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

    Because most of them never had an elected government in the first place!

  2. HH

    You have to understand how Pinochet came to power. The other dictators you mention usually came to power by overthrowing another unelected dictator, or succeeding to power in the case of the Saudis.

    Chile was different because the Unidade Popular (UP)government and Allende who was the UP candidate when he was elected president, was the first centre left/left governemnt elected in South America or most of the deveoping world, since the Americans had engineered coups against similar governments in Iran and Iraq in the 50s, and Brazil in the 60s. Once the UP were elected, there were a number of further regional and national elections that took place whilst the UP were in power, and each time the UP support increased. It was also the first time in the west that el;ections had been democatically elected, as part of the UP, into government, which the US said would never happen.

    Henry Kissenger and US companies klike ITT then organised a covert campaign of destabilisation against Chile, which culminated in the coup, in which to all intents and purposes Allende, the elected president was assasinated by the army. Kissinger denied any US involvement, even though it was abolutely clear to most observers that the US had engineered the coup.

    I used to get really wound up by this, as I knew people who were exiles in the UK, of a similar political peruasion to me, who had been horribly tortured after the coup, just for experssing views similar to mine.

    Both my younger brothers couldn’t understand was I was so outraged, until a Panorama (I think) programme was shown in the early 80s, that substantiated all the allegations about US involvement in the coup.

    I never actally knew anyone who had suffered under the other regimes, and I imagine the teachers you refer to also knew chilean exiles, and not other ones. As always, people get most worked about about issues of which they have personal experience, even if it is second hand through friends or acquaintances.

    Does this explain?

  3. It was also the first time in the west that communists had been democatically elected

  4. The profile above of Andrew Rosindell I think suggests he should be one of the better placed Tories to resist shedding votes to UKIP.

    In fact, perhaps UKIP may not even field a candidate against Andrew Rossendell as they didn’t against Philip Davies in Shipley in 2010.

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

    Whilst I’d very much like to break relations with Saudi – another one of those regimes that can accurateky be described as ‘wicked’ – their oil reserves makes that impossible – as does the fact that if the Royal Family were overthrown it would most likely be by an Isis-type movement, which was be a massive threat to the West

    And whilst the other three countries do fitr the definition they are not quite as bad as Pinnochet’s Chile – a truly repugnant regime

    But Thatcher dudn’t just tolerate the mudering tyrant Pinnochet, she befriended him – the same way George Galloway befriended Saddam – anbd look at the ampount of sh*t he (quite rightly I must add) took for that

    Not only did Pinnochet overthrow a democratically elected government but henot onl,y overhrew but executed the man who appointed him head of the army

    In my opinion Pinnochet is almost up there with the Poll Potts, Hitler and Stalins – the elite of the scum of the earth

  6. “But Thatcher dudn’t just tolerate the mudering tyrant Pinnochet, she befriended him”

    Yes that’s fair enough. I think Thatcher was eternally grateful for Pinochet’s support during the Falklands war.

    I’m glad that you begrudgingly see the need for realpolitik to take precedence over idealism but it does lead to having to deal with unsavoury regimes.

  7. It’s the awkward balance politicians must maintain. Even the most well-meaning are elected to run things as they are, here and now, rather than just strive for how they want things to be.

    That being the case, in foreign affairs, politicians should certainly strive for a better world, and make tangible steps towards that, but in the interim must inevitably get their hands dirty with just the way the world is right now.

    It’s a thankless task, but that’s probably just how it has to be.

  8. “Is this seat the scene of the Tories’ best recovery since 1997?”

    Norfolk North-West?

  9. That’s a good one. Weirdly enough like here, it was gained by Labour in 1997, but then once it was lost back in 2001, they began to spiral further backwards, again just like here.

    Given the terrible result they had in NW Norfolk in 2010 however, I think Labour could be on for a big rise in vote share there next year.

  10. The Labour candidate in NW Norfolk made some now infamous comments about Gordon Brown. Their share of the vote was awful. Given that they have support in Kings Lynn I didn’t expect them to plummet to that extent.

  11. It was an absolutely abysmal vote tally for Labour. To fall even further behind their previous low of 17.51% in 1987 was extremely bad.

    Something very similar happened to their vote share in South East Cambridgeshire in similar circumstances as well I think.

  12. Lichfield isn’t really a rural seat. 35K live in Lichfield and 30K in Burntwood, and there are just two miles of open country between them.

  13. “Given the terrible result they had in NW Norfolk in 2010 however, I think Labour could be on for a big rise in vote share there next year.”

    I doubt it. Many of their former voters will switch to UKIP next year IMO.

  14. Isn’t it? My apologies then Andy. I hate to sound ignorant. All the same the Conservative fortunes in your seat since 1997 have been nothing short of fantastic from their point of view. I did think incidentally that bracketing Lichfield in with South Holland and The Deepings and North Shropshire was a mistake, but I genuinely couldn’t off the top of my head think of too many other County Constituencies away from the obvious places (Essex for example) where 10%+ recoveries compared with 1997 had taken place.

  15. ”I doubt it. Many of their former voters will switch to UKIP next year IMO.”

    But Labour did so badly last time here surely they’ll get some sort of significant increase here next time. Surely?

  16. By ‘here’ I meant North West Norfolk BTW.

  17. I should have thought so. There were special circumstances in 2010. But the rise may be rather limited by that of UKIP.

  18. I made the terrible mistake earlier of thinking that Andy’s seat was ‘very rural’. That was a bit of a silly thing to say I’m afraid.

    As to Labour in NW Norfolk, yes, we’re probably in agreement, but I would have thought also Barnaby that UKIP will still hit Henry Bellingham to some extent.

  19. The Pinochet talk is interesting…

    Thatcher was loyal and felt she owed him one after Chile stood side by side to help the UK in the Falklands War unlike the British left who wanted us to roll over and hand the islands to Argentina because Britain were evil colonialists.

    Yes his regime was truly evil but no more evil than in many of dictatorship led third world countries, the only difference was that he booted out a left wing government which riled the left as well as the fact that the US may or may not have been directly involved.

  20. “the only difference was that he booted out a left wing government which riled the left as well as the fact that the US may or may not have been directly involved.”

    And you fail to mention that Pinochet voluntarily stood down, enabling the country to gradually transition to the successful democracy that it is today….in fact Chile was an acknowledged role model for post-apartheid South Africa in this regard.

    I do not see the dictatorial rulers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emerites or China stepping down voluntarily any time soon.

  21. That’s an important fact HH.

  22. “Is this seat the scene of the Tories’ best recovery since 1997?”

    Welwyn Hatfield, Hemel Hempsted and Castle Point must be up there

    And what’s happened it Lichfield is mirrored in other West Midlands constituencies which have switched from being marginally Tory in 1997 to securely so in 2010 – Aldridge-Brownhills, Meriden, Stone, Shropshire North being just four examples

    Perhaps one of the most surprising things about Pinnochet was that he did step down, and I think the democratic administrations that followed deserve some respect for not seeking retribution given that some of their members must have had relatives abducted or murdered by the regime

    In Chile itself, and in most of South America, Pinnochet is still a figure who sharply divides opinion.

  23. I also think Pinochet left Chile in a much better shape than a socialist government would have done, although that is just my opinion and obviously not a fact.

  24. My former flatmate is an unapologetic fan of Pinochet. One of the many opinions I suspect he held purely for the purposes of shocking me.

  25. I think there’s a fair few people out there who like to express certain unorthodox viewpoints simply for the sake shocking or annoying people. You’ve reminded me of my old housemate who spent most of the week after Princess Diana died going around telling people how he thought she was the worst thing to happen to the monarchy since the abdication crisis.

  26. Pinochet made Chile an economic success story, so in that sense he isn’t entirely bad, unlike lefty South American dictators like Chavez, and did actually eventually win a free and fair election. However his scant disregard for human life cannot be ignored.

  27. “And you fail to mention that Pinochet voluntarily stood down, enabling the country to gradually transition to the successful democracy that it is today”

    Not true. He lost a referendum on extending his term of office that he had expected to win, given the opposition wasn’t really allowed to campaign against the proposal, which he then wanted to ignore, and had to be persuaded by the army chief of staff, who is the father of this years defeated centre right candidate in the presidential election, to stand down, because if he didn’t then the country could erupt in protest.

  28. I was of the understanding that the late 80s referendum was the first time the opposition were allowed to campaign properly?

    If that was the case then it was not surprising that he lost. He must have been pretty old at that point as well.

  29. Oh FFS.

    Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair “had to be persuaded” to stand down. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t stand down voluntarily.

  30. I’m no expert on Chilean history, but I thought the 1988 referendum was on whether the transition to democratic civilian government should take place immediately or after an 8 year transition period. No matter what you think about Pinochet (and I was never a big fan if his), you have got to give him credit for the way he respected the result of the referendum and decided not to stand as a candidate in the following years Presidental election.

  31. LBernard, Pinochet probably still had quite a lot of popular support at that point. There was a long list of political parties that supported the Yes campaign in the referendum. And if they’d won, Pinochet would have been entitled to stay in power until 1996. Does anyone know if he was encouraged to stand as a candidate in the 89 election? Or did he take the view that he was a military leader and not a politician, and that he should leave the stage once the transition to democracy was complete?

  32. Has the spirit of Augusto Pinochet come to rest in Romford then?

    Is anyone aware whether he has (or had) views on voting behaviour in the said constituency?

  33. TBH, this has got to be one of the biggest sidetracks I’ve ever seen in the 4 years I’ve been an occasional contributor to UKPR.

  34. I’m guilty for some of that sidetracking….

    Always good to learn new things 🙂

  35. yes, I appear to have started it. My apologies.

  36. I don’t mean to be sanctimonious and we all do it from time to time – but this one was a real Ronnie Corbett ‘chair scene’ diversion.

  37. LOL Pinochet discussion on Romford!

  38. This was a diversion of country lane proportions…

  39. Andrew Rosindell has said David Cameron should “do the honorable thing” if Scotland votes Yes.

  40. The most honourable thing Andrew Rosindell could do is zip it.

  41. That’s a little unfair given the circumstances.

  42. I’m surprised Gove hasn’t issued his marching orders considering how bad backbench rumblings could get for the Tories if not suppressed.

    Having said that I think the last thing they want is another Carswell.

  43. This surely tops the list of candidate for the next UKIP defection?

  44. He also happens to be one of those who could easily hold his seat considering the existing UKIP/BNP strength and his personal vote.

  45. I woukd imagine these are the best areas for UKIP across southeastern counties

    Clacton, Harwich and North Essex, Castlepoint, South Basildon and East Thurrock.


    South Thanet, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Sittingbourne and Sheppey

    Spelthorne, Epsom and Ewell

    Greater London
    Hornchurch and Upminster, Romford, Bexleyheath and Crayford, Old Bexley snd Sidcup, Bromley and Chislehurst, Carshalton and Wallington.

    Of course the likelyhood winning any of the London and Surrey seats I have mentioned is absolute zero but its where their best votes will be in those counties.

  46. You missed Thurrock out.

  47. Debateable whether Bromley & Chislehurst will be better for UKIP than Orpington. I suspect the latter will be at least as good (supported by local election results IIRC).

    UKIP also did surprisingly well in Croydon Central.

  48. In Kent, they might do so-so in the Faversham and Mid-Kent seat, due to some potential in the Shepway suburb (it’s part of Maidstone borough). No where near challenging the Conservatives though. Their weakest Kent performances will probably be Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks (although Swanley might come out for UKIP).

  49. I can see Epsom and Ewell being a horrible accident –

    LD 10,000
    UKIP 10.000
    CON 10,000
    LAB 10,000

  50. Haha

    I’m sure E&E will stay Tory next May

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