Greenwich & Woolwich

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12438 (26.6%)
Labour: 24384 (52.2%)
Lib Dem: 2645 (5.7%)
Green: 2991 (6.4%)
UKIP: 3888 (8.3%)
TUSC: 370 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 11946 (25.6%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath, Woolwich.

Profile: Greenwich and Woolwich constituency covers Greenwich itself, Charlton, parts of Blackheath and Woolwich. There are some pockets of affluence here, particularly the area around Blackheath Standard (to the east of Blackheath itself, which lies mostly in Lewisham), and large green spaces like Greenwich and Woolwich Commons, but the genteel tourist part of Greenwich with the Royal Observatory, Naval College and the Cutty Sark are not characteristic of the seat as a whole. This is mostly an inner city working class seat, an area of tower blocks and social housing, with a quarter of people in council properties and a significant ethnic minority population. The riverside is largely industrial and in the north of the seat on the Greenwich peninsula is the O2, the former Millenium Dome. The seat also includes both the Blackwall tunnel and the Thames Flood Barrier.

Politics: Despite being a safe Labour seat now, the predecessor seats to Greenwich and Woolwich were once both held by the SDP. Woolwich MP John Cartwright had defected from Labour in 1981 and was one of the few to hold his seat (then Woolwich East) at the 1983 election. Greenwich was won by Rosie Barnes in a 1987 by-election. Both MPs followed David Owen into the doomed continuing SDP after the merger with the Liberals, and both lost their seats to Labour in 1992.


Current MP
MATTHEW PENNYCOOK (Labour) Educated at LSE. Former policy analyst and researcher. Greenwich councillor since 2010. First elected as MP for Greenwich & Woolwich in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 10109 (25%)
Lab: 20262 (49%)
LDem: 7498 (18%)
BNP: 1151 (3%)
Oth: 2168 (5%)
MAJ: 10153 (25%)
2005*
Con: 7142 (20%)
Lab: 17527 (49%)
LDem: 7381 (21%)
GRN: 1579 (4%)
Oth: 1986 (6%)
MAJ: 10146 (28%)
2001
Con: 6258 (19%)
Lab: 19691 (61%)
LDem: 5082 (16%)
UKIP: 672 (2%)
Oth: 833 (3%)
MAJ: 13433 (41%)
1997
Con: 7502 (19%)
Lab: 25630 (63%)
LDem: 5049 (12%)
Oth: 552 (1%)
MAJ: 18128 (45%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MATT HARTLEY (Conservative) Educated at Warwick University. Media and communications manager. Greenwich councillor since 2011.
MATTHEW PENNYCOOK (Labour) Educated at LSE. Former policy analyst and researcher. Greenwich councillor since 2010.
TOM HOLDER (Liberal Democrat)
RYAN ACTY (UKIP) Born Swansea. Educated at Morriston Comprehensive. IT manager and former serviceman.
ABBEY AKINOSHUN (Green) Educated at Kings College London. Legal and regulatory consultant. Contested Erith and Thamesmead 2010 as independent.
LYNNE CHAMBERLAIN (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 83 Responses on “Greenwich & Woolwich”
  1. The LDs take this??

    Lol. Thats one interesting prediction.

  2. And based on their results in the 80 at that.

    ??

  3. ”Maybe the lib dems can take this in 2020 on the strength of their results her in the ’80s”

    Robberbutton – Are you joking or have you been taking something funny? I know this seat very well and there’s no way on earth the Lib Dems will ever come even close to taking this seat! This is solid Labour and Matt Pennycook will definately be the next Labour MP for this seat (Nick Raynsford is standing down). He’s in his early 30’s so he’ll be MP here until about 2045.

  4. That comment had a major whiff of Gloy on it lol.

  5. Prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 54%
    Con- 22%
    Lib- 8%
    UKIP- 7%
    Green- 7%
    TUSC- 2%

  6. It makes sense for Sefton to have three different locations for the three different counts because of the distance involved. Also less chance of Ballot boxes getting lost in transit.

  7. Labour 13500

  8. Prediction

    LAB: 54
    CON: 22
    UKIP: 9
    GRN: 8
    LD: 6
    TUSC: 1

  9. I have been here for 15 years – and have seen big changes in Greenwich at both local and nationals levels …

    LOCAL: large influx of affluence/conservatism into West/East Greenwich property …

    NATIONAL : we vote for ‘Presidents’ nowadays, much diminishing the importance of local candidates and issues.

    PREDICTION : a scarily narrow Labour win – voters here and elsewhere will pause over their ballot papers when it finally comes to putting the X against Miliband’s Man …

    Cameron/Clegg will be returned to government …

  10. Interesting result here: the Labour share rose by 3.0% and the Con by 2.1%. The collapse in the LD vote didn’t benefit Labour as it did in many safe Labour London seats.

  11. The remaining Conservative vote is quite obstinate by the looks of it – the Tories managed to hold on to a very vulnerable seat in Blackheath Westcombe ward last year, avoiding a Labour redwash in the constituency.

  12. The remaining Tory vote seems to be on a gentle uptrend, no?

  13. Maybe the tory vote was slightly suppressed as a lingering impact of the SDP victories in 1980’s. Some people thought the LD’s were a realistic challenger here until recently?

  14. Very few voters here will have been voting here since the 1980s. As in most inner London seats, the voter turnover is substantial.

    Both Greenwich Village and Blackheath are undergoing Hampsteadisation….that is, smart areas being increasingly colonised by banker types, with media and public sector professionals being gradually priced out. The likes of Brockley and Forest Hill are becoming the new old Greenwich. Docklands developments are now stretching east of Deptford into this seat also, not least around the North Greenwich peninsula and the Dome/O2. As in Bermondsey, the Tory vote will gradually strengthen here but can’t go beyond a certain ceiling until the gentrification widens away from Blackheath and the river.

  15. That’s true, but Blackheath ward (as it was called until 2002, like its neighbour in Lewisham) was a completely safe Tory ward for many years, whereas it’s a very competitive marginal now.

  16. Woolwich, it also seems to me, and from a pretty low base, at least on the river is gentrifying a little.

    This is going to remain Labour for a good while I’m sure but it is gentrifying somewhat as a seat as HH says. Regardless of national outcome in 2020 I suspect the Labour majority won’t be in five figures again next time.

  17. I highly doubt it.

  18. Maxim
    Probably not. First of all you have to look at what % is allocated as affordable. Under Boris the % was very low but Sadiq has pledged to crank it up to 50% so depending on when this development was approved you have to bear that in mind.

    Then you have to factor in how London’s property market works, most of those pricey flats will be bought up by foreign investors who won’t actually live there and certainly won’t be able to vote.

    Then of that much smaller number of potential new residents you have to factor in turnout, nowhere near all of them will vote and of those that do vote not all will vote Tory. At best 3/4’s probably closer to half will vote Tory.

    Finally you have to factor in how many of these new residents lived in the seat anyway.

    This all adds up to a very small partisan advantage which given the safeness of the seat is pretty much irrelevant. Not saying the seat isn’t trending Tory but its going to take more than one development to do it.

  19. If you think 50% of a development on Greenwich peninsula will be affordable you are kidding yourself….the developer will build the affordable houses somewhere much cheaper and less desirable (though quite possibly still within the constituency)

  20. Incidentally, the reason “the % was very low” under Boris is that the developer has to make a return or the development doesn’t go ahead. Both Ken and Boris tried their best to get developers to build a larger proportion of so-called affordable houses but without far more government subsidy it’s not hard to see why these attempts were futile. Hard to see how Khan is somehow going to succeed where his two predecessors failed, especially as the Tory government no longer has to be kind to the London Mayor.

  21. The Tory position here will certainly strengthen over time but gentrification of central Greenwich and Blackheath will continue to be partly offset by Woolwich becoming more of a shithole.

  22. Has Woolwich ever been attractive?

  23. You weren’t born in a hospital?

  24. ‘ A senior Conservative is handing back his CBE in disgust at David Cameron’s “Dishonour List” of gongs for cronies and donors, the Standard can reveal.

    Major Narindar Saroop said Mr Cameron’s controversial resignation list had brought the entire system into “disrepute” by showering peerages, knighthoods and other awards on close chums and party backers.

    “Everyone I have spoken to who also has a decoration feels much the same way,” said the former cavalry officer who made history as the first Asian to stand for Parliament wearing Tory colours in 1979 at Greenwich.

    “They may not take the same action I am taking but there is a great deal of disenchantment about the way that the former Prime Minister has behaved.” ‘

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/top-tory-to-hand-back-cbe-in-protest-at-camerons-cronies-honours-list-a3332321.html

  25. The whole system was pretty farcical anyway, Cameron just took it to a whole new level.

    Once upon a time I’d have been hopeful this might have triggered a change in the system but I’ve been disappointed far too many times. Some people will tut and then the issue will be swept under the carpet and forgotten about by the establishment.

  26. Probably yes, Lab will have to be careful in that seat going forward. Hopefully Lab can continue to erode Tory strength in Blackheath and thus limit the Tory advance.

  27. Blackheath used to be solidly Tory once upon a time, the fact that Lab are competitive shows the way its went in recent decades. Plus the Tory vote share fell in three straight sets of locals in the run up to 2014, years the Tories where advancing nationally, and while they did increase their vote in 2014 that was almost certainly due to the collapse of the Lib Dem vote and there was still a sizable swing to Labour that year.

    Also re Greenwich West was there a by-election or something in 2015? I’m unfamiliar with the result your quoting.

  28. Blackheath plus a bit of gentrification in Riverside Deptford & Greenwich will not be nearly enough to counter the huge Labour votes on the grim estates around New Cross in particular. Not much sign of gentrification there, plus a big student vote around Goldsmiths, and a lot of the gentrification at the Lewisham end (Brockley etc) is distinctly muesli belt with a very high Green support.

    This seat is not going to be all that favourable for the Tories even in 20 years’ time.

  29. Greenwich is apparently the most miserable borough in London.

  30. I’m more curious as to how they are defining miserable?

  31. Time Out, but in the ST, SM and a couple of others tomorrow.

  32. GREENWICH BY-ELECTION – 30 YEARS ON

    It’s now thirty years since the victory of Rosie Barnes in Greenwich. Here are some memories of my part in that campaign (and the connection between Rosie and a very young Shami Chakrabarti, herself a one-time member of the SDP’s youth wing)…

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/733863093317024/permalink/1272389556131039/

  33. Greenwich Labour Cllr Tonia Ashikodi has been suspended by the Party after she appeared in Court charged with 2 counts of fraud as well as perverting the course of justice.

    She is due to stand Trial on September 17th.

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