Ilford North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20874 (42.7%)
Labour: 21463 (43.9%)
Lib Dem: 1130 (2.3%)
Green: 1023 (2.1%)
UKIP: 4355 (8.9%)
Independent: 87 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 589 (1.2%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Redbridge, Hainault.

Profile: Very much the Essex part of London, Ilford North is mostly semi-detached, lower middle class suburban housing, popular with London commuters. At its eastern end it runs out into Essex countryside, taking in Fairlop Waters Country park and Hainault Forest. In recent years it has become increasingly ethnically diverse, with a large Asian population as well as significant Black and Jewish communities. Overall just over half the seats population was white in the 2011 census, making it one of the most ethnically diverse seat to return a Conservative MP.

Politics: A key Conservative-Labour marginal, it was held by the Conservatives throughout the 1980s and was won by Labour in 1997, despite having been heavily adjusted in the 1997 boundary changes. It fell to the Conservatives in 2005 and Lee Scott built up a solid Conservative majority in 2010, unusually for a seat with such an ethnically diverse electorate. It fell to Labour in 2015, the most difficult Conservative held target that Labour managed to take.

Current MP
WES STREETING (Labour) Born 1983, Tower Hamlets. Educated at Westminster City school and Cambridge University. Former national President of the NUS. Redbridge councillor since 2010. First elected as MP for Ilford North in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 21506 (46%)
Lab: 16102 (34%)
LDem: 5966 (13%)
BNP: 1545 (3%)
Oth: 1899 (4%)
MAJ: 5404 (11%)
Con: 18781 (44%)
Lab: 17128 (40%)
LDem: 5896 (14%)
UKIP: 902 (2%)
Oth: 293 (1%)
MAJ: 1653 (4%)
Con: 16313 (41%)
Lab: 18428 (46%)
LDem: 4717 (12%)
UKIP: 776 (2%)
MAJ: 2115 (5%)
Con: 19911 (41%)
Lab: 23135 (47%)
LDem: 5049 (10%)
Oth: 750 (2%)
MAJ: 3224 (7%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
LEE SCOTT (Conservative) Born 1956. Educated at Clark`s College Ilford. Professional fundraiser. Contested Waverley 2001. MP for Ilford North 2005 to 2015.
WES STREETING (Labour) Born 1983, Tower Hamlets. Educated at Westminster City school and Cambridge University. Former national President of the NUS. Redbridge councillor since 2010.
RICH CLARE (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Chigwell School and Sheffield Hallam University.
PHILIP HYDE (UKIP) Born London. Former banker, now running a horticultural company. Havering councillor since 2014. Contested Romford 2010 as an Independent.
DORIS OSEN (Independent) Retired teacher.
Comments - 495 Responses on “Ilford North”
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  1. Anyone interested in demographic change in this seat…this piece of research is very interesting:

    Apparently the Jewish population of Clayhall and Cranbrook dropped 50% between 2001 and 2011. Quite astounding. If that continues over the next 10 years Gants Hill will have gone from being considered a Jewish area (the setting for BBC’s “Grandma’s House” and the childhood home of talented Jewish cabaret artist Dave Lynn) to an area with next to no Jewish residents.

  2. It really is a shame that the Jewish population are declining in Redbridge but I completely understand why given the downhill slope the borough has faced in recent years. The Jewish community really looked after the area and places like Gants Hill, Newbury Park and Clayhall were seen as places to aspire to for poor East Enders. I suppose times change.

    I think Mr Scott will hold on in 2015 but I’m not too sure thereafter…

  3. I agree. The boundaries are just about favourable enough for the Tories to eke out one more win. If the new boundaries had gone ahead he would certainly have lost.

  4. ‘I agree. The boundaries are just about favourable enough for the Tories to eke out one more win. If the new boundaries had gone ahead he would certainly have lost.’

    Would you say the same of Croydon Central, Hemmelig or are things too far gone there?

  5. On balance I think the Tories will be able to hold Croydon Central, if only because Barwell has been a very good MP.

  6. He’s certainly won an extra vote after JohnLoony defected to the Conservatives a few weeks ago.

  7. When Labour select their candidate, I would put Wes Streeting (local councillor, former NUS leader) as one of the favourites.

  8. My prediction here for 2015:

    Con – 44
    Lab – 41
    LD – 9
    UKIP – 4
    OTH – 2

  9. Tories have got no chance at all of holding onto Croydon Central – none at all. As for Ilford North, Labour could win and I think they will but it will be very close. Wes Streeting is bound to be the candidate.

  10. I think most visitors to the site would disagree with the phrase “no chance at all”.

  11. Yes I think so – surely it is likely to be close there unless there’s a Labour landslide. Optimism about this seat is perhaps justified but it’s likely to be close.

  12. If Gavin Barwell holds onto Croydon Central, then the Tories would have to take Corby back from Labour. Do you see that happening?

  13. You can’t assume a uniform swing everywhere. There are always local factors involved.

  14. Yes, Mike and if you lived in London you will know that the Labour lead is much higher than in the rest of the country. Do you think the Tories will be able to overturn a 7,000 Labour majority in Corby?

  15. Bob – interested to see your comments on various London seats – I wonder if your optimism leads you to think Labour would win seats like Putney, Wimbledon and Bexleyheath?

  16. We won’t take Putney, Wimbledon or Bexleyheath. I am confident that all the target seats in London, Labour can take. Ilford North will be a close race, but a strong local candidate like Wes Streeting can win. Also, Lee Scott did not vote against tuition fees something he promised to Streeting.

  17. As I’ve quoted the March 2010 Ashcroft poll of marginal constituencies on the Leeds North West thread (a suprise Labour gain), I thought I’d mention that he had this as a Con hold, even in the context of a Labour majority of 84 seats.

    This is mainly because Ashcroft’s figures showed a lower Con to Lab swing in London, which I’d guess is probably a reflection of Labour’s relatively good performance in London in 2010. There is also only a low LibDem vote here for Labour to attack.

  18. That is interesting as the Labour lead is always very high in London compared to the rest of the country. We managed to hold onto Westminster North, when we had our worse ever defeat. That is why I am very confident when London is brought up for discussion.

  19. For what it’s worth, the mood I’ve heard from London Labour is that many of them are sceptical about taking Ilford North this time round. They believe they’ll get close, maybe very close, but Scott will hang on in. They’ll still work very hard at the seat. And everyone’s acting on the assumption Wes S. will be the candidate.

  20. I think the Tories will hold on here by 10-12,000.

    Absolutely nailed on.

    Meet you for a pint of Chiswick in Forest Road, Hainault for a bet.

  21. I feel like I’m missing something here. 😛 You think Scott will double his majority?

  22. Whatever the result here I wouldn’t have considered this constituency to be somewhere I would be able to buy Fuller’s Chiswick Bitter. I think the result will obviously depend to some extent on the national swing – it’s almost bound to be better than average for Labour in this particular seat, and I reckon that if the party outpolls the Tories nationally by as much as 3% or perhaps a fraction under this will be a gain. Any Tory lead or something closer to parity & they will just hold on.

  23. (London Pride is an entirely different matter – you can buy that almost anywhere these days, & I’ve had it in Preseli Pembs, Charlie Kennedy’s constituency & even in Florida!)

  24. I wonder whether figures could be reconstructed to show how the old Wanstead and Woodford seat voted in 2010, please?

    I think Pete said on the old site it may have only had a 3,000 majority for the Tories in 1997.

  25. Wanstead and Woodford

    on comparable – actual boundaries –

    February 1974
    Wanstead & Woodford
    New constituency boundaries introduced
    CPF Jenkin Conservative 23,056 51.72%
    D Gilby Liberal 11,155 25.02%
    R Darlington Labour 10,365 23.25%
    Electorate: 57,923; Turnout: 76.96%;
    Majority: 11,901 (26.70%)

    October 1974
    Wanstead & Woodford
    Conservative hold
    CPF Jenkin Conservative 21,209 53.22%
    R Darlington Labour 10,369 26.02%
    DJ Gilby Liberal 8,272 20.76%
    Electorate: 58,378; Turnout: 68.26%;
    Majority: 10,840 (27.20%)

    Wanstead & Woodford
    Conservative hold
    CPF Jenkin Conservative 26,214 62.16%
    MG Macnulty Labour 8,464 20.07%
    A Cornish Liberal 6,535 15.50%
    C Bond National Front 957 2.27%
    Electorate: 57,218; Turnout: 73.70%;
    Majority: 17,750 (42.09%)

    Wanstead & Woodford
    Conservative hold
    CPF Jenkin Conservative 23,765 60.25%
    K Crawford Alliance (Lib) 9,411 23.86%
    LS Hilton Labour 5,334 13.52%
    C Warth Ecology 476 1.21%
    H Marshall National Front 456 1.16%
    Electorate: 57,705; Turnout: 68.35%;
    Majority: 14,354 (36.39%)

    1987 Wanstead & Woodford
    Conservative hold
    JN Arbuthnot Conservative 25,701 61.27%
    JR Bastick Alliance (Lib) 9,289 22.14%
    L Hilton Labour 6,958 16.59%
    Electorate: 57,921; Turnout: 72.42%;
    Majority: 16,412 (39.12%)

    Wanstead & Woodford
    Conservative hold
    JN Arbuthnot Conservative 26,204 59.96%
    L Brown Labour 9,319 21.32%
    GP Staight LibDem 7,362 16.85%
    F Roads Green 637 1.46%
    A Brickell Natural Law 178 0.41%
    Electorate: 55,821; Turnout: 78.29%;
    Majority: 16,885 (38.64%)

    Boundary changes after this.

  26. Tories couldn’t quite match their share of the vote in 1979 afterwards here – that is true nationally – but wasn’t always the case in London.

    A big swing in 1979 saw a bad Labour result – but it’s interesting Labour didn’t lose their deposit in 1983.

    I’d be very interested to see how this seat voted in 2010.

  27. Still a very pleasant residential area for the most part.

  28. I think the notional 2010 Conservative majority in the abandoned recreation of this constituency was 5000 – 6000…but that was on boundaries that may have included safe Labour wards from Ilford South…so on the pre-1997 boundaries I would say 8000.

  29. Con 18701 45.2%
    Lab 12148 29.4%
    LD 7755 18.7%
    UKIP 993 2.4%
    BNP 940 2.3%
    Grn 513 1.2%
    oth 332 0.8%

    Majority 6553 15.8%

    The pre-74 version of the seat which did not include Clayhall would be safer in percentage terms

  30. A.Cornish the Liberal candidate in 1979 presumably was Alison Cornish, the Liberal councillor for my own ward in Richmond for 28 years until she lost N Richmond in 2002 – she shortly afterwards died of a rather rare & unpleasant illness IIRC. I had no idea that she had stood for Parliament at the other end of London.

  31. Many thanks Pete. Disappointing to see the Tories below 1974 here, and quite well below. A very good performance by Labour. I didn’t know Alison Cornish stood here either.

  32. Patrick Jenkin had rather a rough time after 1983 as Environment Second dealing with rows over rate capping and battles with liverpool and ken livingstone at the GLC. I think he dropped out, retired in 85

  33. Secretary

  34. I understand where you’re coming from Bob, but the superior candidate doesn’t always win. People, especially in London, tend to always vote along party lines and so even when there may be a bettet candidate from another party, the dominant one on any normal day will endure. Much like your beloved Labour in Croydon North- I’m not the only one who thinks this on here…

  35. I still think this is one of Labour’s very best longshots anywhere.

  36. Pete’s statement about Clayhall is striking, although not a shock as we know what happened in 2010. I would have thought quite recently it would have been more tory than wanstead and woodford as a whole. Physically it used to feel like ilford north though anyway – certainly most of it.

  37. ” I would have thought quite recently it would have been more tory than wanstead and woodford as a whole”

    Yes it would have been until quite recently and not so long ago it was about the safest Tory ward in Redbridge (or at the least the 2nd safest after Monkhams), but as you say the change has been striking in recent years

  38. Very worrying result that in Clayhall.

  39. Jenkin was quite widely expected to be Chancellor just before the 1983 election, but he was given the “short straw” of Environment.

    The most well known battles were against Ken Livingstone in London, Derek Hatton in Liverpool but also several London Boroughs and Sheffield.
    But there were quite a lot of Tory rows about rates in 1984-85.
    I’m not sure what they were all about but one or two Tory authorities were rate capped,
    others were unhappy perhaps about low grant settlements from the out-dated rate valuations, but didn’t want a revaluation either.

    He had a pretty rough time of it in 1983-5.

    Perhaps also, when a Government has a large majority, you tend to get more people on the Gvt side thinking they can afford to pick holes in various things that aren’t going well.

    It happened somewhat under Labour in 1997-2005 but apart from the Iraq War, they so dominated the scene for several years, it didn’t damage the Gvt much

  40. Con 42
    Lab 39
    Lib Dem 8
    Ukip 6
    Other 7

  41. Other 5

  42. Will depend on the overall result of course to a large extent. I expect this seat to swing to Labour by considerably more than the national average. I think that if Labour are level with the Tories, or even 1% behind, nationally, they will gain this seat – if the Tories keep the swing lower than that, then they will hold on.

  43. It certainly does not look good for the conservatives long term but I think they will survive 2015 as their vote has held up ok despite demographic change through the 2000s. Also Lee Scott is a very popular and well respected MP. Another thing to consider is Ukip. Although this area is hardly a place where Ukip expect to do well they will pick up 5 or 6% of the vote and if this knocks the conservative vote by 2 or 3% then Labour could sneak in.

  44. I am hopeful the Tories can hold on here and the reason is we have held up quite well despite huge changes in the area already.

    But the longer term prospects here look difficult.

  45. The Redbridge Borough elections next year may well have a bearing who wins here in 2015. Labour are already actively campaigning in three wards in Ilford North Aldborough, Clayhall and Barkingside. I expect them to have a clean sweep in the first two dislodging two Conservative Councillors in each and having a fair chance of gaining at least one seat in Barkingside for the first time. The interesting factor in all this is the switch of sitting Labour Councillor Wes Streeting in Chadwell (Ilford South) to Aldborough Cllr Streeting has never hidden his political ambitions and is extremely able and I would not be at all surprised to find him the Labour Candidate to face Lee Scott and with demographic change accelerating again in this Constituency I would not all be surprised to see a Labour gain in 2015

  46. Laurence, from what you said, you must be expecting Labour to take control of the council. In my opinion Labour wont have a clean sweep in Clayhall and Aldborough, maybe 2 councillors in each but not 3. They may take one in Barkingside and Fulwell and Hainault as well. On the other hand the Tories could hold on to all their current councillors and make gains in lib dem Roding. My prediction is that Labour will gain 1 in Clayhall, 1 in Barkingside, and 1 in Aldborough, and the Tories gainig 1 in Roding.

  47. I wonder if Labour could potentially become competitive in Roding themselves if its at all following trends in other parts of the borough. It includes the grim Orchard estate which was in Bridge ward prior to 2002

  48. I don’t know how well Labour do in Roding but in less than two decades Labour could have councillors in every ward in Ilford North.

  49. I do think even if they don’t win any seats in Roding (and it isn’t most likely) they will almost certainly win a majority in Redbridge with gains in those other wards mentioned. I tend to think though that unless Labour are ahead nationally they will not win here (and as I don’t think they will be I expect the Tories to narrowly hold on for one more term)

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