Lewisham, Deptford

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7056 (14.9%)
Labour: 28572 (60.3%)
Lib Dem: 2497 (5.3%)
Green: 5932 (12.5%)
UKIP: 2013 (4.3%)
TUSC: 286 (0.6%)
Independent: 30 (0.1%)
Others: 966 (2%)
MAJORITY: 21516 (45.4%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Lewisham council area.

Main population centres: Deptford, New Cross, Brockley.

Profile: Lewisham Deptford runs from the river Thames through areas of inner city poverty to the beginnings of suburbia in the south. To the north Deptford and New Cross have a trendy arts and music scene and are popular with students and artists, but beyond that there are areas of desolate council housing and deprivation with a large black population. There are severe problems with housing and poverty. Further south areas like Brockley are beginning to follow the familar pattern of gentrification. Old Victorian properties that had been divided up into flats and houses of multiple occupancy in the last century are now being bought up by young urban professionals attracted by cheap prices and the new transport links offered by the Docklands extension.

Politics: Unlike the other two Lewisham seats with their past history of being Lab-Con marginals, Deptford has a long history of very solid Labour support. It has been held by the Labour party since 1935, often with extremely large majorities. This has been a target for the Green party, based around Darren Johnson, the London Assembly member who was a local councillor here. In 2005 the Greens managed over ten percent of the vote here, their second highest in the country, and in 2006 they increased their number of councillors to six. The seat was a target for them at the 2010 election, but was ultimately a disappointment as they lost support, and all but one of their councillors.

Current MP
VICKY FOXCROFT (Labour) Former trade union officer. Lewisham councillor. First elected as MP for Lewisham Deptford in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 5551 (13%)
Lab: 22132 (54%)
LDem: 9633 (23%)
GRN: 2772 (7%)
Oth: 1132 (3%)
MAJ: 12499 (30%)
Con: 3773 (12%)
Lab: 16902 (56%)
LDem: 5091 (17%)
GRN: 3367 (11%)
Oth: 1260 (4%)
MAJ: 11811 (39%)
Con: 3622 (12%)
Lab: 18915 (65%)
LDem: 3409 (12%)
GRN: 1901 (7%)
Oth: 1260 (4%)
MAJ: 15293 (53%)
Con: 4949 (15%)
Lab: 23827 (71%)
LDem: 3004 (9%)
Oth: 996 (3%)
MAJ: 18878 (56%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
BIM AFOLAMI (Conservative) Educated at Eton and Oxford University. Corporate lawyer.
VICKY FOXCROFT (Labour) Trade union officer. Lewisham councillor.
MICHAEL BUKOLA (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Northumbria University. Former HMRC tax specialist. Southwark councillor 2010-2014.
JOHN COUGHLIN (Green) Freelance translator. Lewisham councillor since 2014.
HELEN MERCER (People Before Profit) Lecturer.
MALCOLM MARTIN (CPA) Contested Lewisham Deptford 2010.
PHILIP BADGER (Democratic Reform) Educated at Goldsmiths. Charity Governance Administrator.
DAVID HARVEY (no description)
Comments - 136 Responses on “Lewisham Deptford”
  1. I read somewhere else it was almost 50%. I find my source more believable, but I am prepared to stand corrected. I might just be looking at Deptford and New Cross rather than including the rest of the seat. However, my point still stands.

  2. I thought Anthony’s pie charts (where I got the info from) were based on 2011 census, if so then not sure why that would not be believable.

    I have found this site which gives the 2011 census results by ward for different ethnic groups.


    For the 7 wards that make up Lewisham Deptford, the Black British % are as follows:

    Brockley – 24.0%
    Crofton Park – 22.2%
    Evelyn – 35.9%
    Ladywell – 23.9%
    Lewisham Central – 28.9%
    New Cross – 36.6%
    Telegraph Hill – 30.0%

  3. It seems like it is 43%, however even with your figures it is still a very high proportion. Labour must not let down black voters and constituents who have been so loyal to the party, just because of someone who is a Unite official.

  4. Not sure where you get 43% from….

  5. Vicky Foxcroft won Labour selection.

  6. Poor Bob will be blubbing away.

  7. Congratulations to Vicky Foxcroft.

  8. @Barnaby Marder Although Flo Nosegbe is linked with Progress, I don’t think she is as right wing as others in that organisation.

    As someone outside the constituency, I wanted Janet Daby as her real job and life experience would strengthen Parliament but hey ho.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2001/oct/03/labourconference.labour3. – Vicky Foxcroft is mentioned in this article as she was Chair of Labour Students at the time, As is Janan Ganesh, he of the Sunday Politics show – as a member of Labour Students, admits he is a “Portillista”. Reading the article, can’t help but cringe when I think about the almost-brainwashing student organisations iand the people who belong to them go thru and the resultant one-track minds. Perhaps I’m just prejudiced.

  9. Foxcroft 169 votes McDonald 87 Nosegbe 40 Hirst 21 Daby 13 Ogbogto 6

  10. That is good to know. To be fair, we should be honest. It was Unite that won it for Vicky Foxcroft, and I think Labour needs to review the way candidates are selected, how the relate to communities, and the trade union influence there is. But that is a debate for another day, Vicky Foxcroft should be congratulated.
    By the way, Kokopops, to assume that Progress is rightwing is false. Progress is an organisation which is trying to modernise Labour so it is fit for government. Their preferred strategy may be different from Ed at times, but you should remember Ed is a part of it.
    Florence Nosegbe and Catherine MacDonald have bright futures, I’d bet money on them being MPs by 2015,

  11. @Bob Progress might to be right wing but there members tend to be – maybe not the Old Labour right but Tory friendly right wing/Cameroonism and Orange Book Lib Demism basically

  12. To clarify the discrepancy the above UCL study states: “Ethnic minorities make up 43% of the population in the Lewisham Deptford Parliamentary constituency. The UK average is 8%. 30% of the population in the constituency is black, second only to the neighbouring constituency of Camberwell and Peckham with 39%”.

    If the rate of black population is second highest in the country then maybe Bob has a point but I would certainly not feel comfortable with all-black or all-Asian shortlists, just as all-white shortlists would clearly be unacceptable. All-women ones are a different issue I think.

  13. @Kokopops, that is nonsense. They are rightwing of the Labour Party, that’s it – like most thinking people in the party. They are centre-left in the real world, or centre-left in the world of Compass. You are being completely disingenuous.
    @TDanSmith – I have been against All-Black Shortlists, until very recently. I have changed my mind. When you have a situation whereby Unite can have its candidate (not really from the community) who doesn’t represent the seat but is a fellow trade unionist, there is a big problem. Brent South had a shortlist, I think Deptford should have had one. It is a huge problem, I say that as a mixed-raced man.

  14. Is there a body of evidence of how many votes AWS loses on average? Is it significant?

  15. 28% for the Tories here in 1992. Easy to forget.
    Perhaps they can push up to about 16%

  16. In 1986, the Tories were IIRC still very close behind Labour in 2 of the wards in the constituency.

  17. @ Bob – How did Unite win it for Vicky? The whole process was fair and open. Everyone knew Unite was backing her it was on her leaflets. The number of leaflets was limited so those with more financial backing didn’t have an unfair advantage. Also Vicky was the best candidate on the day. As for Janet Daby she’s only been a party member for just over three years, this counted against her a lot. And Catherine MacDonald lacked passion. Florence Nosegbe didn’t have a good enough grasp of policy, she didn’t know about the recent emergency welfare legislation which has caused much debate within the Labour party. This sounds like sour grapes to me. I don’t have a problem with Unite backed candidates winning selections as long as the process is fair which it definitely was in this case!

  18. @T Dan Smith

    Only difference I can see is that AWS gives an advantage to the white middle-class and the others don’t.

  19. Being a member of a party for only 3 years is hardly a crime

  20. Not in my eyes but it did count against her in the eyes of a number of members.

  21. @BigD, being a party member for only 3 years is a problem you are right and Kokopops is wrong. You do undermine the role that Unite and the unions play in selections in London, they get about 50% of the vote. For any democratic party that is a problem, and Vicky Foxcroft like it or not is one of their officials. Flo Nosegbe was the best candidate, emergency welfare legislation was nothing to be concerned about really. Unite did win it for Vicky and when we have a seat whereby 43% of the seat is from the black population, to have a candidate who is a white middle-class woman who was a Labour Students cheerleader and a Unite official, compared to some very competent local women, is a problem. We need to look again at the rules.

  22. Not a crime in itself, there may be valid reasons such as age or career but if someone is seeking to be a candidate I would prefer them to have a decent record of campaigning experience for the party. It kinda smacks of careerism.

    Its more noticable in local government especially in strongholds that people only join the party as a flag of convenience to enable themselves to get elected and once in office follow their own agenda, pay lip service to the party and dont attend meetings etc.

  23. I think we should follow what happens to some of the other candidates more closely. Two of them would have been brilliant MPs – well one in particular – but they did not get selected. Huge shame.

  24. I think before people start straying towards the ‘Unite won it’ arguments, it is worth considering one change from previous sets of selections before 2010, 2005, 2001, etc:-

    Traditionally, Labour-affiliated unions have all individually come to their own decisions without talking to each other about their favourite candidate, often meaning there are several union-backed candidates – and giving a distinct advantage to people like Progress.

    The unions this time are talking to each other and in most cases are throwing their collective weight behind the same candidate, which is obviously far more powerful in persuading members who may be members of unions – but different unions.

  25. Its very likely that the party members here didn’t want a candidate backed by Progress. MP’s here have been traditionally associated with the soft left of the party. Nosegbe is very much on the right, and clearly people weren’t prepared to support someone just because she was black.

    Progress have been trying to stitch up a variety of selections and succeeded in some areas, leaving very weak candidates in place. Thankfully, they have been smoked out which is why their supporters are getting so cross.

  26. Lewisham gets very little publicity as to just what a bad place it has become over the past 20/30 years. Over that time it has moved from an unremarkable London suburb into officially the most violent borough in the whole of England and Wales – worse than Brixton, Hackney, Tottenham or any of the other inner London areas which outwardly have a much more high profile name for that kind of thing. Similarly you don’t hear much from Lewisham’s MPs about the scale of the problems, as opposed to Diane Abbott, David Lammy etc who represent constituencies which are now actually safer than this one.

  27. (safer in the sense of level of violent crime)

  28. @ HH – I remember hearing a report about that “study” on the Today Programme whilst listening to birds singing in the garden, eating my breakfast, sitting in the bay window of my flat in a converted Victorian house on Telegraph Hill. I’m sure people in Brockley and Blackheath had a similar experience.

  29. Thats a *la la la im not listening* kind of answer.

  30. It is indeed.

    Actually the biggest changes have been in the south of the borough, Bellingham and Downham in particular. I live 500 yards on the Bromley side of the Lewisham border, and since I moved to the area in 2008 Bellingham has gone from a respectable largely WWC suburb to a hot bed of gun crime and gang violence.

    As BigD kind of intimates, some bits of northern Lewisham have got better in recent years, however large parts of New Cross and Deptford certainly have not.

  31. Sorry I meant “since I moved to the area in 1998”

  32. @ Joe – not at all. Lewisham is a very diverse area and therefore sweeping statements are difficult to make.

  33. Lewisham is no more diverse than most other inner London boroughs.

    The statistics are what they are.

  34. Some Labour voters like to forget that their party is generally always behind the huge downward spiral of many areas. Lewisham was pretty grim 20 years ago but it’s even worse now.

    Clearly BigD has walked around the borough with his eyes closed, only to open them in the safe havens that are Brockley (ignoring the council blocks obviously) and Blackheath.

  35. South of Catford, Lewisham wasn’t grim 20 years ago. It was ordinary suburbia, not very affluent but respectable. The rate of decline since then has been astonishing.

    As I said, the fastest deterioration has been in the south east of the borough in Catford, Bellingham, Downham and Grove Park.

    The south west around Forest Hill and Sydenham hasn’t declined so much, and has gentrified in bits.

  36. “Clearly BigD has walked around the borough with his eyes closed, only to open them in the safe havens that are Brockley (ignoring the council blocks obviously) and Blackheath.”

    As you say, Brockley is decidedly mixed. It has some nice Victorian terraces which have come back into fashion, but still has its nasty estates.

    Quite a lot of Blackheath comes under Greenwich borough.

  37. I’ve been a resident in New Cross ward for nearly 20 years. Considering how much money has poured into the ward over that time, you have to question how well it was spent. We have Deptford Lounge, a refurbished Wavelengths, and the makeover of Fordham Park (aside from TFL projects), but nothing suggests that a coherent plan was being followed, and no “gamechanger” project. The Surrey Canal Road development has dragged on for years, and even when it happens (as it will to meet the borough’s housing targets) every indication is that the local community will not be the beneficiaries of the new housing or any jobs created.

    I’m not on a council estate, but even I can see that the gentrification of areas such as Brockley leads deprived “estate” communities to such as those in Deptford and New Cross to harbour resentment, perhaps even envy, and that leads to a higher crime rate that impacts everyone (just ask those Brockley and Telegraph Hill residents who have been burgled).

  38. How is this as an estimate?
    LAB 56
    CON 15
    LD 13
    GRN 11
    UKIP 3
    OTH 2

  39. Maybe our Labour colleagues on here could answer this one.

    I’ve referred before to John Silkin on the 1983 ITN election program where he put on a brave and quite good humoured performance early in the night.
    One of the things he said is Labour were awash with members and helpers in 1983.

    That may have been exaggerated as normally if a party is doing badly you suspect it’s lost members.

    But I wonder whether he was actually right?
    Maybe they did have a strong activist base of committed members around that time, even if those views were not sold to the public at large?

  40. By and large he was right. I was working in Brighton Pavilion in that election, and there was absolutely no shortage of party workers, even though Kemptown next door was the higher priority. Even in Richmond when Keith Vaz was the candidate there were plenty of workers – more than there are these days in general.

  41. Thanks Barnaby – that’s what I thought.

    Maybe at a time when the parties are so different it is likely that a larger number of people are going to have strong views and see a need to get involved.

  42. One gets the impression that Labour’s support in 1983 was pretty deep but not wide enough. With Blair in 1997 and 2001 it was the other way round.

  43. The Tories in 2015 risk being neither deep nor wide

  44. Strong views amongst those who stuck with Labour or were active
    but unsuccessful with the wider electorate.

  45. So how do people think things will turn out in 2015 here?

  46. Will the incumbent’s retirement have much bearing on the result?

  47. Hard to say – I think the 2010 result was a bit disappointing for Labour here – the lowest share since 1987. I certainly think the LDs will fall back substantially, and the Greens advance a bit. My guess would be:

    Lab – 56
    LD – 16
    Con – 13
    Grn – 12
    OTH – 3

  48. Not too far off my own estimate for once 🙂

  49. It’s only a matter of time before the Greens establish themselves in second place here IMO.

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