Mitcham & Morden

2015 Result:
Conservative: 10458 (23.2%)
Labour: 27380 (60.7%)
Lib Dem: 1378 (3.1%)
Green: 1422 (3.2%)
UKIP: 4287 (9.5%)
Others: 217 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 16922 (37.5%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Merton council area.

Main population centres: Mitcham, Morden, Colliers Wood.

Profile: Covers the south-eastern part of the borough of Merton. This is largely made up of inter-war suburban housing developments and large council estates like Phipps Bridge and the northern part of the large St Helier estate which straddles the boundary with Sutton. The area is increasingly multi-ethnic, with large black, asian and Polish communities.

Politics: Mitcham and Morden is now a safe Labour seat, but was held by the Conservatives for much of the 1980s after a particularly unusual by-election. In late 1981 the sitting Labour MP Bruce Douglas-Mann defected to the SDP and, uniquely amongst those MPs who defected to the new party, decided to stand down and contest a by-election under his new colours. However, by the time he actually resigned and the by-election was fought the Falklands War was ongoing and the Conservatives were enjoying a strong lead in the opinion polls, leading to an easy Conservative gain in the by-election. It was to be the last Conservative by-election gain for 27 years and the last time a government party gained a seat at a by-election.

Current MP
SIOBHAIN MCDONAGH (Labour) Born 1960, London. Educated at Holy Cross Secondary School and Essex University. Former development manager for a housing trust. Merton councillor 1982-1998. Contested Mitcham and Morden 1987, 1992. First elected as MP for Mitcham and Morden in 1997. PPS to John Reid 2005-2007, government whip 2007-2008. She was the sole member of the government not to nominate Gordon Brown as leader in 2007, and was sacked from the government for calling for a leadership election in September 2008. Her sister is Baroness McDonagh, the former General Secretary of the Labour party.
Past Results
Con: 11056 (25%)
Lab: 24722 (56%)
LDem: 5202 (12%)
BNP: 1386 (3%)
Oth: 1431 (3%)
MAJ: 13666 (31%)
Con: 9929 (25%)
Lab: 22489 (56%)
LDem: 5583 (14%)
GRN: 1395 (3%)
Oth: 472 (1%)
MAJ: 12560 (32%)
Con: 9151 (24%)
Lab: 22936 (60%)
LDem: 3820 (10%)
GRN: 926 (2%)
Oth: 1128 (3%)
MAJ: 13785 (36%)
Con: 14243 (30%)
Lab: 27984 (58%)
LDem: 3632 (8%)
Oth: 1277 (3%)
MAJ: 13741 (29%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PAUL HOLMES (Conservative) Parliamentary advisor. Southampton councillor 2008-2012.
SIOBHAIN MCDONAGH (Labour) See above.
DIANA COMAN (Liberal Democrat) Former Sutton councillor. Contested Christchurch 2005, Mitcham and Morden 2010.
RICHARD HILTON (UKIP) Former Merton councillor, elected for the Conservative party.
Comments - 223 Responses on “Mitcham & Morden”
  1. The result of the by-election is in : Lab 1436 70.7%, Con 282 13.9%, UKIP 191 9.4%, LD 59 2.9%, Greens 55 2.7%. C to Lab swing 6.3%. This is Labour’s highest-ever share of the vote in St Helier ward.

  2. That’s a very good result for Merton Labour, though the ward nearly always elects 3 Lab councillors with the exception of 1982.

    I wonder if the Crossrail 2/demolition parts of Wimbledon town centre row has helped Sadiq Khan carry Trinity. Labour may gain that ward in 2018 (less than 200 behind in 2014). Lower Morden, Cannon Hill and Abbey will all hold I would imagine. The Conservatives may oust the other LD seat in West Barnes as they will probably plough their resources into winning back Kingston.

  3. SP – the Conservatives already have control in Kingston-upon-Thames.
    There was something of a trend of the Tories doing relatively well in outer suburban wards, including council estate ones, in the Mayoral (not necessarily always the GLA) election but quite poorly in more inner city ones, including some very wealthy ones. Trinity is almost inner-city in character, albeit very prosperous inner city these days, St Helier is an outer council estate ward par excellence. There is some patchy evidence of Caribbean & African voters voting in somewhat larger numbers than expected for Goldsmith in the Mayoral election but Labour in the GLA election. The results in Barnet & Camden are another very good example – Sadiq did quite poorly in Barnet, losing West Hendon to the Tories for example, whereas in the wealthy inner areas of Hampstead the Tories did quite extraordinarily badly in comparison, losing some wards to Labour for the first time in 3 decades. That might also illustrate Sadiq doing very well amongst “intellectual” and secular Jewish voters, but much poorly amongst more religious Jewish voters who are much more prevalent in Hendon & Edgware than in the Hampstead community.

  4. l mentioned St Helier above since Sadiq’s winning margin over Zac there was unusually small. Obviously Lower Morden is not an outer council estate ward, but it certainly has a very outer suburban nature compared with Trinity or Abbey for example.

  5. “SP – the Conservatives already have control in Kingston-upon-Thames.”

    Need to rephrase I meant to say the Tories may re-take West Barnes as the Lib Dems turn their focus on gaining back Kingston.

  6. Both sides of the St Helier Estate are very different, the Merton parts are rather multi-ethic where as the Sutton parts are still more white van man terroritory of which I am surprised Goldsmith didn’t carry the Sutton side of the estate. Morden is a very different area to Carshalton and Sutton, though suburban in character it’s demographically closer to Croydon North than Sutton.

  7. Pretty much. They’ve controlled Sutton for 30 years now. Longer than any other local authority that they’ve held office in.

  8. Yes Surrey Politics is absolutely right. As of 2011, Merton St Helier was only 53.5% white British whereas Sutton St Helier was still 67.4% white British.

  9. Easy Lab Hold – This is one seat that could buck the trend and see an increased majority. Labour could put Mr Bean as the candidate and will still be a safe hold.

  10. Final Prediction

    Labour: 32,868
    Conservative: 12,564
    Green: 1,199
    Lib Dem: 1,178
    UKIP: 1,044
    CPA: 352

    maj 20,034

  11. Result of tonight’s St Helier by-election :
    Lab 1508
    Con 318
    LD 98
    Green 61
    UKIP 15

    The Labour share of the vote at 75.4% is a record for St Helier ward since it was created in 1978.

  12. I could see Labour polling 70-80 percent in pretty much every Mitcham ward in next years local elections (except Lower Morden). Trinity, West Barnes, Merton Park and Wimbledon Park will be wards to watch and I wouldn’t even rule out a partial Labour gain in Rayners Park. There’s no such thing as a safe Tory area in London anymore.

  13. correction : the UKIP vote was 50, not 15. Therefore the Labour share of the vote was 74.1%. Still a record.

    Surrey Politics it looks as if the Tories were still quite a long way ahead in Raynes Park ward in the general election, though the other wards do seem to be in play for Labour, especially Trinity. I think Village would still count as a safe Tory ward 🙂

  14. Yes indeed Village will be safely Con as well as other inner London wards like Balham, West Putney, East Putney, Palace, Brompton, Knightsbridge etc. What I really meant was they are no safe parliamentary seats in London until you get to the outskirts seats like Orpington. 2018 could see a few entirely Labour councils as well as Newham and Barking you could see Haringey, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth all going that way. I think the Tories will down to 4 councils – Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster (close call), Bexley and Bromley. One borough that might buck the anti-Tory could be Sutton. These elections could also be Labours best chance of getting representation in Sutton and Richmond again but will be extremely tough and now Vince Cable is back in Twickenham and leader of party I doubt Heathfield can be won now.

  15. Does anyone know anything about the various residents’ associations in Havering? There seem to be three different groups!

  16. Westminster will be interesting cos for the first time ever I do think Lab have a chance (a very slight chance mind) of gaining control of the borough which would be extraordinary.

    Current composition is 45 Tories to 15 Lab so 31 needed for a majority, Lab need to more than double their representatives, how do they do it.

    Most obvious is return another clean slate in Churchill, Lab did this in 2014 but one of their councillors has since defected to the Cons so they would have to win that back (+1)

    Add to their one councillor in Maida Vale and return a clean slate adding another two reps (+3)

    Squeeze the substantial Green vote and return full slates in both Regent’s Park and Little Venice where they are within reasonable contention (+9)

    Might be tricky given their behind the Libs but Lab would have to return a full slate in Bayswater where the Tories are tacking full advantage of split opposition between Lab, Libs and Green, their is a clear progressive majority in that ward the Tories didn’t even manage 40% in 2014 (+12)

    The final 4 councillors would have to come from a combination of Vincent Square, St James and Tachbrook, the first of which EC think Lab carried in 2017 and they were apparently only just behind in both St James and Tachbrook. I think it highly unlikely Lab could carry any of them in the locals but they could certainly run it close and gain 1 or 2 councillors in each.

    Achieving all of this is a massive ask but if the 2017 results indicate anything its that its possible.

  17. Surrey Politics – I think Labour has a very decent chance of getting on to Sutton council. On paper Wandle Valley now looks the best chance followed by St Helier.
    I’d be surprised if all the opposition were wiped out in Tower Hamlets, though it’s possible.

  18. Wandle Valley and St Helier depend on a few factors – do natural Labour voters continue to back the Lib Dem council. Where does the UKIP vote go? Is it to Labour or the Conservatives. Wandle Valley looks the best prospect because of the Mitcham Junction parts have had some pro Labour demographic change. St Helier will be tougher because of the Thatcherite white van man vote which doesn’t like the current Labour Party. Sutton Central is a long shot as the Conservatives will target all the wards on that constitutency. I don’t think Labour will get 9 councillors though I think maybe 1 or 2 conversley they could get there best vote since the 1970s and still not elect a councillor.

  19. This is all very interesting.

    Funny you should mention havering i was directed to their wiki today. Ive heard of them before. A pro brexit residents association first council in the country to back brexit. It appears the association split over backing the tory administration. So now you have havering association and east havering. Bloody judean peoples front!

  20. Havering has very different politics to the rest of London. It has more in common with Epsom and Ewell or Epping Forest than Greater London. Both of which are also largely Residents Association dominated or controlled.

  21. There are some parts of Bexley which are rather similar to Havering, and even Bromley , Sutton and Hillingdon to some extent in a small number of wards.

  22. Agreed.

    I would say Tolworth, Hook and Chessington are pretty similar as well.

  23. yes perhaps Tolworth rather less than Hook & Chessington.

    I actually found 2 voters still voting UKIP in Brunel ward, Uxbridge today!

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