Hornchurch & Upminster

2015 Result:
Conservative: 27051 (49%)
Labour: 11103 (20.1%)
Lib Dem: 1501 (2.7%)
BNP: 193 (0.3%)
Green: 1411 (2.6%)
UKIP: 13977 (25.3%)
MAJORITY: 13074 (23.7%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Havering council area.

Main population centres: Hornchurch, Upminster, Cranham, Harold Hill.

Profile: The most north-eastern seat in London, where the metropolis gives out to the green belt and open farmland around Upminster. It is mostly an affluent, middle-class residential area of owner-occupied housing, giving way to smaller villages like Noak Hill, though there is also a large LCC overspill estate at Harold Hill. The M25 passes through the seat (indeed, it is the only Greater London seat that includes significant area from outside the M25).

Politics: The seat was created in 2010 from the merger of the old Hornchurch and Upminster seats, pitting two Conservative MPs against one another for the selection. In the event Angela Watkinson was successful, leaving James Brokeshire to look for a seat elsewhere, ending up in Old Bexley and Sidcup. Both Hornchurch and Upminster were won by Labour in their 1997 landslide, but were swiftly won back by the Conservatives, the combined seat can be considered as very solidly Tory.


Current MP
ANGELA WATKINSON (Conservative) Born 1941, Leytonstone. Educated at Wanstead County High School. Former council officer. Havering councillor 1994-1998, Essex councillor 1997-2001. First elected as MP for Upminster in 2001. Government whip 2010-2012. Made a DBE in 2012 for public and political service. She is a former member of the Monday Club, forced to resign in 2001 when Iain Duncan Smith ruled it was no longer compatible with membership of the Conservative party.
Past Results
2010
Con: 27469 (51%)
Lab: 11098 (21%)
LDem: 7426 (14%)
BNP: 3421 (6%)
Oth: 3976 (7%)
MAJ: 16371 (31%)
2005*
Con: 16820 (49%)
Lab: 10778 (31%)
LDem: 3128 (9%)
BNP: 1174 (3%)
Oth: 2777 (8%)
MAJ: 6042 (17%)
2001
Con: 15410 (46%)
Lab: 14169 (42%)
LDem: 3183 (9%)
UKIP: 1089 (3%)
MAJ: 1241 (4%)
1997
Con: 16315 (39%)
Lab: 19085 (46%)
LDem: 3919 (9%)
MAJ: 2770 (7%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Upminster

Demographics
2015 Candidates
ANGELA WATKINSON (Conservative) See above.
PAUL MCGEARY (Labour) Educated at Campion Grammar School and University of East London. Project manager. Havering councillor since 2010.
JONATHAN MITCHELL (Liberal Democrat)
LAWRENCE WEBB (UKIP) Former electrician. Havering councillor. Contested Hornchurch 2005, Hornchurch and Upminster 2010. Contested London region 2009, 2014 European elections. UKIP London mayor candidate 2012.
MELANIE COLLINS (Green) Retired health worker.
PAUL BORG (BNP)
Links
Comments - 245 Responses on “Hornchurch & Upminster”
  1. Andy JS, you go away. Your posts are perennially pointless and you add nothing to this site either.

    I think I have stumbled upon the boys with ‘mother issues’ who are desperate to stick up for rancid old ‘Dame’ Angela.

  2. With respect, you sound like a silly little boy with nothing better to do. There are a significant number of valued contributors on this site, Andy JS very much amongst them. You are not amongst that number.

  3. I personally haven’t met a single person who doesn’t think that plain packaging of cigarettes is a pointless idea. I fail to see how her stance will damage her, especially in this highly Essex Man seat.

  4. H Hemmelig- I quite agree. This is pretty desperate stuff.

  5. Paul Borg selected as BNP candidate, their second after Boston & Skegness:

    http://www.bnp.org.uk/news/national/london-bnp-announces-candidate-hornchurch-upminster-parliamentary-election

  6. Tory hold 12500 maj over UKIP

  7. Con majority 12,000 over UKIP sounds a good prediction to me.

    Haven’t been to this seat too often in my lifetime. It’s similar to the borough of Epsom and Ewell in a lot of respects particulary around Upminster itself.

    Though nowadays Epsom (in Surrey) seems more London demographic wise than Upminster (which is Greater London).

  8. Conservative Hold. 10,000 maj

  9. Very surprised that Angela Watkinson is supporting Remain according to Guido’s list.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vp6viBi5DA4avMgR2Y8lKrrAUqJp-0zL2LZB6iVD3uU/edit#gid=450656551

  10. Yes – if that’s so.
    The split is massive and clearly quite a lot of middle people suddenly got very concerned when they saw how difficult it was to reform it.

  11. ‘Very surprised that Angela Watkinson is supporting Remain according to Guido’s list.’

    Whilst there are a handful of staunch right-wingers supporting Remain – Roger Gale, Jonathan Djanogly, Micheal Fallon, Nick Herbert, Mark Pawsey, David Gauke, Dame Angela Watkinson would be the most surprising of all as she;’s long been considered one of the arch Tory Eurosceptic MPs

    Surely Staines can’t be right

  12. Has Watkinson been an arch Eurosceptic? Certainly on the right on abortion and so forth, but can’t remember her ever being particularly vocal on Europe. I’d also question whether Roger Gale is a ‘staunch right-winger’. David Gauke certainly isn’t. As for Nick Herbert he is being used as an example of somebody who was supposedly ‘Eurosceptic’ but now wants to stay in, but given how strongly he’s come out for In I’d be surprised if he ever wanted to leave – I think he’s always been a no to Euro, yes to EU.

    The most surprising conversions to me are Mark Pritchard and Michael Fallon to In (for Fallon his role as Defence Secretary seems to take precedence over everything else); Boris, Sarah Wollaston and Nadhim Zahawi to Out.

  13. Some mistake surely…..

  14. ‘Has Watkinson been an arch Eurosceptic? Certainly on the right on abortion and so forth, but can’t remember her ever being particularly vocal on Europe.’

    Watkinson described herself as a “lifelong Eurosceptic’ and she must be the only member of the extremely right-wing Monday Club to support Remain

    I’d also question whether Roger Gale is a ‘staunch right-winger’. David Gauke certainly isn’t.’

    Whilst I know young Tories are known for being on the extreme Right and describving anyone who doesn’t subscribe to that very narrow orthodoxy as Lefties but whatever political persuasion you come from Gale, Gauke and Nick Herbert are clearly on the Right of both the Tory party and British politics in general

    Whilst he seems to have moderated a bit since his introduction into government, David Gauke was one of the ‘metric martyrs’, Roger Gale is very socially Conservative, being a hanger and a flogger and Nick Herbert is so Right-wing one of his political ambitions was to privatise the NHS – a stance I’m sure he’s backed away from since his election in 2005

    ‘The most surprising conversions to me are Mark Pritchard and Michael Fallon to In (for Fallon his role as Defence Secretary seems to take precedence over everything else); Boris, Sarah Wollaston and Nadhim Zahawi to Out.’

    For the outers, Sarah Wollaston and Borris are a surprise yes although those who most catch the eye are Andrew Tyrie (Chichester) and Richard Fuller (Bedford) – two MPs squarely on the Left of the Tory Party and who as far as I’m aware have never been vocal in their Euroscepticism

  15. @Tim

    I am on what you might call the left of the Tory party – pro-Cameron and pro-EU. In fact probably somewhat to the left of Cameron because he has had to compromise with the right of the party.

  16. David Gauke may have been further to the right pre-government, but he’s been in the Treasury for six years during which he’s been entirely on message. It would have been a shock if he broke with Osborne to back Brexit.

    Roger Gale is hard to place because his views vary between issues. He is a strong opponent of fox hunting, for instance, and is a former president of Conservative Trade Unionists. But true that he’s been on the right on other issues. He set out his EU position here – http://www.rogergale.co.uk/content_manager/pagevw0045.html

  17. “He is a strong opponent of fox hunting, for instance, and is a former president of Conservative Trade Unionists”

    There were plenty of hanging and flogging trade unionists, in the days when the unions were mostly made up of ordinary workers rather than teachers and nurses. Gale is an old fashioned social conservative with more moderate views on economic matters.

    “I am on what you might call the left of the Tory party – pro-Cameron and pro-EU. In fact probably somewhat to the left of Cameron because he has had to compromise with the right of the party.”

    Would you say you were to the left or right of me?

  18. ‘I am on what you might call the left of the Tory party’

    I’ve long argued this is part of an ever-diminishing band although having said that with a Corbyn-led Labour party and with the Lib Dems in such small numbers as to almost render them irrelevant – with great sadness I must say – those in the centre of British politics have found themselves somewhat homeless since last year’s elections

    I’ve found Cameron himself considerably more agreeable since the election and if it weren’t for the fact that he consistently caves in to the Right – putting party over country – or more importantly that he won’t be here after the next election, I’d certainly consider voting for him – just through default more than anything else – and I doubt very much I’m the only centrist thinking such

    The problem Cameron has is that he leads a party that is considerably more conservative and less pragmatic than he is – and whoever succeeds him is likely to be considerably more to the Right

  19. I agree with every word of Tim Jones’ post, and feel the same way.

    I hope the Tories do appreciate that Cameron remains by far their strongest asset (and has been for the last 10+ years). The constant ramping of Johnson
    (not necessarily on this site to be fair) is hugely tiresome and really overblown. It was similar for the non entity that is Theresa May (although not recently).

  20. Theresa May who, incidentally, I predict is finished as a serious leadership contender, even if Remain win easily. Her former admirers in the right wing press will never forgive her, and the moderate wing of the Tory party must be pretty leery of her too.

  21. Wow! What’s happening here! Forumers on this site have always been (on the whole) polite and courteous towards one another! Shocking!

    *Gets popcorn! Haha!

  22. @HH

    Based on your posts I would place myself somewhat to the left of you on immigration and other social issues, perhaps slightly to the right on economics. But not much in it.

    @Tim

    It is just possible that Cameron’s legacy will be the rebirth of centrist Tories just as Thatcher (having dealt with a Heathite party for much of her premiership) inspired a generation – possibly two generations – of rather more ideological and right-wing Tories. The irrelevance of the LDs and the end of New Labour certainly makes that more likely. At grassroots level I think younger (student etc.) are more likely to be moderate, particularly on social issues, Europe, immigration etc. Though some are going down the libertarian route which takes things a bit too far for me. Among MPs there is some evidence the 2015 intake are a bit less right-wing than the 2010 intake, but not across the board and there is certainly no drastic shift. It would be interesting to compare the European positions between the two intakes as an indicator – I’m sure someone will once everyone has declared.

    @Tristan

    I think realistically May’s hopes were scuppered by winning the GE. With Boris still Mayor, and George sinking with DC, May would probably have been favourite in a 2015 contest (though favouritism isn’t always to be sought after in leadership contests). By 2019 she’ll be 62 – not too old by any means, but hardly the inspiring choice for the future. I agree that she’s pissed off too many people on both sides, I think mainly because her whole focus has been doing what’s best for her record and reputation as Home Secretary, which has often crossed the ideological divides (suits her to be anti-EU when talking about immigration but pro-EU when it comes to fighting terrorism, for instance). The next leader should probably be somebody relatively fresh anyway, not someone coming into office with 10 years of governing behind them (that didn’t work out very well for Brown).

  23. ‘The 2015 intake are a bit less right-wing than the 2010 intake’

    If you take the EU out of the equation, I’d argue that neither intake was anywhere near as right-wing as some on the Left would have you believe, certainly not when compared to the intakes of 1997 and 2001

    ‘The constant ramping of Johnson is hugely tiresome and really overblown.’

    I think even politically Johnson will come to rue siding with the ‘Out’ campaign as prior to that he was establishing himself as the most likely candidate of the centre left and yet will have alienated many of his likely supporters by supporting Brexit (I hate that word)

  24. Jack Sheldon- very good points.

    Tim- agree with that. It’s a bit like May’s anti immigration speech to the party conference last year…short term it’s a successful strategy for favourable headlines in the Mail and the Telegraph. Long term I don’t think it was a smart move. The right wing press are currently having a Boris love in, but these things can change very quickly.

  25. ‘agree with that. It’s a bit like May’s anti immigration speech to the party conference last year…short term it’s a successful strategy for favourable headlines in the Mail and the Telegraph.’

    No one can beat the speech given by David Hunt at the 93 party conference

    Hunt – a prominent wet in government at the time – gave a very right-wing, anti Europe,anti-immigration speech at the conference to which he got a standing ovation

    He found himself sacked at the next reshuffle in a rare showing of metle by John Major who never forgave him for ‘selling out in a crass attempt to curry favour with the grass roots

  26. Tristan:

    Boris Johnson is the most popular UK politician according to recent polling, not David Cameron.

  27. Most popular politician does not always translate into “most plausible prime minister”, and I would argue certainly not in this case.

    OK I’m biased, I’ve never been able to stand Boris. I’ve only voted for a non-Tory candidate once in 22 years of voting and that was because I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Johnson (in 2008).

    I got the measure of him early on at a Tory association dinner just after the 2001 election, where he was the after dinner speaker. His entire speech consisted of reading out job adverts from The Guardian – cue much hilarious laughter from blue rinse ladies about “seeking black disabled lesbian outreach officer” etc etc. Until he got to the advert about a “school trip safety co-ordinator” or somesuch….little did he know that one of the activists in the audience had tragically lost her child on a school trip. And his speech suddenly collapsed like a lead balloon.

    To me this is the essence of Boris, he is extremely lazy and shameless in playing to the gallery for some cheap popularity, but once in a while he puts his foot right in it and it shows him for the charlatan that he is. I’d have a very tough time voting Tory in 2020 if Johnson is leader though against Corbyn I’d feel duty bound to….happily I think his chances are slimmer than they seem at face value.

  28. I’ve never found Boris very convincing when interviewed one-to-one, he just blusters. His EU stance is more about him than the EU, his hope of becoming PM.

  29. Boris must be taken seriously IMO. He may crash once he gets a proper ministerial office, which is far more demanding and technical than the mayoralty (I personally hope they give him Health or DWP to make him master detail), but for now he is popular, including among at least one of the groups that choose the next leader (the activists) and has reach across the party that others don’t.

    Most of his likely opponents are either way out right (surely the party has more sense than to copy Labour’s error) or haven’t backed Brexit, which is bound to handicap them. I personally don’t see George Osborne winning – and if he isn’t going to win he might not even run – and we have discussed the problems any Theresa May candidacy would face. That leaves Nicky Morgan (too far to the left for the activists to countenance, though she may do surprisingly well with 2010 and 2015 MPs intake IMO), Sajid Javid (not having the best run, and has pissed both sides off with his EU article) and the right of the party, for whom Priti Patel or maybe Liam Fox will probably be the candidate. I personally hope other candidates emerge between now and the contest but the clock is ticking.

  30. ‘but for now he is popular, including among at least one of the groups that choose the next leader (the activists) and has reach across the party that others don’t.’

    But to get the nod from the activists – which he would surely get – Borris has to convince fellow Tory MPs of his Prime Ministerial credentials, and there he will surely come unstuck as the Right have never really taken him seriously and he will have disillusioned potential allies on the Left with his Machiavellian and short-sighted approach to the EU referendum

    Jack is right – the lack of any plausible successor to Cameron means Johnson does have to be taken seriously – but I also think people should reflect on Hemelig’s latest post before hailing Borris the new Messiah

  31. @Tim Jones

    I don’t disagree with your post at all.

  32. I can imagine Boris was/is genuinely quite torn on the EU – in similar ways I am.

    I think logically out makes more sense.
    Weighed against it is uncertainty on the economy as we try to put trade deals together – I don’t think that is scaremongering – people seem to forget we are only so far into fixing the economy after the mess Labour made, and although that isn’t a once in a lifetime situation like the referendum possibly is, it’s still long term work.

    Also I don’t dislike “Europe” in the way some of the Euro sceptics seem to.

    But the PM seems to feel genuinely very let down so perhaps he had reason to think Boris would support his line. But who knows.

  33. Angela Watkinson is standing down. Plum seat for someone here…

  34. ”Angela Watkinson is standing down. Plum seat for someone here…”

    Jack Sheldon – Bet Boris’s gutted as this would have been a very plum seat for him (he was touted to be the Tory candidate for this seat for the 2015 General Election but at the last minute, Watkinson decided to stay for an extra term)! His Uxbridge seat is true blue for now but is very slowly trending towards Labour (as are several outer London safe Tory seats). He could be vulnerable in 15 / 20 years time if he’s still the MP for that seat.

  35. I know Boris Johnson seems to have nine lives, but surely he won’t have a political career stretching another 15/20 years anyway.

  36. Polltroll – It’s not outside the realms of possibility that Boris could still be an MP in 20 years time. May is most likely to be Prime Minister until at least 2026 and considering the bloodbath that Labour will encounter in a few weeks, she could be PM for longer than Thatcher which means she could be PM until the end 2027. After this, Boris is her likely successor so he could be PM from 2027 -2037. By 2037, I suspect the seat of Uxbridge will be a Tory/Labour marginal considering its realitive affordability in terms of house prices compared to other affluent outer London seats, its upper working class/lower middle class nature and the influx of second and third generation immigrants from inner to outer London.

  37. If Boris is PM he would likely get a “leader boost” (if only from the multitude of deposit donors who always stand against the PM splitting the vote against him) so I don’t think he’d be in too much danger. Of course by 2037 there would have been at least another couple of boundary reviews as well which could change things rather significantly.

  38. Paul D – You could be right but UK and international politics is so unpredictable at the moment that anything could happen and both of us could be completely wrong.

    We’re living in very interesting times.

  39. I doubt BoJo will still be around in 20 years but he doesn’t need to be to potentially lose his seat, the boundary changes proposed adding Northolt to the seat which took a very big chunk out of the Tory majority. Such a seat would be vulnerable in a decade or so and after Lab has got its act together.

  40. Shaun Bailey is on the shortlist. Hopefully his years as an AM mean he’s improved his political skills. I understand from some on here that he wasn’t overly impressive as PPC for Hammersmith back in 2010

  41. Considering the Local Tory association allegedly did not want Esther Mcvey. I wonder if Shaun Bailey might struggle to get selected here despite being an AM. Did he back Remain or Leave?

  42. @Paul D

    I should imagine he’ do very well as Labour MP for Dagenham.

  43. Esther is on the shortlist for Tatton (although probably the 3rd most likely of the 3 behind Cllr Alex Williams).

    I’m surprised to see that SpAd Simon Jones made the shortlist for this seat. He’s the polar opposite of this MP. He’s a gay Wet who underperformed as a PPC and has just been a SpAd for the past 14 years.

  44. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Rocky Gill.

  45. Julia Dockerill chosen for Conservative Party here.

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