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
Con: 27469 (51%)
Lab: 11098 (21%)
LDem: 7426 (14%)
BNP: 3421 (6%)
Oth: 3976 (7%)
MAJ: 16371 (31%)
Con: 16820 (49%)
Lab: 10778 (31%)
LDem: 3128 (9%)
BNP: 1174 (3%)
Oth: 2777 (8%)
MAJ: 6042 (17%)
Con: 15410 (46%)
Lab: 14169 (42%)
LDem: 3183 (9%)
UKIP: 1089 (3%)
MAJ: 1241 (4%)
Con: 16315 (39%)
Lab: 19085 (46%)
LDem: 3919 (9%)
MAJ: 2770 (7%)

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

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.
Comments - 244 Responses on “Hornchurch & Upminster”
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  1. There’s a by-election in a Tory seat in the split Gooshays ward on Thursday. Very strangely a mailing from the London Labour Party describes it as a straight fight between Labour & the BNP – surely that can’t be right? Or did the Tories have a problem with their nomination papers?

  2. No, there certainly is a Tory candidate. With the rather impressive surname of Llewellyn-Rothschild.

  3. “Very strangely a mailing from the London Labour Party describes it as a straight fight between Labour & the BNP”

    There isn’t anything strange about it. It is an outright lie and a scare tactic to bring out the ‘anti-fascist’ vote to vote Labour in a way that worked a treat for them in Barking and Dagenham three years ago. I have actually heard that it is more likely to be a fight between Labour and UKIP as the BNP are very clearly on the wane and have indulged in some very ugly leafletting themselves in this by-election. There are also an array of various Independents and Ratepayers of the type that Havering is known for, but really at a time like this, Labour shouldn’t have any problem winning in this former stronghold

  4. That might make more sense, though I wonder whether the Tories may still be in the mix. In the case of Barking, bearing in mind the BNP’s status as sole opposition on the council, and the amount of resources that organization put into the seat, the BNP did appear to pose a serious threat, even though the eventual result makes it look as if it didn’t.

  5. I think the BNP are out of the picture here and I cannot see them posing a real threat to Labour here. I’m not too sure if Labour will win the seat as this is Havering, a borough where people are hesitant to vote for that party for a number of reasons. Having said that Harold Hill is now a place with a growing African population so if Labour can try and get them out to vote then that may tip the balance in their favour.

    The right vote may be split between the Tories and UKIP with the latter possibly doing well here at the expense of the former. However we all know that UKIP are known to take votes away from Labour as well.

  6. UKIP gained the seat rather easily. This is not the first time UKIP have carried this ward as they did in at least one of the various polls that took place in 2004 (GLA and European elections held simultaneously), but this is in fact the first UKIP councillor elected in Greater London

    UKIP 831 39.0%
    Lab 569 26.7%
    Con 280 13.1%
    HWHPRA 227 10.6%
    BNP 202 9.5%
    RAL 24 1.1%

  7. bump

  8. šŸ˜

  9. Congrats.
    I need to look up the result in 2010.
    At least the good people of North East London and Essex don’t have much time for the LDs.

  10. I see as already posted
    1 Labour and 2 Cons in 2010.

    Well that is definitely a bad result for us – in an area we rely on a lot.
    A lot of work to do.
    But it’s interesting that this UKIP surge is helping expose the shallowness of the alternative Government aswell.
    Perhaps we may see Labour votes just get stacked up inefficiently in 2015 in a different way to before.

  11. It’s obviously a great result for UKIP, bad for Labour & even worse for the Tories. The latter now seem to have a real fight on their hands to maintain control of Havering Council, even if Labour makes little impact, since there looks like being a major challenge in some wards from UKIP and in others from the Residents.

  12. That’s true
    The large vote for others could certainly endanger control of the council if the Tory vote just doesn’t turn out, disgruntled, or votes UKIP.

    Whether a group of UKIP councillors will continue to sustain us in office is another matter though.

  13. Congrats to UKIP. This is a very good result. Havering will prove fruitful for UKIP in the future. Barking and Dagenham may be another good target for them.

    Well done to Labour as well, a good result. The Tory result is terrible and I’m glad the BNP did so badly.


  14. “Well done to Labour as well, a good result. The Tory result is terrible and Iā€™m glad the BNP did so badly.”

    How on earth do you consider this a good result for Labour?? This is a ward where they topped the poll in May 2010 (as they always should) and their vote share is down since then

  15. Bearing in mind the anti Labour feeling in Harold Hill at the moment, as many here blame the past Labour government for the influx of different minorities to the area, I’m surprised they got as many votes as they did.

    I never thought this would be a clear Labour win at all regardless of them carrying the seat in 2010? I actually thought the seat elected 2 Tories and one Labour cllr?

  16. Is Dame Angela Watkinson standing again in 2015?

  17. The demographics of this seat will ensure a high combined CON/UKIP vote. My estimate of vote share is below:
    CON 41
    UKIP 22
    LAB 19
    LD 9
    GRN 6
    OTH 2
    Labour will not experience as big a swing here as many other places much like Brentwood & Ongar to some extent- a high UKIP vote may cause their vote share to drop as above. Definitely it’ll be a bad night for the Conservatives if they drop below the high 30s!

  18. I welcome your viewpoint as fresh views are needed but you seem to think the results will be similar to the County Council elections with everyone except UKIP doing badly – apart from the Greens

  19. Not that we had CC here

  20. Joe James B, I think 41% is respectable for the Tories here as their vote share has been gradually declining since the age of Thatcher where you had very high Tory vote shares. Plus many ‘True Blues’ would definitely be tempted by UKIP as the government is seen by many to be underperforming. What would you predict?

  21. And yes, I think the Greens and UKIP- particularly the latter will take many votes from the ‘Big 3’ in most constituencies at around the 20-30% figure.

  22. I think the Tory share is only about 4% down on 1992 here – but I couldn’t predict how well UKIP are likely to do yet.

  23. So we’re agreed the Tories will probably poll in the 40s here then? If UKIP does exceed 20% here, then I don’t see Labour/Lib Dems falling much further hence the ‘low’ Tory score.

  24. Not necessarily – they may do – I hope/believe they can do about the same as last time/go up a bit.
    We’ll need to see whether the Tories keep control of Havering council in 2014 because of the strength of the residents groups etc reducing the amount they need to lose to UKIP to be out.

  25. What? I would really like to see a sharp decline in Tory representation on this council as like with Essex they act in the ‘knowledge’ that they won’t get voted out whatever they do (if anything). However, I’m sure many voters who want to show the Tories a message won’t vote UKIP in the council/national elections due to them being seen as an even worse choice for actual decision-making etc.

  26. I think your political prejudices are coming out here. The Conservatives only won overall control of Havering in 2006 for the first time since 1986, so it isn’t like this is a Conservative stronghold.

    The Conservatives were actually very lucky to win the number of seats they did in 2006 and 2010, with a pretty low share of the vote overall. It wouldn’t take much for them to lose control of the council.

  27. Yep, this is a mile from a Tory stronghold at the local council level. Havering council regularly has residents association councillors and the Tories often don’t have control of the council.

  28. I know several people here who would agree that it would be nicer to have broader representation than just independents and Tories who just seem to oppose each other most of the time. Plus Angela Watkinson has held on here for a fair amount of time with fair enough majorities for the Tories to just be ‘lucky’.

  29. A little trivia challenge for you. Which constituency contains the highest proportion of administrative and secretarial workers in the country? The clue is that it is not this constituency, which was nevertheless ranked 3rd.

  30. Given my Dad had a secretary from Canvey Island I think I’ll go with Castle Point.
    Provided they can make it from the station at Benfleet.

  31. A very good stab, Joe, but not quite- Castle Point is ranked 9th. I shall give the answer on this thread this afternoon.

  32. I think my point about it not being near the station may be why I was wrong.

    I think I’ll go for Rayleigh and Wickford.

  33. Btw – Ivor Crewe said the swing in 1979 was very large amongst secretaries – so look for big swings in the wedge NE of London.
    But we already knew that.

  34. Romford?

  35. I thought about that one but decided no. Joe R may be correct though and there was a slight clue given which I think is the 3 seats the tories gained in 2001. I rejected romfor on the grounds of housing costs but I may be wrong.

  36. There were some very good guesses. Rayleigh and Wickford was ranked 5th and Romford was ranked 4th. But the answer is in fact Old Bexley and Sidcup over on the Kentish side of the Thames- 18.8% of employed residents work in the secretarial/administrative line. The Conservatives have done extremely well in constituencies with high proportions of clerical workers since 1997- better indeed than in constituencies with disproportionately high numbers of professionals.

  37. Unfortunately for the Conservatives, clerical and secretarial work is in severe decline, what with mass computerisation and greater efficiency in the office workplace.

    You really have to be somebody to have a secretary today…every middle manager had one 25 or 30 years ago.

  38. In 1979 it gave us a big boost in votes – people who may have been looking for something fresh and new – like Mrs Thatcher
    and enjoyed the business scene.
    Those days have gone.

  39. Probably one reason why election counts are so inefficient these days compared to a few decades ago.

    My guess is Chingford & Woodford Green.

  40. Andy JS- see my post above for the answer. You were close with Chingford and Woodford Green, which is ranked 14th.

  41. Tory can you post the whole Top 20. It would be interesting to see what seat falls where…

  42. I wonder if Angela Watkinson is going to retire in 2015.

  43. Very likely – she’s 72.

    The selection will be really interesting.

    So far, Havering has avoided having SPADs parachuted in to safe candidacies. Whatever you think about Rosindell and Watkinson, they are genuinely local.

  44. “So far, Havering has avoided having SPADs parachuted in to safe candidacies. Whatever you think about Rosindell and Watkinson, they are genuinely local”

    Cameron types would go down like a lead balloon in Havering and the Tory high command know that – UKIP would exploit that fact if someone was parachuted in here.

    Watkinson and Rosindell definately chime with their constituents.

  45. You would have said the same about Castle Point but that didn’t stop CCHQ from doing it.

  46. I have found all of the top 20 bar 19th:

    1. Old Bexley and Sidcup
    2. Bexleyheath and Crayford
    3. Hornchurch and Upminster
    4. Romford
    5. Rayleigh and Wickford
    6. Bootle (a seat where the Conservatives have not done so well!)
    7. Beckenham
    8. Orpington
    9. Castle Point
    10. Dagenham and Rainham
    11. Blackpool North
    12. North Tyneside
    13. Sefton Central
    14. Chingford and Woodford Green
    15. Croydon South
    16. Epping Forest
    17. Spelthorne
    18. Broxbourne
    20. Ilford North

  47. So the general theme is lower middle-class London/ Home Counties suburbia.

  48. Yes, the socially liberal democrats at CCHQ love getting rid of our voters in our best areas.

  49. Well, one can certainly question the wisdom of Cameron’s pursuit of urban AB1s, Joe. It didn’t even work on its own terms in 2010, and in 2015 it could risk alienating those clerical and blue collar voters who have swung behind the Tories in recent years. I certainly don’t envy Cameron- building electoral coalitions from disparate elements in the electorate is a difficult task but I don’t think he’s made a good fist of it so far.

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