Poplar & Limehouse

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12962 (25.4%)
Labour: 29886 (58.5%)
Lib Dem: 2149 (4.2%)
Green: 2463 (4.8%)
UKIP: 3128 (6.1%)
TUSC: 367 (0.7%)
Others: 89 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 16924 (33.2%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Tower Hamlets council area.

Main population centres: Poplar, Wapping, Isle of Dogs.

Profile: An east London seat covering the Isle-of-Dogs and the Canary Wharf development. To the north it covers Bromley-by-Bow and Mile End, once home to the Jewish community, now dominated by Bangladeshi Muslims. To the west it stretches up to the boundaries of the City of London, and includes the Tower of London. It contains incredible extremes, from extreme deprivation in the north of the seat to the gleaming skyscrapers and dockside developments of Canary Wharf in the south (although even in the areas surrounding Canary Wharf there are still working class areas). Wards like Bromley-by-Bow are over 70% social housing, mostly Bangladeshi Muslims with around half the population in social classes DE and one in five residents born in Bangladesh. In contrast in Millwall and Wapping there are large proportions of owner-occupiers or private renters, white young professionals looking to move near to Canary Wharf..

Politics: Until 2004 this was a rock solid Labour area, held by the party since 1922. Since then the politics have been more colourful - the rapid gentrification around the docklands and Canary Wharf means the south of the seat has been more Conservative, while in the largely Bangladeshi northern part of the seat Labour came under threat from first Respect and then the followers of the Independent mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman, later ejected for electoral fraud. For a while the political runctions and the splitting of the Labour vote put this seat on the Conservative target list, but with the collapse of Respect and the disgrace of Rahman, this seat once again looks like a Labour banker. The seat contains a number of slices of political history - it was the site of the Wapping Dispute in the 1980s, the Gang of Four made their declaration launching the SDP at David Owen`s Limehouse house in 1981 and in 1993 was the location of the BNP`s first local election victory, when Derek Beackon was briefly elected as a councillor in Millwall.

Current MP
JIM FITZPATRICK (Labour) Born 1952, Glasgow. Educated at Holyrood Secondary. Former firefighter. First elected as MP for Poplar and Canning Town in 1997. PPS to Alan Milburn 1999-2001. Government whip 2001-2005, Junior minister in the DPM`s department 2005-2006, under-secretary of state for transport 2007-2009, Minister of State for farming 2009-2010.
Past Results
Con: 12649 (27%)
Lab: 18679 (40%)
LDem: 5209 (11%)
Resp: 8160 (17%)
Oth: 2003 (4%)
MAJ: 6030 (13%)
Con: 8499 (22%)
Lab: 15628 (40%)
LDem: 5420 (14%)
GRN: 955 (2%)
Oth: 8508 (22%)
MAJ: 7120 (18%)
Con: 6758 (20%)
Lab: 20862 (61%)
LDem: 3795 (11%)
BNP: 1743 (5%)
Oth: 950 (3%)
MAJ: 14104 (41%)
Con: 5892 (15%)
Lab: 24807 (63%)
LDem: 4072 (10%)
Oth: 3406 (9%)
MAJ: 18915 (48%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Poplar & Canning Town

2015 Candidates
CHRIS WILFORD (Conservative) Educated at Kings College London. Policy advisor. Contested Tower Hamlets mayoral election 2014.
JIM FITZPATRICK (Labour) See above.
ELAINE BAGSHAWE (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Nottingham High School for Girls and Birmingham University. Business Change Manager.
NICHOLAS MCQUEEN (UKIP) Businessman and florist.
RENE MAGENZI (Red Flag Anti Corruption)
Comments - 113 Responses on “Poplar & Limehouse”
  1. “the ward the Tories won on the Isle of Dogs was in fact the same ward (Millwall) that the BNP had won a decade earlier ie they gained the WWC vote there. [There’d clearly always been an anti-Labour council vote – hence how the LDs won and were accused of racism even before the BNP victory]”

    All within the wider context of the redevelopment of the Docklands, which caused massive demolition of housing in the 80s and huge resentment about who would be rehoused where. There was particular resentment in the WWC that the Bangladeshis were given priority for the scarce remaining social housing locally, sentiment which the Lib Dems successfully exploited in the late 80s, followed by the BNP a few years later. Housing allocation here was certainly a hot potato a long time before Mayor Rahman and his appalling corruption.

    “Whilst Tories poll 20% in these young professional PDs and wards, they’ve yet to gain any of them outside London. From memory the closest they came was within 150 votes in Manc city centre ward a decade ago.”

    I imagine all those wards outside London contain a significant number of public sector and arts/media types. This is not the case in Docklands and is almost certainly the reason why the Tories do better, in addition to the horrendous reputation of Tower Hamlets council going back decades. Even so, the Tories usually only scrape a narrow victory in their Docklands wards despite all these factors in their favour.

  2. ‘Even so, the Tories usually only scrape a narrow victory in their Docklands wards despite all these factors in their favour.’

    If they managed that at all

    The size of Labour’s majority suggests the Tories might have won a few wards – one would presume Canary Wharf, Island Gardens & Blackwall – but got swamped everywhere else

  3. Shortlist for Labour selection is

    Apsana Begum (Poplar and Limehouse CLP Vice-Chair-Membership; member of Momentum National Coordinating Group)

    Amina Ali (Tower Hamlets Cllr)

    Heather Peto (LGBT-Labour Co-Chair)

  4. Aspana Begum has been charged with 3 counts of housing fraud.

    She’s due to appear in Court in December.

  5. Apsana Begum – yes. Wasn’t there trouble at her selection meeting?

    Tristan may well think I’m talking to myself in replying to Lancs.

  6. The MP’s Trial is due to begin on 22nd July 2021.

  7. Labour’s 2019 selection process seems to have done a pretty poor job. I suppose that’s what happens when fealty to the (then) leadership is the only selection criterion that matters.

  8. Tbf worth remembering several MPs were suspended in the last parliament for allegations of sexual harassment and one has now been convicted. Two MPs were successful recalled for pergury and election expenses. In the previous Parliament A number of other MPs were suspended for allegations of accepting large donations in exchange for speaking at events and one faced an unsuccessful recall petition. One MP beat up teenagers and was suspended. Prior to that there 100s of MPs that were found to have broken the law in expenses having to pay thousands back….

  9. If Apsana Begum has to resign her seat as a result of the trial, will Galloway stand as a candidate, and could he win?

  10. Oh I imagine he’ll stand here or in Leicester or Scotland or indeed in almost any seat where an MP is convicted.

  11. Although only seats with a large Muslim population and where Labour are in contention. He couldn’t win Wakefield – but he might take enough votes to prevent Labour gaining it, should a by-election take place.

  12. The current issue of Private Eye actually has a piece speculating about this. A spokesperson for Galloway said he wouldn’t run, but the Workers Party would field a candidate.

  13. Begum was acquitted on Friday. So no by-election.

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