, Ealing C A & Harrow E amongst the Labour facing CON marginals.

  8. Nothing much has altered in this seat? Have you checked the 2014 local election results?

  9. This is no real indication that LAB have a real chance of winning here. Local election results are not good indicators of what will occur in the GE .

    LAB. ..65%
    CON. .35%
    followed by
    ENFIELD 2002
    ENFIELD 2006
    ENFIELD 2010

    Since the Tories were in Government nationally, it was hardly a shock that 2014 was

  10. Did Labour lead in this constituency in the 1994 and 1998 local elections ?

  11. i think the answer is yes in 1994 but narrowly no in 1998, if l recall correctly.
    deepthroat you seem to have an obsessive habit of making blithe assertions about this particular constituency without taking any notice of facts. the idea that nothing has changed is not in accordance with reality. just compare the 1992 result with that in 2010, years with a very similar national gap between labour & the tories in terms of popular vote. the majority is half what it was in 1992. it’s a clear demographic & political shift, which is obviously continuing if you visit the constituency. quoting the borough-wide election results is also only of limited relevance, since enfield north has often displayed completely different demographic & therefore political trends from this seat. they have largely converged now, though.

  12. deepthroat is making wild assertions…

    the story on the ground here is different. a lot of tories in north london (inc. justin hinchcliffe, so i hear) are very worried about this seat.

  13. James, do you think that this will fall then? I assumed that this would be too large of a majority.

  14. I think it’s not a wild thing to say that CON will almost certainly hold here.

    The demographics have NOT changed enough to warrant a feeling that LAB will win here. The 1997 result was a peculiar one off and it was held in 2001 by LAB because of the MP being a bit of a star and benefiting more than usually from the ‘sophomore effect’.

    These two elections ought to be viewed as an oddity.

    Just three demographic facts here… There is a tiny amount of public housing and quite a high A B C1 population and a moderate BME population.

    There is no proper evidence to indicate clearly that this has changed significantly over the last 5 years. The only evidence provided above has been some rather heavy hearted anecdotal comments.

    CON hold – by a reduced majority – approx 7-10%

  15. Opposition parties can win local elections in all kinds of seats they don’t go on to win in the subsequent general. I can’t help thinking that the 2014 locals might be overcalled here.
    Although it’s an area I have no knowledge of, and I concede there could quite easily be something I’m missing.

  16. the tories will not win by as much as 7%, let alone 10. lf they do survive, which they could well do, it will be by no more than 4%, probably less.

  17. ” Since the Tories were in Government nationally, it was hardly a shock that 2014 was
    CON..33% ”

    Well that’s about double the national swing between 2010 and 2014 so it was significant.

    Likewise the swings in 2006 and 2010 were also better for Labour than they did nationally.

    Like most people here I think that demographic change is driving this electoral shift.

  18. I once lived in Southgate and voted for Michael Portillo in the classic 1997 election.

    The seat has been changing for twenty-five years. In the 1982 council elections almost all the wards were Conservative and Enfield Council solidly so. By the mid-1990’s Labour took control and have been generally strengthening their position since. The demographic make up began to resemble the southern neighbouring borough of Haringey. Initially there were Cypriots and Turks in Palmers Green and West Indians in Edmonton. Now it is much more mixed.

    Economically, Enfield was home to many clerical workers in the City. As the banks have moved to Canary Wharf, the transport links to Moorgate and Liverpool St are less valuable and other places in Essex and North West London offer better commutes. Meanwhile the clerical jobs have disappeared or been outsource to other places.

    House prices are still high, so the children of locals tend to live further out in Hertfordshire.

    Hence as Welwyn Hatfield of Stevenage, get better for the Conservatives Enfield N and Southgate will get harder.

    David Burrowes is a life long resident and is well known and should be able to do enough to keep his seat.

    Bambos Charalambos typifies the changes in the borough, having gained the Palmers Green ward council seat in 1994 and turned it into a safe seat for himself.

    The Lib Dems nearly won the 1984 by election, but will be nowhere again.

  19. That’s a good summary GT.

    There is also the fact that places such as Southgate, whilst nice, are simply not as desirable as they were 20 odd years ago. The house price fact is also important as expensive houses price out local people.

  20. Con hold 750. One final tory victory before demographic change snatches this away.

  21. It has to be said that given the long-term shift here away from the Tories, David Burrowes’ electoral performance in this seat has been quite commendable. It will possibly go to a recount this time around, but given how big his majority currently is going into next month, I agree with CountyDurhamBoy that he will probably hold on to this- 2020 will be much more difficult for the Tories here as I suspect like many others this could one day end up being a safe Labour seat.

  22. Con hold 3000.

  23. Con hold, majority 1000.

  24. spot on, l reckon. Hopefully, l’m wrong. l certainly don’t think the Tory majority will be as much as 3,000.

  25. I’ve heard the canvass returns here for Labour are as good as Enfield North. I don’t think they’ll win it as comfortably as Enfield North but I now think it’ll be Labour by about 2,000.

  26. Let’s have a look. Cockfosters will still vote heavily Tory, by something like 2-1. Grange is still very similar politically. The Tories are likely to gain a narrow advantage in both Southgate & Winchmore Hill. Labour look like very narrowly winning in Southgate Green, and will carry Palmers Green & Bowes easily. The 3 marginal wards will hold the key. But l suspect the Tories will lose by such a wide margin in Bowes ward that the 2 safe Labour wards + 2 safe Tory wards = a slight Labour lead. The question would then be, can the Tory lead in Southgate & Winchmore Hill minus the slight Labour lead in Southgate Green compensate for that? lt could be on a knife-edge. l still think the Tories will just edge it, but those who airily dismiss Labour’s chances here are in some danger of being mistaken.

  27. CON hold 1250 IMO

  28. Conservative Hold. 5,000 maj

  29. CON 49.4
    LAB 39.0
    UKIP 4.6
    GRN 3.7
    LD 3.3

    So the surprise London gain turned out to be Ilford North, but Labour improved on its 2010 performance in this seat. It’s now more marginal than seats on the 2015 target list than many of those which have become safer for the Tories. Burrowes’ actually share of the vote held up pretty well here though.

  30. *Held up extremely well actually, barely scratched.

  31. I revisited this seat to check my prediction and was fascinated to see my thoughts were categorised by others as ‘blithe’ and ‘wild assertions’:

    DEEPTHROAT : “There is no proper evidence to indicate clearly that (the demographic) has changed significantly over the last 5 years…(to envisage a LAB gain)
    CON hold – by a reduced majority – approx 7-10%”
    April 1st, 2015 at 12:04 am

    It seems a lot of pundits, commentators were confused by the UKIP & SNP factors & they forgot the lessons of 1992 and could not see an (English) parallel between 1992 & 2015.

    I believe that if the Scottish referendum / SNP threat had not happened, the Tories would have done just as well – in England.

  32. Although the Conservative vote held up, Labour’s vote increased markedly. In the context of the national result, this was actually a good Labour result.

  33. Given that the LD vote collapsed (-10%), it’s hardly worth pointing out the Labour vote share increase of 6%.

    Labour’s vote share was always expected to increase here surely. It would have utterly baffling if, here, they had not improved on the GE2010 votes (14,300 – 32%).

  34. A somewhat puzzling comment given that there were plenty lot of seats in which the LD vote collapsed and the Labour vote rose only negligibly. A rise of 7% points is absolutely worthy of comment.

  35. TORY – If you are willing to give me specific example(s) I will address your question and expand upon what I have said.

  36. “A somewhat puzzling comment given that there were plenty lot of seats in which the LD vote collapsed and the Labour vote rose only negligibly. A rise of 7% points is absolutely worthy of comment.”

    I don’t think there were many in London outside Wandsworth.

  37. This is a seat that could plausibly be in the Labour fold even if they once again win less seats than the Tories next time. The effect demographic change has had on London in the past three decades has been fascinating. Unless the Tories can sufficiently appeal to the BMEs it does seem that 1987 was a kind of last hurrah for the London Tories in a general election.

  38. The Tories do sufficiently appeal to BMEs in certain London seats. They would never have got the results they did in Harrow East, Hendon, Finchley or Croydon Central without getting a fairly significant proportion of the BME vote in those seats.

    Increasingly we need to look beneath the meaningless term BME into the various communities – the Tories are now doing quite well with Hindu and Sikh voters, hence the results listed above, but still very badly with Muslims and the black communities.

  39. Agree with every sentence of that last post.

    The two HARROW seats illustrated this – very probably.(probably because no one can be certain about who voted how. Although it is technically possible to ascertain this).

    It’s the ‘Kupar’ effect. (viz BBCs ‘Goodness Gracious Me’) where the affluent/aspiring Asian voters have no allegiance to Labour (esp if they are perceived to be anti business (

  40. The small business point is important, and to some extent it does come down to simple economics. Indian and Chinese voters tend to be richer, quite likely to be successful in business, and to live in nicer areas. For whatever reason, one of them being very backward attitudes to women & education, muslims tend to be poorer and more likely to be unemployed, working for low pay and/or in the public sector. Clearly, worries about benefits, tax credits and zero hours contracts etc will resonate with them perhaps more than the average voter. The same applies to the black community to some extent.

  41. I think it’s likely that at least a third of middle-class black voters vote Conservative but since they aren’t very numerous they don’t make an impact on either the results or the demographic surveys.

  42. I think the only swings to the Tories in London were in Battersea, Westminster North (an interesting one) and Ruislip Northwood but of course they did OK in other places with the Labour vote rising only a tiny bit more.

  43. Forgot Harrow East and Hendon.

  44. Harrow West too. Obviously the Con-LD battles.

    Here in Wandsworth the swings were very low (under 0.5%) in both Putney and Tooting despite the LD vote collapsing.

  45. Well yes, I was referring more to the national picture. As it happens I very much agree with H Hemmelig and Deep Throat that we need to start analysing the BME vote in a much more sophisticated way.

  46. I would be more than inclined to agree with that analysis TBH. I think Labour have just done well to recover their vote share here and remain only 5.2% behind 1997, which is far better than the national average for the party when compared with that year. The very fact this seat does remain semi-marginal at all must say something about the seat’s demographics and that they may be getting better for Labour, just like in the other two Enfield seats. Despite these changes I cannot see Labour taking Southgate back for a long time yet, barring the leadership of another hugely popular moderate/centrist a la Blair for example.

  47. Blair isn’t “hugely popular”, he is widely despised. To a large extent that has ruined the chances of there being another “hugely popular moderate/centrist” Labour PM for at least a generation. See Liz Kendall’s result in the leadership election.

  48. In describing Blair as ‘hugely popular’, I meant at the time he came on the scene and during his glory years i.e. 1994-2001 roughly.

  49. Of course you’re quite right- 2003 makes much more sense.

  50. No I shouldn’t think he will.

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