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
2010
Con: 21506 (46%)
Lab: 16102 (34%)
LDem: 5966 (13%)
BNP: 1545 (3%)
Oth: 1899 (4%)
MAJ: 5404 (11%)
2005*
Con: 18781 (44%)
Lab: 17128 (40%)
LDem: 5896 (14%)
UKIP: 902 (2%)
Oth: 293 (1%)
MAJ: 1653 (4%)
2001
Con: 16313 (41%)
Lab: 18428 (46%)
LDem: 4717 (12%)
UKIP: 776 (2%)
MAJ: 2115 (5%)
1997
Con: 19911 (41%)
Lab: 23135 (47%)
LDem: 5049 (10%)
Oth: 750 (2%)
MAJ: 3224 (7%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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.
DAVID REYNOLDS (Green)
DORIS OSEN (Independent) Retired teacher.
Links
Comments - 474 Responses on “Ilford North”
  1. Divided nation….

  2. One of the very few I got right, and suggests a massive disparity between London (and particularly Outer London) and rest of England.

  3. Full Result:

    Lab 21,463 43.9%
    Con 20,874 42.7%
    UKIP 4,355 8.9%
    LDem 1,130 2.3%
    Green 1,023 2.1%
    Other 87 0.2%

    Majority 589 : Swing 6.3%

    A Rare Labour Gain

  4. To be fair this result just reflects the huge demographic changes which have occurred in this seat in recent years – as Tory inclined voters move out and Labour voters move in. I don’t see this seat ever being Tory again – as following the 2020 boundary review we now expect to happen Ilford North will probably absorb several wards from Ilford south and lose several wards to the likely new Wanstead and Woodford seat.

    Contrast this with Epping Forest and Romford next door where in both cases the Tories and UKIP combined got nearly 75% of the vote!

  5. The preparation for the election this time seemed to be very slapdash I and two local friends didn’t receive a voting card nor did we see any Concervative representative no wonder they lost their seat. There were oodles of Labour helpers and an absolute onslaught in the evening to encourage last few people to vote, we also didn’t know where to vote, I went onto the Redbridge website and e mailed to the automatic address asking for information but it replied ‘incorrect address” I’m really disappointed Mr Lee Scott. I managed to find that our poling station was Ray Lodge School but it was poorly marked and you had to actually go around to the back of the school, I helped an elderly lady who was struggling to find it.

  6. Not rare for London

  7. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the big drop in the Jewish population over the last few years probably made holding the seat much more difficult for the Tories.

  8. Ilford North declaration.

    Unusually it includes a hug between the Labour and Tory candidates:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCycz6RHIzY

  9. Great show of mutual respect. Wes Streeting’s speech was very classy.

  10. There’s no such thing as the ‘Essex part of London’.
    Essex is Essex. London is London. Different & seperate places.

  11. Combined Redbridge / Waltham Forest votes:

    1992
    Con 117,739
    Lab 91,741

    2015
    Lab 119,945
    Con 69,851

  12. Geography Police

    Greater London includes many areas which were prior to the 1960s part of ceremonial counties.

    E.g. Upminster (Essex), Bromley (Kent), Croydon (Surrey).

  13. Hawthorn- and let us remember that the 1965 Act did not amend the borders of the traditional/geographic counties. One is perfectly entitled to describe Ilford as being part of Essex whether the administrative Jacobins like it or not.

  14. Tory

    Indeed. I live in LB Croydon but my postal address says Surrey.

  15. Most of the old Middlesex county forms a pretty large bulk (a semi-ring if you like) of outer London, yet I still see it mentioned in a lot of addresses. I think Potters Bar was transferred to Hertfordshire an Staines and Sunbury to Surrey.

  16. To confuse matters more my Late Granddad ( born 1923) always wrote Middlesex on his address despite living all his life in Bethnal Green. Bethnal Green stopped being part of Middlesex in 1899.
    Here in West Ham I never hear anyone say Essex including the older people who have been here all their lives( Including my mum born just before it became Newham.) I suspect it is the postcode which does it through.

  17. Julie – to be fair Lee Scott – or any other candidate – isn’t responsible for the administrative ERO failings of a council.

    Lots of prominent schools and churches seem to go out of their way to have the polling station in the worst/least obvious place possible, ie often around the side/back with signage that got blown away.

  18. I thought the Tories would highly likely hold this and am disappointed.
    Lee Scott was a good MP.
    There’s quite a lot of pressure in this seat from changes in the area as we know.
    NE London (except the far outer bit) and due West London is on a Labour trend I think.

    The North West, through the centre and even into some areas like Streatham seems to be showing a stabilising of the pattern and perhaps some Tory improvement net.

  19. IIRC this constituency had one of the biggest increases in the Muslim population in London between 2001 and 2011 and that community does tend to be the worst for the Tories of the various EM groups; it also experienced a big drop in the Jewish population. To be blunt I think those two developments probably explain the result.

  20. ”I thought the Tories would highly likely hold this”

    Joe – The result here is a perfect example of the effects of ‘white flight’

    I know a few white British-born people who lived in this seat at the 2010 GE but have now moved to the Woodford Green/Chigwell/Buckhurst Hill/Epping area and other parts of Essex for a better quality of life for their family, good schools etc.

  21. ……………….. I wonder if this seat can be held by Labour in 2020 or will the aspirational Asian vote move to the Tories.

  22. Everyone is aspirational, unless you seriously believe there are people who actively want a worse life for themselves & their family.

    As noted above, the Asian vote here is mostly Muslim hence future Tory prospects look grim. Though there are a few places where Tories are now starting to pick up some of the muslim vote (Crawley a good example). I fear however that this will increasingly resemble Ilford South over the longer term.

  23. Putney is also a good example, the mosque is one of if not the oldest mosques in the uk (1920s), and belongs to a highly distinctive branch of islam.

  24. ”Everyone is aspirational, unless you seriously believe there are people who actively want a worse life for themselves & their family.”

    H.Hemmelig – So are you seriously suggesting that the people that appear on the likes of Jeremy Kyle et al that can be found masquerading the streets and causing a nuisance in every deprived area across the country can be described as aspirational?

    Come on, get real!

  25. Is this the only seat which was Conservative in 2005 but is no longer?

  26. you can’t masquerade a street – wonder which word you mean (masquerade is an intransitive verb). Maraud, perhaps?

  27. ROBBERBUTTON: yes it is. Possible evidence that it may be the marginal seat which has experienced the most demographic change in recent years.

  28. Wirral West and Enfield North would both have been tory in 2005 on current boundaries.

  29. ”you can’t masquerade a street – wonder which word you mean (masquerade is an intransitive verb). Maraud, perhaps?”

    Barnaby – Yes, I did mean ‘maraud’. Sorry. I was very tired after a long day at work when I wrote that post.

  30. Plenty of those marauding on the streets are from wealthy homes….indeed it is well known in middle class areas that the rich kids usually cause the most trouble.

  31. I can see this seat swinging even more heavily towards Labour in 2020. My very early prediction is-
    Streeting (Labour)- 53%
    Conservative- 37%
    UKIP- 7%
    Green- 2%
    Liberal Democrat- 1%

  32. The boundaries will be different. If it extends west into Chingford or east into Romford, the Tories might have a slim chance of winning it back. If it is extended south into Ilford South then obviously it will entrench Labour’s position.

  33. Far too early to make predictions – either way I think.
    Other than I hope we’ve seen the Lib Dems destroyed and this election shows it can be done with very little risk to the Tories.

    And we don’t know what the boundaries are.

    It is reasonable to say the Tories need to do better amongst some of the groups in the electorate here to reverse the long term trends.

  34. btw there’s a post on Ilford South saying the Tories were canvassing it heavily. I find that hard to believe.

  35. http://www.fabians.org.uk/how-ilford-north-was-won/

    Excerpt:
    “The data tells an interesting story. Impressions gleaned from the post-election polling sample in Ilford North suggests that Labour lost more voters to UKIP than the Tories did, gained fewer Liberal Democrat voters than might have been expected, but – in contrast to the national campaign – performed well in terms of winning Tory switchers…”

  36. If that is true it probably makes Ilford North a more difficult hold in the event of Labour shifting back the left and especially if Corbyn and McDonnell are disasters. Though five more years of demographic change (increasing Muslim population) and Streeting’s incumbency (he seems like a fairly likeable MP) will of course help Labour greatly in Ilford North.

  37. Agreed that Ilford North could be affected by a Labour shift to the left.

    Wes Streeting could also be characterised by his opponents as a career politician / party insider.

    From an online search, his CV is below:

    Progress – Labour think tank
    National Union of Students – Labour nominee for President
    Oona King campaign – Labour candidate for London Mayor
    Helena Kennedy foundation – Labour peer
    Stonewall – campaign group
    Labour Councillor, Deputy Leader of Council
    Labour MP

  38. Also came across this article online written by Wes Streeting MP:

    “The far-Left candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, is gaining much attention after securing more nominations from constituency Labour parties than had been predicted, but he is unlikely to emerge victorious in the final ballot. This is just as well, given his remarkably one-sided and one-dimensional views on one of the most intractable conflicts and some of the unpalatable company he has kept during his long career in Parliament.”

    http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-wes-streeting-given-the-company-hes-kept-its-just-as-well-corbyns-unlikely-to-win/

    Presumably very few of the 6.5% Jewish voters will support Labour, which could be criticial in such a marginal constituency.

  39. On the subject of demographic change in London’s middle suburbia I’ve just come across this:

    http://www.rc21.org/conferences/berlin2013/RC21-Berlin-Papers-7/31-1-saha_watson_suburban_drifts.pdf

    Definitely worth reading with surprising conclusions.

  40. “Ilford S, 1992:
    Labour: 45.4% (+7.9%)
    Conservative: 44.4% (-4.0%)”

    ….and the current Ilford North was notionally Conservative in 1992. Grapes gained it for Labour in 1992 and then notionally “gained” it for Labour again in 1997.

    Considering the boundary changes only re-enforces your observation as the current South 1992 was not just similar the current North in 2015 but more Tory.

  41. The current Ilford North was not just notionally Tory in 1992 it was notionally Tory by 27%! Even by London standards the transformation has been astonishing.

  42. The Conservative collapse has been in lower middle class middle suburbia.

    Mitcham, Ealing North, Lewisham West, Feltham, Hayes are other examples.

  43. “The Conservative collapse has been in lower middle class middle suburbia.
    Mitcham, Ealing North, Lewisham West, Feltham, Hayes are other examples.”

    That’s true but of course it’s not because white lower-middle class voters have changed their voting intention to any extent but because they’ve moved out of London and been replaced by ethnic minority voters.

  44. “That’s true but of course it’s not because white lower-middle class voters have changed their voting intention to any extent but because they’ve moved out of London and been replaced by ethnic minority voters.”

    Indeed.

    This change was masked for a time by wwc shifting rightwards in places like Dagenham, New Addington and Hainault.

    But demographic change has now affected those as well.

  45. I think the idea that it’s just “white flight” that’s to blame is over-simplistic. The Tories have lost middle-class seats in virtually every decent sized city, almost regardless of the make-up of the seat. Yes, the change may not have been as rapid as it is in London, but the Tories certainly appear to have a problem with all but the richest urban groups. They’re probably lucky that Labour’s problems in more rural areas are that much more acute.

  46. The tories have actually done rather better in London than other cities.

  47. Was campaigning in this seat and Ealing Central over the weekend. Some interesting insight, but just had a four hour journey back to Sheffield so will post properly tomorrow.

  48. “I think the idea that it’s just “white flight” that’s to blame is over-simplistic.”

    Agreed. Clearly ethnic change is a factor, and in certain cases like Redbridge probably a major one. But the increasing divergence between the liberal social attitudes of people in cities and conservative social attitudes of people in much of England is probably as, if not more, important overall.

  49. I would suggest this report from the Centre for London think tank for an informed view of London’s changing demographics – http://centreforlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CFLJ3887-Inside-out-inequality_12.125_WEB.pdf

    Key point is outer London has become more diverse and, in some areas, relatively poorer. This has unsurprisingly led to Labour doing better. Some parts of inner London like Islington and Hackney have become notably better off in the last 15 years or so. But there is no real evidence of the Tories doing notably better. I suspect this reflects the social attitudes of the type of middle class – generally young, higher educated and renting – people who have moved into these areas.

  50. “The tories have actually done rather better in London than other cities.”

    The effect of the City.

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