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 - 2,152 Responses on “Richmond Park”
  1. Shows that the appointment was a silly one.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. ‘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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

  9. ‘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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. ‘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

  14. “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.

  15. 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.

  16. ‘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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. This was always likely to happen, mainly a reversion to 2006.

    The interesting thing here being how well the alliance worked with the Greens.

    Lib Dems probably narrow favourites to win this seat back next time.

    Kingston Upon Thames was an ever larger victory for the LDs.

  20. I’m worried about this seat at the next election, hopefully Zac Goldsmith can hang on

  21. Prior to 2010 this seat seemed almost tailor-made for a Tory like Zak Goldsmith – and that’s because people mistook him for a liberal Tory with sound green credentials

    Since then it’s become quite obvious that’s he’s nothing of the sort and holds similar right-wing views to his father – Brexit, tax cuts, anti immigration etc

    He;’ll have a hard job hanging on here after Brexit

  22. He’s a weird mix, certainly, but the mayoral campaign he chose to run turned me right off him. The worst thing is I still don’t think he believed in any of those dogwhistles himself, but he was prepared to run with them anyway. Genuine racists are deplorable but misguided. But those who know racism is wrong but are nonetheless prepared to fan the flames… that’s utterly shameful.

  23. The Real Joe James B –
    Not my post above.
    Suspect the Dalek post is the same person aswell.

  24. I understand that an alumnus of these pages, BARNABY MARDER, has resigned from the Labour Party today.

    This is bad news for Labout especially in London as he’s a well known and popular activist.

  25. I wonder what prompted him to leave the party.

  26. He is appalled by McDonnell who said the abuse that Jackie Walker gets on social media is vile. See McDs twitter acct.
    BM says it’s ” defence of Jackie Walker”.

    I guess there must be other reasons.

    He says he feels unwelcome in the party through his ethnicity.

  27. Yes, of course. I should have guessed that this would be related to the ongoing anti semitism row. Thanks.

  28. I chatted with Barnaby on Facebook today and it seems he’s decided not to resign after all.

  29. Leaving aside the anti semitism row (which is very important and definitely a big deal), it would be curious for Barnaby to quit the party at this particular point in time. Corbyn is surely the best leader (in terms of representing his views) in his lifetime.

  30. Barnaby is taking a break from all political activity while remaining a member I believe.

  31. I’m certain all of us here wish him. One of the very best UKPR contributors here. Sadly not seen here recently.

    Taking a break from politics at this time is entirely understandable.

  32. This. He’s brilliant – knowledgeable, non-judgemental, and while he has strong and passionate beliefs, they never prevented him getting along with those who don’t share them.

    IIRC he also had a personal tragedy relatively recently, which caused him to withdraw his candidacy for the Cities of London & Westminster seat. Maybe that was a factor in the decision.

  33. ‘it would be curious for Barnaby to quit the party at this particular point in time. Corbyn is surely the best leader (in terms of representing his views) in his lifetime.’

    i was thinking that – Barnaby was an Abbott supporter during the 2010 leadership contest – and if people like him are thinking of quitting the party, Corbyn is in serious trouble indeed, and today’s finding in The Times that the hapless May – arguably the weakest PM the UK has ever had – would actually win a majority, should serve as a very belated wake up call to the Labour Party

  34. Walter Wolfgang has died aged 95.

  35. Zac Goldsmith has been made a Defra minister.

  36. I had thought Cons would hold this, after a bit of further by-election unwind, but MRP seems to think their vote share will fall.

    LD gain.

  37. I think in 2017 some Tory very remain voters were willing to give May a chance but have lost faith with Johnson.

  38. Yes I can see Boris might be offensive to those genteel types.

  39. Probably haven’t forgiven Boris for his Heathrow cowardice either.

  40. This is perhaps the only seat in the country that looks almost certain to switch to the Lib Dems. They have had a double digit lead ever since June 2017 which makes one wonder how Goldsmith won this back in the first place

    If Kensington is the richest constituency in the uk – per head – this can’t be to far behind

  41. Yes, definite LD gain this one. As Tim says, the surprise was the Tories actually scraping a win here in 2017. Given the small number of LD MPs, Olney may fancy a shot at the leadership herself at some point.

  42. If the Lib Dems stay in the teens after the election, No hoes right? She will have, in six months, taken the party from second place at a national election to a distant fourth.

  43. No hoes? Sorry, that should say “Jo goes”!

  44. No hoes? Ooh I say!

    Yes, I think Swinson would have to go. The decision might be taken out of everyone’s hands anyway as she is not absolutely guaranteed of holding her seat.

  45. If she holds her seat, I don’t think it’s a given Jo Swinson would go, even if the election turns out as badly for the LDs as the polls currently predict. There don’t seem to be many viable alternatives, given Layla Moran’s caution will be permanently held against her. Sarah Olney from memory was a relatively recent recruit when she was elected here, if she regains the seat it would be a surprise if she put herslf forward as a leadership contender.

  46. Yes, the lack of viable alternatives for the leadership will certainly favour Swinson, though I’m certain Chuka Umunna will go for it if he somehow manages to get elected in Cities of London

  47. Zac Goldsmith also being ennobled so he can continue as environment minister.

    Still, aren’t we all glad to be getting rid of those unelected, unsackable bureaucrats in Brussels?

  48. Not just him but Morgan too. This is a subversion of democracy. Government ministers making decisions & ruling over the people should be elected representatives, not appointments made by mates

  49. Morgan is slightly different. I understand she is staying on for a couple of months, and Johnson is preparing a bigger reshuffle in February in which, among other things, he will abolish DCMS.

    I’m quite frightened for the future of the BBC.

  50. I think it broadcasting and sport might go back to the home office to replace immigration.

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