Hayes & Harlington

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11143 (24.7%)
Labour: 26843 (59.6%)
Lib Dem: 888 (2%)
Green: 794 (1.8%)
UKIP: 5388 (12%)
MAJORITY: 15700 (34.8%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Harlington, West Drayton, Hayes, Yeading.

Profile: A West London seat covering Heathrow airport, which is both the major source of employment and a major political issue, due to the threatened building of a third runway to the north of the existing airport in the area of Sipson and Harmondsworth (the site of the detention centre used for asylum seekers detained pending deportation from Heathrow). This is historically an industrial residential area, housing for those working on the railways and Grand Union canal and in the light industries that grew up in the 1920s and 30s, aviation and broadcasting. A majority of the population is from ethnic minorities and there are large Muslim and Sikh populations here.

Politics: This is normally a Labour seat - it was won by the Conservatives in 1983 after the defection of the previous Labour MP, Neville Sanderson, to the SDP and held by the Tory right-winger Terry Dicks (famously described by Tony Banks as a "pigs bladder on a stick") until 1997. Since 1997 it has returned to form as a safe Labour seat, represented by serial Labour rebel and left-wing ringleader John McDonnell.


Current MP
JOHN MCDONNELL (Labour) Born 1951, Liverpool. Educated at Great Yarmouth Grammar and Brunel University. Former trade union officer. Contested Hayes and Harlington 1992. GLC member for Hayes and Harlington 1981-1986. Deputy leader of the GLC from 1981-1985 until he felt out with Ken Livingstone due to his support for setting no rate in the face of government rate caps. First elected as MP for Hayes and Harlington in 1997. Shadow Chancellor since 2015. McDonnell was previously one of Labour`s most rebellious MPs, reliably opposing top-up fees, foundation hospitals, 90-day detention, the war in Iraq, the renewal of Trident. In 2007 he attempted to contest the Labour leadership but, despite persuading rival left wing candidate Michael Meacher to stand down in his favour, he was eventually unable to secure enough nominations to appear on the ballot paper. Upon the surprise election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader McDonnell was elevated to the position of Shadow Chancellor.
Past Results
2010
Con: 12553 (29%)
Lab: 23377 (55%)
LDem: 3726 (9%)
BNP: 1520 (4%)
Oth: 1461 (3%)
MAJ: 10824 (25%)
2005*
Con: 8162 (25%)
Lab: 19009 (59%)
LDem: 3174 (10%)
BNP: 830 (3%)
Oth: 1214 (4%)
MAJ: 10847 (33%)
2001
Con: 7813 (24%)
Lab: 21279 (66%)
LDem: 1958 (6%)
BNP: 705 (2%)
Oth: 648 (2%)
MAJ: 13466 (42%)
1997
Con: 11167 (27%)
Lab: 25458 (62%)
LDem: 3049 (7%)
Oth: 639 (2%)
MAJ: 14291 (35%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
PEARL LEWIS (Conservative)
JOHN MCDONNELL (Labour) See above.
SATNAM KAUR KHALSA (Liberal Democrat) Contested Hayes and Harlington 2010.
CLIFF DIXON (UKIP) Contested Hayes and Harlington 2010 for English Democrats.
ALICK MUNRO (Green) Doctor.
Links
Comments - 478 Responses on “Hayes & Harlington”
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  1. ” . . . but the ONLY people who think Labs economic policy is destined to fail are those that for one reason or another don’t like the Labour party.”

    Well that’s 59% of the voting population potentially, plus non-voters. 🙂

    More seriously, this is very naive. You can include all Tories, most Lib Dems; a smaller but still substantial part of Nationalists and Kippers I should think. Plus a good many of the PLP themselves and their like-minded supporters (clearly a minority of Lab support at this time but still significant). For obvious reasons the PLP are publicly quiet atm, but surely you don’t think that the truce during the election campaign and since means they are all converted to Corbynomics!

    Possibly part of the difference in opinion here, tbf, is that the Lab manifesto (which IMO is either ridiculously optimistic on achieving the revenue to pay for it, or else a mask for McDonnell’s true motives, but that’s just an opinion) is only part of the journey to Corbynomics / Socialism which I am referring to, which some believe (their right, even if you don’t agree) is a road to ruin in every area of life.

    The Conservatives were complete fools to ignore this in the campaign and ‘hope it’s alright on the day’ (we know how that turned out). The nasty shock of the result for both them and the large (previously supportive) sections of the media that turned against May during the campaign will see a change of tone in attack against Labour I think, which does focus more on the economy.

    “The accusation that Labs economic policies would lead to economic ruin and thus turbo charged austerity is an opinion, nothing more and certainly not a fact.”

    Well we can agree on this point. 🙂 As no perception is strictly a fact until it has been proved right or wrong, though less fluid individuals might point to where such policies have already proved this is / isn’t a fact (depending on your POV).

  2. I’ve been accused of knowing everyone in the Labour Party elsewhere. As it happens, I sing in a choir with Bill Newton Dunn, who was LD candidate here this year, who’s a former MEP and father of Tom of Sun fame. He’s a really nice chap but did appallingly badly, polling about 600 votes which represents only 1.2%. He’s 73 now & I suspect won’t stand in a general election again.

  3. Well I wouldn’t have thought that you’d be singing from the same hymn sheet as an ex Tory MEP!

    Is this seat the winner of the most volatile change in GE results. It went in 1997 from a con majority of 53 to a lab maj of 14,300 and saw an extreme right winger replaced by an extreme left winger.

  4. In Romford in 2001 Eileen Gordon who was very much on the left of the Labour Party was replaced by the hardest of hard right-wingers, Andrew Rosindell.
    There were plenty of even bigger swings than here in 1997. Beverley & Holderness was absolutely huge though the Tories held it, and of seats gained by Labour Castle Point’s was even bigger than this one.

  5. In general, a PPC’s positioning within his or her party makes very little difference. Candidate choice can have an appreciable effect on vote shares, but the reasons are normally personal rather than political. Ben Bradley, the new MP for Mansfield, for example, attributes his win largely to being 35 years younger than his Labour opponent, meaning he could hold onto the youth vote better than most Tories. Nothing to do with politics but sadly this sort of thing does matter to voters.

  6. BT
    “Well that’s 59% of the voting population potentially, plus non-voters”
    As we all know the majority of those (particularly non voters) won’t have a strong opinion either way)

    “You can include all Tories”
    A large amount (maybe even a majority) will have backed the Cons over issues other than the economy (immigration, support for hard Brexit, security etc) and those that did prioritise the economy I’d guess the vast majority did so over the Cons supposed economic competence, i.e they think every Lab leader from Brown through to Corbyn would tank the economy.

    “most Lib Dems”
    A great many will have been strategic Lab voters, as for the preferences of the “core” Lib Dems who can say.

    “a smaller but still substantial part of Nationalists and Kippers I should think”
    Yeah one that probably amounts to less than 0.5% of the national vote.

    “Plus a good many of the PLP themselves and their like-minded supporters”
    I’m not going to name names (although if one were to look over my previous posts you could probably guess based on which MP’s I’ve admitted I’m in semi regular contact with) but I know a couple of die hard Blairite MP’s who have admitted that while they still have reservations over Corbyn the manifesto was brilliant and a real boon on the doorstep, they may not be converted to Corbynism but they concede that going radical is our future.

    “Though less fluid individuals might point to where such policies have already proved this is / isn’t a fact”
    Like Norway, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Denmark or the Netherlands? Critics always role out Venezuela which (if one were to actually look at the polices implemented) is not even what Corbyn is trying to emulate while ignoring the vastly more frequent (and closer) success stories.

  7. “Like Norway, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Denmark or the Netherlands?”

    Well those countries no doubt fit in a range somewhere on the political spectrum, but in the main surely these countries have tried Social Democracy not Socialism? (unless for short periods perhaps)

    In which case there’s no comparison really.

  8. Rivers – the diehard Blairites may have accepted that Corbyn’s programme is the best way to win an election, but that does not mean they also believe it is the best way to run a country.

    The other feature of Blairites, of course, is that they really love winning and are prepared to compromise their beliefs in order to do so. I suspect they may keep quiet this parliament, but expect them to make their voices heard if and when there is a Labour government.

  9. BT
    “but in the main surely these countries have tried Social Democracy not Socialism?”

    Depends on how you define it but state ownership of utilities, higher taxes on the rich and big business, partial state planning of the economy, strong unions, open and transparent government, very strong local governance amongst other stuff is what they have implemented and that’s exactly what was contained within Labs manifesto.

    Nobody in Labour (not even Corbyn and McDonnell) is looking to emulate the USSR and ban private property. Labs manifesto was old fashioned Social Democracy, it was only the frothing from the media and punditry which portrayed it as far left loony socialism/communism not seen since the fall of the Berlin wall outside of North Korea.

  10. Polltroll
    That is all to some extent true but they’d look mightily stupid if we won an election on said platform yet they started causing major grief from the backbenches over things like free tuition or energy nationalisation. It would totally vindicate the far lefts accusation that their all “red Tories” and it would quickly erode the patience of more moderate left wingers within the party who are presently the only people stopping Momentum and likes lynching these MP’s.

  11. What separates Scandinavian style social democracy from basket case left wing regimes such as Venezuela is in no small part the level of respect accorded to private property rights. The former operate via taxation by consent (or at least acquiescence), while the latter think nothing of having the state requisition or control the use of property without due process if it sees fit.

    Its arguably unclear how comfortably the current Labour leadership sit on the Scandinavian side of that divide. The most recent Labour manifesto was Scandinavian style. However Corbyn talked about requisitioning property following the Grenfell Tower fire, and I am sure McDonnell has in the past floated the idea of the state taking back shares in the privatised utilities without paying the market rate.

  12. Kieran
    “However Corbyn talked about requisitioning property following the Grenfell Tower fire”
    I think we all know that was populist posturing, when pressed on the issue he or his spokespeople admitted it could take several forms such as compulsory purchase orders, now one can then pick huge holes in that but it was fairly apparent Corbyn and co were just grandstanding knowing full well people were angry and they didn’t need to actually act on their calls.

    “I am sure McDonnell has in the past floated the idea of the state taking back shares in the privatised utilities without paying the market rate”
    Again he has but that was back when he was a backbencher and didn’t have to think properly. Since becoming shadow Chancellor I think all but his biggest critics would admit he’s moderated himself quite a bit as he’s entered the real world and consequently purchase of the utility companies was one of the biggest expenditures in Labs manifesto.

  13. I could be wrong but many of the victims of the Grenfell tower fire been rehoused in the very properties the Daily Mail accused Corbyn of stealing.

  14. Rivers, I tend to think that what politicians say when they are unencumbered by constraints of office and the knowledge that their remarks will receive widespread coverage is a better indicator of their fundamental beliefs than remarks made when they are operating under those constraints.

    I think it’s perfectly fair to conclude that Corbyn and McDonnell are more attached to the idea of a powerful state doing good than they are to the idea that the state must respect private property rights.

  15. Kieran
    “I tend to think that what politicians say when they are unencumbered by constraints of office and the knowledge that their remarks will receive widespread coverage is a better indicator of their fundamental beliefs than remarks made when they are operating under those constraints”

    I agree but we should also agree that being a frontline politician has the effect of moderating you. I have no doubt Corbyn and McDonnell are further to the left than they are acting, just like I had no doubt Milliband was further to the left than he acted when he was leader and conversely I had no doubt Cameron was further to the right than he acted in government. Any serious frontline politician knows you have to pitch yourself carefully to avoid being labelled a frothing extremist.

  16. Also you have to encompass the range of views that make up a political party.

  17. “…but we should also agree that being a frontline politician has the effect of moderating you”.

    It has the effect of moderating the image you choose to project (and the manifesto you choose to put forward), but it doesn’t change your fundamental political beliefs. That’s why I simply don’t think its credible to charcterise Corbyn and McDonnell as simply cuddly, inoffensive Swedish type social democrats. They would implement something more radical than that given half the chance.

    Incidentally I think Cameron is a poor example of a politician who moderated the closer he got to power. He was always something of a pragmatist, and I think there is zero evidence that he ever wanted to tack further to the right than he did. If anything the reverse is the case. He almost certainly didn’t want an EU referendum, and would have preferred coalition MKII to winning a majority in 2015.

  18. Kieran
    “They would implement something more radical than that given half the chance”
    But that’s assuming their own party didn’t moderate them, they may very well drift further left as time went on and we’d probably see the occasional slippage but on the whole the cuddly social democrat persona would last, their certainly not going to win an election and declare us a sa peoples republic.

    “I think there is zero evidence that he ever wanted to tack further to the right than he did”
    There is quite a bit actually the most comical probably being his public “hug a husky” “greenest gov ever” “vote blue, go green” talk and in private him wanting to “cut the green crap”

  19. McDonnell this morning dropping Labour’s pledge to eliminate student debt and saying it was never a promise.

    Possibly this is part of Labour’s biggest problem – a large part of their better than expected result was the large increase in young voter turnout. Is this increase sustainable, particularly when they’re abandoning youth-friendly policies so soon after the election (making them stink of cynicism and opportunism)

  20. Paul D

    I was very interested at the General Election in the way Labour spending plans were largely left with little serious scrutiny. It was as if it did not matter because Labour could NOT win under Corbyn according to received wisdom. Certainly the Tories were criminally inept in their complete lack of criticism of Labour plans. When Labour were cruising to victory in 1997, they intensified the attack on the Tory party not cease most activity to let the Tories hang themselves.

    The young were sold an unrealistic series of policies, that would be difficult to finance given if a government puts taxes up beyond a certain level the disincentive to earn more kicks in and the raising of tax becomes counter productive to the aim. In terms of the sustainability of the young voters supporting Labour, it might be the case that due to Labour being defeated in 2017, the vacuum at the heart of Labour’s tax and spend policies under Corbyn is not exposed and so the young voters who supported Corbyn last time might do the same next time.

    Politics is cyclical like economics, the government has the power to change the direction of travel but that will not happen under the current PM’s leadership.

  21. “Certainly the Tories were criminally inept in their complete lack of criticism of Labour plans.”

    Oh they criticised them all right, but their criticisms fell on deaf ears. Because the criticism was rarely more nuanced than “magic money tree”, because their failure to provide costings for their own manifesto robbed them of their authority on fiscal prudence, and because given the choice between grim reality and false hope, many people understandably chose the latter.

    The Tories’ fault was not that they didn’t criticise Labour. Their fault was that that was all they did.

  22. Paul
    “McDonnell this morning dropping Labour’s pledge to eliminate student debt and saying it was never a promise”

    Lets not be silly here and start rehashing Tory HQ’s line, McDonnell said that they never promised to eradicate student debt and he’s right that wasn’t in the manifesto it was just something Corbyn mentioned once. Labs policy on tuition fees though is still very much alive.

  23. “that would be difficult to finance given if a government puts taxes up beyond a certain level the disincentive to earn more kicks in and the raising of tax becomes counter productive to the aim”

    Who knew that raising tax rates to their 2010 level would have that effect…

  24. I agree with Rivers and PT. Angela Rayner also mentioned this a couple days ago saying the party would not go into the next election with this pledge unless it was costed and could be paid for. Yes there was complacency on the Tories lack of focus on Labours costings. However, PT is 100% on this, you cant go into an election talking about sound finances while refusing to provide any costings. You lose your authority as PT says.

  25. It may have just been something mentioned once but it certainly resonated; I saw it repeated endlessly by Labour voters and supporters on social media. As such I suspect it influenced quite a few voters and they might not be feeling too happy about it now

  26. Paul
    With respect are you sure your not conflating abolishing fee’s and writing off all past debt? The former did resonate and it very much made the rounds on social media etc but the latter never came up once in my experience (social media and in real life amongst my friends) so much so I didn’t even realise Corbyn had raised the issue of past debt until after the election.

    Indeed this is probably demonstrated in that McDonnell’s admission (if you want to call it that) isn’t trending on social media, the only thing from his appearance that’s trending was his gimmick with the pay slip. A cursory search shows only a handful of evidently pro Tory accounts (including the Conservative press office) spinning it as Lab backtracking over its tuition fee pledge, that in of itself is telling, the fact that the Tories are trying to make it seem like Lab have ditched their plans to abolish tuition fee’s rather than the reality.

  27. There was also no point criticising Labour’s (costed) manifesto for spend when nobody knows how much Brexit is going to cost other than it’s going to cost a very, very large amount of money.

  28. Atm thats just anecdotal

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