Islington South & Finsbury

2015 Result:
Conservative: 9839 (22.2%)
Labour: 22547 (50.9%)
Lib Dem: 4829 (10.9%)
Green: 3371 (7.6%)
UKIP: 3375 (7.6%)
Others: 309 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 12708 (28.7%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Finsbury, Islington, Clerkenwell, Canonbury.

Profile: Islington is fashionable and up-market residential area, Tony Blair lived in Barnsbury prior to his elected as Prime Minister and the area was for a time closely associated with New Labour. However there is also a large traditional Labour vote here, with a high proportion of council tenants and substantial Afro-caribbean and asian communities. Islington is a particular young area, and has the highest proportion of unmarried people in the country. To the south the seat borders the City of London and contains office and business development that has spilled over from the city proper, such as the offices of Finsbury Square (the former site of the Occupy London camp) and the cluster of tech start-up companies around the Old Street roundabout.

Politics: Now a safe Labour seat, this has occassionally been a Labour-Lib Dem marginal. All three Islington MPs defected to the SDP and in 1983 the seat was only narrowly held by Labour`s Chris Smith against the incumbent George Cunningham. Chris Smith himself built a strong Labour majority, but after his retirement in 2005 it once again came under threat from the third party, with the Liberal Democrats only narrowly missing out at the 2005 election.

Current MP
EMILY THORNBERRY (Labour) Born 1960, London. Educated at University of Kent. Former barrister, specialising in human rights. Contested Canterbury 2001. First elected as MP for Islington South in 2005. Shadow Attorney General 2011-2014. Shadow Employmenr Minister since 2015. Was forced to resign from the frontbench in 2014 after tweeting about a house in Rochester and Strood bedecked with St George flags and a white van in a way that was seen as being disparaging.
Past Results
Con: 8449 (19%)
Lab: 18407 (42%)
LDem: 14838 (34%)
GRN: 710 (2%)
Oth: 1151 (3%)
MAJ: 3569 (8%)
Con: 4594 (15%)
Lab: 12345 (40%)
LDem: 11861 (38%)
GRN: 1471 (5%)
Oth: 690 (2%)
MAJ: 484 (2%)
Con: 3860 (14%)
Lab: 15217 (54%)
LDem: 7937 (28%)
Oth: 1192 (4%)
MAJ: 7280 (26%)
Con: 4587 (13%)
Lab: 22079 (63%)
LDem: 7516 (21%)
Oth: 393 (1%)
MAJ: 14563 (41%)

2015 Candidates
MARK LIM (Conservative)
EMILY THORNBERRY (Labour) See above.
TERRY STACY (Liberal Democrat) Housing Association chairman. Islington councillor 2002-2014, Tower Hamlets councillor 1998-2002. Leader of Islington council 2009-2010. Awarded the MBE for services to housing in 2011.
CHARLIE KISS (Green) Local government officer.
Comments - 312 Responses on “Islington South & Finsbury”
  1. ET “poise and dignity” – who knew.

  2. As dreadful as ET was, I do actually see where Deepthroat is coming from. She does have a sense of humour and she waa a good sport, given that 95% of the vitriol being thrown on the programme was being thrown at her. She is a poor politician and she wouldn’t have convinced a single floating voter in the country to now back Labour, but I do give her some credit on that sole point.

    Also agree with Deepthroat re: the Independent guy. His answer to everything appeared to be ‘tough shit’, basically.

  3. ‘She does have a sense of humour and she was a good sport, given that 95% of the vitriol being thrown on the programme was being thrown at her. ‘

    She took it well certainly, unlike the repugnant Katie Hopkins who on the following program was considerably less dignified after facing a severe grilling from the always on-form Andrew Neil – a man known for not suffering fools gladly – over her unequivocal support for Donald Trump

    On the broader point Tristan is right however. Thornberry has been a bit of a liability to the Labour Party for quite some time now and whilst its shadow ranks are hardly awashed with talent, she seems way too gaffe prone to be suitable for any role in a future government – not that that scenario is something the Labour Party has to comtemplate at the moment

  4. The audience only jeered because of what she said to them specifically in her question…how many of you voted to take away your neighbour’s job.

    A ludicrous suggestion and the Lefty equivalent of the ‘If you want a N*gger for a neighbour vote Labour’ jibe from 50 years ago.

  5. Lancs
    To be fair to her she clearly wasn’t accusing people of voting that way, she was trying to point out that people HADN’T voted for that but the Tories handling of Brexit is inadvertently resulting in it. Don’t get me wrong it was a plain stupid use of language on her part that was only going to go one way but it should be clear to peeps here what her actual intent was.

    Relating this to the discussion on another thread about believing what you want to believe this is exactly what I was referring to Lancs, its pretty obvious what ET was trying to do but you have spun what was in reality a stupid use of language into an aggressive, vitriolic attack by ET against Brexiters and then to compare it the situation in Smethwick???.Forgive me for being rude but its plain silly.

  6. Well she’s won the Spectator, Andrew Neil, Huff Post award for most stupid comment of the year.

    But I realise you don’t rate them either.

    Who knows what she intended.

    It wasn’t her choice of language that was at fault – it was her accusation of the majority of the UK population. No wonder the audience jeered her.

  7. But it was precisely her choice of language cos she didn’t intend to accuse Brexiters of anything but her choice of language made her seem accusatory, as I said it was plain stupid on her part but no good comes from spinning something into something else (on this site at least) it was a moronic use of language on her part, that’s it not “the personification of all that is wrong with a sneering out of touch metropolitan elite who look down on and mock ordinary people” which I’m sure some here will be desperate to paint it as. Not saying such an elite doesn’t exist or even that ET isn’t a part of it I’m just saying we should see this for what it was.

  8. Tim Jones- Hopkins’ face at the end of that Neil interview was a picture (not a very pretty one, mind). Sour, petulant, angry, baffled, defeated. She’s a horror show.

  9. Okay, you don’t like Katie Hopkins because she’s a right-wing populist. I think we get that. Can we move on now?

  10. I only mentioned Hopkins once.

    What’s wrong, Andy? Worried that old Katie is showing the Brexiteers up?

  11. Katie Hopkins has made a career out of people not liking her.

  12. Rivers10 – er no, ET had already achieved that previously with her flag tweet in Rochester!

  13. Lancs
    Arguably which is why its all the easier to paint this as a repeat when this was even more obviously just a silly mistake rather than anything untoward than the whole white van incident was.

  14. “Okay, you don’t like Katie Hopkins because she’s a right-wing populist.”

    Erm, to be a populist you have to be popular. Katie Hopkins is about as popular as chicken pox. A more accurate description is that she’s a dim-witted self-publicist. She certainly doesn’t do a very good job of putting across the right of centre viewpoint. Certainly, her knowledge of the US based on her interview with Andrew Neil the other night is terrible – my 4 year old could have done better.

  15. Hemelig is spot on

    Having someone like Hopkins – who is almost as stupid as she is unpleasant – on side does the Right no favours whatsoever

    In most countries such people aren’t typically given the time of day but in good old bligty we give them newspaper columns and invite them onto talk shows it seems that stupidity and nastiness have never been in greater demand

  16. To be populist you have to have popular ideas. Many people don’t like Katie Hopkins but many sympathise with her ideas even if the crude manner in which they are contrived alienates many people.

  17. WW – “in most countries such people aren’t given the time of day…”

    Berlusconi, Le Pen, Trump, US shock jocks quite apart from Franco et al.

    We in the UK don’t support extremists, as much as the far Left likes to call everyone fascists.

  18. “Berlusconi, Le Pen, Trump, US shock jocks quite apart from Franco et al.”

    It’s pretty insulting to all of those people to bracket them with an airhead like Hopkins.

  19. ‘Berlusconi, Le Pen, Trump, US shock jocks quite apart from Franco et al.’

    They are political leaders as opposed to columnists or whatever Hopkins would describe herself as

    The UK has no shortage of right wing columnists – Peter Hitchens, Richard Littlejohn, Isabel Oakeshott, Melanie Phillips – and whilst collectively I don’t often agree with them they at least have some substance and coherence and the intelligence to articulate it to back up their controversial positions

    Hopkins has none of this and she does comes across as a nasty, arrogant, dislikeable, unintelligent, unattractive and uncharismatic individual who’s made a fortune through being the living embodiment of everything that’ bad about British politics

  20. Careful Tim/ everyone. Poor old Andy JS is very defensive of Katie. You’ll upset him.

  21. I like Andy Stidwell very much, like me he’s been posting here since the start of the site in 2006. He provides a lot of superb data analysis and is always trustworthy about settling bets etc. With the very greatest of apologies if I’m wrong, his political journey this last 10 years or so seems to have taken him strongly to the right. IIRC he was a Lib Dem a decade ago, I would have placed him somewhat to the left of myself, today from his posts I’d put him on the Tory/UKIP borderline and somewhat to my right. Of course much of the public has made the same kind of journey too.

  22. I greatly enjoy andy’s contributions – his links etc – but i always had him down as a pretty hardline right winger although i haven’t been posting long

    It is indeed some journey if he used to identify with the lib dems

  23. He’s right wing but not as hysterical or hardline as a few commenters here. I couldn’t possibly name names of course.

    Whilst HH is correct re: his ‘positives’ (as it were), I can’t take seriously a poster who literally makes no attempt whatsoever to even be remotely balanced or non partisan in his remarks.

  24. ‘He’s right wing but not as hysterical or hardline as a few commenters here’

    I’m not so sure – I agree with Walt

    Andy’s a gteat poster but nearly all of posts at least for the last five years or so – which rarely consist of more than a couple of sentences – are decisively Right of centre, and I was also flabbergasted to find out he once described himself as a Lib Dem – unless of course it was a joke

  25. It’s nice if UKPR is a broad church of posters.

  26. I’ve just heard Thornberry’s sickening tribute to Castro on the Andrew Marr show (it was even more nauseating than Corbyn’s). It is pretty disgusting that this is the level to which the Labour Party has sunk openly praising a dictatorial monster who abused and impoverished his people for 50 years. Cuba (and Venezuela) are textbook examples as to why socialism is a terrible system and in order for the system not to collapse (by the public voting the socialists out) socialist regimes have to be dictatorships or at the very least extremely authoritarian quasi-dictatorships. You would have thought Corbyn and his cronies would run from Cuba as fast as they can as it’s terrible PR for them and it is a case study on why everything Corbyn believes in wopuld be a disaster if implemented in Britain but I guess they’re not quite intelligent enough to realise that.

  27. I’m not entirely sure whether you’re suggesting that socialists are naive to believe that socialism doesn’t create a dictatorship or that socialists are intentional perverse people who wish a dictatorship upon us. Either way I find your contribution narrow minded and arrogant. We may disagree politically but I’d never dismiss your views or you as either stupid or evil.

  28. Forget the socialism labels. PMT is rightly pointing out that Castro was a murderous monster who impoverished his people and persecuted / removed his political opponents too.

    Surely true socialists on here don’t agree with any form of dictatorships, however ‘socialist-based’ they may be if you can put it that way.

  29. ‘Forget the socialism labels. PMT is rightly pointing out that Castro was a murderous monster who impoverished his people and persecuted ‘

    Of course he is – but I don’t remember him and a whole load of other right-wingers who have jumped on the anti-Castro bandwagon saying the same about the likes of Pinochett – who by any measure was infinitely more wicked

    To the likes of PMT and his buddies I guess dictators like Pinnochet arre strong patriots who are saving their country from socialism whicst the likes of Castro are murderous tyrants

  30. Also worth mentioning that Castro overthrew well a murderous tyrant whilst Pinnochet over threw a democratically elected President

    I hold no candle for Castro but the sheer hypocrissy of those on the Right currently criticising those on the Left who are moarning Castro is breathtaking

  31. Maybe I’m too young for this whole Castro/Pinochet debate. But I highly doubt it’s something the swing voters of Nuneaton give much thought to.

    Matt: “We may disagree politically but I’d never dismiss your views or you as either stupid or evil”.

    Then you are a better man than many of your comrades, and I’d implore you, for the good of political discourse in this country, to remind other Labour Party members that insulting people with whom you disagree is neither kind nor a vote winner.

  32. @Matt I don’t know what your views are but if they are anything similar to Fidel Castro’s (which I’m sure they are not) then yes they are evil.

    What I’m saying is that socialist countries need to be authoritarian and dictatorial to survive. Seen as socialist economies always crush the white collar middle class and bring them down to the level of the poor not the other way round, look what’s happened to Venuzuela once one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America for example. If you don’t run an authoritarian regime with either a full blown dictatorship or at least heavy controls on the media, opposition, public freedoms and dissent your socialist country will collapse when the public gets sick of the stagnant economy and boots the socialists from office. Liberal socialism (the type that many well meaning western socialists subscribe to including perhaps yourself) is completely unworkable as a viable political system as the two ideologies contradict each other. In fact it seems pretty clear the further from the centre ground you go (either left or right) the more authoritarian you have to be to make the system viable (which is why people like Corbyn, McDonnell, Milne, Abbott are authoritarians).

  33. Even a Guardian writer now admits the ‘smug, out-of-touch, metropolitan elite’ exists in London:

  34. “With the greatest respect to Emily, I am the Shadow Defence Secretary and the Shadow Cabinet met on Thursday and no-one raised the prospect of changing the position on Trident.”

    Shadow Defence Sec, Nia Griffith.

  35. I fully expect the LDs and Tories to swap places here.

  36. The Liberal Democrats will again come a poor third here. As a local Councillor I know the seat very well and spoken to alot of voters over a long period of time.

  37. Emily Thornberry has been admitted to Hospital after after an accident whilst cycling.

  38. The Sun are reporting that they have seen private polling from Labour putting the Lib Dems ahead here.

    To be taken with a heavy pinch of salt, but some things are true even if the Sun says they are true… (Personally I think it is more likely Boris Johnson loses his seat, and I don’t think that is very likely.)

  39. It’s a pile of horseshit. Thornberry will get a 20000 majority.

  40. Agreed. If Lab are losing seats like this plus all the Leave voting Northern and Midlands seats they currently hold, they’re looking an absolute bloodbath that would be worse than the Tories in 97 and 01. The current polling and mood don’t suggest things will be quite that horrific.

  41. Pretty unlikely, though LDs did come within a whisker of winning the seat in 2005 and even in their nadir of 2015, the combined LD/Green vote was 18.5%.

    So yes Labour will be having a terrible night in London if this happens, though it would probably be no stranger than Boris losing his seat given Tories aren’t expected to fall quite as much as Labour in London bar a full 2017-esque turn in the campaign and the fact that this is a very remainy seat.

    The fact that it comes from the Sun brings its own red flags though.

  42. This should be fun (Thornberry suing Flint), although I’m told it may end up being several she sues – or several provide witness statements in support of Flint.

    The most laughable was Thornberry’s, “I would never dream of saying anything like that” – to which on the paper review Ella Whelan cited 3 instances from the Rochester flag tweet and since where ET had said something patronising about Leave voters.

    As well as the fact it has not to be true, you also have to prove – to win in defamation – that it resulted in lowering the opinion the average man has of you. That one will certainly be a struggle!

    ET must be hoping her wealth and lawyer friends intimidate. After all it can work: the Met stupidly settled and paid Barrymore damages after all.

  43. ‘ET must be hoping her wealth and lawyer friends intimidate’.

    Ding ding ding! Correct answer. Lady Nugee is pulling rank here.

  44. And Thornberry is the first candidate to formally declare she’s running (though the RLB/Rayner joint ticket is pretty much an open secret at this point).

    ET seems to be standing on a platform of “Corbynism, but with European characteristics”. If Labour members are more concerned with hiding in their comfort zone than asking difficult questions about why they lost, it’s quite a compelling prospectus.

  45. Another thought: since she was Shadow Foreign Secretary for most of Corbyn’s tenure, and often had to defend some pretty kooky stuff from the boss, it’s worth asking her whether she agreed with (eg) Corbyn’s response to the Skripal attack. Might not matter to Labour members (though it certainly should!) but it’s probably quite important to swing voters in northern towns.

  46. Thornberry is eliminated from leadership race at the second stage. She was nominated by 31 CLPs but she needed 33 to get to the ballot (the “3 affiliates representing 5% of the affiliate membership ” route to the ballot was already unreacheable for her).

    She is the only leadership or deputy leadership contender who missed the 33 CLP threshold. Well, not counting Jess Phillips who dropped our earlier.

  47. A Labour councillor for Holloway ward who was previously the borough’s mayor has defected to the Tories, giving them their first representation in Islington since 1994.

    In 1994, the Tories won one of the two seats in the Quadrant ward, holding it from a 1992 by-election. The seat was lost in 1998 when that councillor didn’t stand. Prior to 1992, the Tories won two seats in 1978 and 47 in 1968. At every other Islington council election, the Tories have won no seats.

  48. Seems so weird that you would stick with the Labour Party throughout the Corbyn years and then defect to the Tories now?

  49. Everything in politics seems illogical though nowadays Who would have predicted that such a large proportion of voters who voted Lib Dem in 2010 would back UKIP or that Etonian leaders David Cameron and Boris Johnson would be the men to win over so many wwc voters to the party, or for that matter than the British people would choose to shout themselves in the foot economically by voting for Brexit

    And it’s not just in the U.K.

    Who would have thought that the horrific and incompetent Donald Trump would end up getting the second highest amount of votes ever cast in an American presidential election

  50. This cllr appears to be accusing the leadership of discrimination and Sadiq Khan of failing to deal with knife crime. The Labour Muslim Network did release report into Islamaphobia in the Labour Party. Majority of contributors had experienced Islamaphobia and felt the leadership does not take it seriously.

    As for the Lib Dems, many of their voters were protest voters who switched to the next protest party. With Boris he’s always had a bit of latent support amongst wwc people. I remember my father in law saying he was the only tory he liked

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