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. Declaration of Kingston-upon-Thames in 1992-

  2. Lee Godfrey selected as Labour candidate:

  3. I don’t rate Ed Davey as a cabinet member one bit, but I think he’ll hold here in 2015. Did very well to transform that majority of 56 in 1997 to something much more substantial.

  4. I think LD support here is unusually wide and shallow which means the Tories ought to be able to win it back in the next 10 years or so with the right candidate and right policies/leadership nationally.

  5. It is actually quite difficult to assess the demographic trends here. In part there is a modest gentrification, as Kingston feels the ripple effect from Wandsworth, Richmond and Wimbledon. Conversely I get the impression that Surbiton is not as nice as it used to be and is perhaps a bit like Twickenham, ie. becoming a home for dispossessed liberal types who have been priced out of Richmond or Clapham. It is also undoubtedly true that the nicest bits of Kingston are in the Richmond Park seat.

    Overall I think the Tories will be disappointed here for quite a few elections to come. I don’t see a majority of below 5000 for Ed Davey.

  6. I think LD support here is unusually wide and shallow ‘

    Surely this follows a very typical pattern in Lib Dem-held seats with a popular sitting member with a high personal vote, although it’s widely accepted that the Tories did themselves no favours whatsoever in their candudate selection in 2001 – and that has probably set them back

  7. What was the story behind that (i.e. the Tory candidate in 2001)?

  8. I do not accept that the Lib Dem support here is particularly shallow any more. Surbiton is increasingly a Lib Dem stronghold, with a distinctly bearded liberalish feel to it compared to the days 20 years ago when it was still basically in the Surrey stockbroker belt. Margot and Jerry Leadbetter would have moved out to Esher long ago.

  9. H.Hemmelig is quite correct.

    The Tory recovery in this borough is limited to New Malden and the part of Kingston that is in Richmond Park.

    Surbition has become more Lib Dem with the Lib Dems gaining seats in Berrylands and Surbiton Hill (still Tory in the disasterous year of 2002). The Lib Dems also remain very strong in Tolworth and Chessington.

    Recent by elections in Grove, Surbiton Hill and Berrylands have all shown the Lib Dems doing much better than nationally.

    I would be very surprised if Ed Davey’s majority fell under 5000 or if the Lib Dems lost control of the council (because it is being held at the same time as Ed Davey is up for election).

    The holding the general election on the same day could help the Lib Dems in Norbiton and Tolworth & Hook Rise (as many natural Labour voters would continue to support Ed Davey).

  10. I would be very surprised if Ed Davey’s majority fell under 5000 or if the Lib Dems lost control of the council (because it is being held at the same time as Ed Davey is up for election).

    Local elections in London are next year. The GE is in 2015.

  11. I have friends who live in Tolworth, whom we visit from time to time. Around the high street Tolworth looks extremely grotty, not helped by the busy A24 running right through it. It kind of reminds me of somewhere like Wood Green or Finsbury Park…it certainly isn’t the “affluent suburbia” that Anthony describes this seat as. Away from the high street though the houses aren’t too bad, and still have a SW London price tag of £500k plus. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Tolworth had a lot of latent Labour support, but I don’t see it leaving the Lib Dems in large numbers.

  12. Perhaps the Lib Dem strength here is similar to that in Sutton and Carshalton. Surbiton was quite safely Tory in the days when it was its own seat.

  13. Prediction for 2015-
    Davey (Lib Dem)- 46%
    Conservative- 34%
    Labour- 12%
    UKIP- 5%
    Others- 3%

  14. There’s also an increasing ethnic minority pressence – especially in Surbiton – and it’s the type of middle class ethnic minorities who don’t vote either Labour or Tory

    ‘What was the story behind that (i.e. the Tory candidate in 2001)?’

    In 2011 the Tories selected David Shaw for what they presumably tgpught would be an easy gain – ex MP for Dover with a reputation as a combative right winger

    He certainly didn’t make himself many friends on the campaign trail and allowed Davey to increase his majority from 56 to 15,676 – the biggest swing in the election (not counting the Kidderminster & Stourport constituency)

  15. Very tiny point – it’s the A3 which runs through Tolworth. The main road which is the rather apologetic shopping area is the A240.
    Tolworth will still have a big vote for Davey in the general election but we expect a good improvement in the 2014 local elections there. I don’t think there is much of a Tory revival in New Malden proper, unless you mean the bit of it which is known as Old Malden (very confusing to the uninitiated this). That is one of the best Tory areas in the constituency, especially the St James’s ward which is the only ward which now seems to be Tory-inclined. It is true that the Tories had a big gain in the recent Beverley ward by-election in New Malden proper but there were most unusual circumstances in that contest, which have been described before & which I don’t propose to revisit.

  16. I think David Shaw’s effect on the 2001 may be rather overplayed. It’s possible the Tories would have done almost as badly with any other candidate and that it was Ed Davey’s first incumbency boost that was responsible for the big swing.

  17. By New Malden I was referring to the former borough of Malden & Coombe. After the by election in Beverley the Tories had 13 seats to the Lib Dems 2. In 2002 it was Lib Dem 9 to Con 6.

  18. New Malden is home to Britain’s only significant Korean community.

  19. What did David Shaw do/say in his campaign that year? Was it related to leaflet conten, the local Conservative office, meetings with the public, etc?

  20. I don’t think he did or said anything significant. David Dimbleby mentioned on the election show that the LDs had put out literature describing him as a thug which Dimbleby said he had himself seen.

  21. Barnaby, is this your neck of the woods?

    A guy called Andy just won Popmaster Champions League on the Ken Bruce show on Radio 2 and thanked everyone he met at Kingston Labour Party and I thought you might know him.

    Sorry if I have placed you in the wrong constituency.

  22. I often attend events organized by the Labour Party in this constituency, and have canvassed in Norbiton & several other wards over the last couple of years. I understand from a Facebook friend that there was a CLP party this week but I don’t know anyone called Andy in the local Labour Party as far as I know. I do however probably know the great majority of leading figures in the CLP, although I’ve only met Steve Mama once & that was brief. I took part in the CLP’s biannual quiz a few weeks ago with my wife, a colleague from Richmond Park CLP & 2 local members, our team being called The Corby Veterans because 2 of us had driven up to Northants to campaign in the by-election there, and am glad to say we won. I mean the quiz, not just Corby 🙂

  23. Ladbrokes:
    2/5 LD
    7/4 Cons

  24. Royal Borough of Kingston

    Con 28
    LD 17
    Lab 3

    Alexandra Con 3
    Berrylands LD 2 Con 1
    Beverly Con 2 LD 1
    Canbury Con 3
    Chessington North & Hook Con 2 LD 1
    Chessington South LD 3
    Coombe Hill Con 3
    Coombe Vale Con 3
    Grove LD 2 Con 1
    Norbiton Lab 3
    St James Con 3
    St Marks LD 2 Con 1
    Surbiton Hill LD 3
    Old Maldon Con 3
    Tolworth & Hook Rise LD 3
    Tudor Con 3

  25. I lived in this constituency until recently and I think your prediction looks about right… I think there will be a lot less split wards than you suggest with berrylands and grove being lib dem 100% but that still leaves the Tories in control of the council…

    I wouldn’t be suprised to see a con elected in surbiton hill- leaving a split ward.. It has been trending lib dem recently but I think with the euros on the same day it may just dampen the lib vote enough but wouldn’t say it’s more than 40% chance of that happening

  26. I think that prediction is pretty good actually. I’m not sure about the number of split votes although there will be some.

  27. I don’t think either of those is a million miles away either.

  28. Newsnight report from Kingston-upon-Thames on now.

  29. @ Dalek

    Gold star for you!

    Only one vote in Norbiton deciding whether you are 100% right or just one seat out (assuming the Surrey Comet is correct about it being just one vote and not clear who is currently in the lead for that 3rd seat).

  30. The Norbiton count has been delayed until 9:30am this morning due to exhausted counters. The LDs asked for the recounts so it seems likely Labour is ahead by single figures.

  31. Sunday morning I was told but this could be incorrect.
    This ensures that Sutton & Richmond are the only London boroughs without Labour councillors.

  32. They are the least deprived boroughs in London however Labour does need representation in outer SW London and Surrey. Not just the three Labour councillors in Court ward and least their back in Woking. In 2015 Labour will need to target the Stanwell and Ashford wards in Spelthorne plus Stamford and Town (which is going a bit down at the heel) in Epsom and Ewell where they can pick up votes from Lib Dems. Ruxley should be a target but UKIP will probably target there and the West Ewell and Cuddington wards its very like LB Bexley around there. Preston in R&B also needs to be won back. I would say to try and win the Chertsey wards in Runnymede but it seems to be hopeless there.

  33. I hope Labour have taken the seats.
    If so, with the exception of one seat in Ham (Richmond),
    that would mean wipe out for the Lib Dems in Richmond Park.

  34. The Norbiton count (in Richmond Park constituency) must have gone to penalties.

  35. Norbiton Ward is in Kingston & Surbiton

  36. Maybe JJB is getting Norbiton mixed up with Nobden.

  37. I wasn’t aware of the Labour win in Woking. That means, rather coincidentally, that Labour has won its first seats for some years in both Woking & Wokingham (though they are very different wards). It’s rather odd given that the Tories won the ward in a by-election rather easily only a few months ago, now Labour has won by several hundred. I wonder if ethnicity played a part – it’s by far the most non-white ward anywhere in Surrey.
    It really is impossible to call the last seat in Norbiton! I’m keeping my fingers crossed – I canvassed there several times in the last couple of years. We’ve been working it consistently almost since it was lost in 2010. It clearly helped to have Sheila Griffin back in the fold – we can be pretty sure she’s won.

  38. Why did Steve Mama did not stand in Norbiton this time?

  39. Every councillor bar one in richmond and park is Tory. Like Surrey Heath, bracknell forest, and castle point used to be in the thatcher years.

  40. Current Lab councillors in Surrey

    Elmbridge – 0
    Epsom and Ewell – 3
    Guildford – 2
    Mole Valley – 0
    Reigate and Banstead – 0
    Runnymede – 0
    Spelthorne – 0
    Surrey Heath – 2
    Tandridge – 0
    Waverley – 0
    Woking – 0

  41. I mean…

    Elmbridge – 0
    Epsom and Ewell – 3
    Guildford – 2
    Mole Valley – 0
    Reigate and Banstead – 0
    Runnymede – 0
    Spelthorne – 0
    Surrey Heath – 2
    Tandridge – 0
    Waverley – 0
    Woking – 1

  42. Where are the Labour councillors in Surrey Heath?

  43. There are more Conservative councillors in Doncaster than Labour councillors in Surrey.

    The next time a Conservative is faced with the ‘No Conservatives in Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle’ line it might be worth pointing that out.

  44. “Where are the Labour councillors in Surrey Heath?”

    Old Dean – council estate ward in Camberley

  45. And no Lib Dem councillors bar 1 Richard in the Richmond seat – however you cut it – Richmond, Richmond and Barnes, or Richmond Park.
    I think I may point that out aswell.

  46. 12 of the Conservative RBK councillors are in Richmond Park which means that the Lib Dems are still ahead on council seats in Kingston & Surbiton (and perhaps share of the vote to).

    Ed Davey is also more popular than the Lib Dems locally… so he must still remain the favourite to win next year.

  47. What happened to the Lib Dems in Kingston for them to lose this time? There’s little Labour support and is hardly a UKIP target. Was it management of the council that lost it for them, or national factors? Can’t see how the BBC’s slant on the result means that Ed Davey will be in jeopardy next year.

    They did well in Sutton though, making a couple of gains. I remember watching some coverage of the 2012 Lib Dems’ autumn conference where there was a presentation about Sutton being held up as a kind of flagship council for the party.

  48. The electors of Kingston like Davey not the Lib Dems. I don’t think that either Kingston & Surbiton or Southwark & Bermondsey

  49. ……could be passed over to new Lib Dem successors when Davey and Hughes retire.

  50. Well the previous leader was found to be paedophile. That can’t help.

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