Richmond Park

2015 Result:
Conservative: 34404 (58.2%)
Labour: 7296 (12.3%)
Lib Dem: 11389 (19.3%)
Green: 3548 (6%)
UKIP: 2464 (4.2%)
MAJORITY: 23015 (38.9%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Richmond upon Thames council area and part of Kingston upon Thames council area.

Main population centres: East Sheen, Mortlake, Richmond, Ham, Kew, Barnes, Petersham, Coombe.

Profile: Richmond Park is a large royal park in south-west London, home to a herd of over 600 deer. The electorate of the Richmond Park consituency consists of the residential areas bordering it - Richmond itself, the riverside communities of Kew and Barnes and, to the south of the park, Kingston upon Thames. It is an affluent, middle-class suburban seat, characterised by desirable period houses, large gardens and huge property prices. The seat also contains Kew Gardens, the National Archives and Kingston University. The majority of planes landing at Heathrow airport descend over Barnes and Kew and the potential expansion of Heathrow airport is an important local issue.

Politics: The Richmond Park seat was created in 1997 from the merger of Richmond and Barnes and part of Kingston upon Thames, leaving the Kingston MP and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont to go on his doomed run up to Harrogate. Along with Twickenham and Kingston and Surbiton it formed part of a wedge of Liberal Democrat strength in South-West London until falling to Zac Goldsmith in 2010.

Current MP
ZAC GOLDSMITH (Conservative) Born 1975, Westminster, son of Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, the founder of the Referendum party. Educated at Eton, where he was expelled for posession of cannabis. Former Environmental activist and editor of The Ecologist. First elected as MP for Richmond Park in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 29461 (50%)
Lab: 2979 (5%)
LDem: 25370 (43%)
UKIP: 669 (1%)
Oth: 789 (1%)
MAJ: 4091 (7%)
Con: 20280 (39%)
Lab: 4768 (9%)
LDem: 24011 (47%)
GRN: 1379 (3%)
Oth: 936 (2%)
MAJ: 3731 (7%)
Con: 18480 (38%)
Lab: 5541 (11%)
LDem: 23444 (48%)
GRN: 1223 (2%)
Oth: 463 (1%)
MAJ: 4964 (10%)
Con: 22442 (39%)
Lab: 7172 (13%)
LDem: 25393 (45%)
Oth: 379 (1%)
MAJ: 2951 (5%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ZAC GOLDSMITH (Conservative) See above.
ROBIN MELTZER (Liberal Democrat) Born Hammersmith. Educated at Shenfield High School and Cambridge University. Former BBC producer. Contested Kensington 2010.
ANDREE FRIEZE (Green) Journalist and editor.
Comments - 2,150 Responses on “Richmond Park”
  1. Although her U-turn over Heathrow would still cause problems…

  2. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Cate Tuitt.

  3. Having initially taken a principled stand to leave the tories, Goldsmith has just higlighted the careerism of his move to rejoin so soon. I expect that to play badly, along with ANDREW111’s point about May’s tories being a “coalition of chaos” on their own. Also, with only 4.2% of kippers last time, they won’t attract many votes from other parties. I predict that this seat will see the tory share drop (from 2015) more than anywhere else in the country. The wind is in the right direction for the libdems, especially with no Green candidate.

    However; this isn’t a by election, and the 39% chasm in 2015 just looks too big to me.


    Goldsmith: 48
    Olney: 43
    Labour: 7
    UKIP: 2

  4. I know predictions like that are not very scientific, but if that was the result, it would of course highlight the wisdom of Labour joining the Progressive Alliance.

  5. The difficulty with the Progressive Alliance is the assumption that the views of party leaders and membership on the one hand and party voters on the other hand are pretty much identical. But 32% of LD voters were for Leave and, bizarrely, 5% of UKIP were for Remain. The West Midlands Mayoral election should have been won by the Labour candidate as there was a clear ‘Progressive’ majority on first preference votes. But that didn’t happen. On another post someone has calculated that LD second preference votes only split 2/3rd to 1/3rd in favour of the Labour. Admittedly a lot of second preference votes were wasted, being given to other minor parties, and the Tory clearly had an appeal beyond the core Tory vote. Nonetheless it is possible to over hype the Progressive majorit, especially when the tide is running so firmly in the Tories’ direction.

  6. I carried out a straw phone poll over the week-end and it would appear the LD will hold on to this seat, the result I found was;
    CON 43%
    LAB 5%
    LD 50%
    UKIP 2%

  7. My uncle lives in this seat. He’s always voted green but this time hell hold his nose and vote LD. Wouldn’t think hed be the only one.

  8. How many people did you call in your straw poll, Paul?

  9. Let’s not forget how accurate Paul Way’s straw polls were in 2015.

    Did a straw phone poll for this seat at the weekend, contacted 15 votes from each of the following, Dingwall, Portree, and Beauly, THE POLL RESULTS ARE;
    April 6th, 2015 at 5:30 pm

  10. In all seriousness this site belongs to YouGov and they should ban fake illegal polls from the site. Who knows, some poor mug might use them as the basis for a bet or somesuch.

  11. I made straw phone polls and a few street straw polls in 2015. I am first to accept not all were correct but about 95% were correct. I won’t have as much time to do as many straw phone polls this year but I hope to get about 18 seats straw polled and a couple of visits to certain seats in the next two weeks to carry out street straw polls.
    I hope to include 1 from N.Ireland, 2 or 3 from both Scotland and Wales and about a dozen English seats. As soon as I complete each I’ll put up the results.

  12. Thanks Paul 🙂 🙂

  13. ”I carried out a straw phone poll over the week-end and it would appear the LD will hold on to this seat, the result I found was”

    How many voters did you survey? If it was only a handful the margin of error is huge and basically 50-43 split is too close to call.

  14. Plus did you control for vote last time, age, class etc.?

  15. 90% of people will slam the phone down and/or tell him to f-off. So to get 30 bona fide responses he needs to make 300 calls. And to get them he needs to call at least double the amount of numbers as at least half aren’t in or won’t answer. 600 phone calls for a worthless sample of 30? Expensive and illegal, under nuisance phone call legislation. Surely you can’t believe he’s telling the truth guys…a more obvious pile of horseshit you won’t find on here. As I said, shame on YouGov for not deleting fake polls from here, that is against the polling council guidelines I believe.

  16. @ Paul Way

    “…about 95% were correct”

    No they weren’t. Your Ross Skye and Lochaber ‘poll’ was 21% out, and here’s another where the margin between the parties finishing first and second in the last GE was out by 20% (Greens getting 27%, as opposed to 6%).

  17. Don’t feed the troll mate

  18. Ignore Paul Way. Hemmelig is right. Just let him be and it’ll go away when it gets bored.

  19. Actually, in spite of apparent lack of Science it did tickle me greatly that a lot of Paul Way’s ‘straw polls’ were just as / more accurate (or no more inaccurate) than a lot of posters’ strongly made predictions / assertions on here.

    Some were way out, as has been pointed out, but some were much closer to the result that most people were saying. And at the end of the day, it was a lot cheaper than Ashcroft’s equally / more inaccurate constituency polls outside of Scotland! – so if you want someone to blame for wasting money on bets, blame Ashcroft.

    Paul is harmless, not a troll. I find it very amusing. Also, for those of you inclined to take it too seriously still, please note that his predictions are not favourable in one direction / biased towards anyone, they are all over the place.

    Us conceited ‘experts’ as we like to think, need to take a chill pill. Paul’s not posting 100 times a day (he couldn’t get that many phone calls done!), and you don’t have to take any notice of his tiny number of posts if you don’t want to. 🙂

  20. HH: “90% of people will slam the phone down and/or tell him to f-off.” I find that assessment incredible. Surely it would be a minority? Asking seriously as I believe that the response rates for polls are around only 35-45% and some can be as low as 20%.

  21. Response rates for cold calls are very low, even for reputable pollsters.

  22. Michael Crick reports that Sarah Olney has been referred to the Met over election expenses, over an alleged overspend of between £5,157 & £15,414.

  23. Unlikely to have an impact.

    There was a difference of 18,000 in turnout between GE2015 and the BE 2016 here. I think that a lot would gave been Goldsmith abstained. This along with less tactical voting by Labour voters and no UKIP standing means for me it’s a relatively comfortable win for CON.

  24. Zac Goldsmith has won by 45 votes.

  25. I thought this was a credible performance by Sarah Olney given the far higher turnout compared to the by-election and the general opinion (expressed at great length above) that this seat is naturally Conservative – post 1997 boundary changes – and getting more so.

    Not for the first time in this neck of the woods, the number of Labour core voters – 5,773 – far exceeded the Conservative majority.

  26. Given Goldsmith’s majority over Olney, think it’ll be one where Labour supporters would be fine voting tactically at the next election. Ditto St Ives.

  27. I think most of them already did vote tactically at this election.

  28. Sarah Olney is apparently being lined up as Vince Cable’s chief of staff.

  29. A poor choice IMO.

    It does look like the Lib Dems are rapidly shrinking into the Disgusted of South West London Party.

  30. Its their comfort zone and echo chamber.

  31. Can’t say I really know a lot about who else could have done the job – but I do feel uneasy about this trend for defeated MPs getting behind-the-scenes roles. People should be able to vote their representatives out.

  32. Sarah Olney has stood down as Vince Cable’s chief of staff, in order to campaign more in this constituency, where she plans to stand again at the next election.

  33. Shows that the appointment was a silly one.

  34. Are we sure that Mr Goldsmith is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Richmond Park ?

    We’ve not heard a peep from him in the last five months.

  35. I should imagine, given the marginality of his seat, he’s spending a lot of his time working his home turf…

  36. Well I wouldn’t be surprised, he’s not the only MP with such a waver thin majority, he and a lot of others are bound to be jittery by the time the next election rolls around.

  37. ‘Well I wouldn’t be surprised, he’s not the only MP with such a waver thin majority, he and a lot of others are bound to be jittery by the time the next election rolls around.’

    With his wealth as an incumbent you would imagine he might be hard to shift, although I was surprised when the Lib Dems won this in 2016 and even more surprised when Goldsmith won it back barely a year later

    Given the seat’s long-standing liberal tradition and its strong anti-Brexit majority, an anti Islamic, billionaire Brexiter does increasingly seem like an odd fit

  38. Is Goldsmith really anti Islamic? Or was he just following the guidelines drawn up for him for the campaign?

    He looked even more stupid than someone else would, and not at all authentic…

    Brexit I think he could get away with.

  39. The stuff he was spinning about Khan sharing a platform with IS supporter Soloman Gani was repeated by both Fallon and Cameron

  40. In fairness, I still believe that what we saw in the mayoral campaign was not the real Zac Goldsmith. I don’t think he believed most of the things he said (although arguably that makes his behaviour even more shameful). But I am stunned that both neither he nor Lynton Crosby thought it would be a winning message in comfortably cosmopolitan London – especially when he had an immaculate blueprint to follow in the shape of Boris Johnson’s two mayoral victories.

  41. ‘He looked even more stupid than someone else would, and not at all authentic…’

    indeed he did – but whether it was drawn up by central office or not he didn’t seem to have any problem in running a campaign with as strong ant-Islamic streak, even though he did it badly

    ‘Brexit I think he could get away with.’

    Not here though – where only 30% of the electorate share his view, and that figure is only going to get lower if Brexit proves the disaster that many people in the know seem to think it will be

    Goldsmith will have a lot of explaining to do

  42. Indeed Goldsmith clearly isn’t anti Islamic, that whole saga reeked of a Crosby-esque “divide and rule” strategy, I personally thought that the reason Goldsmith seemed so deflated for most of the London mayoral campaign was because he didn’t even like his own message rather he was told that it was his path to victory and thus went along with it.

    Indeed if you remove his London mayoral campaign and his stance on Brexit (where he has probably been badly influenced by his father over the years) he stands out firmly as one of the more liberal Tories and actually quite a good fit for the seat. His environmental credentials especially are really second only to Caroline Lucas.

  43. Re: Olney, incidentally Guido reported that while she may have “quit” Cable’s office to concentrate on trying to win the seat back, the constituency association were rather taken aback by this assumption that it is her seat to fight.

    Re: Goldsmith – I agree with Rivers on both counts. By 2022 (assuming that’s when the next Election takes place, obviously that may be a bit of a long shot) the damage done by his mayoral campaign and the resignation / by-election will have somewhat subsided (plus Brexit will have “happened” by then). Speaking to Conservative activists in the constituency they seem to be well behind him.

  44. Rivers, I think that’s a very fair assessment of Goldsmith. I too think that the nature of his mayoral campaign was not his choice (although obviously he has to take full responsibility for it). Whoever was responsible for formulating that campaign clearly had a somewhat dated idea of London’s fast changing demographics. Nowadays there is no way any candidate could carry the city with that type of pitch.

  45. ‘he stands out firmly as one of the more liberal Tories and actually quite a good fit for the seat. His environmental credentials especially are really second only to Caroline Lucas.’

    He looks and sounds like a liberal Tory but if you take his environmental credentials out of the equation, Goldsmith is a pretty standard mainstream 21st century Conservative

    I imagine gets the bulk of his political leanings from his father, who left the Tories because they were insufficiently right-wing

  46. “Indeed if you remove his London mayoral campaign and his stance on Brexit” as Rivers10 says – well that’s the whole point isn’t it? You can’t just remove that, since Brexit is a huge issue here, and this is not a racist constituency or even close to being one. In the end these issues have seriously tarnished him with local voters. He has wilfully frittered away a huge majority by failing to understand the electorate in the constituency and while he may survive again I personally think it will be close once more.

  47. Tim
    “He looks and sounds like a liberal Tory but if you take his environmental credentials out of the equation, Goldsmith is a pretty standard mainstream 21st century Conservative”

    I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that, he’s something of a genuine Libertarian (not the Liam Fox variety of fake Libertarians that takes all the bad aspects of the ideology but removes all the good)
    For example he was pro gay marriage (unlike most of his party at the time) is in favour of drug de-criminalisation, is very pro immigration and also a big advocate of direct democracy.

    On economic issues he’s certainly typical and hence I’d never claim he’s on the left of the Tory party but on social issues he’s very much on the progressive wing.

  48. ‘he’s something of a genuine Libertarian’

    If it wasn’t for his environmental concerns (and you might add his mayoral campaign) that description might fit but a libetarian/classical liberal is very different from a 21st century liberal

    Lots of Tories are socially liberal nowadays – look at George Osborne – but a bit like Goldsmith they lean to the Right economically

  49. Yeah he’s basically a Daniel Hannan clone with green credentials.

    I didn’t know he was pro-weed, but considering he was expelled from Eton because of drugs it would be pretty hypocritical if he wasn’t.

  50. Absolutely monstrous swing on Richmond-upon-Thames council:

    Lib Dem gain from Con

    LD: 39 (+24)
    Con: 11 (-28)
    Grn: 4 (+4)

    Amazing stuff – I wonder how big a role Heathrow expansion has played here.

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