Harrow West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 19677 (42.2%)
Labour: 21885 (47%)
Lib Dem: 1567 (3.4%)
Green: 1310 (2.8%)
UKIP: 2047 (4.4%)
Independent: 117 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 2208 (4.7%)

Category: Marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Harrow, Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Profile: This is a suburban seat on the edge of London, a leafy slice of semi-detached Metroland, yet one with a large ethnic minority population - it is one of only twenty-five or so seats were only a minority of the population is white. There is a large Asian population here, mostly Indian and Hindu, though there is a significant Muslim minority. Harrow public school is situated on the southern edge of the seat.

Politics: Harrow West was regarded as a safe Conservative seat up until the 1997 Labour landside, when it was the (theoretically) safest seat to fall to Labour on a huge 17% swing. Since then the growing ethnic minority population and boundary changes in 2010 which removed the Conservative voting area of Pinner have moved it further into the Labour column, to the point where it can be held even in what was a very bad election for the party.

Current MP
GARETH THOMAS (Labour) Born 1967, Harrow. Educated at Hatch End High School and University of Wales. Former teacher. First elected as MP for Harrow West in 2001. Junior international development minister 2003-2008, junior business and enterprise minister 2007-2008, Minister of State for Trade and Investment 2008-2009, Minister of State for International Development 2009-2010. Chairman of the Co-operative Party since 2001.
Past Results
Con: 16968 (37%)
Lab: 20111 (44%)
LDem: 7458 (16%)
UKIP: 954 (2%)
Oth: 625 (1%)
MAJ: 3143 (7%)
Con: 18270 (38%)
Lab: 20298 (43%)
LDem: 8188 (17%)
UKIP: 576 (1%)
Oth: 427 (1%)
MAJ: 2028 (4%)
Con: 16986 (36%)
Lab: 23142 (50%)
LDem: 5995 (13%)
UKIP: 525 (1%)
MAJ: 6156 (13%)
Con: 20571 (39%)
Lab: 21811 (42%)
LDem: 8127 (15%)
MAJ: 1240 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
HANNAH DAVID (Conservative) Educated at Haberdashers Askes School for Girls and Northwood College. Restaurateur and solicitor. Hertsmere councillor 2004-2013.
GARETH THOMAS (Labour) See above.
CHRIS NOYCE (Liberal Democrat)
ROWAN LANGLEY (Green) Electronics engineer. Contested Brent South 2005, Harrow West 2010.
Comments - 142 Responses on “Harrow West”
  1. The Conservatives took only 4 of 27 available council seats in the 2010 local elections (held on the same day as the general election) which is interesting considering they came relatively close to winning the Harrow West constituency. The seats they won comprised 2 in Headstone North, 1 in Harrow on the Hill and 1 in Rayners Lane. Headstone North was the only ward where they topped the poll.

  2. …which implies that there aren’t yet many copper-bottomed safe Labour wards in Harrow. This may change before long.

  3. Certainly Marlborough, Roxbourne and Roxeth in this seat could be so described and Headstone South is more or less too. The Tories suffered from a split in their vote in Harrow on the Hill with one of their former councillors defending the seat as an Independent and doing quite well which helped Labour to win two seats. Still Labour can win Harrow on the Hill without such assistance in more favourable circumstances than 2010. Only Headstone North would really count as normally a safe Tory ward (at least vis a vis Labour – the LDs won it in the past) and there likewise there was an Independent intervention. Rayners Lane is the last area of residual Lib Dem support in Harrow, but in general elections I suspect that and Greenhill and West Harrow are moving into safe Labour territory to now.
    There are traidtionally safer Labour seats in the South East of the borough in Edgware and Kenton East, though strangely these actually became somewhat more marginal in 2010 and Wealdstone has of course long been a Labour banker.

  4. This spreadsheet shows which party came first in each ward in the 2010 London local elections. (I was going to remove the census data but decided to leave it on):


  5. Sounds like the Tories now have the leader in Harrow tonight – after some bizarre meeting where the Tories and most of Labour joined forces
    to oust some tin pot Labour regime that didn’t have the support of all their group.

  6. The tin pot regime is the ex Labour independents who joined forces with the Tories to oust Labour. Its a disgrace the people of Harrow voted for those councillors on a Labour ticket in 2010 and they should resign if they have the courage of their convictions. Opportunism more like. I expect they will be suitably thrashed as independents next year.

  7. Interesting vote here today…. in a ward that is both Labour and Tory..

    HARROW – Harrow on the Hill (Labour resigned)

    2010 – Lab 1948/1729/1630, Con 1786/1651/1646, Ind 1021/641/500, LD 973/899
    2006 – Con 1550/1493/1424, Lab 810/707/651, LD 462/436/397
    2002 – Con 1377/1323/1287, Lab 1086/1038/1025

    Gaye BRANCH (Liberal Democrat)
    Glen HEARNDEN (The Labour Party Candidate)
    Gajan IDAIKKADAR (Harrow First)
    Eileen KINNEAR (Independent)
    Stephen LEWIS (The Conservative Party Candidate)
    Jeremy ZEID (UK Independence Party (UKIP))

  8. I would expect a very easy Labour hold. The demographics are shifting strongly against the Tories here.

  9. I think it’s expected to be close. A split has developed within the Labour group, with several councillors who had failed to achieve positions within the group going off & forming a so-called independent group, which has now installed the Tories in office on the council (most likely only for a few months). The group is standing in the by-election with the intention of splitting the Labour vote. If it’s an easy Labour win I will be rather relieved & a little surprised.

  10. Yes I hadn’t thought of that. In normal circumstances it should be an easy Labour hold. I notice independents got a big vote here in 2010 also. Were they a break away from Tory or Labour?

  11. I see that the Ind Lab Group/Harrow First are fielding the son of the former Council leader. The Ind is an ex Tory who polled over 1,000 votes in 2010 and the UKIP candidate is an ex Tory Cllr also.

  12. Harrow on the Hill result

    Glen HEARNDEN (The Labour Party Candidate) 991
    Stephen LEWIS (The Conservative Party Candidate) 836
    Eileen KINNEAR (Independent) 308
    Gajan IDAIKKADAR (Harrow First) 173
    Jeremy ZEID (UK Independence Party (UKIP) 168
    Gaye BRANCH (Liberal Democrat) 70

  13. A very creditable Tory performance – I make that 33% of the vote which is marginally up on 2010

  14. Looking at the boundary issues – why is it gerrymandering when the Tories are in power yet Labour can change a seat like Harrow West by taking Pinner out and little is said? The change gifted Labour this seat IMO and all its done is fortified Hurd Jnr in Northwood IMO who had a safe seat anyway.

    To reply to my own question on the gerrymandering it is because the Tories are rubbish politicians and a rubbish party machine. Labour are way by far the better politicians and it has not always been the case. For instance in the 1980s the Tories were better at communicating and better at utilizing the party machine.

  15. I get very tired of reminding people that the members of the Boundary Commission are totally independent of the government which is power at the time. They will listen to arguments & will accept them if they are powerful & logical enough & fall within the parameters within which they have to work. Parliamentary boundaries in this country may not be to the taste of some, but they are not gerrymandered.

  16. I believe Harrow is turning into a natural Labour area.


    How is that being PARTISAN?

    I did not mention the amazing way the Tories have left Labour alone on the economy to my mind. The complete and utter mess that was made by Labour in power has NEVER been pressed home with enough vigger. Cameron ranting at PMQ’s is not enough.

    Labour’s economic failures have not been chastised enough. If you remember Brown and Blair sticking to Tory economic policies for the first two years in 1997 -1999 yet talked about Tory economic failure despite the manufacturing recovery and Industrial recovery being aborted by Labour in circa 1999.

    I get a bit sick of people like EDWARD CARLSSON BROWNE or whatever he decides to post on vehemently saying that all currently Labour held seats will de-facto stay Labour with no allowance for local factors, proper targeting etc.

  18. Decent result for both main party candidates. Might have been a Tory gain but for the independent standing (apparently she was once a Conservative) and perhaps UKIP.

  19. Rum & Coke has made a totally partisan comment in complaining that Edward called him partisan! I don’t think he has anything to contribute of value to this site – not until he sticks to psephology and stops making ridiculous comments about the boundary commission. The same plainly does not apply to many other Conservative contributors, such as Tory, H.Hemmelig & both the Joes, who all make worthwhile comments of course.
    Returning to Harrow-on-the-Hill, it is a decent Conservative result for sure, but Labour will be pretty pleased to have polled 39% & held on in the circumstances, and clearly worked extremely hard to do so. The party will now be favourites to recapture overall control of the council in the 2014 elections, which at present is lacking because of the apostasy of the Harrow First (ex-Labour) group.

  20. Barnaby the negative tone I have been getting from a couple of ECB’s responses to myself of late on Portsmouth North and St Helens South and Whiston have taken me by complete surprise, so I wouldn’t say Rum And Coke is alone in being upset by him.

  21. Actually I have to smile looking at Rum & Coke’s “contribution”. All I have heard for the last 3 years is “the appalling mess that Labour left behind”, as if Labour were responsible for the policies of the US banks & the many other bodies who were at least partly responsible for the mess (I am not claiming for one moment that the Labour government is blameless, though – just want to make that clear). In fact, when my wife left for an interview in a hurry and left a messy bedroom, I told her later about the “appalling mess a Labour supporter had left behind”. Yet this doesn’t seem to be enough for our friend R&C. It reminds me of Streicher & Hitler in the Third Reich – Streicher of course was the editor of Der Stuermer, the most notorious anti-Semitic rag even in that baleful society. But Hitler claimed that Streicher had not gone far enough – he had underestimated how unruly & rotten the Jews were. (Those who know me will realise, of course, that I in no sense am comparing the present Government with the Nazis – that would be utterly wrong.)

  22. I am sorry that Edward has upset you TheResults, but I feel it’s only fair to point out that, in general terms, he’s one of the more urbane & politely-spoken contributors to this site. I think Tory also deserves praise in this regard. Mind you, you yourself are always polite, though perhaps a bit touchier than you should be, if I may be premitted to say so.

  23. ”I am sorry that Edward has upset you TheResults, but I feel it’s only fair to point out that, in general terms, he’s one of the more urbane & politely-spoken contributors to this site. I think Tory also deserves praise in this regard. Mind you, you yourself are always polite, though perhaps a bit touchier than you should be, if I may be premitted to say so.”

    Thanks Barnaby. I might have guessed that about Edward given he was a candidate in the Cambridgeshire Local Elections, but that is no criticism of him, rather a compliment. I have nothing against Edward but I will still take what you said on board, cheers.

  24. Thanks, Barnaby. Like you, I think the site works best when we stick to psephology, though I don’t mind the occasional diversion provided it doesn’t get party-political.

  25. “I don’t mind the occasional diversion provided it doesn’t get party-political.”

    Erm, don’t you think your name is a bit party political?

  26. Very much so- that way, my political allegiance is clear. But in my posts, I seek to be as non-partisan as I can.

  27. 2012 GLA constituency results

    Harrow West
    Con 8529 28.3%
    Lab 14572 48.4%
    Grn 2008 6.7%
    LD 3025 10.0%
    UKIP 2003 6.6%

    My forecast for 2015:

    Lab 50
    Con 31
    LD 8
    UKIP 5
    Green 4
    Others 2

  28. I can see the Independent Labour Group taking Gareth’s votes here with UKIP profiting somewhat from disaffected Labour Voters causing a Tory win.

  29. “I can see the Independent Labour Group taking Gareth’s votes here with UKIP profiting somewhat from disaffected Labour Voters causing a Tory win.”

    No, long term this will be a boringly safe Labour seat. Full stop.

  30. May 2014 locals using highest vote per ward

    Lab 38.6%
    Con 26.95%
    Ind Lab 10.2%
    LD 8.4%
    UKIP 4.5%
    Greens 3.1%

  31. Interesting point about Gerrymandering……In the UK constituencies have to follow local government boundaries and established communities. Just check out some of the US House of Representatives divisions before we talk about gerrymandering in the UK…They are completely laughable. You can just divide a US state any way you want so Manhattan is carved up into 4 different constituencies that all seem really odd. Does the USA have an independent boundary commission or are the divisions drawn up by elected politicians?

  32. Should have said that Manhattan shares 4 different constituencies with other parts of New York State.

  33. Clearly, in USA, if the commission exists at all & is nominally independent, it isn’t truly so.

  34. Notwithstanding what Peter Dalek correctly says, I do remember that in the congressional elections which took place on general election day 2008, the Republicans still only managed to win a single congressional district in New York state (it was Peter King who was re-elected). The US has congressional districts rather than constituencies. In Canada, constituencies are called “ridings”.

  35. Different states in the US have different methods of drawing constituency boundaries. In most states the state legislature does it. In a few there are independent bodies that do it. That the state house and senate in say texas gets to draw the congressional boundaries gives rise to the allegation that politicians get to choose their voters not vice versa.

    Oh and barnaby in 2008 King was the only Republican in NYC not state. McHugh (NY-23) and Lee (NY-26) were also Republicans.

  36. I also note when states like Texas increase relative to New York congress seats were gained in the former and lost in the latter. Perhaps divisions are abolished and created in a way to retain all the adjacent divisions but making all their boundaries really odd.

    I thought that the aborted boundary proposals for Greater London were a dreadful mess because the completely ignored London Borough boundaries and did make London look like congress divisions. While grouping pairs of boroughs was not enough for electoral equality surely grouping the boroughs in groups up to 3 would come close to electoral equality?

  37. Thanks for the correction Ben. Perhaps it happened in a different congressional election? More likely I’m just wrong.

  38. Dalek i am not sure i understand what you mean. Every time there is a census there is a redistricting – every ten years. The us voting population is then divided by 435 which gives each state a number of congressional districts. Texas population sky rocketed so they went from 32 to 36. New Yorks population grew but relative to other states it shrank so went from 29 to 27. Stage legislatures – with a few exceptions – can draw district/seat/constituency boundaries as they wish.

  39. New York state has never only had one Republican congressman, in modern times. Upstate New York remains quite conservative in places and more similar to smalltown Pennsylvania than New York City.

    I think Barnaby is getting confused with New England, in which the Republicans were totally wiped out in the house elections in 2008 and 2012 (but they got 2 seats in the midterms of 2010 and 2014).

  40. Well Hannah David has made a complete mess of her election materia [Insert place here]

  41. HH just saw ur comment re ny state and i agree.

  42. DAVEYD

    Well Hannah David has made a complete mess of her election materia [Insert place here]


  43. Sad news: the vice-chair of Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board, Alison Morrison, stabbed to death in Alexandra Avenue:


  44. Gareth Thomas, according to today’s Evening Standard, is throwing his hat into the London mayoralty ring…

    Not such a safe seat for Labour to defend if he were to be successful…


  45. He’s got about as much chance of becoming Mayor of London as Susan Boyle. And this is a pretty safe Labour seat these days…the smallish majority disguises a polarisation and lack of swing voters that pretty much guarantees a Labour win unless it’s a disastrous year (similar to Westminster North in a less extreme kind of way).

  46. He probably won’t win the nomination. I reckon it will be Tessa Jowell.

    The boundaries of Harrow West are as favourable as they come for Labour. Removing Pinner at the last election did that.

  47. Susan Boyle, lol.

  48. Labour in by 7000 over con. The era of conservative supremacy in Harrow is long gone.

  49. A surprisingly good Conservative result in Harrow West actually.

    Lab 47.0 (+3.4)
    Con 42.2 (+5.4)
    UKIP 4.4 (+2.3)
    LD 3.4 (-12.8)
    Gre 2.8 (+1.5)
    Ind 0.3

    Lab majority 2208 (4.7%)
    Lab to Con swing of 1%

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