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. To be fair, the outer boundary of Greater London was carefully considered in the early 60’s and there hasn’t really been any substantial urban expansion since then, so the case for expansion is probably no greater now than it was half a centaury ago.

  2. There was far less difference between outer London and neighbouring suburbs in the 1960s. Today the difference is substantial. Moving the Greater London boundary would be political dynamite, especially as many of the people in the affected areas moved there to get out of London in the first place.

    With regard to the southern home counties, the new government has got a very tricky decision to make when it comes to airport expansion. Especially with regard to Surrey, whichever decision they make will upset a large number of their own voters. Heathrow impacts the north and west, Gatwick the easy and south. The Gatwick flightpath is quite low across Mid Sussex, The Weald and over about as far as Tunbridge Wells.

  3. The only areas that there is even remote talk about being put into Greater London are Epsom and Ewell, Spelthorne and the Chigwell/Loughton parts of Epping Forest. Even those are extremely unlikely to happen because the local councils and residents will fight it fiercely even though in some respects it would be fairly logical to do so. But extending Greater London to the M25 is complete fantasy considering how rural and semi-rural some of those places are.

  4. Slough was moved because it was thought that Milton Keynes would grow to the extent that the population of Bucks would be unfeasibly large

  5. Peckham used to be in Surrey at one stage. Haven’t scanned all of this properly.

  6. LibDem hold in yesterday’s by-election here as the result of the death of former incumbent councillor.

  7. Landslide LD hold in the Grove ward by-election last night :

    UKIP 58
    Green Party 88
    Conservative 688
    Labour 223
    Liberal Democrats 1577

  8. That’s two LD by election Holds and 1 LD by election gain in the SW London triangle since the GE.

    This however being the biggest margin of win for them.

  9. But does it signify anything? I doubt it

  10. Runnymede. you would say that wouldn’t you?

  11. Once the LibDems, or Liberals before them, have lost a seat they have a habit of falling away, not least as Labour voters cease to vote tactically. Orpington at the other side of London is a good example.

  12. Places like Kingston and Sutton don’t exactly have much Labour vote to start with. Though Kingston has a large student population so with a ward like Grove you would expect Labour to win in good years.

    I don’t think the Lib Dems will win Twickenham or Sutton and Cheam at the next election. Kingston and Surbiton is unlikely too but who knows.

  13. I think they could all return, given the likely pressing ahead of Heathrow expansion.

  14. Ed Davey is to be congratulated on not accepting nomination as a Life Peer in the utterly disgraceful Dissolution Honours List. Will he speak out against its iniquities – it wold help rather than harm him politically.

  15. Ed Davey has been knighted, presumably so as that he didn’t feel left out after Vince Cable, Danny Alexander and Simon Hughes got theirs in the dissolution and Queen’s birthday lists.

  16. “Places like Kingston and Sutton don’t exactly have much Labour vote to start with. Though Kingston has a large student population so with a ward like Grove you would expect Labour to win in good years.”

    Relatively few students live in Grove Ward despite the Penryn Road and Knights Park campuses being located in Grove. The universities halls or residences are in St Marks and Coombe Hill wards. Grove is largely smart riverside roads that have become increasingly gentrified, many of which were in the previous borough of Surbiton.

    Grove and Canbury wards would have included a higher number of students in the past but many will have been priced out of the private rented sector by young professionals who have been priced out of London. Many students will now live further afield in the Tolworth part of Surbiton Hill or Tolworth & Hook Rise.

    Grove Ward is a merger of the former Town Ward, Grove Ward and part of Surbiton’s St Marks Ward. The rest of St Marks was merged with Seething Wells Ward to form ‘St Marks & Seething Wells’. In successive boundary reviews the merged ward was renamed St Marks.

  17. The increase in the Labour vote in 2015 was larger than the Conservatives majority.

  18. Green and Labour make up nearly 20% of the vote. Lots for Davey to squeeze there.

  19. This is my next-door constituency. The Conservatives will be fighting hard here and I’m struggling to see anything that would endear people to Davey in June that didn’t endear them in 2015.

  20. Hugh,

    It is the twin Tory u-turns over Brexit/Single Market and Heathrow (over which Mr Berry was totally impotent) that are likely to “endear” the electorate to Ed Davey and see him elected here for the 5th time, I would have thought…

    In this particular seat it is the Tory victory that is the anomaly…

  21. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Laurie South.

  22. I was in this seat at the weekend and was surprised at the near-total lack of party political signs etc. I always wonder if this is a positive sign for the Conservatives – is Ed Davey really high profile enough to be sure of this seat? I had forgotten that Berry actually claimed a reasonable majority.

  23. Could it be the opposite? That the Lib Dem’s are so despondent of their chances here that they aren’t trying and instead pouring all of their resources into neighbouring Twickenham?

  24. Much tougher nut for lib dems to crack than Twickenham . There’s also 4000 UKIP voters few of whom one imagines will switch to Davey .

  25. While Simon Hughes majority fluctuated Ed Daveys majority declined at every election following defeating David Shaw. There is no evidence of Davey winning back lost support in the past.

  26. I notice the ‘Ashcroft Model’ is calling a Lib Dem regain here. This is contrary to Electoral Calculus, which is predicting a Con hold. Any comments on Ashcroft’s predictions from anyone that has checked them out?

  27. Ashcroft is careful to point out that his model ISN’T giving predictions, just probabilities based on a (very detailed but) arbitrary model.

  28. Thanks BT – new to this site and to psephology in general so I can now see the distinction.

  29. A question for Barnaby- might Labour take Grove in next year’s locals? They were only 11% behind the LDs in 2014 and 8% behind the Tories.

  30. Well yes Tory but there have been 2 by-elections in the ward since then, and we have gone backwards pretty rapidly. The candidate who did so well in 2014 doesn’t seem to be around any more (though I might be wrong about that) and probably Labour might consider working another ward harder. But that’s up to the Kingston Labour Party local government committee, and at the moment I don’t know what they’ve decided to do.

  31. The Lib Dems won nearly every seat in this constituency bar 3 in Old Malden ward.

  32. The Lib Dem leadership election to find a full time replacement for Ed Davey has been suspended to 2021 due to the coronavirus.

    So now we know what we always suspected: the office of Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party is not an “essential job”.

    Mind you, its not as though they have enough supporters to risk breaking the 2 metre distance rule if the election had gone ahead.

    Yes I know that these are easy hits against an already flattened opponent, but I really couldn’t resist having a bit of fun with it

  33. Wow, that’s an even longer interregnum than after the Jeremy Thorpe scandal!

    Apparently Layla Moran had said there’d be no more Grand Nationals under her – but even the postponed one next year will have taken place before they have a new Leader.

  34. Ed Davey wins, to little fanfare.

    He was the better choice if the Lib Dems’ main strategic goal is to win the likes of Cheadle and Guildford next time around, and recover to maybe twenty seats. Layla Moran would probably have gotten more noticed by the nationwide electorate, but that wouldn’t necessarily have translated into seats.

  35. I quite like Layla Moran – although I’m not sure the wider public would share that cautious enthusiasm

    Davey’s the safe choice – the sole surviving centrist Orange booker whose shown he can work with other parties – and to be honest given the current state of the Lib Dems that’s probably just as well

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