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 - 322 Responses on “Romford”
  1. That Channel 4 report was trying its best to paint a characature of working class London as it was 30 or 40 years ago, but has basically almost vanished now, even in Romford. It was all jellied eel stalls and “cor blimey, gov” cab drivers. Jacob Rees-Mogg was being taken for a ride (by Channel 4 as well as by the cab driver).

  2. I wonder how Ukip will do in this seat, the tory MP is popular and could easily be more right wing than the Ukip candidate here.

    Con 50
    Lab 25
    Lib 7
    Ukip 10
    Bnp 6
    Other 2

  3. JDA…

    BNP up and UKIP up? aren’t they interchangeable??

  4. A very plausible prediction.

    I might be inclined to put Labour up to about 28 and bring BNP down to 2-3, otherwise it’s pretty much what I would expect.

  5. I just can’t see Labour increasing by 8 points. Furthermore for the Bnp vote to be that low you would surely be implying that nearly half their vote would go to Ukip and although some will go to Ukip they are fundamentally different parties. (for antiochian as well)

  6. It’s not unreasonable to expect the BNP to collapse, even in their better seats, as the party is pretty much defunct.

    An 8 point Labour rise would be easily justified by demographic change and some movement from the Lib Dems.

    Overall though, as I said, I think your prediction is quite plausible so we are arguing about small things here.

  7. This seat will probably trend labour over the next few decades, wouldn’t be surprised to see them at 25-28 despite only gaining 3-4 points nationally.

  8. Demographic change is not really happening here( compared to the rest of London) ) your point on the Bnp is correct although I would put there vote at 3 or 4 percent, bearing in mind that many BNP voters don’t care about there parties state of affairs, they just hate all other races and see the BNP as their political party because of this.

  9. “Demographic change is not really happening here( compared to the rest of London)”

    Not to the same extent as elsewhere maybe, but there are still quite a few more black and Asian faces in Romford now. One of Lee Rigby’s alleged killers is from Romford.

  10. Fair point. One thing I do not understand about the lib dem collapse helping the Conservatives (completely random) is that surely a disgruntled lib dem would feel this way because of university fees and there backing of right wing policies, as a result they would surely vote Labour or Green, not Conservative.

  11. Who said a Lib Dem collapse would help the Conservatives? Certainly not me…I pretty much agree with your analysis there.

  12. This has been one of a select band of seats where the Tories have been able to quickly recover their position in London, and this is how Andrew Rosindell has done it-

    1. 2001- 18, 931 (53.0%, +11.4%, 5, 977 (16.7%) majority
    2. 2005- 21, 560 (59.1%, +6.1%, 11, 589 (31.8%) majority
    3. 2010- 26, 031 (56.0%, -1.7%, 16, 954 (36.5%) majority

  13. What are the names of the other seats.

  14. Upminster and Bexleyheath and Crayford to name two.

  15. I guess Putney and Battersea, and Wimbledon as well

  16. Although not a tory seat, Tooting is more marginal than it was in 1992.

  17. The Tories only retook Battersea at the last election and it’s probably more semi-marginal than safe. I still think they’ll hold it though.

  18. Havering, 2009 Euro election:

    Con: 17,303
    UKIP: 15,737
    BNP: 8,627
    Lab: 6,596
    LD: 3,940
    Green: 3,479
    Others: 5,722

  19. Could the BNP really poll more than Labour? The party has collapsed.

    UKIP will do very well here though. On a push, might outpoll the Tories since this isn’t a general election. Havering is an exception in London. One of the few boroughs that hasn’t undergone the kind of demographic changes that other parts have.

  20. ….Oh sorry Andy, I didn’t read that was the 2009 result.

    My mistake!!

  21. I had Romford down for Labour candidate selection on 21 Nov. Any news, or has the date been put back? (Nothing to date on the local party web site or general google search … )


  22. Sam Gould selected as Labour candidate:

  23. Anyone know much about this Labour candidate?

    Either way, Rosindell isn’t going anywhere soon. He might lose some ground to UKIP (which as I’ve already mentioned has great potential in Havering) but clearly there’s no doubt about the victor here.

    The only way Labour *might* have still been competitive (and that’s a tall order) in this seat is if they had an equivalent to someone like Gisela Stuart in Romford, i.e. an extremely good local presence with views on Europe that go against the party line. Or someone of the Jon Cruddas mould in terms of their understanding of the white working class.

  24. ‘The only way Labour *might* have still been competitive (and that’s a tall order) in this seat is if they had an equivalent to someone like Gisela Stuart in Romford, i.e. an extremely good local presence with views on Europe that go against the party line. Or someone of the Jon Cruddas mould in terms of their understanding of the white working class.’

    I don’t think even that would help them greatly – Rosindell is a perfect fit for this seat – a bit like Jesse Helms in North Carolina

    I wonder whgat happened to one-term Labour MP Eileen Gordon. To be honest I had never even heard of her – although Labour MP’s seldom interest me

  25. I’d imagine she was rather surprised to be elected in the first place! She was Tony Banks’ longstanding research assistant, and returned to work for him until his death, but I’d imagine she is retired now as she is 67.

    In landslides you always get a couple of utterly bizarre results. In 83 the Tories held all three seats in Nottingham – even Nottingham North where they hardly exist now, and also Leicester East where Keith Vaz now holds a monumental majority. 97 gave us Labour MP’s in Romford and Castle Point.

  26. If she was a researcher for Tony Banks it’s quite likely she was pretty left wing, which made her doubly unsuitable for Romford and perhaps partly explains the severity of her defeat.

    A great shame Banks died so young, he was a great antidote to the SPAD types who have colonised politics in the past 15 years.

  27. I think she was left wing, but as I say, it was one of those one-off flukes which happen when you get a landslide. I can’t imagine many Romford voters would have a clue where she stood in party terms

    I actually think, incidentally, that’s the same everywhere – parties choose candidates for all sorts of reasons and ideology is only one of them. I think very few if any voters dont vote for an individual candidate because they are too right or left wing

  28. “In landslides you always get a couple of utterly bizarre results. In 83 the Tories held all three seats in Nottingham – even Nottingham North where they hardly exist now, and also Leicester East where Keith Vaz now holds a monumental majority. 97 gave us Labour MP’s in Romford and Castle Point.”

    Possibly Newark as well for Labour at the time.

    Romford wasn’t utterly bizarre in the sense that Labour did have history in the seat. The fact that they’ll struggle to ever win it back is more indicative of how different demographics are voting in this generation. Same as a considerable number of other London seats which were Tory in the 80s but then were lost in 92 and 97 to Labour and haven’t gone back to them since (and possibly where they’ve faded like Hornsey and Wood Green).

  29. I hadn’t noticed previously how extremely high the far right vote was here in 2010.

    BNP+UKIP+Eng Dem = 10.9% = over 5000 votes

    That’s a staggering performance given that the Tory MP here is well known for his very right wing views.

    I wonder how well the rightist parties could do here if a centrist Cameroon was the Tory candidate?

  30. I believe Labour’s history in the seat was predicated upon it having Harold Hill within its borders though, which I don’t believe was the case in 1997 – if I’m wrong on that, I’m certain Pete’s got the data to hand to correct me.

  31. It was moved out in 1974 with the creation of the Uxbridge constituency.

    With the effect that Romford went from Labour in 1970 to Conservative in 1974.

    The creation of Upminster was also repsonsible for Hornchurch switching from Conservative in 1970 to Labour in 1974.

    IIRC the local MPs were well aware of what the creation of Upminster would affect as they stood and won in the others’ seats.

  32. Edward is correct. Harold Hill was always in Romford in its Labour days, but has been in with Upminster since the seat of that name was formed in 1974. Its loss to Romford has made it a substantially less working-class seat and less Labour than it was before. Labour only lost Romford twice between the end of WWII & the creation of Upminster.
    Eileen Gordon wasn’t a high-profile MP but I am pretty sure she was one of the rather few members of the 1997 intake who joined the Campaign Group. She is certainly further to the Left than Keith Darvill her Havering neighbour (who is still a Labour councillor in that borough). So H.Hemmelig is right. In fact she won with a very high swing for the sub-region; Labour’s victory in Hornchurch for example (which led to another Campaign Groupie in John Cryer reaching the Commons) was rather less impressive by comparison, though Cryer’s defeat in 2005 was on a distinctly low swing for that part of the world.

  33. Yes you’re right, however on notional 1970 results for 1974 boundaries, Labour were still quite close behind the Tories IIRC. In the context of the national swing, Labour should have won Romford in 1974 and holding it was one of the Tories’ best results of the election. Certainly even on these boundaries, Romford was nowhere near as safe for the Tories in the 1970s as it is now.

  34. Romford on current boundaries would never have been a a Labour seat except in 1945. As others have said it was the inclusion of Harold Hill which enabled Labour to win – not that this would help them all that much now.
    Newark is actually in a somewhat similar situation as it was held by Labour from 1950 to 1979 due to the inclusion of coal field areas which subsequently were moved into Sherwood. The current boundaries of the Newark seat are now quite similar to those pertaining before 1950 and of course this was a seat the Tories held in 1945. However the 1983-2010 boundaries were not quite so favourable to the Tories as now as it included Retford which is quite capable of giving Labour a lead

  35. “Labour only lost Romford twice between the end of WWII & the creation of Upminster.”

    I was about to correct you and say that Labour never lost Romford in this period but I forgot it was Conservative in 1950 and 1951. Then of course the boundaries were different again as it extended out to include much of Brentwood. Of course at that time also most of Harold Hill was yet to be built

  36. Pete

    I recall on the BBC’s election coverage for Feb 1974, the notional result for Romford was not a very large Con majority.

  37. In my opinion the notional majority should have been about 6,000 in 1970. I don’t know what the BBC suggested. Labour’s majority in Romford was less than 3,000 then and they would have been about 9,000 ahead in Harold Hill as this area was utterly monolithic in it’s Labour support then – remember Labour held all three wards easily even in 1968

  38. What were the strongest Labour wards in 1968 in each London borough?

  39. Fair enough, maybe their notionals were dodgy. If you watch the election coverage uploaded by Andy you will see the Tory holds in both Romford and Upminster described by David Butler as being against the trend.

  40. Well I think David Butler was full of shit. IIRC they had Upminster as a notional Labour seat or too close to call (i have it as Tory by about 1,000) so I agree they did do quite well to hold that. But if Upminster was a notional Labour seat on their figures and Hornchurch certainly was, then there must have been a substantial Tory lead in Romford, given that the Tories were about 3,000 ahead of Labour in Havering as a whole

  41. “Well I think David Butler was full of shit.”

    LOL…do you mean generally, or just in this case?

    His academic approach does contrast quite favourably with modern coverage. Amazingly I think he’s still alive….he looked about 60 in 1974.

  42. “I hadn’t noticed previously how extremely high the far right vote was here in 2010.

    BNP+UKIP+Eng Dem = 10.9% = over 5000 votes”

    Are UKIP and the English Democrats really considered far right? They’ve always struck me as populist right wing as opposed to inherently racist like the BNP or National Front.

  43. I didn’t mean it in that sense. OK, I’ll rephrase – “parties to the right of the Conservatives”.

  44. Sorry I meant in this case in particular. I think a lot of the 1970 notionals left a lot to be desire, but I don’t think he was personally responsible for them

  45. ‘Are UKIP and the English Democrats really considered far right?’

    Most definitely

    If you take the racism and thuggery out of it, UKIP and the English Democrats are waaay to the Right of the BNP that still believes in an all-powerful state – two things the other two parties abhor

    The far-right really is a wrong term to describe racist groups like the BNP – as on non-race issues (and big issues too like the economy) they tend to be much more to the Left then groups more worthy the far-right tag, like UKIP and the Engliush Democrats, who combine their gardline social policies with right-wing economic policies – laisez faire, minimal government etc)

  46. I don’t know whether David Butler had an illness between 1970 and 1974 because on the 1970 election programme he looked about 45 but by 1974 he looked about 15 years older.

  47. If you take race issues out of the equation, you don’t have the likes of the BNP. Classifying them on any other criteria ignores the fact that their other policies are generally determined by reference to their policies on race.

  48. The BNP haven’t selected any candidates yet for 2015. The party may end up contesting a very small number of seats as a result of the meltdown they’ve gone through recently.

  49. I guessed that the boundaries in 1950 would have been less favourable to Labour than in 1955 but you must also be right about Harold Hill not yet having been built too, Pete. Of course before Dagenham was given its own seat, Romford included much of Dagenham, too, making it a Labour seat even in 1935.
    I tend to use the term “far right” to denote a Fascist or neo-Nazi party. Of the parties he mentions, UKIP in my book are definitely excluded – after all, although I personally utterly disagree with its policies on immigration, it has a strictly-enforced policy that no-one who’s ever been a BNP or NF member can join – and I guess we would have to say that the English Democrats are not a fascist party either. It should however be noted that many of the ex-BNP members who were unable to join UKIP have now joined the English Democrats, though I’d still stop short of calling it an outright fascist party.

  50. UKIP regards itself as a libertarian party, which the BNP very definitely isn’t.

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