Hammersmith

2015 Result:
Conservative: 17463 (36.4%)
Labour: 23981 (50%)
Lib Dem: 2224 (4.6%)
Green: 2105 (4.4%)
UKIP: 2105 (4.4%)
Independent: 82 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 6518 (13.6%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Hammersmith and Fulham council area.

Main population centres: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush.

Profile: A west London seat consisting of the western part of the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, stretching from Wormwood Scrubs in the north down to the Thames and up to the West Cross Route (the former M41) in the east. The seat covers the successful commerical and business hub of Hammersmith itself, West Kensington, Shepherds Bush and White City, site of the old BBC Television Centre and Westfield shopping centre. The south of this seat is comparatively Conservative - it includes run down areas like West Kensington and council estates like Lytton, but at a local level the Conservatives swept dramatically to power in 2006. The northern part is far more Labour, including as it does a large ethnic population and council estates like White City and the Edward Woods Estate. The seat includes HMP Wormwood Scrubs, Hammersmith Hospital, Queens Park Rangers Football Club and the Linford Christie Stadium. At the far north of the seat is the Old Oak rail maintenance depot, an area that is planned to home a major interchange between the proposed Crossrail and High Speed Rail 2 developments.

Politics: Hammersmith was recreated for the 2010, having been paired with affluent Fulham for the previous three elections. Hammersmith and Fulham was a tight marginal seat, won by the Conservatives in 2005. The return to a Hammersmith seat, as had existed before 1997, makes the seat more comfortably Labour.


Current MP
ANDY SLAUGHTER (Labour) Born 1960, London. Educated at Latymer Upper School and Exeter University. Barrister. Hammersmith and Fulham councillor 1986-2006, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council 1996-2005. Contested Uxbridge by-election 1997. First elected as MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd`s Bush in 2005. PPS to Stephen Ladyman 2005-07, PPS to Lord Jones 2007-08, PPS to Lord Malloch-Brown 2007-09.
Past Results
2010
Con: 17261 (36%)
Lab: 20810 (44%)
LDem: 7567 (16%)
GRN: 696 (1%)
Oth: 1118 (2%)
MAJ: 3549 (7%)
2005*
Con: 22407 (45%)
Lab: 17378 (35%)
LDem: 7116 (14%)
GRN: 1933 (4%)
Oth: 493 (1%)
MAJ: 5029 (10%)
2001
Con: 17786 (40%)
Lab: 19801 (44%)
LDem: 5294 (12%)
GRN: 1444 (3%)
Oth: 375 (1%)
MAJ: 2015 (5%)
1997
Con: 21420 (40%)
Lab: 25262 (47%)
LDem: 4728 (9%)
Oth: 1593 (3%)
MAJ: 3842 (7%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Hammersmith & Fulham

Demographics
2015 Candidates
CHARLIE DEWHIRST (Conservative) Public affairs professional and former journalist. Hammersmith and Fulham councillor since 2010.
ANDY SLAUGHTER (Labour) See above.
MILLICENT SCOTT (Liberal Democrat)
RICHARD WOOD (UKIP)
DAVID AKAN (Green) Planning Manager.
STEPHEN BRENNAN (Independent)
Links
Comments - 294 Responses on “Hammersmith”
  1. Pete, are Hillingdon and Barnet the type of boroughs where UKIP could take votes away from the Tories to the extent to which they might run the risk of loosing overall control?

    It would be pretty spectacular if Labour won overall control in Barnet. Don’t think they’ve ever done that before.

  2. Thanks Barnaby, I take back what I said about Merton.

  3. I don’t think Barnet is likely to be one of UKIP’s stronger London boroughs – they may get a half decent result in some of the wards in Barnet proper and I suppose these kind of wards may be the ones most vulnerable to Labour (thinking here mainly of Arkley and East Barnet). I don’t think there’s much realistic prospect of Labour gaining outright control of Barnet. It could just about fall to NOC and I suppose if Labour were to gain Child’s HIll they would be in with a shout – I can see that ward being pretty close three ways. I doubt though that they can take sufficient seats directly off the Tories.

    In Hillingdon UKIP are likely to be very much a bigger factor but I don’t think this will necessarily be to the detriment mainly of the Tories. The wards where they will tend to be strongest are in that band in the middle of the borough, geographically and socially in between the pleasant and safely Tory wards of Northwood and Ruislip proper, Ickenham etc and the safe Labour wards in Hayes. Here I’m thinking of South Rusilip, Uxbridge South, HIllingdon East, West Drayton and Yiewsley. perhaps the best ward would be Harefield. All of these areas have been vulnerable to Labour at times, but I suspect that UKIP is drawing support primarily from just the kind of swing voters who in the past enabled Labour to win in those areas. I know South Ruislip well enough and notwithstanding an increased ethnic minority presence, I don’t see Labour challenging there again for a while yet

  4. Thanks for that bit of local knowledge Pete.

  5. I think Pete’s analysis is very good. Can’t disagree with any of that.

  6. A resident of this constituency bet me £20 during the last parliament that the Tories would win an overall majority at the election. I accepted & I’ve just finally had his cheque in the post this morning. I’ve only met him once in real life & we both forgot about it.
    I am starting to think the borough elections here may turn out to be quite close. On balance I still think the Tories will hold on but Labour are putting in a lot of effort, and the Charing Cross Hospital closure issue is quite damaging to the Tories even amongst voters who wouldn’t normally gravitate towards Labour – who are of course the only serious opposition in H&F.

  7. Adam – just to confirm, Labour has indeed never won in Barnet. I don’t think they’ve ever been the largest single party either although it was close in 1994 & 1998 between Labour & the Tories. Labour won E Barnet that year for example.

  8. In another place, I’m hearing that the LDs in this borough are putting out leaflets saying it’s a 2-horse race between them & the Tories! Whether that’s in all wards I don’t know. Hard to believe isn’t it. I’ve noticed that the LD posters which have started to go up in my borough no longer seem to say “winning here!” – which at least on my side of the river is appropriate, since they no longer are.

  9. That’s a bizarre leaflet to put out but it’ll probably work to a degree.

    Barnaby, if the Lib Dems can’t compete in your bit you ought to run leaflets saying “Lib Dems can’t win here – you may as well vote Labour!”

  10. We can’t honestly say that in some wards in my constituency, including my own which, while Tory, is still clearly marginal. It would be true however in Barnes, Mortlake & Barnes Common, E Sheen & S Richmond even though most of those have been won by the yellow peril in the past (E Sheen is the exception, though they would have struggled to win S Richmond even in their glory days with the boundaries it now has, compared with the old Richmond Hill). Next year, that could be tempting. No Lib Dem who is being remotely honest with him- or herself could seriously claim that the LDs have the remotest chance of beating Zac Goldsmith next year and it’s not impossible that we may decide to use that as a form of attack on them – why vote tactically, when a ) not only are they in coalition with the Tories and b ) they can’t win anyway?

  11. Labour have gained all 3 seats in Fulham Broadway (!) & North End! 3 more to go for overall control.

  12. Very good results for Labour, especially Fulham Broadway.

  13. Labour have taken control of H&F

    3 gains in Fulham Broadway
    3 gains in Fulham Reach
    3 gains in North End
    2 gains in Addison (first time since 2002)
    1 gain in Avonmore & Brook Green

    12 gains in total. Labour now holds 29 seats to Tories 17.

  14. Of course we can now confirm that Labour has taken control of H and F by winning all three seats in Fulham Reach. An excellent result for Labour.

  15. AM- indeed, and let us remember that those were all seats that the Tories carried in the 2012 GLA elections. I wonder why they have had such a poor night there?

  16. Local Tories got arrogant and over ideological forgetting that H&F is not a Wandsworth and still a pretty diverse borough. They are a very Thatcherite bunch with next to no dissenting voices.

    Cosy with private developers over redevelopment of Earls Court and demolition of Gibbs Green and other riverside schemes, flogging off housing stock, wanting to demolish popular Sullivan primary school to build a free school and not fighting Charring Cross Hospital reorganisation. They thought that by screaming low council tax over and over all this would be overlooked. Not so. Turnout in some wards nearly topped 50%.

  17. Must also be said that Andy Slaughter & Hammersmith Labour are relentless campaigners with very good organisation as shown in 2010. The swing was higher in Hammersmith than in Fulham.

  18. 11% swing according to the BBC.

  19. Its 26 seats to 20 not as stated before.

  20. Well that should shut up the ‘Tories to make gains in London because of gentrification’ and ‘Tories to make gains in London because of the strong economy’ crowds.

    Should shut up.

    But it wont.

    This result will hurt many Conservatives but will bring a secret smile to the face of some outer London Conservatives who have got tired of the self–congratulating H&F Conservatives.

  21. This result was heavily down to the Tory council’s incredible decision to vote in favour of closing & demolishing Charing Cross hospital. The canvassing returns were so strong that the victory in Fulham Broadway ward has come as far less of a surprise to me than most of you. The survival of Belinda Donovan in Addison ward was down to a very strong personal vote – even the Labour candidates find her very likeable. I didn’t want to predict an outright Labour win because a) I knew some contributors would tell me I was talking out of my arse (including Robin Hood) and b ) I didn’t want to curse the party. Now can a Labour council call a halt to the deliberate social engineering of the borough? Although many voters will revert to the Tories in the general election in the most upmarket wards, having “lent” their votes to Labour because of the hospital issue, these results will be hugely encouraging & helpful to Andy Slaughter since he will no longer have a hostile council trying to plot his downfall by demographic means. Congratulations to the Labour Party in the borough, but the Tories really brought it on themselves – their arrogance & overreaching of themselves was their downfall.

  22. Hammersmith & Fulham, popular votes (using top vote):

    Lab 22,025 (42.25%)
    Con 19,763 (37.91%)
    LD 4,585 (8.79%)
    Green 3,249 (6.23%)
    UKIP 1,926 (3.69%)

    Changes since 2010 locals:

    Lab +8.26%
    Con -4.99%
    LD -11.82%
    Green +4.35%
    UKIP +3.45%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 6.63%

  23. I’m shocked that Labour have won a diverse borough with a large portion of middle class metropolitan liberal smug people. I would never have thought it.

    On the other hand I am happy for them as the Tories here seemed extremely complacent. Only a couple of days ago there was a news story on the borough and some of the things I was hearing (such as trying to demolish council estates and ruining working class communities) made me extremely angry. I’m hoping that Labour can put right some of these things.

    I detest Labour (as you all know) but I am very happy at this result.

  24. This brings back memories of the 1986 local election result almost 30 years ago. Back then a minority Conservative administration lost to a Labour surge as all opposition coalesced around the Labour candidates and the Liberal/SDP vote fell away. Then too there was a London wide swing to Labour on the day and opposition to an unpopular redevelopment scheme in the centre of Hammersmith was attributed to Labour’s win.
    Plus ça change.
    Lesson to learn: Hammersmith is not Wandsworth.

  25. Useless fact: according to TripAdvisor there are 17,141 restaurants in London and number 2 in the list is the Andover Arms in Ravenscourt Park.

  26. “I’m shocked that Labour have won a diverse borough with a large portion of middle class metropolitan liberal smug people”

    I think this is a surprising result.
    I would indeed have expected it to be more like Wandsworth (or Richmond Park).

    A lot of work to do.
    But I’m sure the Tories can put it right.

  27. That’s interesting Andy. It’s actually a backstreet local & I have quite often dropped in there for a beer; it’s less of a gastropub than the Anglesey Arms a few streets away. I knew it was supposed to have good food (I haven’t eaten there) but didn’t realise it was that good.

  28. Can it really be that good, I wonder? Better than all of those incredibly expensive places in Mayfair and Chelsea?…

  29. Next time I’m working in Hammersmith, I’ll try & remember to report back to you Andy!

  30. Thanks Barnaby. (Sorry to go off topic like this).

  31. @HH “I’m very sceptical Streatham will get better. It’s always one of those places that is expected to improve but never does.”

    LOL!

    @Richard
    “Didn’t someone here (it may have been HH IIRC) describe that area as being EastEnders type wwc in the 1990s?”
    I went to school around the Church Street ward in the late 1990s and that’s a pretty good description of it. In fact I think nearby Bryanston & Dorset Square are the kind of areas EE stalwarts like Barbara Windsor and Wendy Richard used to frequent. There is a pub near the Marylebone Road decked out in royal memorabilia and tributes to its loyal patron, Ms Richard.

    It is remarkable (to me) that an area like Church Street, so close to the West End, has more or less resisted London’s gentrification in the 20+ years I’ve known it.

    Going to Shepherd’s Bush last week really made me think, “yes, this strikes me as a Labour area”. Unfortunately the voter stereotypes hold true. For a time, it could be said that SB was practically the epicentre of British cultural life, bearing in mind how much mass entertainment (via the BBC, and prior to that, the country’s first purpose-built film studio!) was produced there. There are some very pleasant tree-lined avenues off the main thoroughfares but, leaving aside Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush Market and the ‘high street’ shops seem to typify a Britain that is almost a polar opposite of Chelsea, Hampstead and Notting Hill. A central London ghetto of Chicken Cottages and Cash Converters shops, like a West London equivalent of the East End (if that isn’t a term you could already use to describe Church Street).

    I’m quite curious what these ‘rundown’ areas were like in the sepia-tinted version of Britain that existed before mass immigration and endless fried chicken shops. Was Shepherd’s Bush any more pleasant an area when Gainsborough Pictures churned out those quintessentially British b/w films during WWII, and later when the BBC took over the studios in the era immortalised in ‘The Hour’? That map seems to suggest the area has gone ‘more downmarket’ in the last ten years. The housing stock in SB suggests it was once a nicer area. (Maybe the BBC shutting up shop there has had an impact? Although it will apparently resume production at TV Centre in some form in the next few years.)

  32. “In fact I think nearby Bryanston & Dorset Square are the kind of areas EE stalwarts like Barbara Windsor and Wendy Richard used to frequent. There is a pub near the Marylebone Road decked out in royal memorabilia and tributes to its loyal patron, Ms Richard.”

    I lived in the next road to that pub as a student in 1995-97 (IIRC it was The Duke of York). I saw Wendy Richard and Ted Heath in there all the time. Never Barbara Windsor.

    In those days the roads to the west of Edgware Road were full of old posh white British. They were extremely different to the middle eastern dominance of Edgware Road itself. My perception today is that the influence of Edgware Road has now taken over this area.

  33. I meant the roads *east* of Edgware Road

  34. Are the Tories now done for good in Hammersmith? The locals saw them reduced to only 6 councillors, with only Ravenscourt Park having a full slate of Tories.

    The partial Labour gains in Addison and Brook Green must make Andy Slaughter assume he is now safe here.

  35. What is happening specifically in Hammersmith for the Tories to be where they now find themselves here? Is it simply changing demographics, or are there other more deep-set factors at play here as well?

  36. Interesting article on Hammersmith and Fulham by its former council leader Nick Botterrill.

    http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2014/11/cllr-nick-botterill-conservative-loss-of-hammersmith-fulham-council-are-there-wider-lessons-for-london.html

    “I have lived in London for the past 28 years (18 of which as a councillor) and the pace of population change is now the fastest it has been over the period. Collectively London is now diverging from the rest of the country so fast that in character and sentiment it represents, in many aspects, a far more distinct and different political proposition from other parts of England than say Wales does.”

  37. I live in this seat and the Tory problem is that the traditionally blue areas like Brook Green are seeing middle class flight as it becomes too expensive, being replaced with French or Russians. At the same time, the white working class voters on the big council estates, which in good years could vote Conservative, are dying off and being replaced by a rapidly growing BME population who are rock solid Labour at the best of times but are even more so thanks to Andy Slaughter who has proven to be very skilled at “community politics”‘. His email updates often contain more on Palestine than on Ravenscourt Park.

    He may have some difficulty though. Mansion Tax will motivate the Tory core vote here and Slaughter has always defined himself as being against the Tory Council. He no longer has them to run against.

    Whilst Labour are overwhelming favourites here, the result May still be close enough for this to be a serious Tory target in 2020.

  38. A more interesting element has appeared in this election now that the new Labour council is proposing a stock transfer of all council housing in this seat to a Housing Association. Something that has proved to be seriously unpopular on the estates.

    Whilst those estates aren’t likely to flock back to the Conservatives in large numbers, back in 2010 Labour won this seat thanks to massive turnout on the estates. If Andy Slaughter is unable to repeat that feat in May, this result could be a lot closer than anybody might expect.

  39. Slaughter asked Cameron perfectly reasonable question in PMQ’s a few months ago and Cameron responded with utter distain and even accused Slaughter of spreading ”lies” about the local Tory party here.

    From Cameron’s response to Slaughter’s question, it seems to Tories are really bitter about losing Hammersmith Council to Labour last year. Am I right?

  40. It’s next door to Notting Hill, so very personal for Cameron and he will have a lot of knowledge of this issue.

    Nevertheless I think you’re right, H&F was seen as a Tory flagship council, the new Wandsworth, and before 2010 the parliamentary seat was seen as in the bag by most Tories. The loss of both must have been exceptionally disappointing.

  41. Yes, losing both the council and the parliamentary constituency must be very disheartening. I also got the impression that Cameron sees Slaughter as a class traiter (he certainly views Tristram Hunt in the same light)!

    I think the proposed closure of Sulivan Primary School was the final staw for the Tories in Hammersmith. That was just arrogance to the extreme! No thought or care for the staff, teachers, parents of the school and the local community at all!

  42. It’s worth saying that gentrification over the very long term is highly likely to turn this seat into another Battersea (safely Tory though with a modest majority). See Boris’s plans to turn Old Oak Common into “the next Canary Wharf”, on the back of the Crossrail and HS2 interchange there.

  43. … forgot to mention that was no thought or care by Hammersmith Tories for the children of Sulivan Primary School too with regards to its proposed closure.

    Yes, you’re right H.Hemmelig. In the long term, Hammersmith will be a safe Tory seat.

  44. Christian, I think Cameron’s angry reply on the NHS has something to do with Slaughter putting out leaflets saying that Charing Cross Hospital will be “demolished” implying it will be closed, when it is actually getting a £150m rebuild. But that argument is not for here. Ethics aside, it has proved a very effective campaigning technique.

    This seat is starting to look more interesting. It is noticeable that Andy Slaughter and H&F Labour activists have ceased going to help out in nearby Ealing and Battersea, like they were a few months ago. This weekend, Labour even organised a London wide campaign day here, implying they are getting a little nervous.

    I’m not saying Slaughter may be in trouble but the current 10/1 odds on a Tory win here looks far too generous.

  45. I think Labour are safe here for now but there is no denying that this seat is sliding away from them…slowly.

    I wonder whether the Labour council are popular? If they are that will help Slaughter.

  46. No seat that is 50% Shepherds Bush and White City will ever be safe Tory. No matter how gentrified Hammersmith itself might get.

    It’s a shame the boundary change didn’t go ahead here, it would have made this contest very interesting. Losing Labour’s safest ward to Brent and gaining a very affluent ward from Ealing Central would have made Labour extremely worried here.

  47. HFER – As mentioned above, Old Oak Common (which is within this seat) will be the Canary Wharf of West London in the next 20 years. Just look at how the impact of luxury apartments in Canary Wharf had on the majority of the Poplar and Limehouse (the seat in which Canary Wharf is located) in 2010. Labour only held it by about 6000 votes which is poor for Labour considering it’s a Tower Hamlets/East London seat!

  48. Christian, you forgot to consider the fact that George Galloway’s candidature in Poplar and Limehouse in 2010 meant the Labour vote was still substantially divided then. (Labour polled 40% and Respect polled 17.5% in Poplar and Limehouse in 2010)

  49. It’s also worth noting that whilst Shepherds Bush is still a roughish dump the arrival of Westfield a few years back has helped the area and I know of ‘city’ people who have moved there.

  50. Labour will more than double numerical majority here. ICM London poll in Guardian had Labour on 42% in London and today’s ITV Comres has Labour at 46% v Tories on 32.

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