Kingston & Surbiton

2015 Result:
Conservative: 23249 (39.2%)
Labour: 8574 (14.5%)
Lib Dem: 20415 (34.5%)
Green: 2322 (3.9%)
UKIP: 4321 (7.3%)
TUSC: 174 (0.3%)
Others: 198 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 2834 (4.8%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Kingston upon Thames council area.

Main population centres: Kingston, Surbiton, New Malden, Berrylands, Norbiton, Tolworth.

Profile: An affluent residential south-west London seat, with a high proportion of owner-occupiers and wealthy commuters. The area is deepest suburbia, stereotypically so even - the BBC sitcom the Good Life was set in Surbiton, and the Rise and Fall of Reginal Perrin in a fictionalised south London suburb that was actually Norbiton. The semi-rural far south of the seat includes the Chessington zoo and theme park..

Politics: The seat was created in 1997 from the amalgamation of the Kingston and Surbition seats. Kingston had been represented by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, who was forced to (eventually unsuccessfully) seek election in the alternative seat of Harrogate and Knaresborough. The seat was one of the most marginal in the country in 1997, but the Liberal Democrat Ed Davey built up a robust majority during here tenure, though not robust enough to survive the tide against the Liberal Democrats in 2015.

Current MP
JAMES BERRY (Conservative) Born Canterbury. Educated at University College London. Former lawyer. First elected as MP for Kingston & Surbiton in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 20868 (37%)
Lab: 5337 (9%)
LDem: 28428 (50%)
UKIP: 1450 (3%)
Oth: 1028 (2%)
MAJ: 7560 (13%)
Con: 16431 (33%)
Lab: 6553 (13%)
LDem: 25397 (51%)
UKIP: 657 (1%)
Oth: 712 (1%)
MAJ: 8966 (18%)
Con: 13866 (28%)
Lab: 4302 (9%)
LDem: 29542 (60%)
GRN: 572 (1%)
Oth: 811 (2%)
MAJ: 15676 (32%)
Con: 20355 (37%)
Lab: 12811 (23%)
LDem: 20411 (37%)
Oth: 618 (1%)
MAJ: 56 (0%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JAMES BERRY (Conservative) Born Canterbury. Educated at University College London. Lawyer.
LEE GODFREY (Labour) Educated at Parmiters School and Lancaster University. Energy consultant.
EDWARD DAVEY (Liberal Democrat) Born 1965, Mansfield. Educated at Nottingham High School and Oxford University. Management consultant. MP for Kingston and Surbiton 1997 to 2015. Parliamentary under-secretary for business 2010-2012. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change since 2012.
CLARE KEOGH (Green) Educated at Kingston University. University advice worker.
Comments - 286 Responses on “Kingston & Surbiton”
  1. With the exception of Richmond Park – and even the boundary changes their weren’t especially helpful for the Lib Dems – no one really expected the Tories to lose as many affluent seats in the South west london that they did – despite the poor tory showing in the local elections

    Places like Twickenham and Sutton & Cheam looked just about gainable on paper – the tory majorities in 92 – but the lib dems had never been particularly popular in this part of the world and i don’t think they had held any of the seats they won in 1997 since the war

    I actually thought these seats would be the first to go back to the Tories – and the fact that the Lib Dems held them all until 2010 is surprising in itself

  2. @JoeJamesB
    Where did you find the Green candidate- is there one big reliable source or did you have to search locally?

  3. There usually isn’t one big reliable source as far as election data is concerned. You always have to search for information yourself, in my own experience.

  4. Conservative gain in Beverley ward, LDs almost come third:

    Con: 1,033
    LD: 760
    Lab: 717
    UKIP: 223
    Green: 207

  5. Con 35.14%
    LD 25.85%
    Lab 24.39%
    UKIP 7.59%
    Green 7.04%

  6. Thanks Andy

    There have been quite a few by-elections in that Borough since 2010. If the Tories had also gained Surbiton Hill, Grove (where they had their best and closest result since 1982), and Berrylands, they would have actually taken control of the council tonight.

  7. Joe: were you campaigning there today?

  8. Unfortunately not today – too much to do having returned from holiday. I had intended to.
    In good hands though.

  9. Beverley By Election Actual Result

    Con 1033
    Lab 717
    Lib D 272
    UKIP 223
    Green 207

    Con Gain from Lib D

  10. The source of the result was the Kingston Guardian but in their coverage they also described Labour as coming third…so they may have got the Lib Dem and Lab figures the wrong way round. The Kingston Council website should show the result later in the day.

  11. Kingston Guardian did give the wrong Lib Dem figure. It was 760 and not 272.

  12. All other party figures are correct.

  13. That is a strong Tory result.

    Beverley ward is basically New Malden??

    I have often thought that this part of London is responding relatively well to Camerons Conservatism. It would be nice to gain a couple of these South West London seats back in 2015.

  14. I wonder whether the New Malden area, which is a separate town, is trending towards a more Wimbledon Wandsworth way of voting. The Tories definitely struggle against the libs in surbiton itself, even when the libs are low in polls. But there were other factors in all these by-elections. They confirm my view that this borough is very patchy

  15. I was there knocking up & the result isn’t a surprise to me, in partial answer to Andy. It always seemed likely that given the cause of the by-election the LDs would struggle to get their vote out. Given the terrain I think my party will be pretty pleased with its vote – it’s easily the nearest we have come to beating the LDs in the area since 2010, with the sole exception of last year’s by-election in Coombe Hill which is a huge Tory stronghold – the result is partly due to the unusually strong Labour candidate who is very well-known in her area. But the Tories were always likely to win if they were able to contain UKIP who don’t seem to have fought an effective campaign at all.

  16. It’s hard to draw any real conclusions from a by-election where the sitting councillor has resigned in disgrace, especially when something like child abuse or child porn is the reason.

    The Tories have lost seats to the Lib Dems in similarly implausible territory eg. Earls Court when the boot has been on the other foot.

    I do not see Ed Davey losing this seat.

  17. I think that would be difficult but it is mainly because of the problems the Tories have in Surbiton itself.
    It doesn’t entirely surprise me that this part of the Borough is inching more towards a inner SW London way of voting – it does border Coombe Vale in RIchmond Pk.
    Two by-elections in this Borough have gone well for the Tories – one about half way – and the other 2 badly

  18. Yes it’s fair to say that the Tories’ problem is in the south of the seat in Surbiton, with the northern part possibly becoming better for them, but Surbiton going the opposite direction and neutralising the overall trend.

  19. Tolworth /Chessington could be better for them – a slice of WWC in parts – but there are very few activists on the ground.
    It’s hard to motivate people when they have been losing seats for about 20 years.

    The south – central part of the Borough is where the Tory problems are

  20. “Yes it’s fair to say that the Tories’ problem is in the south of the seat in Surbiton, with the northern part possibly becoming better for them, but Surbiton going the opposite direction and neutralising the overall trend.”

    I have previously commented that in 1997 the Tories would have held the old Kingston Upon Thames by around 700 and Surbiton by 160.

    By 2010 the Conservatives would be we well ahead in the old Kingston Upon Thames (that included New Malden) but the Lib Dems would be over 5000 votes ahead in the old Surbiton.

  21. “By 2010 the Conservatives would be we well ahead in the old Kingston Upon Thames (that included New Malden)”

    Yet again Dalek, you are pulling figures from the air and coming to incorrect conclusions.

    No way would the Tories be “well ahead” in Norman Lamont’s Kingston in 2010, possibly too close to call, possibly even the Lib Dems could still be slightly ahead.

    In particular you are disregarding how far behind the Tories are in Norbiton – probably in 3rd place – and well behind in Grove and Beverly wards too. This negates the narrower Tory leads in New Malden and the Coombe/Tudor wards and makes the mathematics extremely tight.

  22. These wards you quote are close, but you may not have considered that the Conservatives would be well ahead in the Richmond Park wards (Canbury, Coombe Hill, Coombe Vale and Tudor where they have 15 of the 16 council seats).

  23. IMO it shows how bad numeracy has become in this country when reporters on a reputable local newspaper are so often useless at reporting a few voting figures in a council by-election.

  24. The Tories probably were ‘well ahead’ in Coombe Hill but was the same really true of Coombe Vale and Tudor? I would have thought the Tory leads will have been in the low-to mid hundreds there. And were the Tories even ahead in Canbury? They were (just) in the council elections but the general election was tighter.

  25. Has anyone ever lobbied in favour of getting ward data released for general election results? Probably not. We all just hope it will happen spontaneously, which it never will of course.

  26. H Hemelig is correct. On my estimates the LDs would have carried the old Kingston seat by about 1,500 and the old Surbiton by about 5,000.
    The Tories would have led by about 1,500 in the wards within Richmond Park but this would have been easily offset by a large LD lead (of over 2,500) in central Kingston (Grove and Norbury wards) and a modest lead in New Malden

  27. Pete- thanks for that. If you don’t mind me asking, do you have ward-by-ward estimates of the Tory leads in Coombe Hill, Coombe Vale, and Tudor? Do you think the Tories carried Canbury?

  28. “These wards you quote are close”

    No they aren’t. In Norbiton, Grove and Beverley, the Lib Dems were ahead by about 20%, with the Tories a narrow 3rd in Norbiton.

    Plus I have the Lib Dems very slightly ahead in Canbury.

    In Old Malden and St James I have the Tories ahead by about 5%, Coombe Hill by about 20%, Coombe Vale by 3%, and Tudor by 11%.

    Therefore the Tories leading in 5 wards but with generally smaller majorities, but the Lib Dems ahead in 4 wards, 3 of which with very high majorities.

    On my figures, adds up to too close to call, erring on the side of a narrow LD hold.

    Where are your calculations so we can look through them?

  29. Thanks Pete.

  30. I agree that Canbury would probably have been quite narrowly carried by the LDs and my figures for Coombe Vale and Tudor agree with HH
    In numerical terms a LD lead of about 150 in Canbury and a Tory lead of about 150 in Coombe Vale cancel each other out. Tory leads of about 500 in Tudor and 1,000 in Coombe Hill

  31. Pete

    You should publish a book of recent election results on old boundaries, and old election results on new boundaries.

    Even if just focused on London, where historical local election results are easy to find.

    I’d buy it.

  32. I have prodiced load of notional results on the current London boundaries for all elections back to 1945 and I posted them on the old Vote UK site before it was sadly hacked. I have started to post these again on the new site but haven’t got very far with it yet. I might struggle in other areas but could possibly do something similar for Birmingham and would like to do so for Hertfordshire

  33. And Essex Pete!

  34. Thanks Pete. It is important when considering general election results in this part of London to differentiate from local ones in many wards. The LDs have up to now (they might find it rather harder at the moment) secured the votes of quite a lot of local Labour voters in general election for tactical & other reasons. Thus at the 1997 general election count in Richmond Park, it was abundantly clear that the LDs won Tudor ward, and yet in local elections the Tories haven’t lost there for several decades now; until quite recently there was quite a large Labour vote in the ward much of which must have voted LD in general elections. The same applies to Canbury which was won by Labour in 1998, and where Labour retained a large vote until 2006 (it’s likely to reemerge in 2014 to some extent, in my opinion). Coombe Hill (large swathes of which are of course ultra-wealthy) is in a bit of a world of its own though clearly parts of Coombe Vale aren’t that dissimilar. I was surprised to hear that the LDs thought they were going to win the Coombe Vale by-election – our returns didn’t suggest they had much chance of beating the Tories there.

  35. Absolutely right, Barnaby. A comparison of the local and general election results in Richmond Park bears this out. The Tories polled very similarly in both polls (29,462 in the general election, 29,200 in the local elections adjusting for turnout). The Liberal Democrats polled 25,372 in the general election but just 22,592 in the local elections having adjusted for turnout. About half the Labour vote in the local elections went Liberal Democrat in the general election, though it didn’t stop Zac Goldsmith from winning.

  36. Is Steve Mamma standing in Norbiton again?

    He only lost due to the intervention of his former colleague Sheila Griffin as an independent….as the result was so close. Labour was strongest in the Cambridge Estate in the heart of the ward. Surely Labour must hsve hopes of gaining 1 or 2 seats in this ward?

  37. No I understand that Steve Mama is likely to stand in Grove. Sheila & Steve can’t get on and there is a keenness for Sheila to stand for Labour in Norbiton, which she is now very likely to do. Labour has campaigned pretty hard in Norbiton in the last year or more & is pretty confident of winning at least 1 seat, very likely all of them. But plenty of time to go yet before we have to call it.

  38. The Liberals have only won the ward outright on 1 occassion…2010.

    Their previous best was the ward splitting 2 Lab / 1 Lib Dem in 1994 and 2006. 1994 was only the result of one of the three Norbiton Labour councillors falling for a Conservative councillor…and was not re-selected as a result (or so the story goes) and defected to the Greens and split the Labour vote…allowing the Lib Dems to gain a seat in what was a close contest.

  39. I was delighted recently to find the declaration of this seat in 2010 on YouTube via a casual search on Google.

  40. Why did this particular declaration excite you?

  41. It didn’t excite me I just found it intriguing that Davey’s result had actually been recorded by someone!

  42. what seat do you live in maybe you can look for it on u tube

  43. I’ve tried but it isn’t on there.

  44. TheResults lives in an ultra-ultra-safe Labour seat & it would probably take a very leading Labour figure to become the MP before it would be likely to feature in terms of its declaration being shown on TV. Merseymike lives in the same constituency.

  45. It would take for me to become the MP 🙂

  46. Are you trying to tell us that you are a well-known scouser who is disillusioned with Labour from the left.

    You’re not Ricky Tomlinson are you?

  47. No I’m not well known.

    I’m just an ordinary Waterloo resident who happens to be a left winger.

  48. TheResults – if you are to become the local MP, you’d be well advised to join the Labour Party first 🙂

  49. I can’t see myself doing it.

    I don’t currently feel any real connection with the Labour Party, certainly not enough to be a party member.

    In all likelihood, the next MP for Bootle will probably be the leader of Sefton Council Peter Dowd, or at least that’s what is commonly excepted locally.

  50. Forecast for 2015

    LD 39
    Con 36
    Lab 17
    Others 8

    Ed Davey is one of Clegg’s most likely successors.

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