Finchley & Golders Green

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25835 (50.9%)
Labour: 20173 (39.7%)
Lib Dem: 1662 (3.3%)
Green: 1357 (2.7%)
UKIP: 1732 (3.4%)
MAJORITY: 5662 (11.2%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Finchley, Golders Green, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Childs Hill.

Profile: A well-to-do residential seat with a large Jewish population. It is an affluent area, with little social housing - although there are some high rise council developments in Childs Hill. Golders Green is best known for its large Jewish population, and the seat has the highest proportion of Jewish residents of any seat in the country, with just over 20% of the population describing themselves as Jewish in the 2011 census..

Politics: Politically Finchley is, of course, most associated with Margaret Thatcher who was the MP her for 33 years between 1959 and 1992. Rudi Viz won the seat on its new boundaries in 1997, an unexpected victory, and it remained Labour for 13 years before being regained by the Conservatives in 2010.

Current MP
MIKE FREER (Conservative) Born 1960, Manchester. Educated at Chadderton Grammar School and Stirling University. Former area manager for Barclays Bank. Barnet councillor 1990-94, 2001-10, leader of Barnet council 2006-09. Contested Harrow West 2005. First elected as MP for Finchley & Golders Green in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 21688 (46%)
Lab: 15879 (34%)
LDem: 8036 (17%)
UKIP: 817 (2%)
Oth: 737 (2%)
MAJ: 5809 (12%)
Con: 16746 (39%)
Lab: 17487 (40%)
LDem: 7282 (17%)
GRN: 1136 (3%)
Oth: 563 (1%)
MAJ: 741 (2%)
Con: 16489 (38%)
Lab: 20205 (46%)
LDem: 5266 (12%)
GRN: 1385 (3%)
Oth: 330 (1%)
MAJ: 3716 (9%)
Con: 19991 (40%)
Lab: 23180 (46%)
LDem: 5670 (11%)
Oth: 781 (2%)
MAJ: 3189 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MIKE FREER (Conservative) See above.
SARAH SACKMAN (Labour) Educated at Cambridge University. Barrister.
JONATHAN DAVIES (Liberal Democrat) Contested Finchley and Golders Green 1997.
RICHARD KING (UKIP) Educated at Nottingham University. IT project manager.
ADELE WARD (Green) Educated at Newlands School and Royal Holloway. Publisher and former journalist.
Comments - 443 Responses on “Finchley & Golders Green”
  1. Strangely this is the real Joe Broughton as he said this on Facebook. His views seem to have gone in quite a strongly rightwards direction since 2010 partly due to tribal loyalty etc.

  2. Somebody who lives in Richmond prattling on about the evils of the “metropolitan liberal elite” is, erm, pretty unspoofable. If Joe moves to Hartlepool or Grimsby I’ll take him a bit more seriously.

  3. Hahaha.

  4. ‘Somebody who lives in Richmond prattling on about the evils of the “metropolitan liberal elite” is, erm, pretty unspoofable.’


    And one might wonder what sort if person what want to copy the tactics of the likes of Boris and Trump, were it not for the fact that Joe seems like a fairly decent chaps – unlike his mentors

  5. Hungary under Orban has also imposed some pretty batshit crazy Corbynism, such as nationalising private pensions. If McDonnell is prevented from doing that it will largely be thanks to the metropolitan elite.

  6. “Strangely this is the real Joe Broughton as he said this on Facebook. His views seem to have gone in quite a strongly rightwards direction since 2010 partly due to tribal loyalty etc.”

    Credit where credit is due, you yourself are a pleasing contrast to that. Well done on keeping a sane head on your shoulders despite what must be intolerable pressure at grassroots level right now. I hope you hold your council seat next year.

  7. There was an article on on this very idea. The author seemed to suggest that most Corbyns policies are unaffordable but if Corbyn did nationalise pensions then it would generate a significant amount of revenue. As far as I’m aware this isnt party policy or in fact something Corbyn or McDonnell has ever supported

  8. Didn’t McDonnell’s spending promises add up to half a trillion pounds? He’ll have to get it from somewhere, or else break them. Extra borrowing is not an option for a hard left government because no-one is going to be willing to lend.

  9. I hear this line trotted out every question time by some Tory or it’s ‘more than the NHS & Education budget combined’ or its ‘twice the NHS budget’. I’m still waiting to find out where people get these numbers from.

  10. Sounds like Tories are, in good faith or otherwise, conflating annual spending figures and spending figures across a whole parliament. 500 billion across five years is radical but not crazy.

    However, I’ve heard a bunch of Labour MPs similarly conflate profit and turnover when discussing companies’ tax bills, which is equally ill-informed/disingenuous. Everyone needs a proper education in statistics, both voters and politicians.

  11. “500 billion across five years is radical but not crazy.”

    If you’re a radical left wing government, which no financier will lend to, yes it is crazy if there is no plan for where the money is going to come from other than more borrowing.

    This is the paradox….a Corbyn government will HAVE to end the deficit very quickly because no financier in their right minds will agree to finance it. Lenders are hugely more tolerant of Tories/Blairite governments because of their constant assurances that they intend to eliminate the deficit over a stated timeframe (however vague and unrealistic).

  12. Hasn’t the OBR forecast government borrowing in the 100s of billions over the next 5 years

  13. You can only borrow if someone is willing to lend to you. Who is going to be willing to lend to a government which is hell bent on re-nationalising huge swathes of the economy with minimal compensation for shareholders? Or forcing companies to give 10% of their shares to the government, again for no compensation.

  14. That’s a bit of an over exaggeration. Only water and mail are returning in house. Rail will continue until the franchises expire like LNER. Banking and energy will have to compete with municipal competition but that’s it. They are pretty moderate proposals compared to when steel, coal, rail, areospace, etc. all came in house.

  15. “They are pretty moderate proposals compared to when steel, coal, rail, areospace, etc. all came in house.”

    You don’t seem to be engaging with my line of argument very well.

    All those industries were nationalised by paying a fair compensation to shareholders. In the case of the railways arguably too generous. And it was done largely by raising taxes and using Marshall Plan funding, not by borrowing from the international markets.

    Either McDonnell will have to pay fair value compensation to shareholders, which will cost an absolute fortune, or effectively steal the shares which will be viewed by all potential investors in the UK as a gross violation of private property rights. Nobody will lend money to a government which does not respect the norms of private property.

    In some ways it may be a good thing because it will force the UK to only spend what it raises in taxes, for the first time since the late 1990s. But if it happens, on austerity you ain’t seen nothing yet I’m afraid. I wonder if McDonnell in office might end up being a kind of Snowden, arguably the most austere chancellor since the war.

  16. Surely you wouldn’t need to compensate share holders once their tender has expired. I’m not aware that the government has had to compensate Virgin or Stagecoach for East Coast. Nor do you compensate competitors if you succeed in your bid. Portsmouth City Council currently provide services for other councils and I’m not aware theyve had to compensate anyone.

    Water companies and the shareholders of Royal Mail will need compensating but not anywhere near the figure shareholders came to enjoy when a fifth of all industry was nationalised.

    But maybe you are right and McDonnell is a modern Snowden

  17. 25/9…Barnet Conservative Gabriel Rozenberg has defected to the Liberal Democrats citing Tories Brexit stance, Johnson and ReesMog.

  18. The more I think about this seat, the more I think the Lib Dems could do surprisingly well here. It’s the sort of seat sitting in a political space that both the Tories and Labour seem to be actively shunning. As the latter parties are gearing up for a showdown over the WWC seats in the midlands the north, the Bishop Aucklands and Bassetlaws, they leave a vacuum in seats like this. Enter the orange diamonds.

  19. PT’s analysis seems thoroughly logical – although UK politics is rarely that in today’s world

    As the only mainstream party to back staying in the EU in the 2017 election, one might have assumed that the LD’s would be well placed to mop up a\ fair share oif the 48% of voters who backed Remain yet they achieved what many commentators thought impossible – a lower share of the popular vote that they achieved in their nadir year of 2015

    Things look much better for them now but I still believe that most of their new found support has come from Remain backing ex-Labour voters, and the only winners in that scenario is the Tories

    This could lead to a 1983-type result

  20. I saw a statistic that 40% of Tory remainers are now showing up as Lib Dem in VI. That’s far from insignificant, particularly as these Tory remainers tend to be clumped quite strongly in Outer London and the Home Counties.

    Not enough has been written about how the Tory heartlands are shifting from Surrey to Lincolnshire. Although both Tory-voting, these counties are very different, and it’s very clear to me how the Conservative Party is morphing in the latter’s image. How far the party has moved from its “hug a hoodie” days.

    (Incidentally, I’ve recently been rewatching The Thick Of It, which nails the early-Cameron Tories, depicting them as basically the same right-wing headbangers forced into a progressive-looking straitjacket against their will. That characterisation has ended up being pretty prophetic.)

  21. ‘I saw a statistic that 40% of Tory remainers are now showing up as Lib Dem in VI.’

    I still think the fear of a Corbyn government will win enough of them back around to backing Boris – no deal or not

    The Press still play a major role in deciding election outcomes in this country, and they mostly hate Corbyn with a vengeance – even more moderate centre right newspapers like the Times and the Financial Times

    Lincolnshire is far more in synch with today’s Tory voters than Surrey – in thew same way Alabama is more in synch with today’s Republican voters than say New Hampshire or Connecticut

    To be fair I think Cameron himself came to believe that his modernisation strategy wasn’t only just politically necessary but morally right too. How many of his colleagues at the time genuinely agreed with him is more questionable

  22. The medias role is not as effective as it used to be. 2017 was the first time the Sun backed a party that lost its majority

  23. The Sun backed Labour in 1970.

    Stretching it to include parties failing to win a majority from opposition, you also obviously have 2010, when the Sun voiciferously backed the Tories.

  24. Sorry i forgot to say since Murdoch took over

  25. This argument depends strongly on whether you believe newspapers lead their readers, or follow them. In general, I’m unconvinced by these bogeyman hypotheses. Rupert Murdoch got filthy rich from his media empire, and nobody gets filthy rich selling something that doesn’t have a market. The attitudes of Sun readers would be largely the same without The Sun’s influence.

  26. I think readership unites a group of people that fit into that market. Its like if there’s some thing I know little about I might look to more authority on the issue thats views align with mine

  27. Polltrolls post on the LibDems above didn’t mention that Corbyn basher Luciana Berger is the Libdem PPC. I would think she has a good chance but difficult if not impossible to say with certainty at this time.

  28. DT: that 40% stat was for all Tories not just those in this seat.

    But speaking of Finchley…


  29. One caveat. Survation only asked with named candidates

  30. Not sure that’s a deal-breaker. Very few people know who their MP is and Luciana Berger is not a household name. (Maybe she is in the Jewish community?) You wouldnt expect naming the candidates to make that much difference to the outcome of a poll. And if her recognition really does make that much of a different, well the Lib Dems are going to do their utmost to make sure she is recognised!

  31. she’s probably better well known than most MPs but the Lib Dems used this trick when they commissioned polls in 2014 which showed them holding seats in Cambridge and Twickenham

  32. Finchley itself isn’t very strong for the Conservatives these days, increasingly it is becoming very similar to the nicer parts of neighbouring Hornsey & Wood Green, hence under the right circumstances in this part of the seat the Lib Dems could do very well indeed off the back of disillusioned Labour remain voters.

    The strongly Tory part of this seat is at the Golders Green and Garden Suburb end, which is also the richer and most Jewish bit. Whether Berger can win or not depends whether she can obtain a large slab of Tory votes here.

  33. Good luck to Luciana Berger. She’s had a horrible time of it due to the Momentum crackpots.

  34. ‘The attitudes of Sun readers would be largely the same without The Sun’s influence’

    Maybe but as the UK’s mosat widely-read newspaper The Sun has played a massive role in legitimising views and policies that used to be considered extreme – the most obvious example being leaving the EU – but extends to other things like the bedroom tax

    Much like Fox news has in the US

  35. So I spent an hour or two reading an academic paper on “elite cues” and how important they are to public opinion; and now i feel really stupid for having written that.

    (Paper was specifically about American politics – examples they gave including how Republican voters have changed their minds on questions like “Russia is an ally to the United States” and “a stable private life is an important attribute for office holders” hugely since Trump came to power. However, I don’t see Why things would be any different in any other democracy.)

  36. Might be confirmation bias but having read about elite cueing I now see it everywhere. It’s why Johnson is likely to win support for his deal among previous no-dealers. It’s how Jeremy Corbyn was successfully able to bat away allegations of anti-Semitism among his core support. And, mea culpa, it’s why I was probably more supportive of some coalition policies at the time that in hindsight I disagree with. I took my elite cue from Nick Clegg.

  37. Finchley & Golders Green constituency voting intention:

    Con: 46% (-1)
    LD: 32% (+25)
    Lab: 19% (-25)

    07 – 13 Nov

  38. New poll.
    Tory – 29%
    LD – 24%
    Lab – 14%
    Not voting – 13%
    Refused to say – 20%

    The respondents in 2017.
    Tory – 37% (47% in election)
    Lab – 28% (44% in election)
    LD – 9% (7% in election)

  39. Voodoo alert!

    (Though, in fairness, we don’t talk often enough about raw polling figures, which these obviously are. It might be instructive to see what some of the weighted figures we’re seeing in various places look like in raw form.)

  40. Odd seat this.

    TCTC between Cons and LD I’d say.

  41. Finchley & Golders Green, constituency voting intention:

    CON: 46% (-)
    LDEM: 34% (+2)
    LAB: 19% (-)

    via DeltaPollUK
    ,03 – 06 Dec
    Chgs. w/ 12 Nov

    Looks like a Tory hold here.

  42. Good news for the Tories in all three seats (Kensington, Finchley and GG, and Cities of London). Vote is holding up well and opposition pretty split.

    Chipping Barnet and Dagenham may have been more interesting as constituency polls but we can’t have everything.

  43. As Anthony noted in his guide above, this is the most Jewish seat in the UK.

    Top 20:

    1. Finchley and Golders Green
    2. Hendon
    3. Hertsmere
    4. Hackney North and Stoke Newington
    5. Bury South
    6. Harrow East
    7. Blackley and Broughton
    8. Chipping Barnet
    9. Hampstead and Kilburn
    10. Ilford North
    11. Leeds North East
    12. Epping Forest
    13. Westminster North
    14. Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner
    15. Hornsey and Wood Green
    16. Enfield, Southgate
    17. Gateshead
    18. Cities of London and Westminster
    19. Tottenham
    20. East Renfrewshire

    Labour actually hold ten of them, but the Jewish population isn’t sizeable enough to tip the balance, I’d say. Several are safe seats.

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