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”
  1. Disgusted by the recent negative flyer all about labour but not having the name of the party that commissioned it!!! (Presumably Lib Dem as any other party would be wasting money.)

  2. If you look at the tiny type at the bottom you’ll see it is indeed the LibDems

  3. Wasn’t the Tory PPC here last time involved in a scandal just before Polling Day? He was quite high profile, but not been heard of since. The new PPC here seems very low profile.

  4. I went campaigning in Hornsey and Wood Green and I didnt meet one libdem supporter from all the doors we knocked. I think Catherine West has a good chance of winning here and get rid of Lynne.

  5. Maybe your next wander around will be to deliver the retractions for the Labour flyer that blamed Featherstone for the “Go Home” vans

  6. Antiochian,

    Is this correct.?

    As Featherstone was a minister in the Department of International Development at the time, the claim is clearly false. Would this be libellous or even a matter for an Election Court (Like Oldham East and Saddleworth 2010)?

    Clearly given her personal wealth, Featherstone would have no problem funding a prosecution.

  7. The are demanding a retraction or are reporting to police.


    I wonder how many went out? Not many days left to print up a retraction and get it out..

  8. This adds more spice to the contest.

    Ms West’s response will be very interesting. If she does issue a retraction notice (like Alex Sobel has had to do in Leeds North West), it does little for her credibility. If she does not, a referral to an Election Court must be an option.

  9. Given the experience of Oldham E & Saddleworth, LDs would be thumped if Labour wins next week & they force a contest.

  10. Well AM thinks might be a wee bit different… we are almost guaranteed a fair few weeks of political chaos and who knows maybe even another General Election. Over and beyond that a rerun would almost certainly take place after Nick Clegg has been despatched to the dustbin of history.

    If the police report the matter to the Election Court before the poll, or even after the poll, the die will have been cast.

    Frankly it was sloppy leaflet writing here… what about libel…? Who needs a second election when a libel suit might be a juicy going away present for the current incumbent..

  11. The lib dems are blowing that leaflet thing way out of proportion. Also very hypocritical given that they publish leaflets designed to mislead people into thinking that they are local newspapers. Also they’re bar charts are awful (no labeling of y axis, no scale etc.)

  12. Newspapers with very small attributions are used by all parties – it is a standard campaigning method..

    Of course, for some parties they also include newspapers called “The Mail”, “The Times”, “The Sun”, “The Mirror”, “The Telegraph” etc

    How anyone can criticise the Lib Dems when this is going on beats me!

  13. Hardly SA. That was a despicable and libellous allegation against someone with fine anti-racist credentials – also one they should have known to be untrue. Some people here seem to be in denial that Labour can fight very dirty when they want to.

  14. And Featherstone is also extremely rich.

    She could afford to take West to the cleaners in court.

  15. Quite frankly it’s something that 30 seconds spent on Google or Wikipedia could have demonstrated to be false. Why couldn’t Labour just retract and apologise immediately, then everyone could just get on with the campaign there?

  16. Nah man, this is getting peak between West and Featherstone blud! Haters gonna hate innit! Hahaha! 🙂

  17. l don’t really see the funny side. l will not be happy if Labour loses the seat because they’ve been found to tell an untruth. They could have won easily enough. My experience tells me that even if the LDs have themselves been guilty of misrepresentation or have told porkies, they won’t hesitate to take legal action notwithstanding. A retraction will be necessary.

  18. As someone mentioned, why don’t Labour just retract the comments and put the matter to bed.

    Do you think Labour will lose this seat because of this matter Barnaby? How many voters will actially be aware of it?

  19. What l’m saying is that they could lose the seat IN THE COURTS if they don’t retract.

  20. Labour will win this regardless, I am not sure why even bother? I would understand somewhat if they were battling hard in a knife edge seat like Simon Hughes place

  21. why even bother to put out risky material that is

  22. exactly my point.

  23. “What l’m saying is that they could lose the seat IN THE COURTS if they don’t retract.”

    Ok, thanks.

  24. “What l’m saying is that they could lose the seat IN THE COURTS if they don’t retract.”

    The courts could force a by-election which Labour would surely hold easily.

    The biggest risk from this is Catherine West being potentially bankrupted if Featherstone sued her. They’ll find a way of retracting I expect.

  25. My understanding is that Lynne Featherstone has quite a lot of respect locally even among those not planning to vote for her. What on earth possessed Labour to put out this spiteful bit of nonsense?

  26. It was a mistake. Sloppy fact checking. A retraction has been issued and a new leaflet is being delivered with the correction. I’d be very very surprised if it affects the outcome.

  27. none of these controversies have discernible effects on elections most people will have never heard of it except political obsessives – remember Gillian Duffy led national news for days and Lab still gained Rochdale.

  28. I now have this as a LD HOLD.

    The Labour party tactics will give Featherstone some sympathy votes, & we can see evil of CON GE2010 voters switching to LD in LDEM/ LAB marginals.

    Also of course the SURVATION poll in March put Lynne Featherstone on 36%, just 1% behind Labour on 37%, with the Conservatives back on 15%, Greens 7% and Ukip 4%.

    electionforecast.co.uk say it’s n&n, 37% each.

  29. Mr Patrick Power clearly doesn’t buy that – he still has Labour 10-3 on & the LDs 9-4 against! That would normally denote a very high degree of certainty. Lab Gain still for me.

  30. mmmm clearly Deepthroat has never been to H&WG the level of straight LD to Lab switching will outweigh votes the other way which are certainly overplayed

  31. I have campaigned in this seat if Lab can get its vote out in Bounds Green, Woodside & Noel Park so that there isn’t differential turnout with wards in the west its game over. Lab will also beat LDs in Hornsey & Stroud Green comfortably. It will be closer in the other wards.

  32. I tend to think the LDems best chance at retaining the seat is a strong Tory tactical vote. The Tory candidate has barely campaigned so this could well happen.

  33. The Tory vote would have to halve for Featherstone to have the remotest chance. I don’t see that happening, especially as Tory voters here have already been very heavily squeezed in previous elections. They are down to a robust core. I regret that Featherstone is going to lose, as she has been very brave in playing such an active role in coalition despite her left leaning seat.

  34. The flaws in the methodology of the Lib Dems poll were discussed earlier, and are such that it shouldn’t be used at all in predicting the outcome of the seat. It should be noted that Survation refused to put their name to it, due to the fact that the Lib Dems made the decisions on the methodology of the poll (very likely with the intention of generating favourable numbers for themselves).

  35. ‘I regret that Featherstone is going to lose, as she has been very brave in playing such an active role in coalition despite her left leaning seat.’

    Not to mention her left-leaning views, making her easily the most Left-wing frontbencher in the 2010-15 coalition

    I think she’ll make a better fight of it than many are suspecting but i think her days are looking increasingly numbered

  36. Have Labour actually sent round the retraction leaflet yet RR?

    I agree with Barnaby, and I’m speaking as a Labour supporter as well, the leaflet was unnecessary and to get basic facts like that wrong is pretty poor stuff. I would imagine if it is close on Thursday (my prediction is still Labour gain just) Lynne Featherstone will be tempted to take things further even if Labour do retract.

  37. She’s making a good fight of it out of loyalty to the party
    (another very commendable thing about Featherstone)

    She is 64 and a multi millionaire so has no personal need to keep her seat.

  38. @AM LD signs outnumber Lab in Stroud Green and they are about equal in Hornsey – not the most scientific method clearly. I think it will be close here. There’s a few Lab MPs who live in this constituency, I wonder if they will register their votes here on in their home consitutency…

  39. Counting signs is meaningless. I very much doubt it’ll be all that close. The Evening Standard did a very good piece on the H&WG campaign the other week. Door after door after door, former Lib Dem voters were saying “we like you Lynne but can’t vote for you due to the coalition”. The look on her face in the pictures was resigned to defeat (anybody who’s been involved in electoral politics knows that look).

  40. The fact is though that in other places, at other times, the LibDems have also put out leaflets and placed stories in local papers that – how shall I put this – misrepresented the facts as a reasonable person might interpret them.

    The LibDem website linked to in an earlier post doesn’t express any shame over the fact that the ‘Go Home’ vans were indeed sent round sensitive areas, during the last government, and that Lynne Featherstone was a minister in that government (if not in that department) and did NOT resign in shame at what was done. It’s one thing for her to say now – when history cannot be changed – that “Had I been in the Home Office at this time – those awful vans would not have happened”, but when she could have made her feelings known, she instead held onto her government job. She could, instead, have said at that time that she was not able to remain part of the government, and that she was fundamentally disgusted by the vans. She did not do that. I don’t think it matters so much that she was at International Development, rather than the Home Office: her feelings should have been the same. Collective responsibility surely means she has to carry the burden for what her government did.

  41. “We will control immigration” is one of Labour’s key pledges of the election (it says so on that block of limestone, and on that red mug). So I’m afraid that moaning about the Go Home vans is the height of hypocrisy. I hope Featherstone bankrupts the Labour candidate in court.

  42. That’s a bit extreme: every government since I don’t know when has controlled immigration, to the degree they thought appropriate. Every Tory, Labour and coalition government. But until the last one, they didn’t send vans round. Though you might remember the Tories in Smethwick…..

  43. Not meaningless – they also act to show that other people are still supporting her. I’ve just got a funny feeling quite a few people will swing back to Lynne at the last minute especially in the western half. Lab will need to get a decent turnout in the east to be sure of this seat. Not long to go though, and Catherine would make an excellent MP too – she was my councillor for many years and was very good.

  44. As I understand it, the retraction leaflets started to be delivered yesterday and continue to be delivered today. That”s dependant of course on volunteers being available to do the delivery. I’ve had at least two emails asking if I can help. It would be better of course if we had a candidate with a personal fortune who could simply pay for them to be delivered.

  45. “That’s a bit extreme: every government since I don’t know when has controlled immigration, to the degree they thought appropriate. Every Tory, Labour and coalition government. But until the last one, they didn’t send vans round. Though you might remember the Tories in Smethwick…..”

    My point is that Labour are happy to whip up sentiment about immigration being out of control in their WWC seats, then criticise Lib Dems for allegedly having done the same in metropolitan areas. Total hypocrisy.

  46. My view is that in this constituency, where I know one of the candidates, neither would stoop to deliberate falsified smears. I have some insight of how hard it is to avoid errors because you’re working flat out, and for the left hand not always to know what the right hand is doing. Almost everyone working on the campaign is a volunteer with a day job. That’s how our democracy works.

    Barbara Roche lost her seat because she voted for the Iraq war. In my view, I think it highly likely that Lynne will lose her seat not because she hasn’t been a good constituency MP, but because she is part of the coalition. This is a constituency whose voters like to punish their representatives. Lynne wasn’t a Home Office minister at the time of the vans, but from the moment the LDs went into coalition the week after the election, her fate was sealed.

    HWG doesn’t like the Tories.

  47. ‘My point is that Labour are happy to whip up sentiment about immigration being out of control in their WWC seats’

    Labour sound so unconvincing on their supposedly hardline on immigration, I can’t see anybody falling for it

    The Lib Dems are the only mainstream party comfortable arguing the case for immigration because their core vote is far more socially liberal than Labour or the Tories

  48. I was alsao going to say that RR’s post above strikes me as a pretty accurate sumation of this seat and what’s likely to happen

    Sarah Teather of course defied the odds last time in nearby Brent but it was an entirely different picture for the Lib Dems then than now, and Featherstones record as a dliigent constituency MP is unlikely to be enough

  49. I think her diligent record will be enough Tim. Add that to her big personal vote and nice personality and she really could just prove the armchair pundits wrong

  50. Teddy, you should really consider a career in stand up. You have some good material from what I’ve read.

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