Islington North

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8465 (17.2%)
Labour: 29659 (60.2%)
Lib Dem: 3984 (8.1%)
Green: 5043 (10.2%)
UKIP: 1971 (4%)
Others: 112 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 21194 (43%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Tufnell Park, Archway, Finsbury Park, Highbury.

Profile: A compact, densely-populated inner-city seat in North London, the smallest in the country by area. While there is some gentrification this this seat covers some of the most deprived, troubled and crime-ridden parts of Islington, inclusing the huge Andover Estate. It includes HMP Holloway and Arsenal`s Emirates Stadium. Islington is a particular young area, and has the highest proportion of unmarried people in the country.

Politics: The constituency has been safely Labour since the 1930s, though the then sitting MP Michael O`Halloran defected to the SDP in 1981 and fought the seat as an independent in 1983, having lost the selection for the SDP nomination.

Current MP
JEREMY CORBYN (Labour) Born 1949, Chippenham. Educated at Adam`s Grammar School and North London Polytechnic. Former trade union organiser. Haringey councillor 1974-1983. First elected as MP for Islington North in 1983. Leader of the Labour Party since 2015. Jeremy Corbyn spent over thirty years on Labour`s backbenches, a stalwart member of the left-wing Campaign Group and Labour`s most rebellious MP. In the 2015 he was the left`s sacrificial candidate for the Labour leadership, reportedly because it was his turn. In the event he was not just competitive in the contest, but won a landslide victory.
Past Results
Con: 6339 (14%)
Lab: 24276 (54%)
LDem: 11875 (27%)
GRN: 1348 (3%)
Oth: 716 (2%)
MAJ: 12401 (28%)
Con: 3740 (12%)
Lab: 16118 (51%)
LDem: 9402 (30%)
GRN: 2234 (7%)
MAJ: 6716 (21%)
Con: 3249 (11%)
Lab: 18699 (62%)
LDem: 5741 (19%)
GRN: 1876 (6%)
Oth: 651 (2%)
MAJ: 12958 (43%)
Con: 4631 (13%)
Lab: 24834 (69%)
LDem: 4879 (14%)
Oth: 1516 (4%)
MAJ: 19955 (56%)

2015 Candidates
ALEX BURGHART (Conservative)
JEREMY CORBYN (Labour) See above.
JULIAN GREGORY (Liberal Democrat)
CAROLINE RUSSELL (Green) Islington councillor.
BILL MARTIN (Socialist Party GB)
Comments - 3,991 Responses on “Islington North”
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  1. Looking at the 2010 local election results it’s interesting that the LDs topped the poll in two wards in Islington North – Highbury East and St George’s – whereas in Islington South they only managed it in one ward, Canonbury. Since Islington South is a stronger seat for the LDs their vote must be far more evenly spread over the constituency compared to Islington North.

  2. IIRC Labour lead over LD in 2010 locals were pretty similar in North and South unlike GE results

  3. There must be a good chance that Jeremy Corbyn will decide to stand down in 2015 given his age and length of service.

  4. Not sure about that one. My money would be slightly on him carrying on.

  5. There are 2 by-elections in split wards on Thursday, one in a Labour seat in St George’s & another in an LD seat in Junction. In the current circumstances it would be remarkable if Labour failed to notch up a gain.

  6. Jeremy Corbyn has traded for years on his left-wing credentials while getting himself a nice house and pension. Can’t see him giving it up now.

  7. That’s a strange remark. I don’t think many people would doubt that Corbyn is genuinely left-wing. And I’ve never heard before that he lives in any particular splendour. Perhaps it would be best if we attack politicians for what their record is rather than indulge in this kind of thing, unless genuine skullduggery or lies have taken place.

  8. “Jeremy Corbyn has traded for years on his left-wing credentials while getting himself a nice house and pension. Can’t see him giving it up now”

    I get the point but he has worked hard for his home and pension over a long period of public service.

  9. Corbyn also divorced his wife because she refused to send their child to a comprehensive school.

    That doesn’t sound like the actions of a champagne socialist to me, although it seems like a pretty extreme and pig-headed thing to do for the sake of a point of principle.

    I’m in favour of ending all final salary pensions in the public sector (including MPs) and transferring them to sustainable money purchase schemes, which most workers in the private sector have had to live with for much of the last decade. It is however ridiculous to single out individuals for benefitting from the system that happens to be in place.

  10. Don’t want to seem like I’m piling on, but is Corbyn supposed to live in a bad house with no pension just because he’s left-wing? And like BM said, I’ve never heard he even lives in any kind of luxury anyway.

  11. There’s nothing to stop an MP waiving some or all the financial benefits of their office if they see fit.

    I seem to recall Dave Nellist saying he would only take a ‘worker’s wage’ while an MP. Assuming he stuck to that, that sounds more genuinely socialist to me than most supposedly left-wing Labour MPs.

  12. Dennis Skinner gives 30-50% of his salary to NUM-related funds, mostly dealing with health problems for retired miners these days.

    During the 84-85 miners’ strike he gave more than half his salary to the strike fund for miners’ families, handing the money over in cash to avoid the government impounding it.

  13. Rather a contrast with the likes of Dianne Abbott.

  14. She is the biggest hypocrite of them all.

  15. I was in a rather similar situation to Corbyn. I decided I wanted to stay married. As I still am.

  16. You made the right choice.

    Divorcing over a silly point of principle is really unfair to the children.

  17. He could have just not agreed with the decision and stated publicly that it was his wife’s decision and he didn’t want it but was putting up with it for the sake of his marriage. It couldn’t have been much of a marriage if that ended it.

    I’m married to a labour party member and sometime activist (of the Marder wing of the party) and we wouldn’t let our considerable political differences split us like that.

  18. Poor you. I don’t have that particular problem. We have serious doctrinal differences but we do vote for the same party.

  19. she sent the son to Queen Elizabeth boys’ school while he wanted him to go to Holloway school.

    At the time she declared:

    ‘My children’s education is my absolute priority, and this situation left me with no alternative but to accept a place at Queen Elizabeth boys’ school. The decision was made by myself alone and without the consent of my husband,’
    ‘The difficulties of making decisions under these circumstances have played an important role in bringing about a regrettable marital break-up.’
    ‘I could not compromise my son’s future for my husband’s career. I regret it is going to be difficult for Jeremy, but it was an impossible decision. Nobody really is a winner.’

  20. “My children’s education is my absolute priority”.

    Don’t they realise that’s precisely the same reason why most people who choose to send their children to private school do so? It’s as if this is a new and daring explanation which no-one has ever thought of before.

  21. I really don’t think that the subtleties of what goes on in a marriage can be extrapolated from press articles. She clearly thought it was her decision, not his, so that rather suggests there was far more to the relationship breakdown than simply this topic.

  22. Whilst off topic on the education discussion, one bizarre trait about the Left (particularly the hard left) is their desire to ally with any group that thinks that the UK is bad. Take Irish republicanism for example, with some going far enough to endorse the likes of the IRA

  23. Ditto with the Falklands, despite Argentina’s woeful excuse of an argument.

  24. Falklands in an excellent example

  25. I distinctly remember at the time of the Falklands war seeing SWP demonstrators waving placards that read ‘Victory to the Argies’. As I was very much at a formative age then politically and this was a very formative event as well, I have always reviled the left and particularly those like the MP for this seat and Ken Livingstone who seem always to side with the enemies of this country whether that be Irish terrorists, South American Juntas or hardline Islamists.

  26. There are quite a lot of those.
    They like poking fun at their own country and undermining it – maybe as an old democracy with a belief in freedom, it’s something we have to rise above and put up with – that’s the test – but I find it pretty disgusting.

  27. George Orwell famously wrote that British intellectuals were the only ones who were ashamed of their own country.

  28. Think it was more of a criticism of the far left than any moderate labour party position.

  29. State education for the largest part is rubbish – that has to be one of the greatest exaggerations I’ve seen on this site, with all due respect, You don’t have to be a raging left-winger like me to agree with that.
    Joe you probably meant “moderate” as some sort of compliment, but don’t you dare accuse me of being moderate! Thank you kindly.

  30. The reason I brought up the left’s doting admiration of all enemies of the UK, is because I think it’s relevant to modern political trends. The growth in the UKIP vote I think comes from a demographic that doesn’t want to be constantly reminded how bad their country is.

    Personally I’d consider myself of the old labour right (would have voted Callaghan over Thatcher) but what happened to that party in the 80s was abhorrent and what happened with Blair was even worse.

  31. “that has to be one of the greatest exaggerations I’ve seen on this site, with all due respect”

    I have to agree with you there. I know that there are different factors that determine why one school does well and why others do not. My view is clouded by the lack of decent comps in my patch. Many are diabolical from Tower Hamlets moving outwards. I think there are too many poor teachers and I find the current system restrictive as it holds back smarter children for the sake of ‘equality’. I do think we need more grammar schools, there should be at least one in every borough to give those smarter children, no matter what their background, the chance to excel.

    Generally I prefer Grammar or religious schools as I prefer the discipline and higher teaching standards.

  32. Yes, the ‘patriotic’ Labour tradition my grandparents would have subscribed to and which Callaghan was connected with has largely vanished now. Orwell’s comments are more relevant than ever in that respect.

  33. The claim that there is no ‘patriotic’ Labour tradition any more is abject nonsense. Foot was as supportive of the Falklands War as anybody, despite being the most left-wing leader we’ve ever had, and the argument that most of the left wishes ill on Britain doesn’t deserve the dignity of a response.

  34. People will believe what they want to believe Edward. If you collected the statements of all those who have left particular parties, they make remarkable reading – some people have said some extraordinary things which have borne very little relationship with what most people would agree is actually the case. I remember Eddie Lyons, then MP for Bradford West, saying in 1981 that he was joining the SDP because the Labour Party was no longer in favour of parliamentary democracy (did he REALLY think Michael Foot wanted a communist dictatorship? for goodness’ sake), but many others who have left parties – by no means just Labour – have made similarly ridiculous statements. I don’t see anything unpatriotic about Ed Miliband, less still Gordon Brown who talked about British jobs for British workers. Personally I’m very proud of living, and happy to live, in Britain, and support our sports teams to the hilt, but think that there are many more important things than patriotism, even though I would never contemplate leaving this country to live in another one – this is still a great country, however it is run at present.

  35. It is also completely wrong to say that most state schools in Inner London are appalling.

    It is a matter of record that GCSE results in the poorer areas of Inner London are far better than those from much of the rest of the UK, certainly in comparison with deprived areas the industrial north.

    There was a programme on recently where schools in Barnsley were trying to learn lessons from Tower Hamlets in how to achieve good exam results in a deprived area.

    It may well be true that Labour spent massive amounts of money on Inner London schools relative to elsewhere but the facts are the facts.

    Many people including myself dislike the idea of sending their kids to Inner London schools but that more reflects concerns about gang crime and, dare I say, fears that our children will be in the minority in terms of speaking English as a first language.

  36. I believe DC recently visited a school in Hackney that had been turned around and was set as a beacon of progress.

    Probably says a lot about the aspiration of the young people who go there and in turn that of their families compared to the industrial north.

  37. I’m not sure how references to Michael Foot’s stand on the Falklands over thirty years ago in any way negate my suggestion.

    The patriotic, working class element in Labour often rooted in moderate trades unionism is more or less moribund – at least among MPs and activists.

  38. The right-wingers in the trade unions were booted out by the membership by & large. They were more interested in being bureaucrats & doing deals with the Labour Party leadership than actually doing much to improve the position of their members. There are some exceptions. If the left-wing leaderships of unions are perceived by the members to have failed them, then perhaps the right will make a comeback – but in the case of the FBU, Andy Gilchrist, hardly a Labour right-winger by most people’s reckoning, was replaced by a harder left-wing element. Once again, I would dispute your assertion that right wing = patriotic, left wing = unpatriotic. Mind you, you seem fond of making highly tendentious assertions, so perhaps I should just ignore them when they are totally or mainly nonsense.

  39. “I would dispute your assertion that right wing = patriotic, left wing = unpatriotic”

    That’s far too gross a generalisation to entertain.

    However, looking at Labour’s recent record: ill thought out devolution hacking up the country, threatening to enforce joing Spanish soverignty on Gibraltar, seceding unnecessary parts of Hong Kong, along with so many prominent members’ affection for Sinn Fein, perhaps you can begin to see why some people might be susceptible to such a view.

  40. So supporting devolution is unpatriotic? Patriotism is not the same as unbridled unionism.

  41. Barnaby – are you campaigning today for the two Islington by-elections? I’d be interested to hear any news on how they’re going if so.

  42. I would be, but I’ve been pretty unwell for over a week. I don’t expect to return to action until next week.

  43. @Runnymede – indeed, the reference to Michael Foot doesn’t have too much relevance to your comment. It was in reply to Robberbutton’s comments about ‘what happened in the 80s.’ It wasn’t true then that Labour was unpatriotic as a totality, it isn’t true now, and indeed it hasn’t been true at any time the accusation has been made throughout its history, which is constantly.

    The fact that the accusation continues to be made is interesting, but less for what it says about the Labour Party.

  44. Foot would have been yes,
    as would Callaghan and most others in those traditions.

    Of course they were, as were and still are most of their voters.

    Patriotism is definitely not something that belongs to Conservative Party, and I certainly wouldn’t try to make out it shoud be .

    But the rather screechy Metropolitan equality types don’t seem to share these views.

  45. Are we trying to turn UKPR into YouTube or something?

  46. Labour very easily won the two by-elections in this constituency, the LDs dropping to third behind the Greens in Junction.
    I posted a result from Havering, Gooshays on the relevant thread, but for some reason that thread hasn;t come to the top of the recent comments list

  47. Indeed, congratulations to UKIP in Havering and to Labour in Islington. A very striking divergence between inner and outer London which indicates the ever-growing cultural difference between different areas of the capital.

  48. “so supporting devolution is unpatriotic? Patriotism is not the same as unbridled unionism.”

    Not devolution per se, just the hap hazard approach taken by the last government.

    Apart from NI, the regions that were singled out were Scotland, Wales, NE & NW England, Yorkshire and London. All these were Labour strongholds at that time.

    I certainly don’t think that tinkering with constitutional for partisan political gain should ever be undertaken.

    And I don’t think the devolution train should have ever been started without addressing the English question. (Not doing so has done this country plenty of harm)

  49. Except that those were also the regions where there was believed to be some appetite for devolution – correctly in the case of Scotland and Wales, incorrectly elsewhere.

    What’s more, what was the North East assembly but an attempt to address the English question? It wasn’t well addressed, because it was never made clear what said assembly was actually there to do, but it was clearly an attempt to create a new model.

  50. How favourable are the demographics here to the Greens?

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