2015 Result:
Conservative: 24328 (49%)
Labour: 20604 (41.5%)
Lib Dem: 1088 (2.2%)
Green: 1015 (2%)
UKIP: 2595 (5.2%)
MAJORITY: 3724 (7.5%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Hendon, Edgware, Mill Hill.

Profile: A north-west London seat in the borough of Barnet. It is an ethnically diverse seat, with around a third of residents describing themselves as non-white and one of the highest Jewish populations of any seat in the UK (largely in Edgware, which is almost half Jewish and is home to twelve synagogues). Equally the seat has economic contrasts, from the wealthy suburbs of Edgware and Mill Hill to council estates in Burnt Oak and Colindale. The seat also contains the Hendon Police College, the main training centre for the Metropolitan Police.

Politics: The seat was held by Labour from 1997 to 2010, but the predecessor seat Hendon North was safely Conservative, represented by the semi-detached Conservative MP Sir John Gorst who along with Hugh Dykes had threatened to defy the whip and bring down the ailing Major government in an attempt to save the A&E department at Edgware hospital. The result in 2010 was one of the closest in the country and the defeated Labour MP Andrew Dismore initially threatened to seek an election petition due to claimed administrative failures at the election, but ultimately declined to do so quoting reasons of cost. In 2015 it was one of Labour`s easiest targets on paper, but one they failed to gain.

Current MP
MATTHEW OFFORD (Conservative) Born 1969, Alton. Educated at Amery Hill School, Alton and Nottingham Trent University. Former BBC political analyst. Contested Barnsley East and Mexborough 2001. First elected as MP for Hendon in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 19635 (42%)
Lab: 19529 (42%)
LDem: 5734 (12%)
UKIP: 958 (2%)
Oth: 518 (1%)
MAJ: 106 (0%)
Con: 15897 (38%)
Lab: 18596 (44%)
LDem: 5831 (14%)
GRN: 754 (2%)
Oth: 761 (2%)
MAJ: 2699 (6%)
Con: 14015 (34%)
Lab: 21432 (52%)
LDem: 4724 (12%)
UKIP: 409 (1%)
Oth: 271 (1%)
MAJ: 7417 (18%)
Con: 18528 (37%)
Lab: 24683 (49%)
LDem: 5427 (11%)
Oth: 420 (1%)
MAJ: 6155 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MATTHEW OFFORD (Conservative) See above.
ANDREW DISMORE (Labour) Born 1954, Bridlington. Educated at Bridlington Grammar and Warwick University. Solicitor. Westminster councillor 1982-1997. MP for Hendon 1997-2010.
ALASDAIR HILL (Liberal Democrat) Born Moray. Educated at Aberdeen university. Teacher.
RAYMOND SHAMASH (UKIP) Educated at Leeds University. Semi-retired dentist.
BEN SAMUEL (Green) Born 1986. Horiculturalist.
Comments - 340 Responses on “Hendon”
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  1. Was Edgware in
    Harrow 1885-1918
    Hendon 1918-45
    Hendon North 1945-97
    Hendon 1997-present?

  2. Andrew Dismore appears to want the Hendon nomination – fortunately for him, its an Open shortlist….

  3. Matt – the Evening Standard article was vile. Andrew Dismore was a brilliant constituency MP. I for one would welcome his return.

  4. Apparently, the only reason why the Tories took Hendon was because the polling stations closed at 10pm with people waiting outside. Andrew Dismore will come back and retake this seat without a doubt. I suspect the same will happen in Broxtowe, with the return of Nick Palmer.

  5. Ironic if Andrew Dismore wins back Hendon in 2015 and Matthew Offord wins Barnet & Camden in 2016 GLA elections

  6. “Apparently, the only reason why the Tories took Hendon was because the polling stations closed at 10pm with people waiting outside.”

    I’ve heard some weak excuses in my time but …

    Nor have I ever seen pictures of people waiting outside polling stations in this country let alone hundreds of people so doing at 9.59pm.

  7. It would be. I am not sure about Offord in Barnet & Camden, though who knows what will happen in 2006. Dismore winning back Hendon in 2015 is certain.

  8. @Richard, where you around at the last General Election. It did happen in Hendon. It’s not a weak excuse, it is a possibility as Offord only won by 106 votes against a very popular incumbent.

  9. Matthew Offord is not the junior business minister.

  10. Dismore has to get selected first – he is clearly the favourite but nothing is guaranteed

  11. Labour is gauranteed to win this seat without a doubt, Offord should not even both standing in 2015. Dismore is the clear favourite, but you are right, nothing is guaranteed on the selection. There could be others.

  12. A slight change in emphasis there Bob from these idiot voters being the ‘only reason’ why Labour lost to them being a possiblity why Labour lost.

    You would probably need hundreds of voters to be locked out at 10pm for them to be a factor – they’d be trailing round the block. Not that there’s any reason not to lock them out – how long did they have to vote? 15 or 16 hours IIRC.

    And did this only happen in Hendon or did it occur also in the rest of Barnet borough?

    Actually if you look at the swings in Hendon and neighbouring seats Labour did better here:

    Hendon 3.8%
    Chipping Barnet 5.6%
    Finchley 6.2%
    Harrow West 6.2%
    Harrow East 6.6%
    Enfield Southgate 7.2%

    So we have Dismore’s incumbancy already built into the result.

  13. You may very well be right but this what people have apparently been saying. That being said, Labour lost the seat in 2010 but it will regain it in 2015.

  14. “Offord should not even bother standing”

    Is that not going a little over the top? Whether he stands down for whatever reason is another matter, but why should he not stand, just because you don’t like him?

  15. I don’t like him and he is going to lose. If he steps down, he could contest a safer seat elsewhere.

  16. I abhor that process (chickenrunning) – it happened in 1997 in a number of cases, but not since. I would be amazed if any MP of any party did that in 2015.

  17. Why should Offord being given a safe seat elsewhere?

    And if he took one it would show that he doesn’t deserve to be an MP.

  18. Well there is a rumour that CCHQ and trying to get Barwell to stand in Croydon South, to block Boris Johnson returning in 2015 and because they think he will lose his seat (he is also a moderniser and Cameroon). That is a possibility.

  19. “how long did they have to vote? 15 or 16 hours IIRC.”

    15-16 for jobseekers, pensioners and housewives. 5-6 for working people.

    Dismore thought about challenging the result in court but he decided not to do so because it would have costed too much without being guaranteed to win.

    The points he contested were the long queues (“more than an hour”) and some postal votes not received by the voters.

    The allegations also included polling staff at Algernon Road suggesting people at 9PM to leave as they would probably not finisqued the queue by 10PM. But the 15 left on queue at 10 PM were allowed to vote.
    At Dollis Infant School they were apparently closed out when the staff called the police.

    According to Dismore on April 30th 2,500 postal ballots werer still lying on the council offices with council staff going around to hand deliver them.

    It seems the polling staff was caught off guard by having to run local elections at the same time and this “confused “them in pre polling day activiities and made everything slower during polling day.

  20. Richard – Bob has been prone to hyperbole in his short time here, but he is not really exaggerating this time. There were a lot of voters still waiting to vote at 10 pm on polling day, especially in Labour’s strongest wards. The number certainly exceeded the Tory majority.

  21. AWS?

  22. Open.

  23. I still don’t get this long queue business.

    I’ve never experienced it, the opposite in fact.

    Nor have I ever seen it on the news – I’ve seen election reports of them in South Africa and the USA but not in this country.

    Is this not some London myth?

    Now people not being on the electoral register or people being sent postal votes to the wrong address I could understand in London with its high turnover of people.

    But London should have less difficulty dealing with physical voters than rural places because of its compact nature.

  24. why don’t you like matthew offord what has he ever done to you

  25. Who said they didn’t like Offord?

  26. that person called bob

  27. Richard – sometimes long queues can occur, not only or even at all because of huge enthusiasm (though in such a marginal seat there clearly was plenty of interest in 2010), but because the local council has (sometimes to cut costs) not provided an adequate number of polling stations. This certainly occurred in Bicester in the Banbury constituency, where a large new area of housing had been built, but no new polling station had been opened to accommodate the large influx of new voters, and thus there were huge queues even in a low-turnout general election in a safe Tory seat.

  28. Barnaby, please, I have not been prone to hyperbole – you’ve been prone to pessimism!

  29. I don’t think it was limited to London. Sheffield was another place with this problem reported.

    But they are not as long as the ones you see on TV for USA or Africa

    However, it is difficult to quantify as some people claim to have left at one point when the waiting time was too long. And I guess there may be some exaggerations.

    For ex this pic was from a polling station in Newcastle at 9:45
    h ttp://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01631/queueing1_1631293c.jpg

    This was Sheffield Hallam right before the close of the polls
    h ttp://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01631/sheffield-hallam46_1631363c.jpg

  30. The Electoral Commission investigated the issue and produced an interim report. They interviewed Returning Officers of some of the affected areas. They didn’t include Hendon though.

    They established that at 10 PM 100 people were queueing at St. Paul’s Church polling station in Birmingham Ladywood; 134 at Ann Taylor Children’s Centre in Hackney South, 100 at Didsbury United Reformed Church in Manchester Withington, 200 at Ladybarn Community Centre always in Withington, 200 at St John’s Parish Church Ranmoor in Sheffield Hallam, 100 Ecclesall Parish Halls in Hallam

    In Lewsiahm Deptford, Milton Keynes North and Newcastle North all people queueing were let voting.
    In Lewisham they called everybody in and issued the ballot paper just before 10 and then put them in queue again. In Millton Keynes, “Following concerns about the safe
    ty of staff, the (Acting) Returning Officer stopped the queue outside and anyone ahead of that point was allowed to vote” (uhm, I don’t think they would have killed the polling staff!).

    Full report h ttp://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/99091/Interim-Report-Polling-Station-Queues-complete.pdf

  31. If you cannot make it to vote throughout the day then that’s just tough. Polling stations are open long enough to give people a chance to cast their vote.

    I can understand the mix up wih postal votes not being delivered when two elections are held on the same day. It must be extremely chaotic.

  32. There were queues of up to three hours in Sheffield. It’s not good enough to simply say that people had long enough to case their vote early in the day – how could they possibly guess that arriving more than an hour before the polling station shut would be too late?

    These are genuine problems which need addressing before the next general election – and the Electoral Commission report at least shows that they were taken seriously.

    However, unless there was evidence that levels of polling station staffing were part of a deliberate type of gerrymandering, I’m very dubious about the idea of it as grounds for overturning a result.

  33. I’d be a bit suspicious about people all claiming to be from one party turning up at 10pm.

  34. Who said they were all from one party? I don’t believe they were ever asked.

  35. No they weren’t. They could have all been Tories for all we know. All we can say is, given which polling districts they were in, the balance of probabilities suggests that they were likely to be mainly Labour voters.

  36. does anybody rate matthew offord as an mp?

  37. Labour shortlist –

    Andrew Dismore – MP here 1997-2010, Barnet & Camden GLA Member since 2012
    Cate Tuitt – Ex Tower Hamlets councillor and “Justice Commissioner”

  38. In answer to the estimable Sgt Wilson, I’d say that he has made little impact in Parliament, but of course he could be a perfectly OK constituency MP, I don’t know.

  39. Incidentally, re Anthony’s profile of this seat, it’s certainly true that Edgware is the most Jewish ward, but there are substantial Jewish communities in Hendon, Mill Hill & Hale wards too. Probably there are quite a few in the eastern end of W Hendon ward, also.

  40. “Richard – Bob has been prone to hyperbole in his short time here, but he is not really exaggerating this time. There were a lot of voters still waiting to vote at 10 pm on polling day, especially in Labour’s strongest wards. The number certainly exceeded the Tory majority.”

    The local council had five years to prepare for polling day. If they couldn’t organise the election properly despite that they utterly incompetent.

    I did hear that the count was conducted in some kind of tent, although I don’t know how accurate that report was.

    What’s wrong with Hendon town hall where it used to be done?

  41. Perhaps counts there take a long time.
    Mrs Thatcher thought so in 1983.

  42. I am surprised that Labour did not support Dismore in taking this to court in 2010. Had there been a consequent byelection it might have changed the Parliamentary arithmetic a bit so as to make a rainbow coalition somewhat more viable – particularly post – Corby.

  43. Barnaby is correct re the Jewish population. Hendon ward is also very Jewish, and in common with Edgware has quite a strong Orthodox bent. This community does indeed shade over the invisible boundary into the good roads on the eastern half of the West Hendon ward.

    Mill Hill also has a sizeable community, although a bit lower than Edgware or Hendon.

    Most middle-class wards in Barnet LB have a Jewish population to a greater or lesser degree; in all cases way in excess of the national average.

  44. “I am surprised that Labour did not support Dismore in taking this to court in 2010.”

    I’m not so surprised because usually a party or individual contesting a result ends up looking like a sore loser and gets punished at the subsequent by-election. We saw that in Winchester in 1997 and Oldham East in 2011.

    Apparently Peter Hain was interested in the idea of contesting the Tory gain in Cardiff North in 2010 but obviously no-one else in the Labour Party thought it was a good idea.

  45. ‘’m not so surprised because usually a party or individual contesting a result ends up looking like a sore loser and gets punished at the subsequent by-election. We saw that in Winchester in 1997 and Oldham East in 2011.’

    But it has to depend on the strength of the evidence – otherwise returning officers could get away with abusing their positions. I would also have thought that a byelection brought about on account of voters being denied the opportunity to vote would evoke a different voter response to the two examples referred to.

  46. I agree with you that the evidence should be all that matters. But that isn’t how it works in political terms unfortunately. There was a lot of evidence on Gerry Malone’s side in 1997 but that didn’t help him in the by-election.

  47. But the public at large was well aware that there had been a scandal regarding many people being denied the right to vote. Also re the Oldham East by election I would strongly suggest that the LIbDem failure there was almost certainly due to anti-LibDem sentiment leading to a switch to Labour as a result of entering a Tory-led coalition.. I doubt that it had much to do with having forced the by election per se.

  48. Andrew Dismore’s announced on Twitter that he’s won selection.

  49. sour grapes

  50. Come again, JJB?

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