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
Con: 12553 (29%)
Lab: 23377 (55%)
LDem: 3726 (9%)
BNP: 1520 (4%)
Oth: 1461 (3%)
MAJ: 10824 (25%)
Con: 8162 (25%)
Lab: 19009 (59%)
LDem: 3174 (10%)
BNP: 830 (3%)
Oth: 1214 (4%)
MAJ: 10847 (33%)
Con: 7813 (24%)
Lab: 21279 (66%)
LDem: 1958 (6%)
BNP: 705 (2%)
Oth: 648 (2%)
MAJ: 13466 (42%)
Con: 11167 (27%)
Lab: 25458 (62%)
LDem: 3049 (7%)
Oth: 639 (2%)
MAJ: 14291 (35%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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.
Comments - 533 Responses on “Hayes & Harlington”
  1. McDonnell delivering a campaign speech to a backdrop of Soviet Union flags:


    Who thought this was a good idea?

  2. The flags of Assad’s Ba’ath regime make it even worse

  3. ALEX F
    ‘ Tories won in the Foot 1983 GE. Their only win.’

    Not so . The Tories retained the seat comfortably in 1987 and Terry Dicks even managed to squeak home by 52 votes against McDonnell in 1992 – so it had a Tory MP for 14 years.

  4. Boris Johnson either won here, or almost won, in his 2008 mayoral election. It was thought to be a potential Tory gain in 2010 if Cameron got a majority of 50 odd seats, as you will see if you read through the archives of this site.

    This just goes to show how much demographics have changed here even since 2008. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that the Tories will never get close here ever again.

  5. Kind of incredible to think looking back really that in 1992 John McDonnell lost here to Conservative Terry Dicks by just 53 votes.

  6. Well at some point the Tories are bound to raise the IRA thing.

    I don’t think we’ll see very much of it on Newsnight or Andrew Marr, though. It’ll be pumped directly into the newsfeeds of wavering Labour supporters in swing seats, and no-one else will ever see it. That way it can avoid having the scrutiny, and potential backlash, that previous attack ads have suffered.

    Not sure we can really know who is winning the war in cyberspace – Labour obviously has the numbers but it also has far less control over its own message or who sees it. The Tories are running it all behind closed doors are using data science to ruthlessly hammer home their mottoes in an ultra-precise fashion.

  7. The Tories are worried and they should be; Labour are climbing in the polls and nothing the Conservatives do seem to be hurting them. There should at least be some relief that their support is rock solif between 45-50% but still.

    I’m very confident they’re going to really pump out the negative attack ads and slam Labour big time. I’d be very surprised if that doesn’t reduce Labour’s poll numbers because frankly, there is some questionable stuff they can attack. All in all, I’d expect Labour to finish around 30%, not in the mid 30s like they are now.

  8. PT – scrutiny?

    The quotes are there for all to see.

    He can attempt to explain why he said it but his retrospective altering of history isn’t working. He didn’t support the peaceful Irish Nationalists, the SDLP – even more bizarre given that they were the largest Nationalist Party throughout the ’80s and ’90s. He was socialising with terrorists 15 years before any ceasefire. I realise that’ll be popular with maybe 5% of the electorate but it’ll be hated by over 80%.

  9. Lancs
    You are straying very much into partisan territory there, we all know your views on McDonnell/Corbyn/Labour and I think its fair to say that visitors to this site are not going to change their own views based on your arguments. Thus lets just stick to what effect any Tory attack adds might have not the supposed validity of them and how you fully endorse the message.

  10. Very sensible comparison. Not.

  11. If you want to discuss who had the bigger badder terrorist mates go on Reddit.

  12. What! Listen pal, I’m going to continue to try to redress the massive imbalance of propaganda on here from the extreme right wingers. There are countless and regular obviously partisan attacks on the Labour party; completely breaking the rules here.

  13. https://order-order.com/2017/06/05/corbyn-mcdonnell-abbott-voted-to-allow-isis-fighters-to-return-to-Britain

    Again more facts for Alex F et al.

    McDonnell & Corbyn’s problem is that it’s simply the facts that are harming them. They can attempt to explain why but they can’t deny their voting record, the quotes or the photos of them socialising with convicted terrorists.

  14. “David Davis MP CON and Richard Shepherd MP CON voted to allow ISIS fighters to return to the UK”

    Attorney general Dominic Grieve MP CON: “to leave stateless”. former Attorney General, said it was likely to be a “non starter”.

    He pointed out that withdrawing an individual’s passport would effectively make them “stateless”, a breach of UN laws

    And its is illegal under UN law to “for any country to make its citizens.”, he said.

  15. Grieve was overruled on that point of course – after he left office.

    Plus Germany and French have both recently removed the (acquired) citizenship of a few and deported them to the country of their parents’ birth.

    There’s nothing unlawful about that – it’s just rare for it to happen.

    A common misconception is for people to believe being born here makes them UK Nationals. It does not. Those who acquire nationality merely receive indefinite leave to remain. Which means they can always be deported if they commit a crime etc, unlike most of us who have right of abode as our parents were UK Nationals.

  16. What has happened to the decency of the Left? might interest you.

    I haven’t linked to it but is available online and refers specifically both to the accusation of murder McDonnell used, but also the failure to condemn it by most of the Left except for a handful Labour MPs and Peers.

  17. ‘They can attempt to explain why but they can’t deny their voting record, the quotes or the photos of them socialising with convicted terrorists.’

    How is that any worst than Margaret Thatcher having tea with the murdering tyrant General Pinnochet – who if Hell exists will be burning in it this very minute?

  18. ‘What has happened to the decency of the Left? ‘

    What do you know about decency you Right-wing nutter?

  19. Tim
    “How is that any worst than Margaret Thatcher having tea with the murdering tyrant General Pinnochet”

    My advice don’t go banging your head on that brick wall, I’ve made that exact point to several peeps here countless times and they always found a reason why it was supposedly different ranging rom the semi-sensible “Thatcher was in gov and had to make compromises” to the utterly ridiculous “but Chile is a nice country now so clearly Pinochet wasn’t that bad”

    Basically I’ve come to conclude that some peeps here just want to hate Corbyn and McDonnell and will always find some reason to condemn them and when nothing is forthcoming they’ll latch back onto the “terrorist sympathiser” line.

  20. Tim
    Also there is no need for name calling.

  21. Yes agreed about John and Jezza.

  22. That Lancs Observer is a journalist (albeit not a particularly successful one) is astounding and actually quite terrifying. That total inability to see shades of grey in anything would have been a major hindrance one would have thought.

  23. In defence of Tim, Thatchet wasn”t in government when she had tea with the murderous brute General Pinnochet – she did it in her freetime

    And I say thay as someone who holds Thatchet in fairly higj regards, but there was no defence for this. So too Tony Blair who went one step furthet and didn’y just hobknob with tyrants but advised for numerical gain

  24. Tim J & Tristan – you prove my very point by your replies.

    The facts are simply that the cladding pre-dates austerity by years and if Corbyn wants to blame anyone it should be Councils, 17 of which are Labour including his own.

    There’s no grey in that chronology but there is a blatant lie in Corbyn’s chronology.

    Plus if he wants to cite cuts – again the facts show that even in Merseyside fire safety has improved since we’ve had far fewer firefighters and the FBU were possibly the worst case of union militancy (after the RMT & CWU).

    My mate is a firefighter and freely admits they hardly get called to many fires these days. Hardly surprising as 90% of new apartments over the past decade have no gas, but just electricity. They spend most of their time training, doing school visits and fitting smoke alarms.

  25. Grenfell is a manifestation of the violence waged silently every day against the lives of the poor – an entirely avoidable tragedy generated by the housing crisis, austerity, deregulation and outsourcing


  26. The cladding did not predate austerity. It predated the Tory government which isnt the same thing. The changes introduced by Blair do hold councils liable for fire safety. However, by 2020 Leicester council will have a budget deficit of 50 million. That’s not because its a Labour council. Its making the same cuts the Tories would be if they were in charge. The problem is councils are responsible for their services but there is little in the way of funding them.

  27. Matt W – it absolutely did.

    Over 80% of Cladding was fitted during the Blair spending years, a decade prior to the credit crunch of 2008.

    What you allege could only be true if cladding was the cheap decision taken under the Brown or DC Govts.

    Indeed ALL of the cladding fitted on non-residential buildings in the North West (schools, hospitals, libraries and sports centres) was added in the years 1998 – 2006, under PFI schemes.

    McDonnell & Corbyn simply shot at the wrong target.

  28. I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with, the cladding predates this government

  29. Yes. Some cladding was put up whilst the then Labour Party were in Govt but austerity cuts resulting in cuts to council building Inspectors; fire safety officers; fire safety visits. ..etc would have contributed to the issues and problems not being discovered or for them to be ignored.

  30. Alex

    Possibly, but nobody knows that yet. Being so utterly simplistic like this for political gain is Corbyn and McDonnell at their worst, and undermines any perception of their being genuinely caring, to be frank.

    There is also what I call the ‘long-term’ argument over whether austerity is – again simplistically – a ‘choice’ or a ‘necessity’, and whether the alternative economic policies put forward by Corbyn and McDonnell would eventually – the precise date is obviously too hard to pin down – lead to the economy crashing and therefore so absolutely super-sized austerity and cuts to everything of a scale we have not seen the like of; and where both ‘the many and the few’ are very much worse off.

    This is obviously not a discussion for these pages, so I will not go further than put this choice, a bit crudely I admit, on the table. My point being, that you still speak as if wicked Tories decided it would be good to make everyone (or at least the poor) less safe and so decided to cut x, y and z budget, rather than even recognising the possibility that the alternative to some cuts in budgets like this (even if you accept this simplistic ’cause and effect’ without the hard facts which we don’t have yet) that those wicked Tories actually believed in, would have led to much worse cuts before too long. Why would any of us wish this on the people of next decade, simply speaking?

    You don’t have to agree with the Tories here, you are entitled to take the opposite view you do. But it would be well to recognise that it’s also a mainstream opinion that your party’s preferred policies would have led / lead to 10 x the bad effects that we did have, and by ‘austerity now’ we were avoiding ’10 x austerity’ and utter ruin later.

  31. I never post like this till quite recently. I’m fed up of the Tory – actually it’s more accurate to say anti Labour party – fraternity posting very biased opinions / news reports etc.

    As for austerity – disagree with you. There IS an alternative. But let’s leave it there.

  32. What alternative would that be? Ha ha

  33. BT
    “But it would be well to recognise that it’s also a mainstream opinion that your party’s preferred policies would have led / lead to 10 x the bad effects that we did have, and by ‘austerity now’ we were avoiding ’10 x austerity’ and utter ruin later”

    By mainstream you mean the punditry, politicians, most journalists and the wealthy? As for most economists they said Labs policies were sound, indeed more than a few helped Lab formulate them.

    In the interest of being non partisan I’m not going to level any critiques on Tory economic policy (at this particular moment) 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.

    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.

  34. Comments policy? Anyone think it might be good if it were observed?

  35. Yes I agree

  36. Matt W – I was correcting your false claim: “the cladding did not predate austerity.”

    It did by a decade.

  37. Austerity predates the the cladding

  38. ” . . . 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).

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. “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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

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