Hornsey & Wood Green

2015 Result:
Conservative: 5347 (9.3%)
Labour: 29417 (50.9%)
Lib Dem: 18359 (31.8%)
Green: 3146 (5.4%)
UKIP: 1271 (2.2%)
Others: 245 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 11058 (19.1%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Wood Green, Noel Park, Alexandra Palace, Muswell HIll, Crouch End, Cranley Gardens, Highgate.

Profile: The western half of the Borough of Haringey. This is a fashionable and trendy areas for young professionals and the middle class intelligensia, though there are also areas of council housing and a diverse ethnic population, including Jewish, Cypriot and Afro-carribean communities.

Politics: This was a Conservative seat until 1992 but by 1997 had become what looked like a rock solid Labour seat, with Barbara Roche enjoying a majority of over 20,000. The Liberal Democrats surplanted the Conservatives as the alternative to Labour here, winning the seat in 2005 under Lynne Featherstone, later to become a minister in the coalition government. In 2015 it was an intensely fought seat, with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats concentrating resources here. In the event it was a far more comfortable victory for Labour than many expected, with Catherine West securing a solid majority of 19 percent.

Current MP
CATHERINE WEST (Labour) Born Australia. Educated at School of Oriental and African Studies. Leader of Islington council. First elected as MP for Hornsey & Wood Green in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 9174 (17%)
Lab: 18720 (34%)
LDem: 25595 (47%)
GRN: 1261 (2%)
Oth: 292 (1%)
MAJ: 6875 (12%)
Con: 6014 (13%)
Lab: 18117 (38%)
LDem: 20512 (43%)
GRN: 2377 (5%)
Oth: 310 (1%)
MAJ: 2395 (5%)
Con: 6921 (16%)
Lab: 21967 (50%)
LDem: 11353 (26%)
GRN: 2228 (5%)
Oth: 1594 (4%)
MAJ: 10614 (24%)
Con: 11293 (22%)
Lab: 31792 (62%)
LDem: 5794 (11%)
Oth: 1800 (3%)
MAJ: 20499 (40%)

2015 Candidates
SUHAIL RAHUJA (Conservative) Educated at Oxford University. Financial analyst. Westminster councillor since 2006. Contested Manchester Central 2010.
CATHERINE WEST (Labour) Born Australia. Educated at School of Oriental and African Studies. Leader of Islington council.
LYNNE FEATHERSTONE (Liberal Democrat) Born 1951, London. Educated at South Hampstead High School and Oxford Brookes University. Design consultant. Haringey councillor 1998-2006.Contested Hornsey and Wood Green 1997, 2001. London Assembly member 2000-2005. MP for Hornsey and Wood Green 2005 to 2015. Minister for Equalities 2010-12. Under-secretary for International Development since 2012.
CLIVE MORRISON (UKIP) Born Jamacia. Educated at Southgate Technical College. Enfield councillor 1998-2002 for the Labour party. Contested Edmonton 2010 for the Christian party.
GORDON PETERS (Green) Born Scotland. Educated at Health and social development consultant and former Director of Hackney Social Services.
FRANK SWEENEY (Workers Revolutionary) Contested Luton South 2010.
GEOFF MOSELEY (Hoi Polloi) Photographer and film maker.
Comments - 499 Responses on “Hornsey & Wood Green”
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  1. I see the Labour Procedure Secretary managing the selection of the Labour candidate is none other than Liz Santry, who was implicated over the Baby P scandal.

  2. Nice bit of partisanship there, Matt. Tell you something – you’ll be third or even fourth in this seat!

  3. I am stating an opinion, sorry if you see it another way. And, yes, 3rd is the best we will get in 2015.

  4. ‘I see the Labour Procedure Secretary managing the selection of the Labour candidate is none other than Liz Santry’

    if true, that’s ansolutely scandoulous and utterly deplorable both that she would stand and that labour would pick her

    i hope she gets trounced

  5. She isn’t standing herself, just managing the selection process.

    This seat is very difficult to predict but on balance I think the Lib Dems are most likely to narrowly hold on.

  6. Catherine West is certain to be the next MP for Hornsey and Wood Green. She is by far the strongest candidate for the seat and will trounce Lynne Featherstone – easy stuff.

  7. I think that’s ridiculous over-optimism. Sorry.

  8. Lynne Featherstone. She is no Simon Hughes, to state otherwise is ridiculous. She is an unpopular government minister, her constituents aren’t fans and Catherine West is absolutely fantastic. Also, you are forgetting that the Lib Dem vote is weak. A semi-marginal Lib Dem seat is like a marginal or very marginal Tory seat.

  9. “She is an unpopular government minister, her constituents aren’t fans…”

    How do you know? I honestly wouldn’t trust much you’re ‘picking up’ on the doorstep – I’ve known far too many candidates who are told that their opponent is an idle waste-of-space and that they are the second coming of Jesus Christ, and it goes to their heads, and then they lose by 6,000 votes or whatever.

    To be honest, none of us know how the Lib Dems will perform in London – we don’t have the local election results we have in the rest of the country to judge it by, and the Boris vs. Ken ding-dong doesn’t tell us much about Featherstone’s chances in this seat. The Harringey Lib Dem voter is probably markedly different to, say, a Burnley Lib Dem – wealthier, better educated, ‘cosmopolitan’, younger. Difficult to predict.

    I have a suspicion though that panic will finally begin to sink in at Lib Dem HQ if boroughs like Richmond and Southwark (or, indeed, Harringey) get anywhere near the kind of results that Lib Dems in the rest of the country have had to painfully get used to over the past three years. Things suddenly start to matter when they happen in London…

  10. As a Richmondite I would tend to exclude my borough from that list. It seems fairly clear to most that the LDs will hold Twickenham, and the Tories Richmond Park, regardless of what happens in the local elections. However, the Haringey local elections will indeed be keenly watched, not least because all of the LD wards there are held with quite large majorities (excluding Harringay ward of course, which is split with Labour), and there’s a parliamentary seat in doubt. Large-scale Labour gains there will be greeted with particular dismay, and Southwark is similar in this respect, too.

  11. @Barnaby Marder

    But Harringey was regained by Labour in 2010 so in the Locals they’re going to be the incumbents and will constituents not judge them on that rather than the national picture and the coalition? I have got hints that the Couuncil Leader Clare Kober isn’t popular with certain Labourites, she also cut youth provisions, which was cited in the Riots so is it realistic to say that if Lib Dems do we’ll in 2014, she will retain HWG seat in 2015?

    I happen to think local elections with Lib Dem councillors “doing the best they could” in the powerless situation they find themselves and probably being rooted in the community would get a personal vote so getting votes but creating a false of security for the Lib Dems nationally regarding GE2015, where they will do less well. Not sure how many others will agree to that view?

  12. Also considering the type of seat HWG is, intelligentsia etc and the amazing swing in favour of Lib Dems from 1992/1997 onwards to 2005 and 2010, it seems like a very volatile seat and perhaps people voting with their conscience, something Featherstone perhaps may become victim of herself now.

    I think it was in this forum – when Catherine West was running for the seat in 2010 – one of the posters wrote she was “lightweight” and I think “dim” so if she wins the Labour nomination to be PPC, how times change! She seems popular in Islington and I think it was her that brought in the authors of The Spirit Level to oversee the fairness of her policies so she seems interesting.

    However how could we forget our friend Mandy Richards?

  13. This will not be an easy Labour gain, although it is a possibility I would not say it is a probability.

    As Barnaby and Foregone Conclusion mention, the western side of the seat around Highgate is a fortress for the Lib Dems, where they will be to some extent protected by the citification of the area as long as they can retain a large tactical vote from natural Tory voters.

  14. Well, the polls have shown that Labour has gained more than the Lib Dem vote that it lost in 2005 in fact a complete refuge towards Labour. I was at an event when a London GLA member said that polling evidence shows that the Labour lead in London is greater than average, and the Lib Dem vote in London is lower than average. Claire Kober will not be standing come 2015 (Kokopops she is only unpopular with Owen Jones-ites), it will Catherine West who is a typical of this seat. She has a sterling record in Islington, very well-known locally, the selection has been in effect handed to her on a plate and Lynne Featherstone’s popularity as an MP has been dramatically reduced. Also, the Lib Dem membership in Haringey has almost been halved. Labour should be very confident of taking this seat.

  15. You cannot accurately forecast Lib Dem performance in individual seats by looking at national or regional polls. That is something that history consistently shows us.

    As Foregone Conclusion says, Lib Dem performance in London is going to be pretty hard to guess from this far out.

    We can say with confidence that Brent Central is a very likely loss and that Twickenham and Kingston are very likely holds. The Tories flatter to deceive in the Sutton seats, which leaves Simon Hughes and Lynne Featherstone. Given the local base they both have and the gentrifying nature of parts of both seats I maintain that they will not be easy to shift, and sensible Labour people like Barnaby do not underestimate how hard they will be for Labour to gain.

  16. You’re wrong because the national swing gives an average and if you take in local factors, you have to ask whether it will make a great difference to the uniform swing. For eg. according to polls a seat could be lost with the successor getting about 9,000 but there is a very popular local MP who is running an effective local campaign. Chances are that the MP will still lose his seat, but the successor will get a much more reduced seat. If you look across the country, it is clear that there is a consistent shift against the Lib Dems. Look at the demographics and think about what Labour will say to Lib Dems in 2015? Lynne Featherstone is a goner, Hughes could hold his seat.

  17. “Lynne Featherstone is a goner”

    Care to have a bet on it?

  18. Absolutely and I will win. Prepare to lose some money.

  19. OK shall we say £50 at evens?

    Email me your details and we can arrange

    [email protected]

  20. Haringey (I assume you mean the borough, not Harringay Ward, Kokopops) wasn’t regained by Labour in 2010 – it was already previously Labour-held with an, albeit modest, majority. Labour has had continuous overall control of Haringey since 1971, and has in fact only lost control of the borough once ever. Exactly the same goes for Greenwich.

  21. @Barnaby Marder – yes you are right, I’m not sure why I thought it was a Lib Dem council previously

  22. I actually think Featherstone has a good chance of holding this seat…just. Labour will definately put up a good fight but Featherstone has managed not to be too attached to the government and the continuing gentrification of the seat may work in her favour.

  23. LOL….still waiting for Bob’s email to arrive. Suspect I’ll be waiting a long time.

  24. “LOL….still waiting for Bob’s email to arrive. Suspect I’ll be waiting a long time”

    Bob is letting you off easy HH as he knows that Lab will win this seat hands down with a excellent candidate….it’s a forgone conclusion that Featherstones a goner son he’s trying to save you 50 quid!

  25. Yes, thanks for your kindness Bob, and sorry I called you a troll.

  26. ‘You cannot accurately forecast Lib Dem performance in individual seats by looking at national or regional polls. That is something that history consistently shows us.’


    Electoral Calculus tries to do it and look how badly they got it wrong with regards to Lib Dems gains and losses in 2010 – predicting throughout the whole 2005-10 Parliament that the Lib Dems would lose Eastleigh, Sutton & Cheam, Taunton and Cheltenham, and hold Harrogate, Oxford West, Winchester and Newton Abbott

  27. £50 – can’t wait!

  28. I once won a bet with an SDP member that Labour (at that time in the shape of Terry Fields) would hold Liverpool Broadgreen in 1983, but the bastard wouldn’t pay up. I did however win a bet of no less than £1,000 with my best mate Kevin, who is normally a Tory (though he switched to the LDs after the Cleggasm). He bet me before the 1987 general election that the Tories would win the next 3 elections, losing the bet of course when Tony Blair came to power. He insisted on paying up, but it took him a long while to complete doing so. He has now paid me in full.

  29. the bet on Liverpool Broadgreen was only £20. Mind you that was worth a fair amount 30 years ago.

  30. I’m guessing Joe James Broughton will say he was a typical Lib Dem.

    What excuse did he give for not paying up?

    I wish I had a best mate as blasé and ignorant about politics as your best mate Kevin.

  31. LOL. The SDP man claimed not to remember we’d made the bet – he wasn’t a friend, just someone who went to a music summer school, so I only saw him once a year. It still rankles 30 years later! To be fair to Kevin, in the heady Thatcherite days of 1987 it was easy to believe that Labour would never win again.

  32. Labour shortlist is supposed to be

    Kirsten Hearn (2012 GLA list candidate)
    Mandy Richards (2012 GLA candidate in Redbridge & Havering)
    Catherine West (Islington council leader)

  33. Kirsten Hearn is Chair of a group called Inclusion London and was a former member of the Met Police Authority. She is also blind.

    Catherine West has her own website: and appears to have a range of endorsements from MPs, councillors and the great and good of London Labour:


  34. According to Mandy Richards’s Twitter feed she received 9 branch nominations representing 65% of the membership. Looks like she’s the front runner.

  35. @BigD

    IIRC ward branches can make 2 nominations now. So it depends on who got the othe rnomination in these wards.

  36. Catherine West’S endorsements seem pretty impressive and her Fairness Commission was a good idea so would be interesting to see her in Parliament.

  37. @ Andrea – I wondered how she’d worked that out but I thought if she’d put it on Twitter it must be true!

    Also worth noting branches can nominate a third BME candidate if the two nominations are white.

  38. @BigD

    I am sure it’s true.

    What I wanted to say is that there could potentially be another candidate receiving 9 branch nomination representing the same 65% of the membership if all 9 wards nominated the same 2 people.
    I think she meant that 65% of the membership live in these 9 wards as this gave her the right to be automatically shortlisted (as you need nominations from wards covering at least 50.01% of the membership).

  39. @ Andrea – that makes sense. I can now see the rationale for her statement. Thank you.

  40. If Catherine West is selected in this seat there is a very good chance that Lynne Featherstone will be beaten. The seat was lost in 2005 following the Labour MP’s(Barbara Roche) support for the Iraq war. The seat is left leaning and most people are absolutely furious with Lynne Featherstone for supporting every single policy of Cameron’s government.
    Bob, I think your £50 wager is safe!!

  41. What I didn’t know about this seat is that Hornsey and Wood Green has a relatively high BME population. Now my understanding is that Catherine West will win and I hope she does, but Mandy Richards is very good too and I’ve always thought she’d be Diane Abbott’s successor and although Catherine West is basically brilliant, she can get a safer seat in North London (several CLPs such as Hampstead and Kilburn and Brent Central) called on her to stand. I still think that Catherine West will win and on balance support her, but either way Lynne Featherstone is toast and Mandy Richards would be a good candidate.

  42. Can’t see Lynne Featherstone hanging on I must admit – unless Lib Dems are back to within 15% of Labour nationwide at the next GE.

  43. I find this one of the more difficult LD/Lab contests to guess, and think we need to see the London Borough results next year.

  44. Bob – has Catherine West put herself forward for Hampstead & Kilburn, I thought the nominations had closed. As for Brent C, didn’t you say on the Brent C thread there is no point a woman standing in an Open shortlist as they never get selected?

  45. Sally Gimson has certainly hit the ground running – very impressive website. I like her – she’s an engaging character, very articulate, sends her kids to local schools, and intriguingly, is married to a member of the Conservative party – journalist Andrew Gimson. Although he has made it clear that he will always vote for her because she can get things done

    Of course Gro Haarlem Bruntland, the former Norwegian Labour PM, is married to an academic and at one time , Conservative MP in Norway – and both of them were international relations specialists!

    There’s also the Bercows, but I don’t think John would be a Tory these days anyway.

  46. oops sorry – that should have been posted in Hampstead and Kilburn. will do so….

  47. Bob- Catherine West is only standing for selection in this seat. It is her local area- she lives one street out of the constituency and her child will start Sept at the local school. Mandy Richards lives in Hackney and has no local connection. The demographic is very similar to Islington, where Catherine West led Labour to take the council in 2010 on a 20-30% swing against the national polls.
    The borough is split east/ west and the lib dem councillors are more popular than Lynne Featherstone. I don’t think the local elections will be an indication of the 2015 result.

  48. Mandy Richards did well in Havering and Redbridge on the GLA in 2012.
    The swing in that area made me very uneasy.

  49. “Mandy Richards did well in Havering and Redbridge on the GLA in 2012.
    The swing in that area made me very uneasy”

    Almost entirely due to the declining nature and growing Labour vote of Redbridge. Havering have little time for Labour.

  50. @ Joe James

    2 years is a long time in politics! The polls in 2012 are much the same as the polls now. In fact Labour has, as we know, gone from average 10% lead in 2012 to average 8% now. The difference is that Catherine West achieved the swing from Lib Dems in 2010, when as we see above the swing to Lynne Featherstone took her to 46%.

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