2015 Result:
Conservative: 25067 (51%)
Labour: 10268 (20.9%)
Lib Dem: 1413 (2.9%)
Green: 1222 (2.5%)
UKIP: 11208 (22.8%)
MAJORITY: 13859 (28.2%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Romford, Collier Row, Havering-atte-Bower.

Profile: A working class Tory seat in the Essex part of north-east London. Romford covers the retail hub of Romford, the Romford Garden Suburb planned community at Gidea Park and Collier Row. There are some upmarket middle class areas like the Garden Suburb and the village of Havering-atte-Bower, surrounded by Havering park, but the seat is mainly white, skilled working class, interwar housing.

Politics: Historically a Conservative/Labour marginal, Romford was held by the Conservatives for 23 years before falling to Labour in 1997. It was won back by the Conservatives in 2001 by Andrew Rosindell whose brand of populist patrotism has since built the seat into a Conservative stronghold.

Current MP
ANDREW ROSINDELL (Conservative) Born 1966, Romford. Educated at Marshall`s Park Comprehensive. Former journalist and Parliamentary aide to Vivian Bendall. Havering councillor 1990-2002. Contested Glasgow Provan 1992, Thurrock 1997. First elected as MP for Romford in 2001. Opposition whip 2005-2007. Rosindell is a stereotypical right-wing, working class Essex Tory: a Euro-sceptic, flag waving, pro-death penalty, anti-immigration former member of the Monday Club, who famously campaigned with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier dressed in a Union Jack coat. As far from David Cameron`s touchy-feely new Conservatism as it`s possible to be, Rosindell nevertheless clearly chimes with his constituency where he has secured huge swings in his favour.
Past Results
Con: 26031 (56%)
Lab: 9077 (20%)
LDem: 5572 (12%)
BNP: 2438 (5%)
Oth: 3363 (7%)
MAJ: 16954 (36%)
Con: 21560 (59%)
Lab: 9971 (27%)
LDem: 3066 (8%)
BNP: 1088 (3%)
Oth: 797 (2%)
MAJ: 11589 (32%)
Con: 18931 (53%)
Lab: 12954 (36%)
LDem: 2869 (8%)
UKIP: 533 (1%)
Oth: 414 (1%)
MAJ: 5977 (17%)
Con: 17538 (42%)
Lab: 18187 (43%)
LDem: 3341 (8%)
Oth: 1622 (4%)
MAJ: 649 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ANDREW ROSINDELL (Conservative) See above.
SAM GOULD (Labour) Educated at Marshalls Park School and Essex University.
IAN SANDERSON (Liberal Democrat)
GERARD BATTEN (UKIP) Born 1954, London. Former telephone engineer. Contested Barking 1994 by-election, Harlow 1997, West Ham 2001, Dagenham 2005, London mayoralty 2008. MEP for London since 2004.
Comments - 323 Responses on “Romford”
  1. I must admit Rosindell is an extremely impressive local campaigner, and the 2001 result in particular, where he achieved a 10% swing against a national backdrop of essentially no movement, was probably the most impressive result of the election.

    But in London as a whole? We’d be looking at Labour winning in the first round on 60% of the vote. And if you though Zac Golsmith’s campaign was nasty, you ain’t seen nothing yet…

  2. Lancs

    Romford is changing, as London always does.

    Not just the ethnic mix but more educated professionals. The British bulldog demographic isn’t as dominant as it once was, and is slowly but surely dying off.

    Rosindell would be a bad candidate not just for his predictably low support in Inner London, but because the posher Tory outer suburbs like Bromley and Barnet would consider him a bit of an oik.

  3. I said it was an underwhelming result compared to 2010 (obviously I was referring to the 2015 result).

    I suppose its possible to be sensitive and as right wing as Rosindell. Rare as hens teeth though.

  4. One gets the impression (admittedly having never been there) that Havering remains very Essex-y, unlike other parts of outer London that are gradually losing their Home Counties flavour and trending towards Labour.

    Is it plausible that Havering is becoming an island of conservatism for people feeling pushed out of Zones 1-3 for cultural reasons?

  5. I’ve heard that a lot of people living in Romford consider themselves to be living in Essex, despite that not being the case for an awfully long time. They point to having a non- London postcode as evidence for this (ignoring the fact that they get a vote in the London mayoral election, are in a London constituency and are part of Transport for London). So yes it is very Essexy.

  6. Though people in Dagenham consider themselves Essex and in Bromley they say Kent

  7. “in Bromley they say Kent”

    I lived in Bromley for more than 10 years…admittedly it was the north of the borough, but despite our Kent postcode I’d say by the time I left most of my neighbours in Beckenham would consider that they lived in London. The southern end of the borough around Orpington and Biggin Hill would be different I accept.

    “I’ve heard that a lot of people living in Romford consider themselves to be living in Essex, despite that not being the case for an awfully long time.”

    Many still do for sure….but it’s slowly but surely diminishing. Take the train to Romford one day and have a walk down the high street. If you think it’s full of ruddy faced white cockneys saying “gawd bless ya guvnor” and whistling Knees Up Mother Brown you’re in for a big shock. You will find it extremely ethnically mixed and becoming more and more like Dagenham and Ilford. Many of the black and Asian youths hanging around will not be living in Romford constituency and might not be old enough to vote anyway, but the direction of travel is clear.

    “Is it plausible that Havering is becoming an island of conservatism for people feeling pushed out of Zones 1-3 for cultural reasons?”

    In the long term, no. See my comment above. More likely the area will slowly drift in a similar direction to Redbridge. Which is a trend the local Tories are desperate to prevent – see the local election leaflet scandal here a few months back. But long term they are pissing in the wind.

  8. HH- agree with all of that. A good friend of mine lives in Gidea Park and it is not all Danny Dyer geezers and roll out the barrel, far from it. But there’s definitely a hardcore group of older white people who think they are still in Essex. I’ve never understood it…of all the Home Counties to want to still be part of! Buckinghamshire and Surrey I can get.

  9. That hardcore group of older white people will gradually die off and/or move further out, cashing out of houses that are going to become much more valuable in the coming years. Crossrail is going to be a big gamechanger for Havering.

  10. The London Government Act of the 1960s created large new boroughs taking in many areas which were in the Home Counties. Quite understandably, the GPO (as I suppose it was then) didn’t want to rejig all the addresses and create new London postcodes…but it still causes confusion to this day, Actually the wheel has turned full circle and a lot of London’s mail is sorted at Greenford, Romford etc. You don’t get a London postmark any longer.

  11. HH – I didn’t say he’d make a good Mayoral candidate – merely that his electoral performance here has been impressive.

    In fact I thought you were joking until I discovered he’s on the (long) shortlist.

  12. “his electoral performance here has been impressive.”

    15/20 years ago certainly…in the last 10 years much less so.

    He’s off the list now anyway.

    ConHome’s candidate interviews were very interesting. Boff has the best ideas IMO, Bailey much longer on platitudes and waffle. The third lady is a complete unknown but precisely because of that I suspect she might get it.

  13. ’15/20 years ago certainly…in the last 10 years much less so.’

    He achieved two of the Tories biggest swings in 2001 and 2005 election although it’s worth noting that the 59.4% of the vote share he got in 2017 is the highest of any Romford MP in the post war period

  14. I think it must be said that Andrew Rosindell is very much a reverse Kate Hoey – someone who fits his seat like a glove. His electoral performance here has been very impressive, but I think that says as much about Romford as it does about him.

  15. The result is similar to the 1992 one here so probably different trends cancelling each other out.

  16. Andrew Rosindell is now the PM’s trade envoy to Tanzania.

  17. This news has briefly turned me into the sort of attention-seeking hyper-woke anti-colonialist I generally despise.

  18. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

  19. So Andrew Rosindell is a member of the Free Tommy Robinson Facebook group:

    Of course he is.

  20. Quelle surprise.

  21. He claims he was added by the group but as the article points out you either have to accept an invitation to join or request to join – you can’t be added without giving permission.

  22. On a uniform swing based on current polling, Labour will take Havering and Redbridge on the London Assembly:

    Not sure that the constituency AMs actually have much impact or power, so perhaps it’s more symbolic than anything. I would imagine the Redbridge part is enough to counter Havering, which as HH said above, is becoming more diverse. Shaun Bailey lives in Romford, I gather.

    I can also see Labour taking West Central on the Assemby.

  23. I didn’t realise the H&R Tory majority was so small in 2016 – 1,438 (0.8%). Probably because UKIP did so well, getting 15.7%. That vote could easily go back to the Tories (for the most part), so I wouldn’t say a Labour gain is as clear-cut as it might seem. I think West Central is more likely.

    South West and Croydon & Sutton can’t be ruled out, based on 2016, but it might depend how well the Lib Dems do in those seats.

    Bexley and Bromley is the only GLA seat which I would be confident of remaining Tory.

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