Ilford South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 13455 (25.9%)
Labour: 33232 (64%)
Lib Dem: 1014 (2%)
Green: 1506 (2.9%)
UKIP: 2705 (5.2%)
MAJORITY: 19777 (38.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Redbridge Council Area.

Main population centres: Ilford.

Profile: This is a densely packed residential seat without the Essex countryside of Ilford North, it is less affluent, the housing less desirable. In many ways it resembles its neighbour East Ham more than Ilford North. Most notably it now has a very large ethnic population, the second highest non-white population in the country and the second highest proportion of Asian voters. Ilford is perhaps still associated with the suburban Essex part of London, but demographic change has since made this seat part of ethnically diverse east London.

Politics: Ilford South was traditionally a true marginal and a good bellwether seat, since 1951 it has been won by the party that went on to form the government in every election except 1992, when it was narrowly gained by Labour. The massive demographic changes here and the Conservative party`s difficulties in appealing to ethnic minority voters though have transformed it into a safe Labour seat.

Current MP
MIKE GAPES (Labour) Born 1952, Wanstead. Educated at Buckhurst Hill County Hill and Cambridge University. Former Labour party organiser. Contested Ilford North 1983. First elected as MP for Ilford South in 1992. PPS to Paul Murphy and Adam Ingram 1997-1999, PPS to Jeff Rooker 2001-2003.
Past Results
Con: 14014 (27%)
Lab: 25301 (49%)
LDem: 8679 (17%)
GRN: 1319 (3%)
Oth: 1878 (4%)
MAJ: 11287 (22%)
Con: 11628 (27%)
Lab: 20856 (49%)
LDem: 8761 (21%)
UKIP: 685 (2%)
Oth: 763 (2%)
MAJ: 9228 (22%)
Con: 10622 (26%)
Lab: 24619 (60%)
LDem: 4647 (11%)
UKIP: 1407 (3%)
MAJ: 13997 (34%)
Con: 15073 (30%)
Lab: 29273 (59%)
LDem: 3152 (6%)
Oth: 1448 (3%)
MAJ: 14200 (28%)

2015 Candidates
CHRIS CHAPMAN (Conservative)
MIKE GAPES (Labour) See above.
ASHBURN HOLDER (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 157 Responses on “Ilford South”
  1. Postal votes in London nearly always skew more Tory than a borough as a whole, so I would guess even on the list vote Ilford North narrowly voted Tory. How did it vote for the GLA member? For mayor I recall Johnson carried the seat.

    I don’t disagree that Labour will win the borough but it’s not a foregone conclusion that they’ll top the poll in Ilford North….if they do it’s very bad news for Lee Scott.

  2. Labour won the postal vote in Redbridge by over 1,000. We then have to deduce how much of the very large Labour advantage in most of Ilford S (with the slight exception of Cranbrook) would be nullified by the very large Tory lead in Monkhams & to a lesser extent in Church End – there might be a very slight advantage for the Tories in addition in Wanstead & Snaresbrook put together. I would calculate that the postal vote in Ilford N would have had a Tory lead of perhaps 300 taking everything into account, and that therefore Labour “won” Ilford N by about 400 votes in the GLA list vote.

  3. Pete Whitehead’s estimate for Ilford North are as follows:


    Con 11249 40.4%
    Lab 10769 38.7%
    Grn 1085 3.9%
    LD 1480 5.3%
    UKIP 1474 5.3%
    BNP 736 2.6%
    Res 368 1.3%
    ED 395 1.4%
    NF 277 1.0%


    Lab 10963 39.3%
    Con 10813 38.7%
    Grn 1242 4.4%
    LD 993 3.6%
    UKIP 1586 5.7%
    BNP 737 2.6%
    CPA 481 1.7%
    Oth 1104 4.0%

    So neck and neck essentially. Given that I think the Tories will do somewhat better in 2015 than they did in 2013 I incline towards Scott holding with a three-figure majority.

  4. *2012 even.

    The figures are courtesy of the other site.

  5. Incidentally, I agree with Barnaby that the Redbridge results were pretty horrifying for the Conservatives. The medium to long term picture looks very bleak indeed.

  6. But it would appear they carried the seat on the May 2014 council results – just.

  7. The Lib Dem candidate is Ashburn Holder.

  8. Disgusted with the Tory candidate (a greasy, nakedly ambitious twenty-something fresh from PPE and a SPAD-ship) and the local Tory Association Officers (most of whom are half-dead) who insisted on canvassing Ilford South to death and never leaving their patch. The result is a Labour majority 20000 while Lee Scott lost by hundreds in Ilford North next door.

  9. I find it hard to believe they insisted on mass-canvassing Ilford South. If they really did, I suppose they got what they deserved in Ilford.

  10. That’s bad planning and it surprised me a bit because the Redbridge Tories seemed to neglect the south of the Borough although this was around 2006 when it was possible to win the odd seat there.
    It is disappointing for Tories as could have saved three London seats with just small number of extra votes.
    The Labour majority here really is stupendous momentum.

  11. Mike Gapes has tweeted, “I’m Labour. I I’m not going anywhere.

  12. “If you want me out you will have to deselect me”

  13. Has Gapes been threatened with deselection? I haven’t read those tweets, but I imagine they’ll be replied to with a ton of hard left hipsters.

  14. EDIT: “by”, not “with”.

  15. There was apparently a loud PLP meeting, so it may have been borne out of frustration at the new Leadership and the spectre of dereliction.

    I assume it’s too early for any formal moves by the NEC or CLPs.

  16. Gapes will perhaps be one of the easier MPs to deselect because, his seat having become predominantly Asian in the past 20 years, there will be many figures in the local and national parties who will want an Asian MP here. Quite similar to what happened in Southall in 1992.

  17. Gapes has, according to the rolling BBC politics feed, been very critical of McDonnell’s apparent U-turn, indicating he’d show the same loyalty to Corbyn as he (Corbyn) did to previous leaders.

    I suspect since then he might have been got at – not least by the pro-Corbyn Twitterati who tend to hurl abuse at anyone who dares criticise him or his leadership.

  18. I’ll never understand why politicians, or anyone else for that matter, feel the need to use Twitter

  19. I would have thought age would have been a reason he’d retire in 2020 anyway, although the Left or NEC couldn’t suggest that given Corbyn and Dennis Skinner are older.

    In fact those moderates/on the Right of the Party will probably now deliberately stick around. I can’t see Frank Field going given that he wasn’t pushed out the last time Militant tried.

    I spotted amongst the Thatcher archive releases a piece about Kilroy in a scuffle with Corbin over the subject of expelling Militants such as McDonnell. JC says he walked off. RK-S also denies hitting him – in fact he says if he had done Corbyn wouldn’t have got up!

  20. HH – I agree. I don’t use it at all.

  21. Me neither – for those in the public eye (see also Facebook comments) it’s an excuse to attract vitriol from all sorts of people.

  22. I think for some people in the public eye- pop stars and Z list celebs- Twitter is a useful tool. For politicians, it should be an absolute no no.

  23. True. Politics being show business for ugly people springs to mind.

    Have you heard of the Liverpool Cllr with more Twitter followers than most celebs? That really is a sad case.

  24. I haven’t heard of that particular individual. I can only assume that this counciller is 1) a very attractive female or 2) a total attention junkie who possibly pays people to follow them. Or perhaps both 1 and 2.

  25. Mike Gapes will be around 68 in 2020, so he could well wish to go on untl 2025. That is unless he iis deselected.

  26. Mike Gapes has ‘gained’ Ilford South on two occasions for Labour.

    1992 followed by a notional gain by 14000 in 1997 following pro-Tory boundary changes.

    Labour’s majority is now around 10% greater now under a Conservative Government than under the 1997 Labour landslide.

    This constituency is now much more like Newham than Redbridge.

  27. I saw some of the notional results for the former Wanstead & Woodford constituency (Winston Churchill’s last constituency) where it to be re-created.

    Once a safe Conservative seat in Redbridge, it would now be pretty marginal.

  28. “It’s quite crazy how Enfield and Redbridge have moved towards Labour over the last couple of decades.”

    Why crazy? It’s what you’d expect given the demographic movements.

  29. Chingford & Woodford Green is cross-borough, the former of which is in Waltham Forest and still remains reliably Conservative. I was around Woodford during the summer – specifically South Woodford. The area itself is very nice but has definitely become more diverse. I am sure much of Labour’s decent performance in C&WG in May was attributable to their vote in Redbridge wards, probably taking a lot of Lib Dem votes with them.

    Ilford has transformed rapidly. I went there for food several times this summer (there’s great south Indian cuisine!). The town centre and some of the housing areas with numerous semis were looking kind of shabby, though not to the same extent as East Ham.

  30. Mike Gapes has undergone emergency surgery after he was taken ill with chest pains on Saturday.

  31. Whatever our politics, we will all wish Mike Gapes well, hoping that he makes a full and speedy recovery.

  32. If I were him I’d resign and enjoy my retirement.

    Today’s parliamentary Labour party is no place for sane MPs with a heart condition.

  33. That is regrettable news. I’m sure Mr Gapes would have been looking forward to taking a full part in the Syria debate, and indeed many people would have been interested to hear his contributions to it.

  34. I hope Mike Gapes is ok.
    Always seems like a very sensible man, and it’s interesting to hear what he has to say.

    I think he must be well thought of in this seat.

    I went to help in a by-election in Cranbrook in 2008 conditions which is the one ward where the Tories are still competitive.
    People mentioned it then and I couldn’t disagree.
    Maybe it is an extra factor on top of the massive long term Labour swing here.

  35. Gapes has problems with his strong pro-Israel views in a seat that is now over a third Muslim. His recent emergence as one of the awkward squad suggests to me that he probably won’t stand again, particularly given likely boundary changes in the area, which at the aborted review essentially merged the seat with Ilford North.

  36. Maybe, though I sense Gapes rather enjoys being part of the awkward squad! Of course, if the two Ilford seats were merged I’m sure he’d stand down to let Wes Streeting contest the new seat. He’d be a loss as so few Labour MPs these days are genuinely interested in foreign affairs.

  37. Mike Gapes has confirmed he is standing again.

  38. I imagine also that by tomorrow all the Labour MP’s who are not standing will be known. Many are filling in their nomination papers for their CLP’s today. I presume a similar process happens for the other parties.

  39. Conservatives have reselected Chris Chapman as their candidate for GE 2017.

  40. Mike Gapes has resigned from the Labour Party.

  41. Among a hundred other instances of Westminster politicians being unpleasant and vindictive creatures, the Labour whips appear to be cleansing TIG defectors from select committees. Gapes and Austin were thrown off the Foreign Affairs SC today, and there is immense pressure to remove Luciana Berger from Health.

  42. 13 Labour MPswho voted to keep the Tiggers on the select committees earlier:

    Adrian Bailey
    Kevin Barron
    Chris Bryant
    Ann Clwyd
    Louise Ellman
    Paul Farrelly
    Jim Fitzpatrick
    Margaret Hodge
    David Lammy
    Steve McCabe
    Siobhain McDonagh
    Ian Murray
    Wes Streeting

  43. This isn’t vindictive imo a Conservative councillor in Herts resigned from the party and therefore had to step down from the comittee she sat on as the Tory nominee. This is no differemt just Gapes and Austin are MPs

  44. Luciana Berger has shown evidence that the Labour whips advertised a vacnacy at the Health select committee but no mp was willing to be added to replace her (probably because the only ones who would are shadow minsters or not interested in joining any committee.)

  45. Matt W – it is different.

    Most council committees are simply pro rata ie mini versions of full council.

    Select Committee chairs are voted on by all MPs precisely so the front benches don’t have them in their gift. In short they are not there as Lab nominees.

    Frank Field is chair because he is Frank Field.

  46. Matt W – it is different.

    Council committees are simply pro rata ie mini versions of full council.

    Select committee chairs are elected by all MPs precisely so the front benches can’t control who they are. In short they are not there as Lab nominees.

    Frank Field became a committee chair because he was Frank Field.

    So the comparison is more like who cllrs elect to be Lord Mayor. Sometimes they choose the only Ind or a minority such as a Tory in St Helens or Radford Liberal in Liverpool.

  47. Matt W – that isn’t true.

    Council committee composition is simply pro rata ie they are mini versions of full council.

    Select committee chairs are elected by all MPs precisely so the front benches cannot choose them. ie they are not there as Labour nominees.

    So Frank Field became a SC chair because he was Frank Field.

    A correct comparison would be cllrs choosing who to become Lord Mayor, as they sometimes elect an Ind or minority Cllr such as a Tory in St Helens, or Radford Liberal in Liverpool.

  48. Lancs is correct on this.

    Incidentally this highlights one major difference between TIG and the early SDP. When the SDP was formed, most Labour MPs were ferociously hostile to it, including those on the right of the party. Certainly if the current system had been in place, few if any of the SDP would have kept their committee seats unless the Tories wanted to make mischief. By contrast many Labour MPs are clearly conciliatory towards TIG, in public as well as in private.

  49. I think this may be partly about the Corbyn-sceptics in the Labour Party defining themselves in opposition to the Owen Joneses and Aaron Bastanis. Since they immediately went on the attack, clearly they were wrong and a softly-softly approach was the order of the day.

  50. Though saying that I went to my CLP GC on Thursday last week and my MP who I would say is quite mainstream basically said that if these MPs didn’t feel they belonged then it’s a good thing they left. Though idk if that’s a personal animosity toward tge neighbouring ‘TIGger’ who’s ‘thrown the seat away’ as our MP put it.

    I’m too young to talk about the SDP as if I was there but I did go to school with a lad whose father was one of the 20 odd MPs to defect and I knew the MP of our home town at the time and I never knew him say a word against the SDP

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