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”
  1. Renting is also a good point.

    There’s usually a good correlation between home ownership and Conservative voting.

  2. Even urban seats which are largely white and owner-occupied have moved away from the Tories substantially in recent times. Places like Sheffield Hallam, Leeds NW, Edinburgh South, Aberdeen South and so on were solid Tory seats for decades and they’re now not even prospects. I think obviously if a seat does have a growing ethnic minority population, that tends to help Labour, as does an increase in the number of rented properties, but I think it’s equally obvious that the Tories problems in urban seats are much deeper than that.

  3. ‘I wonder if Tory voters who once lived in Sheffield, Hallam now live in places like Dronfield.’

    I would have thought the consistently decreasing Labour vote in North East Derbyshire had more to do with the decline of mining and other manufacturing industries.

    Towns like Clay Cross and Killamarsh are former pitt villages and it would seem odd why anyone who could afford a house in Hallam would move to such a place

    Again it just shows howUK politics has turned on its head in that working class North East Derbyshire is swinging towards the Tories whilst middle class Hallam is going in the opposite direction

  4. “I’m glad you raised Sheffield, Hallam. I think it’s clear there that much of the Tory vote (which has been falling consistently since 1979!) has moved into Derbyshire. It’s interesting to compare the results in SH with NE Derbs. and the other Derbyshire seats.”

    It’s not “clear” at all. For a start, at least half of the people who voted Tory in the 1980s are now in the graveyard. Their houses occupied by people with a different profession and political outlook.

    You also fail to mention the decline of the steel industry in Sheffield as a factor, which it undoubtedly is. The middle and senior management would all have lived in Hallam, providing a very solid bloc of Tory votes. One former steel trader I know moved from Hallam to Zug about 15 years ago. As Tim says, the idea people would move from Hallam to Clay Cross or Dronfield is daft, unless they’d suddenly gone bankrupt. The Peak District perhaps.

  5. Simon makes a fair point regarding the Conservatives’ problems in the conurbations generally. Of course ethnicity *will* be a factor in some of those places- one thinks of Birmingham Edgbaston and Leeds North East- but it is also correct to highlight the influence of the public sector in these places.

    Tim- some of the former industrial areas *are* becoming more commuter bases for the middle-class- think Morley and Outwood for example.

  6. As of 2011 I think Hallam was home to the highest proportion of public sector workers of any English or Welsh seat- if you tot up public administration, health and education it was a staggering 44% of employed residents aged between 16 and 74.

  7. Like Sheffield, Birmingham and its surrounding boroughs have seen a catastrophic decline in manufacturing industry. Edgbaston would have been the place where many of the managers would have lived, from British Leyland and the hundreds and hundreds of foundries, fabricators and factories nearby. Almost all gone now.

  8. “As Tim says, the idea people would move from Hallam to Clay Cross or Dronfield is daft, unless they’d suddenly gone bankrupt. The Peak District perhaps.”

    There’s plenty of new developments along the motorways in the former mining areas which would be attractive to affluent private sector workers.

    Meanwhile much of Ecclesall and Crookes wards looks increasingly unimpressive. As ageing middle suburbia tends to do.

  9. That’s undoubtedly true.

    My point was that this is not about old Tory voters moving out of Hallam, its about them dying off and younger versions of themselves choosing to live elsewhere.

  10. “Meanwhile much of Ecclesall and Crookes wards looks increasingly unimpressive. As ageing middle suburbia tends to do.”

    I do remember playing in Millhouses park a few times in the early 80s, when I’d have been about 5, and watching the trains go by. At the time it seemed a very posh area. When you go past on the train today that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  11. ‘Is it Newcastle-under-Lyne or Newcastle-under-Lyme?’

    It’s actually Newcastle-under-Lyme and Ashton-under-Lyne Max – I always mix them up

  12. This discussion seems to have drifted a long way from the topic which is Ilford North! There’s a by-election next week in one of the Ilford North wards and it will be interesting to see what the result says about politics in the constituency.

  13. Mayoral result (excluding postal):

    Goldsmith 11726 43.2%
    Khan 11015 40.5%

    A better Tory result here than in 2014 or 2015, maybe offering some hope that it isn’t lost forever necessarily.

  14. This seat has one of the highest number of Jewish voters of any London constituency, so this may well have been a factor after the Ken Livingstone row.

    Also, as with Harrow, it sees that Goldsmith did better (or Khan worse) where there is a significant Hindu population, as there is here and throughout Redbridge.

  15. Diane Abbott basically tells Wes Streeting to consider resigning( she said consider his position) as a Labour MP over his criticism of the Shami ChakrabartI perrage and the fact she has just completed a major internal review. Wes Streeting has struck back and is sticking to his position. The Labour Civil war has just got a bit deeper

  16. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the Chakrabarti peerage (she is probably a suitable candidate, though the timing is questionable given the ‘independent’ inquiry she conducted), it is a political own goal from Corbyn to announce it in this list. Instead of talking about Cameron’s bloated list much of the media/political discussion is focusing on Corbyn’s one award, and no Labour figure can go on the media to talk about honours without being asked about the Chakrabarti peerage.

  17. Yeah i agree with her suitability ( she is arguably more suitable than some Cameron has nominated) but the report. plus the fact she was the only labour nominee ( had he nominated more he could easily say it was to preserve the party balance in the lords). The infighting is getting deeper through and it is hard to see that many MP’s returning to the shadow team most are constantly attacking corbyn and Mcdonnel on twitter

  18. I’ve just got round to watching the video of Corbyn’s tribute to Castro I don’t know if you’ve all seen it but the Mail Online has a video. He was practically fawning over Castro in the way most politicians did when Mandela died. The fact that the leader of the Labour party clearly admires and even venerates a brutal dictator should send shivers down the spines of every decent citizen of this country.

  19. wrong thread haha

  20. It’s worth bearing in mind that the even in the absence of further demographic change, the electorate here is likely to move in Labour’s favour.

    This is because the ethnic minority population has a very different (and younger) age profile to the white population, and this will be reflected in those joining the electoral register at age 18.

  21. I don’t think anywhere in London is getting more favourable for the Conservatives at the moment. Not only are the demographics moving in Labour’s favour but the problems facing the city (ie housing) are ones where Labour is stronger, whereas areas like job creation where the Conservatives have the ascendancy are not so much of a problem.

  22. Brighton Kemptown & Croydon Central are interesting – clearly the big local issue in both seats at the moment, but particularly in Brighton, is the Southern Rail strike. In both seats the swing voters are middle-aged professionals who, if action rumbles on, may not be so keen on a Labour Party they see as supporting self-centred train guards over hard-working commuters. So in the event of a snap election that could play into the Tories’ hands, likely enough to keep Brighton K if not Croydon C.

    Bury North is very likely to go back to Labour as, not only is the Asian population there increasing, but the Conservatives probably reached their high-watermark of Asian support under Cameron, and Theresa May’s courting of the WWC, while overall a sound strategy, does not help in such a seat.

    Another interesting seat is Morley and Outwood. He’s unlikely to return, but if he did Ed Balls would be highly likely to win. The public are fickle enough for his Strictly shenanigans to swing the necessary number of votes. Plus Andrea Jenkyns does not seem to be a particularly talented MP – her first parliamentary contribution was to flub a routine “Does the Prime Minister agree with me?” question at PMQs.

  23. “Snap election my prediction would be a Tory landslide…”

    Do you realise how just many times you have predicted both the “snap election” and the “Tory landslide” on these pages?

    I’ve lost count but suspect that it’s about 20 for each.

  24. Con Estimate
    “In 2015 Labour took this against the grain of the General Election, are there any seats where they could do the same thing next time (if they lose)?”

    As well as those mentioned I wouldn’t rule out Plymouth Sutton, Bedford or Peterborough, demographics in all three are shifting Labs way, students in Plymouth Sutton, minorities in Bedford and Peterborough.

    I also have a feeling about Telford, the Tory MP there has proven to be a unbelievable prat which will hardly go down well, the UKIP vote definitely came at Labs expense and I can’t see them repeating their solid 2015 performance at the next election and I know we can’t read too much into them but local by-elections have been pretty bad for the Tories in Telford and have actually enabled Lab to win overall control of Telford and the Wrekin council off the Tories. All points to an interesting contest.

  25. Polltroll
    Re Southern Rail and its effect on Brighton I can’t claim to be an expert but word I’ve heard is that most (at least in B and H) lay the blame on Southern rail or the Gov. There was even a poll done for the Brighton Gazette (no idea how scientific it was so treat with caution) that showed a very clear majority blamed either Southern Rail or the Gov with the unions coming a distant third and a staggering 80% plus wanted the franchise brought back into public ownership. If that bears any semblance to reality on the ground in Brighton the Southern Dispute looks to be a vote winner for Lab locally rather than a vote loser, I really can’t think of anywhere else nationally where the calls for rail nationalisation might go down better.

  26. Sounds like a voodoo poll if ever I saw one, but I can’t claim local knowledge either. Found the Argus (which is Brighton’s local paper, I think that’s what you meant by “Brighton Gazette” because the website that calls itself “Brighton Gazette” hasn’t been updated for years). I had a look at the comments below – they are pretty mixed or even marginally anti-strike.

  27. Polltroll
    I think it probably was the Argus, that sounds oddly familiar considering I’ve never even been to Brighton and yes it was probably something of a voodoo poll (though for the likes of me I wish I could find it to check) it came up on my phones Twitter feed which for some reason nearly always means I can’t actually find it when I search on my PC…

  28. You must never strike….

    That sounds pretty fascist

  29. This should be regained by the Tories given the national picture, though there are no certainties. The demographics are obviously trending away from them so it could well be their last chance to get an MP in place and build up a personal vote before it’s lost for the foreseeable future, only becoming winnable for them again if they start doing a lot better with BME voters

  30. Wes Streeting will also have first time incumbency on his side

  31. On the other hand Streeting has to carry the burdens of his record (voting with May on hard Brexit), the Council on which he still sit’s record, and his outspoken criticism for the Leader he is now campaigning for as next PM.

    If Scott stands my bet would be he’ll retake it.

  32. Ilford North is projected to have voted narrowly to leave the EU.

    I think the Conservatives will win this but narrowly and on a below average swing.

  33. Voting for Brexit can’t hurt in an area that voted leave. It will be hard for Tories to cast Streeting as Corbyns man and he’ll be running as his own man

  34. @Matt that makes no sense at all. The people who voted leave are mostly the Tory voters.

  35. Lee Scott has confirmed he’s bidding to make a comeback here.

  36. Ever is a long time but certainly the foreseeable future given there is little suggestion of the Tories doing better among the minority ethnic groups in the area

  37. Ine

  38. Edmonton etc I agree, but here the Tories should do better than last time amongst Jewish, Hindu and Sikh voters (over 20% here).

  39. Low swing in some places obviously means higher swings elsewhere, which is why I just have a sneaky feeling for Sunderland Central. Imagine that, especially if it’s the first result of the night…

  40. Leave area and recent strong results in local elections

  41. Hate to be overly critical but predicting Sunderland Central will go blue is right up there with the prediction made the other day that the Tories could win Vauxhall. Lab have a 27% majority so even if the swing is WELL above average the Tories wouldn’t win it but still lets look closely at some of the reasons given why he Tories might win it.

    The fact that Sunderland voted leave? Yes but Sunderland Central was the most pro Remain part of the city and it wasn’t a monolithic leave vote (high 50’s in Central I believe) so that’s not much of a justification unless your also predicting the Tories will also win in Barnsley, Wigan and Barking too due to the high leave vote.

    As for strong local election results compared to what? The rest of Sunderland? The Tories have always done well locally in Sunderland Central but in recent years they’ve been sliding with formerly safe Barnes looking increasingly secure for Lab and once winnable Ryhope falling totally out of reach, The only good news of late was them regaining Fulwell in 2016 which Lab only won once in 2015 probably due to GE turnout.

    Thus I don’t get what a Tory gain in Sunderland Central is predicated on.

  42. Bassetlaw won’t go Tory. Mann voted Leave and so is in touch with Worksop.

  43. In today’s climate suggesting that the Conservatives can’t win any of their top 100 target seats is folly

  44. Rivers,

    I’ve said Sunderland Central is a potential shock (by definition unlikely) so I’m not EXPECTING it to go blue by any means.

    In saying that we have people saying the Tories will do less well than expected in London, less well than expected in the South West and less well than expected in the leafy, remain-favouring Home Counties. All of which would mean either the polls are wrong or they’re going to have to do better than expected SOMEWHERE!

  45. Paul
    Well first things first take the polls with a pinch of salt, I’m not saying their wrong exactly but whenever they predict massive leads the actual vote on the day tends to be a lot closer, in the run up to 97 polls consistently gave Lab a 30 point lead but in the vote itself they only led by 12.5 points. I think best case scenario is the Tories will be 15 points ahead.

    As for the Tories supposedly doing less well in certain regions I’d say the following…

    London=Probably true as a whole but in the areas where they do lag they will partially make up for it in other parts like Harrow where I expect they will over perform.

    SE=I don’t think anybody seriously expects the Tories to underperform notably here, most parts are just too solidly Tory for their stance on Brexit to make any real difference. The Libs will surge in the odd seat perhaps (Lewes, Oxford W) but this wont really dent Tory support here.

    SW=This derives from the Lib Dems clawing back support in some of their old seats but in the context of the whole regional vote it probably won’t amount to much, on the face of it they may appear to underperform (cos they’ll probably lose a few seats) but I imagine their vote share will be fairly stable.

    Also you also have to consider the one area were we know the Tories will perform well above average and that’s Scotland.

  46. There was a vox pop feature on Sunday Politics London from here, which included two ‘I normally vote Labour but will vote Conservative this time’ voters… only 246 need to switch to flip the seat…

  47. An almost certain CON GAIN. 90% probability imo

  48. Rivers10 – you merely illustrate the fact that Labour never manages to achieve/turnout on Polling Day the figure they are in the polls.

    So it’s not leads that are exaggerated per se for either Party but the Labour %.

    This was true in GEs, Europeans and Locals over the past 20 years.

  49. Lancs
    It isn’t just a Lab phenomena though the same applied to the Tories in the run up to 83, some polls gave them 30 point leads, the rolling average was in the mid 20’s on the day they managed less than 15.

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