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. I should also add that if the BNP came to power (which I rather suspect, happily, will never happen), or had the NF ever managed to do so, there would undoubtedly have been an end to parliamentary democracy as we know it. UKIP however are unquestionably not a party that seeks a dictatorship & I think it’s only fair to say that; their tradition is utterly different from that of the BNP & it’s very lazy to lump the 2 together, even if they do attract similar types of voters in many areas.

  2. My whole point Barnaby is that far-right (which must mean very right wing) shouldn’t equate to Fascist or Nazi, because Fascists and Nazis are something else entirely

    UKIP and English Democrats are fully signed up to the whole right wing program – not just a dislike of immigration and the EU, but tax cuts for the rich, laisez faire economics,, aboilition of the welfare state etc) in a way the BNP (or the German Nazis, Italian Fascists etc) aren’t (and never were)

    This in my opinion makes UKIP and the English Democrats much more right wing than the BNP – thus much more deserving of the far-right tag

  3. This is a nightmare seat for the Lib Dems it has to be said- in particular their results between 1997 and 2005 here, not even breaking 10%. Is Havering the most Lib Dem-resistant borough in the whole of Greater London?

  4. The Lib Dem image (before the coalition, they were the sandal wearing museli eating do-gooders and in some circles might still be seen that way) is one that’s anathema to places like Havering.

  5. Their results in Upminster were only about a percent better during that period. All credit to their candidates for keeping the (small) ship sailing on behalf of their (tiny) local party. The seats in this area really are however the absolute epitome of where you wouldn’t expect the Lib Dems to fare well, demographics etc.

  6. Prediction for 2015-
    Rosindell (Conservative)- 55%
    Labour- 24%
    UKIP- 9%
    Lib Dem- 5%
    BNP- 4%
    Green- 1%
    Others- 2%

  7. TR, I would fully expect UKIP to break into double-digits here.

  8. UKIP are going to get a double digit finish in both Romford and Hornchurch & Upminster. In the latter they won their first seat locally in the Gooshays ward (as opposed to Tory defectors) and will no doubt do very well in the 2014 local and Euro polls.

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

    He certainly is, saw him back in September at an LSE event. He’s frail, but still with it. He’ll be ninety next year, so ten years younger than you thought!

  10. Tim these attempts to redefine terms like far0right seem to crop up regularly here and on other discussion forums but I’m afraid it all smaks a bit of 6th form semantic games to me. Funnily enough it’s very often people of a similar political persuasion to me who seek to deny that parties like the BNP are in any way of the right because they understandably want to disassociate themselves from them. The term ‘far-right’ is very commonly understood and it is pointless to try and redefine it. Certainly a charactersitic of far-right parties has been a strong attachment to statism and to interventionist economic policies but all this really shows is that etatism isn’t the preserve of the left, rather than showing that these parties are actually of the left themselves. Afterall go back a little over a century and the ‘left’ Liberals were for free trade and laissez faire and the ‘right’ Tories were for protection. The association of laissez faire economics with the political right is a relatively recent phenomenon. What you are seeking to define as ‘far right’ is really ‘hard right’ or ‘radical right’. I would happily describe myself as hard right but would never call myself far-right and I would reject the description coming from anyone else. As Barnaby has said above far-right implies adherence to a kind of political tradition which it totally different to mine (the only similarity being a nationlist outlook). These terms are necessarily simplistic and may not adequately describe the complexities of one’s political outlook, but where they are commonly understood terms, it is silly to use them in a way which is contrary to the way they are understood as it inevitably leads to these long winded discussions

  11. The BNP’s economic outlook is certainly one that’s statist and emphasises renationalisation (I think), but here’s the thing. Parties and groups of the far left don’t regard the BNP as left wing in any sense because of their racism. For them, it’s all or nothing in a sense.

    I don’t know what to think of that. On one hand, I abhor everything the BNP stands for, but I can’t help but cringe when seeing the likes of the SWP with their selective agendas either.

  12. Now to return to a more interesting topic:
    “What were the strongest Labour wards in 1968 in each London borough?”

    Barking: Fanshawe (87.2%) – this is now mostly part of the Parsloes ward which is not one of Labour’s strongest areas as this is the heart of where the recent BNP strength lay. Labour’s strongest ward now is clearly Abbey which was one of two wards to vote Conservative in 1968

    Barnet: Burnt Oak (60.8%) – the only ward to vote Labour in 1968. Still Labour’s strongest ward int he borogh though Colindale can give it a run for its money these days

    Bexley: Crayford Town (48.1%) Assuming this is broadly similar to the current Crayford ward which Labour didn’t come close to winning in 2010. Thamesmead which is their best area now of course barely existed in 1968 and what there was formed part of Belvedere ward

    Brent: Carlton (66.3%) This now forms part of the Kilburn ward

    Bromley: Mottingham (49.5%) no comment needed I think

    Camden: St Pancras (60.1%) more or less the same as now

    Croydon: New Addington (49.6%) this included the whole estate then ie including Fieldway. This was a two-horse race s Tories did actually top the poll here (unlike Mottingham)

    Ealing: West End (55.9%) Clearly not the safest ward in Ealing now though is becoming safer again following a period of marginality


  13. Enfield: Pymmes (60.8%) Somewhere in Edmonton

    Greenwich: Eynsham (74.7%) this almost all now forms part of the Abbey Wood ward

    Hackney: Northwold (88.1%) but this was against only Communist opposition as was Moorfields (84.8%). Highest against Tory opposition was Rectory (63.4%) which is now divided between Hackney Downs and Dalston

    Hammersmith: Margravine (50.6%) now mostly part of Fulham Reach ward. This was a two-horse race so Tories and Labour were virtually neck and neck. Labour enjoyed a larger lead in White City with a lower vote share of 46.3%

    Haringey: Park (58.4%) now split between Northumberland Park and White Hart Lane wards

    Harrow: Queensbury (39.8%) – actually more akin to the current Kenton East ward

    Havering: Hilldede (64.1%) now split wbetween Heaton and Goosehays wards – still Labour’s best area in the borough, but that isn’t saying a lot

    Hillingdon: Yeading (42.7%)

  14. Hounslow: Hanworth (59.8%) now one of Labour’s weaker wards – a Tory topped the poll in 2010

    Islington: Clerkenwell (53.3%) (2nd lowest Labour share in the borough in 2010)

    Kensington: Golborne (47.9%) same as now

    Kingston: Tolworth West (45.9%) Labour’s support has all but disappeared here now

    Lambeth: Angell (50.6%) amazingly the only ward where Labour topped the poll in 1968. Broadly corresponds to Coldharbour ward which is still their strongest ward

    Lewisham: Grove Park (74.5%) very different to the current ward of that name as it didn;t include the St Midlred’s area which is still the best Tory part of Lewisham. I think it may have included part of Downham.

    Merton: Ravensbury (59.5%) Included St Helier, now nowhere near as strong for Labour as wards in Mitcham

    Newham: Custom House (88.4%) but against Communist opposition. Otherwise Irdnance (77.0%)

    Redbridge: Hainault (47.5%) enough said

  15. Interesting data.

  16. Richmond: Mortlake (40.6%) Labour no longer exist here but that is very recent

    Southwark: Dockyard (81.1%) Surrey Docks is now Labour’s weakestw ard in Southwark – they got 17% there in 2010. I gather there’s been some demographic change there..

    Sutton: St Helier South (76.9%) There were three St Helier wards then and Labour had this kind of share in all of them. In 1971 they recovered to 96.5% (!) in this ward. In 2010 they came third with 15% in the unified St Helier ward.

    Tower Hamlets: St Katherine’s (92.4%) but against communist opposition (Tories topped the poll here in 2010). Against Tory opposition highest in 1968 was Spiatlfields (72.8%)

    Waltham Forest: Leyton (51.1%) The only ward Labour won then. IN 2010 the only ward in Leyton and Walthamstow where Labour won no councillors

    Wandsworth: Latchmere (57.3%) Still one of their strongest wards

    Westminster: Queens Park (61.9%) Still one of their strongest wards

  17. Pete

    Can you give the wards with the biggest Con-Lab and Lab-Con swings between 1968 and 2008.

    Ditto with parliamentary constituencies please.

    2010 will do if its easier.

    And if you’ve really got nothing better to do 😉 then how about adding in the 1968-1987 and 1987-2008 swings as well.

  18. The Conservatives now have a decent vote in Southwark. I suspect that without the lasting effects the 1983 by-election had in Bermondsey, that their vote might have been a bit higher in the years that followed.

  19. “Can you give the wards with the biggest Con-Lab and Lab-Con swings between 1968 and 2008.”

    That would be difficult given the number of boundary changes since 1968 on most, if not all, wards.

  20. Certainly but approximate estimates will do.

  21. Thanks Pete, that was very interesting. I must say I’m surprised that Hanworth was Labour’s strongest ward in Hounslow; it doesn’t have as uniformly working class a social composition as some other wards in the borough & wouldn’t have done at that time either.

  22. I think it certainly was (and possibly still is) the ward with the highest proportion of council housing

  23. The council housed working has traditionally been more left wing than the owner occupied working class.

    Perhaps Pete might calculate the places the Conservatives did best among the council housed working class and Labour did among the owner occupied working class.

    I’ll have a guess at the Conservatives somewhere in Liverpool or Glasgow in the 1950s or possibly in a new town in 1979 or 1983.

    And Labour in some mining constituencies – didn’t Rhondda have one of the highest proportions of owner occupiers during the 1960s?

  24. Forecast for 2015

    Con 40 (-16)
    Lab 27 (+7)
    UKIP 21 (+17)
    LD 5 (-7)
    Others 7

  25. I don’t think those percentages are likely to be that accurate. UKIP will tend to take votes almost as much off Labour in an area like this, and as a result I think it highly improbably that the Labour vote will rise by a large amount – after all, the richest source of additional Labour votes nationally will generally be the LDs & they are already weak here. Indeed I wouldn’t be surprised to see UKIP get second, notwithstanding the very right-wing policies of Andrew Rosindell.

  26. Sorry A Brown but your predictions, having started off pretty sensible, have turned into a steaming pile of horseshite.

    If the Tories were in danger of losing 16% of the vote, they would currently be polling around 20% nationally, rather than the 30-35% they are achieving at present.

    Your crap is infecting the site almost as badly as Bob’s did a few months back.

  27. Being compared to Bob…that IS bad lol.

  28. Agreed….though I don’t think even Bob was predicting a UK wide outcome of Lab 37, Con 20, UKIP 19, LD 16

    which is the kind of outcome A Brown is forecasting based on his Romford prediction and many others

  29. CON HOLD MAJ : 21%
    CON 46
    LAB 25
    UKIP 13
    LD 8
    GRN 4
    OTH 4

  30. Today’s Times’ obituaries section records that Sir Michael Neubert passed away on 3rd January at the age of 80.

  31. 2015 – most likely

    *Con 58% +1%
    Lab 26% +6%
    UKIP 11% +7%
    LD 5% -7%
    Green 1% +0%

    C to Lab swing 2.5%

  32. As we approach the local elections, the Conservatives have a wafer-thin majority on Havering Council.
    Con 26
    RA 12
    UKIP 7
    LAB 5
    IND RES 3
    Vacancy 1

    The number of candidates for each major party is as follows:
    LAB 54/54 (18/18 wards)
    CON 52 (18/18)
    UKIP 30 (18/18)
    LD 16 (15/18)
    GRN 12 (12/18)

    The various Residents and Independent Resident groups are fielding lots of candidates as well. An independent, the TUSC and BNP are also making an appearance as are the National Liberal Party (Local Voice Team).

  33. Not sure why Labour in Havering would field that many candidates. It is trending rightwards with UKIP very likely to become the major opposition now. In East London they’re better off putting resources into Redbridge where they have a chance.

  34. Neglected to mention that the Havering Mayor is now UKIP.

  35. Capturing Havering would be a major coup for UKIP. Depends whether people keep voting for the myriad residents groups in the borough.

  36. If the Tories want a “man of the people” who is an election winner in his own right, to lead them and take UKIP head on, then surely Andrew Rosindell would be the person to do it. I’d really enjoy watching a TV debate between him and Farage. Anyone fancy predicting that outcome?

  37. A score draw – they’d just agree with each other.

  38. ‘Not sure why Labour in Havering would field that many candidates. It is trending rightwards with UKIP very likely to become the major opposition now. In East London they’re better off putting resources into Redbridge where they have a chance.’

    Putting a full slate of candidates up is hardly a sign that the party’s throwing in resources. Quite clearly Labour will indeed focus on neighbouring Redbridge.

  39. And thanks for the info, WoC.

    As it is, I don’t doubt UKIP will do well here. I fully expect them to come a strong second-place.

  40. In Havering, I mean.

  41. Labour have even put a full slate in boroughs such as Sutton and Bromley so why wouldn’t they put a full slate here where there has been history of Labour control even though its extremley unlikely they will ever gain control again.

  42. It is the policy of the London Labour Party, as I’ve said on other threads, to field a full slate of candidates in every borough. In the last council election this was I think adhered to throughout, with the exception of the Knightsbridge & Belgravia ward in Westminster. That possibly does have the lowest natural Labour vote of any ward in London! I support the policy since a ) I don’t wish to see Labour voters in weak Labour areas such as my own effectively disenfranchised, and b ) it shows that Labour is a serious major party, even where it struggles to gain many votes at times.

  43. Labour is contesting every seat in London this year. None of the other parties are doing so.

  44. “It is the policy of the London Labour Party, as I’ve said on other threads, to field a full slate of candidates in every borough. In the last council election this was I think adhered to throughout, with the exception of the Knightsbridge & Belgravia ward in Westminster. That possibly does have the lowest natural Labour vote of any ward in London! I support the policy since a ) I don’t wish to see Labour voters in weak Labour areas such as my own effectively disenfranchised, and b ) it shows that Labour is a serious major party, even where it struggles to gain many votes at times.” I agree totally with that the wards the lowest natural Labour vote are all in Sutton and Cheam. the old Cheam South ward was generally the strongest Conservative ward every election untill 1982.

  45. well yes though Carshalton Beeches & Woodcote are pretty horrible areas for Labour too one would have thought. It’s odd that neither area currently has a ward named after it.

  46. I had forgotten that Labour also failed to field candidates in the Marylebone High St & Hyde Park wards in Westminster in 2010. However, David Boothroyd in another place has explained that was essentially an administrative blunder within the party which has not been repeated this year. As it happens there was a by-election in Hyde Park ward during this council term (the only one in Westminster anywhere I think) in which Labour stood & did well to achieve 2nd place in a crowded field with over 500 votes. It’s a rock-solid Tory stronghold which was held for many years by (I can barely type these words) Shirley Porter.

  47. Don’t you mean DAME Shirley Porter, Barnaby? Haha. 😛

    Where would Labour’s support in Hyde Park come from?

  48. There is a very small number of council-built homes I think, IIRC in Oxford Square, and Park West near there seems to have some rather dowdy rented flats with a fair number of not-very-wealthy & sometimes non-white residents. The areas closest to Hyde Park itself are extremely upmarket though (though even there there are a few council-built flats I think), and most of the ward is very prosperous. The ward does actually include Paddington station, and some of it at least would have been in a Labour seat between 1974 & 1979, but it’s very well-to-do, even ultra-wealthy in parts as one would expect. But winnable? Not even in the world of Bob or whichever Ian Mackintosh it was. Even the 500-odd votes was a very long way behind the Tories.

  49. Barnaby, What do you think of Labours chances gaining a few seats in Wandsworth and Westminster in May? The latter will orobabky remain a static C 48 Lab 12 with Millbank the only viable target for gain. Wandsworth however has the other two seats in Roehampton plus Bedford and Queenstown within range which put the group up to 18 councillors which would be their best result in the borough for years against a generally well run adminstration that would be a good result.

  50. Well that’s all about right. Millbank is in fact to all intents & purposes now the Churchill ward. There is I suppose an outside chance in Maida Vale too but the Tories won that quite a wide margin in 2010 & it doesn’t look at all likely – Churchill really is the only serious target. (Oh, yus.) I don’t pretend to have my ears to the ground that much in Wandsworth but would agree that Labour’s targets are unlikely to extend beyond the wards you mention. This is despite the rather large swings recorded in both the by-elections which have taken place since 2010, in Southfields & Thamesfield, both very safe Tory wards nowadays (Southfield as it was called then was marginal up to the early 90s). I understand there were strong local factors in those results rather than a particular hatred of the Tory council in general.

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