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”
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  1. [Please do not put up libellous comments – AW]

  2. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Andrew Rosindell. He represents this seat well and clearly says what the people of Romford want to here. As an MP that is his job.

  3. ‘He represents this seat well and clearly says what the people of Romford want to here. As an MP that is his job.’

    Of course it is – but MP’s views can jeopardise how effective they are

    Would he represent a constituent who happened to be black, gay or disabled as well as one who’s white, straight and able?

    His views would make me seriously doubt it, and whilst the Tory Party will always be a briad chirch of the right and centre-right, he’s one MP they could do to be without

  4. I do wish we could stick more closely to psephology.

  5. I hope for the downfall of Andrew Rossindell, he is a loony, fruitcake and closet racist. His nationalist and backwards views have no place in any modern party that claims to want the centre ground. As for Romford, this is a Labour seat in the sense that many of the people in this seat could vote for a Labour Party than is in touch with their concerns, understands their values and is demonstrably on the side of hard-working people. They now have a far-right populist who belongs not even in UKIP but the BNP.

  6. Urm, I’m not really sure if I want to reply to any of that TBH…

    I assume Bob you’re merely echoing the views you espoused at the top of the page that Anthony took down earlier on today…

  7. This kind of stuff is pretty tedious Bob.

  8. hi all i wonder if you could help me on a question on the eu/usa trade talks (i know there petition online to remove the nhs from it) its has says from what i understand that healthcare has to be opened up to comp.
    1. have i understood it right (and if i have understood it)
    2. wont that upset a lot on the left? (but good for ukip)

  9. I actually think this is the epitome of a Tory/UKIP seat. Labour won it in 97 but it very soon reverted to type. When Labour wins a set like this it does beg the question ‘how’? If Rosindell does reflect the values of the residents here why would they ever want to support Labour?

  10. But Mike, I do not think he actually does. I mean there are obviously small ‘c’ conservative people who are patriotic and some are reasonably aspirational middle class who Labour need to represent, others are working class people who Labour need to represent. Rossindell represents them by playing on their anger, playing on their fears and playing on their emotions. You have to ask yourself Mike, why isn’t this happening in Ilford North or even Dagenham which is quite similar in terms of demographics? This could be a Labour seat looking at the demographics, a normal Labour/Tory marginal – it was in the ’70s before Mrs T.

  11. Bob,

    Romford is nothing like Dagenham or Ilford anymore. Both those places have been transformed into a mess which probably helps Rosindell here. He could always use the tactic ‘vote Labour and Romford will turn into Ilford’ which is a frightening prospect for many people in Havering.

    The people in outer East London will not turn to Labour no matter what that party says as Labour have a very bad track record of ruining places in East London. Mandelson’s admission that Labour governments under Blair and Brown deliberately went looking for immigrants to work in the UK is another reason why people in seats like Romford would be unlikely to vote Labour in large numbers.

    The only way Labour will win this seat is if the demographics go the same way as the rest of East London and I cannot see that happening just yet.

  12. And even when Dagenham was almost entirely white, it was a very different place to Romford. Dagenham has always been a very working class place, dominated by council housing and the Ford works, with the same “my Dad and Grandad voted Labour” culture as similar industrial towns in the north. Romford is and always has been a much more middle class, owner-occupied outer suburb.

    Incidentally, as we discussed on the old site many times, the boundaries of Romford before 1974 were radically different and much more favourable to Labour than now, therefore Bob’s comment that “it was a Labour seat in the 70s before Mrs T” is meaningless.

  13. Very well put HH.

  14. You aren’t right, LBERNARD and HH because if you look upwards, the seat ‘ is mainly white, skilled working class, interwar housing’, which is very similar to Dagenham. Parts of Ilford, share similar demographics for example Ilford North, which is on the Essex border and have very suburban middle-class areas. These are areas that should be Labour/Tory battlegrounds as it was in the 1970s before Mrs T came along (it is not meaningless, it is a fact about the nature of the change).
    If Andrew Rossindell left the Tories or stepped down, I think this seat could become a semi-marginal within months. Just look around the seat – it is an abnormal seat, the most blinkered of people must admit that at the very least.

  15. Dagenham is not mainly white any more. It is not mainly skilled working class. Its interwar housing is mainly council housing whilst here it is owner occupied 30s semis. The areas are not all that similar and they never have been.

  16. They are very similar, you are wrong. You are confusing Dagenham, with Barking and Dagenham. Barking is the area that tends to be very ethnically diverse, pockets of Dagenham are very white and working class but they still vote Labour. You are utterly wrong on that.

  17. We’re talking about Dagenham not pockets of Dagenham.

  18. If you look at the 2011 census then it will be apparent to you that Dagenham has become very ethnically diverse as well, far more so than Romford. Also as HH says the majority of housing stock in Dagenham is council built whereas Romford is an overwhelmingly owner-occupied seat. I would not agree with the prfoile description as a ‘working class Tory seat’ or that it is ‘mainly skilled working class’. The dominant demographic is actually C1, ie non-manual

  19. ‘If Andrew Rossindell left the Tories or stepped down, I think this seat could become a semi-marginal within months.’

    Today’s Tory Party has plenty of Andrew Rosindell’s in it – and a good deal of them hail from this part of the world, so if Rosindell were to defect or stand down, they would just replace him with another Billy Britain – who would get elected with a similarly sizeable majority

    Areas like this – safely Tory with large amount of working class/lower middle class white voters – and there are quite a few of them in outer East London/Essex/Kent – have swung so far away from Labour, the party doesn’t have the remotest chance of even being competitive here again.

    UKIP would be more likely to emerge as genuine challengers to the Tories

  20. Finally some sanity arrives into the discussion.

    Pete – did you see the question from Dalek on the Dagenham & Rainham thread?

  21. I haven’t. I’ve moved house and not got internet sorted yet so have missed much of the recent excitement here. I will go and have a look on that thread now and hope I don’t have to wade through too much of Bob’s trolling to get to Dalek’s post

  22. It was Bob-free last time I looked….but probably not for long now that I’ve mentioned it.

    Hope the house move has gone well. Have you stayed in St Albans or moved somewhere out of the area?

  23. Yes still in St Albans.
    As it happens, Andy has posted on that thread, a link to his spreadsheet which has ward by ward breakdown of the ethnic figures from the 2011 census, so it might be a good thing if Bob does take a visit to that thread. As we discovered on the Ealing Central and Acton thread, he would benefit from acquainting himself with some facts before commenting on some areas.

  24. I have often said in the past, and will now repeat, that H.Hemmelig is completely correct in his analysis of Romford’s social composition. Many people, basically, mistake a Cockney accent for being socio-economically working class. That simply is a totally false analogy. Romford does have its skilled working class voters, but mainly it’s clerical, small business & craft occupations – C1s & C2s but definitely not Ds. Dagenham is completely different with its far greater amount of council housing & far greater number of those involved in manual work, but employed rather than self-employed. The former Hornchurch constituency was basically not only geographically but also socio-economically in between the 2 seats.

  25. Barnaby, Pete and HH

    “They are very similar, you are wrong”

    followed by

    “You are utterly wrong on that”

    You cannot tell Romford and Dagenham apart πŸ˜‰

  26. “Many people, basically, mistake a Cockney accent for being socio-economically working class.”

    Absolutely. The successful self-employed builder or plumber earning a six figure income with a detached house in Romford may have a cockney accent but in economic and electoral terms he’s no more working class than David Cameron is. This is an extremely predominant demographic on the fringes of London.

  27. Many people in Romford, would say they share very similar demographics and also cultural similarities with Dagenham vice versa. Pockets of Dagenham are very white working class, as are parts of Romford – exactly the same in that respect. Romford is safe Tory, Dagenham is safe Labour.

  28. “Many people in Romford, would say they share very similar demographics and also cultural similarities with Dagenham vice versa”

    This is true. Many people in Romford would say they are working class despite earning good wages. However officially they are lower middle class.

    “Pockets of Dagenham are very white working class”

    No they are not. Dagenham is no longer virtually white. The town has thousands of immigrants from all over the world living there.

  29. And there are also very large numbers of white immigrants of course.

    Dagenham’s housing is cheap and much easier for incomers to get hold of than it used to be due to a mass sell-off from those who exercised right to buy.

  30. I said ‘POCKETS’ of Dagenham are white working class, and actually it is Barking that is more ethnically diverse, Dagenham still retains a lot of its white working class communities.

  31. A) These are pockets (as you put it) in a very multiracial area

    B) The white people here are more D and E and less C1-types as you see in Romford, so are still divided by class if not nationality.

  32. I think Bob must have stayed up late watching “Made In Dagenham” for his school project and taken his impressions of Dagenham from there. Someone should tell him that films always romanticise the truth, and that things have changed a bit there since the 1960s.

  33. Dagenham & Rainham is not a safe Labour seat

  34. it’s not up to you to decide what party andrew rosindell should be in

  35. It will be come 2015. Reason why was only because of the addition of Rainham from Havering.

  36. . . .and finally UKIP and BNP are not at all similar – except in the world of spin coming from the political elites of the main parties, and in comments coming from people who know so little about politics that they think they’re similar because all they about them is that they both talk about immigration.

    (Yes I know there’s no doubt some racists supporting UKIP currently as well as all the other people, seeing them as their best bet for curbing immigration – but there are ‘unwanteds’ supporting every party for the most diverse of reasons.)

  37. Here is a brain-teaser for you all. Which constituency is home to the highest proportion of administrative and secretarial workers in the country? To give you a clue, it isn’t this constituency, which was nevertheless ranked 4th.

  38. Windsofchange ?

    Romford 2015

    UKIP 17,042
    Green 13,146
    Lab 13,015
    Con 12,535
    LD 55

  39. “Here is a brain-teaser for you all. Which constituency is home to the highest proportion of administrative and secretarial workers in the country? To give you a clue, it isn’t this constituency, which was nevertheless ranked 4th.”

    I know that Glasgow Hillhead had been the most middle class constituency in the UK until its abolition in 1997.

    I assume that Glasgow Kelvin was much more socially mixed.

    Its most middle class districts of Jordanhill, Kelvindale and Kelvinside were combined with Glasgow Gardscadden to form Glasgow Anniesland, and in turn it gained The Merchant City Ward (Glasgow City Centre) from Glasgow Central to form Glasgow Kelvin.

  40. Peter, this question was also put on Hornchurch and Upminster, you may not have seen.
    The answer is there aswell.

    I do recall Glasgow Hillhead being the most m/c which surprised me a bit at the time.

  41. I don’t know much at all about Scottish seats but Hillhead was traditionally a Tory seat before the SDP took it. I guess Labour eventually taking it was a sign of things to come for the Tories in Scotland, though even when Galloway was there it was only a marginal.

  42. 3 Havering Tory Cllrs have defected to UKIP with immediate effect- more are said to be in discussion. If just 3 more Tories defect, they will lose control of Havering council for the first time in a long time.

  43. I fully expect UKIP to make further inroads at the borough elections next year. Havering really is one of the most favourable areas for them in London.

  44. The new make up of the council is:
    CON 29
    RA 12
    LAB 5
    IND RESID. 4
    UKIP 4
    And yes with many very right wing, Eurosceptic Tory Cllrs, I expect the Tories to lose control of the council before 2014.

  45. @JoeJamesB
    The area is far too right wing and moving further right for the Greens to get more than 3% πŸ˜‰

  46. There is clearly something wrong within the Romford Constituency party which has caused these defections. Rosindell is bloody brilliant at representing the people here so I cannot understand why they’d jepodise Tory chances here. Rosindell is a true Conservative and they should be supporting him.

  47. LBernard – it’s apparently, or at least it appears from local news reporting, that there are rival factions within the Conservative association. The newer faction have deselected some of the old sitting councillors – I expect the deselected ones are the same ones who have jumped ship.

  48. The rival factions have been ongoing for at least a year I thought if not longer. I suspect you are right Anthony about the deselections.

  49. There was a Channel 4 news feature on Friday where they went to Romford. The team took Joacob Rees Mogg to speak to current UKIP supporters. Seems like a part of London where the party could do very well. Lawrence Webb recently won a by-election, giving the party its first councillor in Havering.

    What struck me was the number of UKIP leaning supporters who didn’t want a pact with the Tories (although polling elsewhere suggests otherwise).

    Given all that’s happened at the Bruges Group fringe event and a few senior Tories ruling out an electorial pact with UKIP, one wonders how seats like Romford and Hornchurch might vote in2015. It’s further complicated by the fact that the incumbent here would reasonably attract UKIP voters.

  50. There is an element among UKIP supporters that sees the Tories as, if anything, the least trustworthy party on matters European. It’s the legacy of Heath in part, but also Major’s behaviour over Maastricht.

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