Leyton & Wanstead

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8939 (22%)
Labour: 23858 (58.6%)
Lib Dem: 2304 (5.7%)
Green: 2974 (7.3%)
UKIP: 2341 (5.8%)
Independent: 289 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 14919 (36.7%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Waltham Forest council area and two wards from Redbridge.

Main population centres: Leyton, Leytonstone, Snaresbrook, Aldersbrook, Wanstead.

Profile: This was created as a cross-borough seat in 1997, shoving together somewhat ill-matched wards from Waltham Forest and Redbridge. Leyton - the Waltham Forest part of the seat - is an inner-city, multicultural working class area. Recent redevelopement has seen the demolition of the old tower blocks in estates like Oliver Close and their replacement with modern low rise developments, but this remains an area with problems of crime and deprivation. In contrast Wanstead is more suburban and middle-class, with attractive Edwardian housing set amongst open green spaces like Wanstead Flats. The seat includes Whipps Cross hospital and New Spitalfields Market.

Politics: The two normally safe Conservative wards though are easily outvoted by safely Labour Leyton rendering this a safe Labour seat.

Current MP
JOHN CRYER (Labour) Born 1964, Darwen, the son of Ann and Bob Cryer, both Labour MPs. Educated at Oakbank School and Hatfield Polytechnic. Former journalist. MP for Hornchurch 1997-2005. First elected as MP for Leyton and Wanstead in 2010. A left winger and member of the Socialist Campaign Group. He is the brother-in-law of Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West.
Past Results
Con: 8928 (22%)
Lab: 17511 (44%)
LDem: 11095 (28%)
UKIP: 1080 (3%)
Oth: 1545 (4%)
MAJ: 6416 (16%)
Con: 7393 (22%)
Lab: 15234 (46%)
LDem: 8377 (25%)
GRN: 1523 (5%)
Oth: 746 (2%)
MAJ: 6857 (21%)
Con: 6654 (20%)
Lab: 19558 (58%)
LDem: 5389 (16%)
GRN: 1030 (3%)
Oth: 1087 (3%)
MAJ: 12904 (38%)
Con: 8736 (22%)
Lab: 23922 (61%)
LDem: 5920 (15%)
Oth: 744 (2%)
MAJ: 15186 (39%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MATTHEW SCOTT (Conservative)
JOHN CRYER (Labour) See above.
CARL QUILLIAM (Liberal Democrat)
ROSAMUND BEATTIE (UKIP) Diamond appraiser.
ASHLEY GUNSTOCK (Green) Theatrical producer and director. Contested Finchley and Golders Green 1997, Leyton and Wanstead 2001, 2005, 2010.
MAHTAB AZIZ (Independent)
Comments - 51 Responses on “Leyton & Wanstead”
  1. A particularly frustrating seat for the Tories.
    I wish we could have Wanstead and Snaresbrook in the Redbridge seats – they are needed there.

  2. tell the boundary commission

  3. I think a boundary review is scheduled to get underway in about 2017.

  4. Unless the law is changed* the next boundary review will begin around spring 2016, based on the electorate in Dec 2015, and report by October 2018.

    The vote to abandon the 6th boundary review didn’t change the new boundary review rules, just delayed them for a Parliament.

    (*if Labour win the next election I would expect it to be)

  5. Of course in what has come to be called the ‘Zombie review’ these two wards were to be returned to a Redbridge seat – a recreated Wanstead & Woodford no less. The trouble is so doing the Conservatives were weakened in both Chingford and Ilford North, although the latter will probably be passed praying for soon anyway

  6. In what ways might Labour change the law on boundary reviews?

  7. Don’t give them ideas –
    Seats drawn on estimated population – not electorate.
    Postal votes (you get the point)
    Devo max in Scotland but no change in Scottish MP voting – without a referendum.
    80% public sector jobs.
    Tax increases for the poor but benefits instead.

  8. I really do hope that when a boundary review is due, they keep things simple here and create 2 Waltham Forest seats and 3 Redbridge seats.

    Something like:

    Chingford (with a couple Walthamstow wards attached)
    Leyton and Walthamstow (the other Walthamstow wards, Leyton and Leytonstone)

    Wanstead and Woodford
    Ilford North
    Ilford South

    I rather this than two cross borough seats as we have it now.

  9. Having a look at census 2011 figures for Redbridge and I noticed that both Snaresbrook and Wanstead wards are still 70% White British. This half of Redbridge seems to be holding up pretty well and has not gone so far downhill like parts of neighbouring Ilford North.

    These figures should help the Tories to hold these two wards even if Redbridge does go ‘Red’ next May. I imagine the expensive price of the properties, the central line and a string of wealthy(ish) City workers moving here helps the Tories enormously.

  10. *70% all White not just White British

  11. JJB – you are so partisan! When have Labour ever had a policy of 70% public sector workers? I might well respond that the Tories will lock the poor up in poor houses denying them the vote, thereby creating a permanent Tory majority. Both statements are equally ridiculous!

    Incidentally on public vs private sector workers. I know one person who looks after a large part of the NHS estate in North London. He is now a ‘private sector’ worker because Jeremy Hunt set up a private company solely owned by the Secretary of State (him) and transferred him and a load of NHS workers into it. How many of the thousands of ‘managers’ Cameron claims to have cut are just like him? Still there doing the same job paid for by the taxpayer but now ‘private sector’? I’m very dubious of the 1 million new private sector jobs claim this Government trots out for this very reason. Ministers have repeatedly been asked how many of the 1 million are transferred public sector workers doing exactly the same job but they refuse to answer!

  12. Probably 1 million!

  13. Naturally in LBernard’s eyes a ward is “holding up” because it has a majority of white people. No doubt we will soon get a misty-eyed article about what a wonderful residential area Thurrock once was, etc. etc.

  14. Its certainly my impression that the shitholes with high amounts of muslims in large areas of london were previously WWC shitholes.

    An exception perhaps is Brent North?

  15. Well it is a very subjective issue isn’t it. We all have different ideas about what makes an area nice.

    Personally I could name a lot of quite multi racial areas which I think are far nicer than Thurrock, but others may well disagree.

    There is also a difference between saying that a high white population means that the Tory vote is likely to “hold up” better (that is a statistical fact), and arguing that falling white populations correlate with areas going downhill. That does have racist undertones, and as I said is a very subjective issue.

  16. It would be interesting to see how the white residents of this seat voted in 2010 – I imagine pretty close 3 ways.

  17. Its certainly my impression that the shitholes with high amounts of muslims in large areas of london were previously WWC shitholes

    Not all true.

    Ilford would certainly not have been described in such words terms over 15 years ago, now look at it. A complete and utter mess. I have my reasons as to why the town has headed that way but a large chunk of the blame must lie with the local authority.

    My point was that demographically Wanstead and Snaresbrook are still Tory looking wards and Tory fortunes there should be fine for the forseeable future which is welcome news in Redbridge.

  18. I think that’s quite wide of the mark. This seat is only 31% white British and as LBernard says, a large proportion of those would be in the Tory wards of Wanstead and Snaresbrook. The Tories would have got at least 40-50% of the white vote here, I imagine, with much of the “white other” population being ineligible to vote.

  19. Was replying to Joe.

    Naturally LBernard’s views are coloured by his experiences in outer east London, but perhaps it is not the same in other places.

  20. Was the previous MP here prosecuted, or did he just repay the £?

  21. Historical aside:

    “Panorama 1965: Leyton by-election”:


  22. I couldn’t load that. That was the by-election caused when Harold Wilson wanted Patrick Gordon Walker, who had lost Smethwick in the 1964 general election in an unpleasant race-tinged campaign to the Tories’ Peter Griffiths, to be his Foreign Secretary nevertheless. He therefore prevailed on the veteran Labour MP Reg Sorensen to accept a peerage & vacate his apparently safe Leyton seat, but the electorate refused to play ball, unimpressed to be used in this way by Wilson. The seat was gained by the Conservative Ronald Buxton, for the first and only time since WWII. Gordon Walker managed to regain it the next year, but didn’t achieve high cabinet office as Wilson had intended. He left the seat in 1974 to be succeeded by the philosopher Bryan Magee, who joined the SDP 7 years after that.

  23. (the Tories did however also win Leyton in the 1977 GLC elections, but not in a general election after WWII.)

  24. To state the obvious it wasn’t a good start to Harold Wilson’s premiership, causing a largely unnecessary by-election which reduced the government’s majority from 4 to 2 seats.

  25. Is it true that Lord Jenkin of Roding has been pressed back into service as a junior minister in his old department, with the task of abolishing the County Councils and the GLA?

  26. Prediction for 2015-
    Cryer (Labour)- 56%
    Conservative- 20%
    Liberal Democrat- 13%
    UKIP- 6%
    Green- 3%
    Others- 2%

  27. Lib Dem candidate- Carl Quillam

  28. There’s been a terrorist attack here.

    A man apparently began stabbing people inside Leytonstone station this evening.

    The Met’s Counter Terror Command are treating it as an act of terrorism – as the man shouted it was “for Syria.”

    As far as I know the 3 victims are alive, as is the assailant who was tasered 3 times.

  29. Probably the first of many unfortunately. A few more of these and we’ll see how popular that makes David Cameron and Hillary Benn’s Syria policy.

    If the media reports are to be believed, the police response to this was a total shambles. With echoes of their initial response to the riots, the police watched people get slashed and at the start were doing little more than try to get the guy to stop by shouting at him. First time the taser had virtually no effect.

    If this starts to become commonplace we will need the police to be fully armed. It might also lead people to question why the public shouldn’t be allowed to carry weapons for self-defence.

  30. “It might also lead people to question why the public shouldn’t be allowed to carry weapons for self-defence.”

    Good grief, I hope not!

  31. What’s hope got to do with it

  32. “It might also lead people to question why the public shouldn’t be allowed to carry weapons for self-defence.”

    Including terrorists?

  33. I agree, the debate on issues like this is generally moving in the liberal direction. Even America, or Barack Obama at least, is beginning to question its gun licensing laws in the light of the San Bernadino massacre.

  34. Was it really a terrorist incident as we would normally understand it or was it just someone with pretty severe mental health difficulties?
    Whatever it is l’m sure we are all extremely thankful that there have been, fingers crossed, no fatalities.

  35. The problem with that argument is that many people would say there isn’t much difference between a terrorist and someone with at least a minor mental health problem. Putting it another way, if there had been five of these attackers in Leytonstone instead of one we wouldn’t have hesitated to call it terrorism even though those five may have been in just the same state of mind as the lone attacker.

  36. “Barack Obama at least, is beginning to question its gun licensing laws in the light of the San Bernadino massacre.”

    Final year lame duck presidents always use their impotent constitutional situation as a freedom to speak their mind. The probability of the US gun laws changing in the current environment is zero.

    “the debate on issues like this is generally moving in the liberal direction.”

    If we start to get Leytonstone incidents on a weekly or, heaven forbid, daily basis, let’s see the kind of liberal direction the public debate moves in. Like Barnaby I hope this proves to be an isolated incident rather than the start of a trend.

  37. ‘The probability of the US gun laws changing in the current environment is zero.’

    I’m not so sure

    Whilst we all know the US gun lobby as one of the most powerful voices in Congress, if the laws they have had helped passed continue to enable wannabe Islamic terrorist to commit atrocities like those in California, Americans might finally become as illiberal to gun ownership as they are on many other major issues

  38. More likely it will make people even more paranoid about arming themselves in case they come face to face with a terrorist.

    Barack Obama had much more political capital between 2008 and 2014 than Hillary Clinton is likely to have and he still totally failed to have any impact on the gun issue despite a huge amount of effort on his part. Should a Republican win the presidency the likelihood of gun control will be even more miniscule.

  39. It won’t happen any time soon – but much like the death penalty, guns are one of those issues where Americans are beginning to question many of their long-held assumptions

    The only time Obama had any real capital was for his first two years when he had a Democrat-controlled Congress – and even then his plans for universal healthcare were costing him much of that support

    With a Republican I concede that we’re far more likely to see legislation passed making it illegal for people NOT to carry guns than anything to the contrary, but I think as the puiblic change their opinions, their politicians will change with them

  40. This isn’t necessarily the right place to discuss the merits of the British and American constitutional traditions, but I think one of the great strengths of our system is that it allows politicians to go ahead of public opinion. Homosexuality, abortion, gay marriage, probably even giving women the vote were all legalised in the face of a less than convinced electorate because politicians thought they were right. In changing the law, they made a new consensus.

  41. All of those things are legal in the US too!

  42. Sorry, my post was a rather lazy one. If I could I’d probably delete it. But the basic point I wanted to make still stands, which is that the US constitutional system prevents politicians from going ahead of the public and significantly tightening gun laws.

  43. You don’t necessarily need to rely on the politicians in the USA. As we saw with gay marriage, the courts can change the law when it is getting particularly stagnant, it may come to the point where it is the courts, not the politicians, who tighten gun laws.

  44. If the aborted 6th review boundary changes for Waltham Forest are finally realised where the borough is divided into two constituencies, I would imagine that Stella Creasy would stand in Chingford (& Walthamstow North) as opposed to challenging John Cryer for Leyton (& Walthamstow South)?

    The 2010 notional result for Chingford (& Walthamstow North) was a Conservative majority of 2800 but this would be likely to be a Labour majority of 3000 in 2015 (given the 5% + swing from Con to Lab in the area).

    If Iain Duncan Smith was presented with such boundaries, I would imagine he would either retire or seek another seat.

    He would be more likely to follow Woodford Green into the resurrected Wanstead & Woodford but the 2010 notional result there was just over 5000 (or just over 10%) which would have more or less evaporated in 2015.

    The Corbyn effect could keep Labour out of Wanstead & Woodford unless there has been further demographic shifts in Labours favour.

  45. Wanstead is moving to Labour but whether Corbyn has a negative/slowing impact on that is to be seen. As far as I can tell, South Woodford is quite a smart area though it is becoming more diverse. I think Woodford Green remains solidly Conservative.

  46. Does anyone know if the LibDems only have eg 300 Assoc Parties and not 600?

    Wasn’t sure if is was a new thing (have they merged several maybe?), eg a rep jus spoke representing “Leyton & Chingford” and another speaker spoke for Calderdale ie a council areas covering seats.

  47. Not sure but most of the smaller parties merge areas, only the Tories and Lab are of the scale that they actually have a local party in every constituency and even then its often just to keep up appearances when in reality the local party is sufficiently small and/or inactive enough that’s its basically just a wing of a larger party.

  48. I think only Labour have CLPs everywhere (except Northern Ireland).

    The Tories have always had a few city federations since the 1980s.

    I thought the LDs had a Party in each constituency in the 1990s. So thought it might be since the Coalition and financial woes that they’ve halved the number?

  49. Probably down to the coalition yes, by every metric it wasn’t kind to them.

  50. This would have been Tory at least in 83 because of the very high SDP vote in Leyton, perhaps 87 as well. IIRC the notional Labour majority in 92 was 5-6000.

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