2015 Result:
Conservative: 29696 (59.3%)
Labour: 11235 (22.4%)
Lib Dem: 2777 (5.5%)
UKIP: 6383 (12.7%)
MAJORITY: 18461 (36.9%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Hertfordshire. The whole of the Hertsmere council area.

Main population centres: Borehamwood, Radlett, Bushey, Potters Bar, Elstree.

Profile: A collection of middle class commuter towns just outside the boundary of Greater London. Potters Bar and Radlett are affluent Conservative voting towns, in contrast to the more working-class overspill development of Borehamwood, with along with neighbouring Elstree is mostly associated with the film and television industry. For many years there were major film studios here for MGM and Associated British Films and major productions like 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Shining and Where Eagles Dare were filmed here. The MGM studios and much of the ABF studios have now been demolished and redeveloped, but the Elstree studios where Big Brother is filmed and BBC Elstree, home of the Eastenders set, both remain. Hertsmere has the third highest Jewish population of any seat in the country.

Politics: A safe Conservative seat, held relatively easily by the party since its creation in 1983, most famously by Cecil Parkinson.

Current MP
OLIVER DOWDEN (Conservative) First elected as MP for Hertsmere in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 26476 (56%)
Lab: 8871 (19%)
LDem: 8210 (17%)
UKIP: 1712 (4%)
Oth: 2001 (4%)
MAJ: 17605 (37%)
Con: 22665 (53%)
Lab: 11572 (27%)
LDem: 7817 (18%)
Oth: 518 (1%)
MAJ: 11093 (26%)
Con: 19855 (48%)
Lab: 14953 (36%)
LDem: 6300 (15%)
Oth: 397 (1%)
MAJ: 4902 (12%)
Con: 22305 (44%)
Lab: 19230 (38%)
LDem: 6466 (13%)
Oth: 644 (1%)
MAJ: 3075 (6%)

2015 Candidates
OLIVER DOWDEN (Conservative)
RICHARD BUTLER (Labour) Born Edgware. AV engineer. Hertsmere councillor since 2011.
SOPHIE BOWLER (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 145 Responses on “Hertsmere”
  1. Graham’s 9:46pm post has to be a wind up, surely? Please, someone reassure me.

  2. HH
    ‘Though I’d never dream of trying to impose my own moral choices on others like the post above.’

    I don’t seek to impose my views – but I am entitled to dispose of my estate as I see fit!

    ‘Graham’s 9:46pm post has to be a wind up, surely? Please, someone reassure me.’

    It is not a wind up at all – why should it be? Not everyone is a sheep – and I happen to abide by the moral standards of circa 1965 – which is a long way from having a Victorian outlook.

  3. Fair enough. I would’ve thought all this chat about your estate would be considered rather vulgar for a leftie, but hey ho. I’m not even sure that your nieces/ nephews would expect anything from you anyway (I certainly don’t…not that any of my aunts or uncles have much to give away anyway).

  4. My comments simply reflect my view that it is the parents of illegitimate children who should be penalised – not the innocent children.

  5. I know cohabiting couples who are superb parents and married couples who are terrible parents. It’s impossible to generalise as you are doing.

    I’d have thought your Ian Paisleyite views would make you, erm, pretty uncomfortable with today’s Labour party.

  6. HH
    I suspect that Clement Attlee, Jim Callaghan and John Smith would agree with me!

  7. If you read Hansard for 1993-94 John Smith was scathing about back to basics and in particular Major/Lilley demonising single mothers, so I think you’re almost certainly wrong about him.

    Attlee and Callaghan were men of their time

  8. Christianity and other religions teach us that sex outside marriage is wrong; but there has never been a tiime in which sex outside marriage has not happened. Nor is there likely to be such a time in future.

    What is really wrong is when people deny responsibility for their actions, particularly when this involves people such as disabled children who are unable to look after themselves. And in this I am thinking not only of money but also of love.

    Jim Callaghan was MP for Cardiff South for 38 years, and was known as a particuarly diligent local MP long before he became Prime Minister. No doubt during this time he will have come across many difficult constituency cases and although he was, I believe, a sincere Methodist I am sure he will have handled such cases with great sympathy. And I doubt whether Attlee was different in that respect.

    Not least, Callgham and his agent, Jack Brooks, did a lot to keep the many young men in his constituency who came from difficult circumstances on the “straight and narrow”, in particular by setting up (whatever one thinks of the sport) amateur boxing clubs. where they would learn to obey the strict rules and honour code of a tough game. I must say that I wonder, given this orientation, what Callaghan thought of Parkinson’s evidently selfish and self-serving hedonism. Actually, I don’t wonder. He would have found it contemptible.

    Finally, don’t forget the maxim: hate the sin but love the sinner.

  9. Graham is nearly as much of an asshole as Cecil Parkinson.

  10. HH
    I too have every sympathy for single mothers who are divorced, separated or widowed. I have also always taken the view that absent fathers should be pursued relentlessly by the authorities. The taxpayer should not pick up the bill for their failure to carry out their responsibilities.

  11. I wonder what love and support Graham gives to his neice’s daughter or son. although as he is a private person it is his own business.I would not personally make a will on the lines that Graham has done.

  12. As an uncle I feel no obligation to provide for a niece or nephew anyway – though immoral behaviour has led to me ruling it out entirely and I have opted to make a significant donation to a children’s hospice instead. Support for my niece and her child is a matter for her parents – though she has since married.

  13. Sounds very much like you are unmarried and childless yourself….so in your infirmity you may well need help and support from your “immoral” niece.

  14. I doubt it – we live 350 miles apart!

  15. And the best part of a century apart too.

  16. ‘And the best part of a century apart too.’

    Hardly – 1965 is but half a century. Moreover, when I was at university in the mid-1970s my views would have still been seen as mainstream – certainly in relation to student members of the various denominational groups there. That was well after the Permissive Society had taken hold.

  17. I’m very happy that other regular contributors to this site have questioned Graham.

    It is scary to me that these views still exist. As a happily coupled up gay man his views don’t affect me in the slightest, yet I find them offensive. If he ever dared question a female relative of mine, he’d be reading a bunch of fives. Narrow minded bigot.

  18. I suggest that Tristan consults the mirror more closely to catch sight of a bigot. Since when has it become unreasonable to continue to adhere to traditional Christian views that were very much the norm for the first three quarters of the 20th century? Others are entitled to change their views over time, but that imposes no obligation on everybody else to follow them.

  19. @Tristan people are entitled to believe whatever they want however ridiculous you or I may think it to be. For example Graham is perfectly entitled to disapprove of LGBT people or people who have children out of wedlock even though I very strongly disagree. What Graham or people like him cannot (or shouldn’t) be allowed to do is turn their prejudices into government policy.

    For example I believe that the world would be a far better place if organised religion did not exist. It seems very clear to me that holy books like the Bible and the Quran are obvious frauds packed full of highly unpleasant fairy stories. I am perfectly entitled to hold this view and people (like probably Graham) are perfectly entitled to be offended by it. Of course I do not have the right to ban organised religion and conversely religious people do not have the right to stop me thinking it or expressing my views.

    In short we live in a free country and opinions are allowed regardless of if you think they are offensive or archaic. The problem comes when people try to impose their beliefs on others (of which religion is one of the worst culprits). The right to offend others and to be offended in return is something to be cherished not sneered at.

  20. @Pepperminttea.
    I find your comments to be entirely fair. May I add that I do not seek to impose my views on others but do react when people object to my failure to follow the herd. I have,for example, declined to attend a few church weddings because I was aware that the couple involved were cohabiting and to me such a service was hypocritical. On the other hand I do attend civil wedding ceremonies for such couples.

  21. “I have,for example, declined to attend a few church weddings because I was aware that the couple involved were cohabiting and to me such a service was hypocritical.”

    TBH I’m surprised you are ever invited to any. You sound like a sad and bitter old man who is jealous of the happiness of others.

  22. HH
    That’s a surprisingly bitter comment from you. I am not quite sure that I qualify to be an old man having been born in the mid-1950s, but I fail to see that sticking to my principles whilst others cast them aside somehow makes me bitter or jealous. In fact, I am neither – but that does not mean that I have to change my views on standards of personal morality simply because so many others have chosen to do so.

  23. Hertsmere votes Leave by 50.8% to 49.2%.

  24. Clean sweep in Hertsmere at County Council. Only remaining Lab division, held by their leader at county, taken by 200.

    UKIP, who had been second in 5/7 divisions, fallen away sharply.

    Oliver Dowden will be comfortably reelected in May with increased majority.

  25. You mean June 😛

  26. An interesting By-election today here.

    Borehamwood Kenilworth ward, 05.10.17:

    Labour 383
    Cons 341
    LD 144
    Ind 91
    UKIP 54

    Turnout: 22%.

    I say interesting for these reasons:

    1. The Returning Officer apologised that the By-election was called on Sukkot, in this heavily Jewish area.
    2. The Lab candidate is the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and former asst to the Chief Rabbi.
    3. The Independent candidate was named Stack and may have cost the Tory (named Strack) some votes and even the seat.

  27. Borehamwood has few Jewish residents. Elstree itself has far more. And my Kosher butcher doesn’t close for Succoth until Wednesday next week.

  28. Here are the exact % figures (don’t know why Lancs failed to include them)

    Borehamwood Kenilworth (Hertsmere)
    LAB: 37.8% (-9.1)
    CON: 33.7% (-19.4)
    LDEM: 14.2% (+14.2)
    IND: 9.0% (+9.0)
    UKIP: 5.3% (+5.3)

    Lab Gain from Con

  29. Also could I once again (without meaning to be annoying) please request that with local by-elections they all be posted on one thread? The sky didn’t fall in when I did this last week and spamming each respective seat thread with results is silly especially given how unremarkable some of the results are and thus nobody is going to comment on them. also given that with local by-elections the analysis generally is condensed down into a conclusion off the night as a whole rather than each individual result it makes much more sense to have all the results in one place so we can say for example “a good night for Labour” etc

    Thank you

  30. It would make sense to place them in the “Labour targets” page, since we’re generally judging these results in terms of “can Labour pick up X marginal at the next election?”

  31. Polltroll
    Indeed but I leave that up to whoever posts first’s discretion, point is wherever they post them (so long as its on a single thread) everybody will see them since once again the earlier posted results have been pushed off the “recent comments” tab due to spamming on different threads. Its not so big a deal this week since it was the more unremarkable results that have been lost but the other week the most interesting result of the night (Labs totally out of the blue win in Thetford) went totally uncommented upon cos the ten other (mundane) results pushed it off the tab…thus a complete waste of everybody’s time.

  32. The other thing I’d really appreciate is that where comparative figures are given, which year was the last election.

    By net equivalent vote share criteria, Labour ‘won’ the local elections by 2% in 2014, and by 1% in 2016, but the Tories must have ‘won’ in 2015 (by about 6%?) as the local elections were held on the same day as the General Election.

    Because of this, any kind of swing to Labour against a 2014 or 2016 contest is a good result for them, because the polls generally show Lab 1-2 % ahead at the moment.

  33. Borehamwood isn’t far from where I’m from. In this part of the world the turnout seems to kill Labour of recent. There are a slew of seats Labour have won between 2011-2014 theyve then lost in a GE year when turnout is double that.

  34. Borehamwood Cowley Hill (Hertsmere) result:

    LAB: 59.8% (+3.4)
    CON: 32.2% (-11.5)
    UKIP: 4.8% (+4.8)
    LDEM: 1.7% (+1.7)
    GRN: 1.5% (+1.5)

    Labour GAIN Borehamwood Cowley Hill (Hertsmere) from Conservative.

  35. Judging by the percentages this must have been a multi-member ward?

  36. Yep, the previous Conservative councillor was third of three in the last all-outs.

  37. This was always a near-certain Labour gain, but the swing will be pleasing to the party’s supporters.

  38. Yes, this was caused by the Conservative Cllr David Burcombe, being convicted of sexual assault in July 2016.

    Sadly the by-election has only just taken place, as he appealed twice and the Court of Appeal only dismissed the latter in November.

    It seems he was very lucky indeed to have ever won: he was the only Tory to ever do so in this ward and only took the third seat by 27 votes on a General Election turnout, although as Andrew Teale details Labour have been underperforming in this Jewish area over the past decade.

    Unusually the Labour victor is still a Cllr in Barnet.

  39. I would be (for obvious reasons) be very interested to know the percentage of Jewish voters in the Borehamwood wards, as opposed to Elstree proper, or Radlett. Surely it’s far lower? My Kosher butcher however insists that it’s quite high, though the business is in Ealing, a long way away from Borehamwood. Not sure where he lives but it’s not in the Elstree or Borehamwood area I don’t think. (I could ask him, I’m going there today…..)

  40. I think the Jewish population in Borehamwood has increased somewhat in recent times (I know of a few who have “migrated” there and the synagogue is very popular, judging by the time I visited just over a year or so ago for a Bar Mitzvah).

  41. I used to visit a friend in Borehamwood. He worked for a short time lighting fires on the Sabbath. I always got the impression the Jewish population was larger in Borehamwood than Radlett

  42. I may have a slightly inflated idea of the Jewish proportion of the population in Radlett since I have a cousin there.

  43. I think Andrew Teale said this ward was in the top 100 Jewish wards in the UK, may be as high as in the top 75.

    So over 20% if not a plurality (I only know of a dozen or so that are).

  44. I haven’t posted here for a long time but was brought over by some unpleasant trolling that occurred on some other threads and started browsing some of my local seats.
    Obviously I’m responding to some quite old posts here but felt the need to make a few nerdish points in reply to some of the preceding posts.

    Cowley Hill is in the top 100 Jewish wards in the UK but one could hardly describe it as a ‘Jewish area’. Because the overall number of Jews in the UK is quite low and because they are mostly concentrated in a small number of wards, there will be plenty of wards in the top 100 (as opposed to say the top 20) which do not really have a large Jewish population. Cowley Hill is such a case – the Jewish percentage in 2011 was just under 6% but this was high enough to rank it number 68 nationally on this measure.
    The ward which ranks as number 100 on this measure was nearby Park Street (St Albans) which had a Jewish percentage of just 4%. A ward which has a 4% muslim population would not be in the top 1,000 on that measure.

    On the comparisons between Radlett and Borehamwood, the latter has a numerically larger Jewish population but it is around 4 or 5 times larger than Radlett so in percentage terms the Jewish population is much larger in Radlett where it forms something like 25-30% of the population based on the 2011 census.
    Aldenham East which covers the greater part of the town was 31% Jewish (rank 10) while Aldenham West was 21% (19th).
    Aldenham West includes a few villages outside of Radlett such as Aldenham itself which are much less Jewish so most of the Jewish population would be in the part of the ward which is in Radlett.

    Elstree ward itself has a higher proportion of Jews than Radlett at 36% (rank 4) but the other Borehamwood wards are much lower (Brookmeadow 18% (23), Hillside 13.6% (32), Kenilworth 11% (36) and Cowley Hill just 6% (68).

    There isn’t really a distinction between what Barnaby calls ‘Elstree proper’ and Borehamwood, despite the names of the current wards. Elstree-Borehamwood is a single parish (originally just called Elstree).
    While the boundary between Elstree ward and the neighbouring wards in Borehamwood is the railway line, prior to 1999 the ward extended all the way up to Furzehill Road. In other words Elstree ward is just the middle class residential part of the whole ‘conurbation’.
    There is in practice a distinction between Elstree village (the small settlement on the A5) and the far more populous part of the ward which forms part of the built up area. Interestingly most of Elstree village was not even in Hertsmere until the 1990s as the area south of the A411 was within the boroughs of Harrow and Barnet. The bulk of the population of Elstree village is in the area south of Watford Road and west of Elstree hill which until the 1990s formed part of the Canons ward of Harrow and though that is also a very Jewish ward, this area is not as it consists mostly of council built housing. So Elstree village itself is significantly less Jewish than the ward as a whole with much larger concentrations in the area around Deacons Hill Road and Barham Avenue (a couple of the LSOAs in that area are approaching 50% Jewish).

    So taking Elstree-Borehamwood as a whole the Jewish percentage is around 16%, taking the four wards with the prefix ‘Borehamwood’ separately (though there is as I say no particular logic in doing so) it is around 12% – clearly much lower than in Radlett (and also much lower than in Bushey)

  45. Hi Pete. Hope all is well. This is the real Joe. There is somebody writing unpleasant posts pretending to be me. Fortunately I picked 2 of these up yesterday. I don’t post often now so lucky I saw them. I suspect it’s probably an LD supporter who is aware of several other long standing posters. Regards Joe

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