Romford

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
2010
Con: 26031 (56%)
Lab: 9077 (20%)
LDem: 5572 (12%)
BNP: 2438 (5%)
Oth: 3363 (7%)
MAJ: 16954 (36%)
2005*
Con: 21560 (59%)
Lab: 9971 (27%)
LDem: 3066 (8%)
BNP: 1088 (3%)
Oth: 797 (2%)
MAJ: 11589 (32%)
2001
Con: 18931 (53%)
Lab: 12954 (36%)
LDem: 2869 (8%)
UKIP: 533 (1%)
Oth: 414 (1%)
MAJ: 5977 (17%)
1997
Con: 17538 (42%)
Lab: 18187 (43%)
LDem: 3341 (8%)
Oth: 1622 (4%)
MAJ: 649 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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.
LORNA TOOLEY (Green)
Links
Comments - 322 Responses on “Romford”
  1. Battersea Labour are certainly hopeful of winning seats in Queenstown. If they do, it will be the first time that ward has had Labour representation since the year I was born!
    Former MP Martin Linton is standing in Shaftesbury so presumably the local party think he may have remnants of a personal vote in that ward which could he see him do better than other Labour candidates there. Elsewhere in the borough, I think Roehampton will be won outright by Labour and at least a partial gain in Bedford but see no more potential gains outside of those places. 42 Con 18 Lab is probably the best Wandsworth Labour could hope for really.

  2. Using top vote, UKIP came first in Havering:

    UKIP 25,573
    Various Residents 25,059
    Con 22,265
    Lab 13,246
    Green 3,601
    LD 1,789
    Ind 1,722
    BNP 803

    However using total aggregates they were beaten by the Tories:

    http://democracy.havering.gov.uk/mgElectionResults.aspx?ID=3&RPID=1501602747

  3. “Local Conservative associations warn Cameron of ‘mass exodus’ of members
    Tory activists say disquiet over issues such as HS2 and same-sex marriage have led to membership falling by 10%

    The worst fall-off for the Conservatives was in Romford – a key battleground for Ukip – where almost 400 people, more than half of the local party, left in the course of a year. In Chippenham, a marginal seat that the Tories will be hoping to take off the Liberal Democrats, the association wrote: “Membership continued to fall in 2013, the ongoing mass exodus over issues such as gay marriage.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/11/local-conservative-associations-warn-cameron-members-mass-exodus

  4. prediction for 2015-

    con- 41%
    UKIP- 24%
    Lab- 20%
    Lib- 8%
    green- 4%
    BNP- 2%
    English- 1%

    UKIP will be a major threat to the establishment here but I think the right-winged MP will be able to win back enough voters in this socially conservative area.

  5. I think UKIP will do even better in neighbouring Hornchurch & Upminster. The Labour vote is in terminal decline across Havering and UKIP’s local representation is concentrated in wards of that seat. Especially Harold Hill.

    They can finish second in Romford but it’s still going to be a very easy hold for Rosindell.

  6. …Harold Hill being divided up into the Heaton and Gooshays wards.

  7. There are a number of things I would question about that prediction-

    (1) I accept the Conservatives will sustain UKIP-related damage here but a drop of 15% points strikes me as excessive.

    (2) I would be somewhat surprised if the Green party managed 4% in Romford.

    (3) I think 8% is actually too generous to the Lib Dems. If they could manage only 8% in 2005 they could be in real danger of losing their deposit in 2015.

    My prediction (and I accept predictions are difficult with UKIP)

    Con 47
    UKIP 22
    Lab 20
    LD 5
    Oth 6

  8. On second thoughts even 47% might be a little low for the Tories here.

  9. I think Tory’s right. On psephological matters, he very often is, in my opinion.

  10. I think more like this but there is a fair range.
    I think the LDs will be pushed to hold their deposit but
    partly because of that I’d expect Con and Lab to do better than others do.

    Con 54% -2%
    Lab 22% +2%
    UKIP 18% +14%
    LD 4% -8%
    Grn 2% +1%

    I’m assuming the BNP disappears.

  11. If the BNP fields a candidate in Romford next year they’ll lose their deposit but could still end up above the Lib Dems on votes.

    Most of their vote from 2010 will go over to UKIP.

  12. Con 50
    Lab 23
    Ukip 20
    Ld 4
    Bnp 2
    green 1

  13. In contrast to safe Lab wards in 1968 and I thought I would give a brief analysis on safest Con wards in 1971.

    Barking: Longbridge (38.0%) – Was a good ward for the Conservatives until 1990.
    Barnet: Totteridge (76.5%) – Still a strong Conservative area.
    Bexley: St Mary’s (62.1%) – A ward in the safe Old Bexley & Sidcup seat.
    Brent: Kenton (73.8%) – One of only two Conservative wards in Brent in 2014.
    Bromley: Darwin (64.1%) – A large Rural Ward and the only 1 councillor ward remaining in London from 2002 to 2014. Now there is Limehouse in Tower Hamlets.
    Camden: Hampstead Town (53.7%) – No surprises here. Split with a LD in 2010 election.
    Croydon: Sanderstead North (71.7%) – More or less the same now.
    Ealing: Cleveland (64.0%) – Now this is split 2 Lab 1 Con at the 2014 Election.

  14. Enfield: Winchmore Hill (76.6%) – Cockfosters is now the safest.
    Greenwich: Blackheath (50.1%) – Since 2002 in a joint ward with Labour voting Westcombe Park area has been split between Lab and Cons every election since.
    Hackney: Brownswood (34.1%) – Now a safe Labour ward it was a very poor showing in Hackney where Labour won all 60 seats that year even Springfield which has since become a relatively safe Conservative ward.
    Hammersmith: Avonmore (58.5%) The only two Conservative seats at the time were in this ward. There is now an Avonmore and Brook Green ward and is split 2 Lab 1 Con as of 2014.
    Haringey: Fortis Green (64.0%) There are no longer any Conservative councillors in this borough. This is Lib Dem vs Labour territory these days.
    Harrow: Pinner North and Hatch End (77.3%) – Still the most solidly Conservative area of Harrow.
    Havering: Gidea Park (78.0%) – Split between the Squirrels Heath and Petits wards.
    Hillingdon: Ickenham (71.8%) – Still a solid Conservative area.
    Hounslow: Spring Grove (75.8%) One of the wealthier parts of this borough but a much more marginal ward and now split with 1 Labour councillor.

  15. In contrast to safe Lab wards in 1968 and I thought I would give a brief analysis on safest Con wards in 1971.

    Barking: Longbridge (38.0%) – Was a good ward for the Conservatives until 1990.
    Barnet: Totteridge (76.5%) – Still a strong Conservative area.
    Bexley: St Mary’s (62.1%) – A ward in the safe Old Bexley & Sidcup seat.
    Brent: Kenton (73.8%) – One of only two Conservative wards in Brent in 2014.
    Bromley: Darwin (64.1%) – A large Rural Ward and the only 1 councillor ward remaining in London from 2002 to 2014. Now there is Limehouse in Tower Hamlets.
    Camden: Hampstead Town (53.7%) – No surprises here. Split with a LD in 2010 election.
    Croydon: Sanderstead North (71.7%) – More or less the same now.
    Ealing: Cleveland (64.0%) – Now this is split 2 Lab 1 Con at the 2014 Election.
    Enfield: Winchmore Hill (76.6%) – Cockfosters is now the safest.
    Greenwich: Blackheath (50.1%) – Since 2002 in a joint ward with Labour voting Westcombe Park area has been split between Lab and Cons every election since.
    Hackney: Brownswood (34.1%) – Now a safe Labour ward it was a very poor showing in Hackney where Labour won all 60 seats that year even Springfield which has since become a relatively safe Conservative ward.
    Hammersmith: Avonmore (58.5%) The only two Conservative seats at the time were in this ward. There is now an Avonmore and Brook Green ward and is split 2 Lab 1 Con as of 2014.
    Haringey: Fortis Green (64.0%) There are no longer any Conservative councillors in this borough. This is Lib Dem vs Labour territory these days.
    Harrow: Pinner North and Hatch End (77.3%) – Still the most solidly Conservative area of Harrow.
    Havering: Gidea Park (78.0%) – Split between the Squirrels Heath and Petits wards.
    Hillingdon: Ickenham (71.8%) – Still a solid Conservative area.
    Hounslow: Spring Grove (75.8%) One of the wealthier parts of this borough but a much more marginal ward and now split with 1 Labour councillor.

  16. Islington: Junction (37.6%) The Conservatives won this ward in 1968 and not won it ever since.
    Kensington: Brompton (92.8%) – Bombproof Conservative ward like many in this borough.
    Kingston: Coombe (72.9%) – The only area in Kingston that has always elected Conservative councillors every election from 1964.
    Lambeth: St Leonards (66.5%) Back in the days when Streatham was a rather upmarket area held by the Tories until 1998. Now a 2 Lab 1 Green split ward.
    Lewisham: Culverley (56.7%) I believe this to be similar to the present Catford South ward. This is no longer good territory for the Conservatives.
    Merton: Wimbledon North (66.1%) Now split between the Village and Wimbledon Park wards both Conservative.
    Newham: Manor Park (36.6%) Royal Docks is now the best area for the Conservatives to get a seat here and came very close in a 2009 by election.
    Redbridge: Woodford (75.3%) I believe this to be split between the Church End and Monkhams wards.

  17. Richmond: Palewell (64.1%) Borders the once solid Labour ward of Mortlake.
    Southwark: Ruskin (61.3%) Now in Village ward the only part of Southwark that has elected at least 1 Conservative councillor in each election.
    Sutton: Cheam South (88.7%) – Very affluent Conservative ward on the borders of the Surrey Downs merged the Liberal Cheam West to form a unified Cheam ward in 2002. Has been a split 2 Con 1 LD ward since 2010 with Mary Burstow topping the poll who is the wife of MP Paul Burstow.
    Tower Hamlets: Bow South (16.0%) – the new Limehouse ward is now the safest Conservative area which was an uncontested Labour ward back in 1971. How times change
    Waltham Forest: Hale End (58.5 %) – Chingford Green is now strongest Conservative area.
    Wandsworth: Putney (57.6%) Now split into East Putney and West Putney wards and still strongly Conservative.
    Westminster: Knightsbridge (90.2%) Still one of their strongest wards. Only opposition in 2010 where the Greens.

    Sorry about the mess before.

  18. Interesting that Palewell was safer than E Sheen (re Richmond-upon-Thames) in those days.

  19. Is this seat the scene of the Tories’ best recovery since 1997?

  20. There must be some rivals. What about SW Beds for example? And Hemel Hempstead which we talked about only a day or so ago?

  21. Incidentally interesting re the Ealing ward of Cleveland. There was no such ward for a number of years, but its name was reinstated in the 2002 boundary changes, replacing Argyle. I wonder if it’s drawn more or less to the advantage of Labour than it was – probably less, since it now includes some very pleasant roads between Pitshanger Lane & Pitshanger Park, for example, which presumably must have been in Pitshanger ward until it ceased to exist in 2002. Pitshanger was consistently the safest Tory ward in Ealing. Some of it is now in Cleveland, some in Hanger Hill & some in Ealing Broadway (I think).

  22. Welwyn Hatfield too. We’re getting back on to New Town territory with this discussion I think, rather tellingly. I think though also that there are many other seats where the Tories held in 1997 where by 2010 they had successfully managed to recover by double the national average, I.e. more than 10%.

  23. I can’t think of anywhere better than Welwyn Hatield.

  24. Tatton?

  25. Welwyn Hatfield was already showing signs of a Tory recovery in the 2001 election with that swing towards them. If they selected a strong local candidate over Melanie Johnson they may have scraped a win in 2005. Labour’s position should improve a bit next year but the long term trend is towards the Tories.

  26. Does Brentwood and Ongar count or was that too special circumstances with Martin Bell in 2001?

  27. Yes but still about 8% down against 1992 (which I know wasn’t the original question).

    A more suitable question is where they have got back to within about 2% of 1992.

  28. My reply to HH Tatton

  29. As for Romford it was trending away from Labour even in 1997 as evidenced by the party’s three figure majority.

  30. Neil you are right. Grant Shapps has done extremely well because he is the perfect person to fit that seat, so much so the Tories now find themselves about 8% above where they were in 1992, which is remarkable.

  31. They’ve also done extremely well at recovering in Lichfield, South Holland and the Deepings and North Shropshire, all very rural seats.

  32. Montgomeryshire is well ahead of 1997.

  33. And well ahead of 1992 as well.

    On Tatton was Martin Bell expected to win when he said he was going to stand.

  34. Also Montgomeryshire is even ahead of both 1979 and 1983 interestingly.

    RE Tatton, I’m not sure about that, but given that Labour and the Lib Dems both stood aside to give Martin Bell a clear run against Neil Hamilton that definitely greatly enhanced his chances of winning.

    George Osborne’s vote is now 17.1% ahead of 1997, but if the election that year had been in normal circumstances I dare say his recovery would have been a lot lower.

  35. Here I think the MP should advertise himself rather than his party he will do better.

  36. “On Tatton was Martin Bell expected to win when he said he was going to stand.”

    Yes he was. For some time John Major tried to move heaven and earth to get Hamilton deselected because he knew he was likely to be defeated by whoever emerged as the main challenger against him, but in those heady days before the “A” list, Tory associations had absolute freedom to select whoever they wanted with CCHQ having no power of override. All appeals to Hamilton’s sense of honour and duty to the wider Tory party fell on deaf ears.

    I’m presuming you’re too young to remember at first hand the saga surrounding Neil Hamilton, which began in around 1994 and continued for years, up to and beyond the 97 election. He was undoubtedly the poster child of the “Tory sleaze” period, his defiance and utter lack of contrition contributing immensely both to his own defeat in Tatton and to the margin of Labour’s national victory.

    Matthew Parris’s excellent autobiography has some very good nuggets on the Hamiltons and the shameless petty profiteering they got up to in parliament. Why UKIP thought it a good idea to accept Neil Hamilton’s membership application, never mind employ him in a senior capacity, is utterly beyond me….they must be mad.

  37. Neil you are not quite correct. There was a boundary change in Romford which, while it was not huge, added probably more than a thousand to the Tories’ 1992 majority notionally. Eileen Gordon’s win saw a swing of over 15%, well above the national average and quite a bit over the London average too, even though Labour did do particularly spectacularly well in outer London in that election – better than anywhere else with the possible exception of the south-east outside London.

  38. Worth mentioning also that the Tory MP who lost in 1997, Michael Neubert, was on the left of the party and about as far from Rosindell’s union jack bulldog approach as it is possible to get. Though as the Referendum party curiously doesn’t seem to have done particularly well here, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in 97.

  39. ‘Worth mentioning also that the Tory MP who lost in 1997, Michael Neubert, was on the left of the party and about as far from Rosindell’s union jack bulldog approach as it is possible to get.’

    I thought Neubert was a staunch Thatcherite on the Right of the party, but a gentleman too, unlike the current incumbant

  40. Rosindell is extremely friendly and refreshingly honest.

    He tends to have a stall at the bottom of Romford Market every once in a while and I doubt the people of no nonsense Romford would continue to vote for him if he were not a gentleman.

  41. He is on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee & in this capacity he was interviewed on BBC Radio earlier this week. He was knowledgeable & perfectly reasonable in the answers he gave, and gave every impression of being genuinely concerned for the people of northern Iraq. He is no fool.
    I always thought Neubert was basically Thatcherite though no strident Tony Marlow-type character. I did however once have a friend who lived here who really was a very centrist Tory indeed. He once gave me invaluable assistance in stopping a Monday Club meeting with the Chilean ambassador going ahead at Cambridge – Thatcher had just extremely controversially restored diplomatic relations, which had been broken off by Callaghan after the torture undergone at the hands of Chilean police by Dr Sheila Cassidy, a British citizen.

  42. Is it fair to say that Andrew Rosindell has a big personal vote here that is bigger than the Tories’ overall strength locally in the seat, or is it a genuine demographic trend in their favour more than anything else?

  43. MPs with big personal votes could either help them in marginal seats or are complementary to safe seats that are trending in their party’s direction. Case in point Andrew Rosindell here and from what I’ve read elsewhere Siobhain McDonagh in Mitcham & Morden who’s meant to be very active locally and popular with the Tamil community.

    There’s probably a number of other examples in and out of London.

  44. “Why UKIP thought it a good idea to accept Neil Hamilton’s membership application, never mind employ him in a senior capacity, is utterly beyond me….they must be mad.”

    And he’s reportedly in the running for UKIP candidacy in one of their top target seats in the country. That is insanity.

  45. Barnaby

    (I ask you this out of curiosity rather than partisan goading.)

    Why do you think the British left had (and indeed has) such an obsession with Chile? I well remember this phenomenon from several left wing teachers at school in the 1980s, who rammed it down our impressionable throats. Why were boycotts of relations with other arguably far worse torturers (eg Saudis, Soviets, Chinese) not pursued? Pinochet stepped down voluntarily and 25 years later Chile is now a successful, peaceful, free country, doing a good job of coming to terms with its past. What did you and your comrades make of Tony Blair shaking hands with Col Gadaffi? His torture put Pinochet’s to shame.

  46. ‘Why do you think the British left had (and indeed has) such an obsession with Chile?’

    Surely any reasonable well-intentioned government ought to break off any relationship with any country ruled by a tyramnical torturer

    Whilst I was never a Thatcher disciple, I did lose a great deal of respect for her for the way she campaigned for Pinnochet – a thoroughly wicked man by any measure – after his arrest

    It’s almost as unjustifiable as those currently on the Right who rub their hands wuth glee every time the death toll in Gaza rises

  47. And yers, Tony Blair’s befriending of Ghdaffi was sickening – but can he really be compared to Pinnochet

  48. “Surely any reasonable well-intentioned government ought to break off any relationship with any country ruled by a tyramnical torturer”

    So you are in favour of breaking diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, China…..?

  49. I think it was because Chile had elected a left wing Government led by Allende which the putative dictatorship led by the military overthrew. And with very obvious US backing.

    None of the others had experienced an overthrow of an elected socialist government.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)