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. Gloy Plopwell would be excrited.

  2. @Mr Nameless

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

    Well exactly. Alongside favourable demographics and his personal views, it’s a perfect storm and I don’t think we should be at all surprised if he makes the jump depending on the outcome of the Clacton by election. Does anyone know of any other seats with a favourable Tory incumbent along with a favourable electorate?

  3. Rosindell is not going to join UKIP. There are reasons why I’m quite confident of that, though it wouldn’t be appropriate to go into them here.

    It is also lazy to put Romford in the same bracket as Clacton. They are in many ways very different places. Romford is younger, richer, more Londonified, full of commuters and (though from a low base) has an increasing minority electorate. It is possible to envisage Rosindell holding the seat if he defected to UKIP (which he won’t) but it is not the “perfect demographic” that Clacton is and I would be much more doubtful about the result.

  4. Even in Havering, Romford isn’t likely to produce the best UKIP performance (although they’ll poll respectably). Hornchurch & Upminster probably will.

  5. Romford is a great deal less deprived than Clacton. The working-class area which before was included in Romford, Harold Hill, has since 1974 been in the Upminster/Hornchurch & Upminster seat. Neil is almost certainly right.

  6. Did anyone like my prediction (E& E)?

  7. Not really, I’m afraid. The prospect of either Labour or UKIP gaining 10,000 votes in that constituency seems fanciful to say the least.

  8. I’m going to that constituency today for work purposes but no doubt Joe I could also spread the word that it’s a 4-way marginal. I’m going to be in the Nork & Tattenham parts of the constituency, in the borough of Reigate & Banstead.
    I was amused to note that in the 16th century there was an MP for Reigate called Julius Caesar. There has been a Reigate constituency almost continuously since the 14th century.

  9. Its the Nork & Tattenham and Ashtead parts that are the real safe Tory parts of the seat. If it was just E & E then it would still be safely Conservative but less ultra safe.

    Labour will get between 17-20 percent here which in Surrey will probably only bettered by Spelthorne.

    There is a lot of UKIP potential in the North of the seat, a lot of people that live here have moved out from areas like Mitcham and don’t want to see the kind of demographic that has happened in that area happening here.

    Epsom and Ewell itself is a nice area but more middle of the road suburbia and not super rich like Elmbridge.

  10. “There is a lot of UKIP potential in the North of the seat, a lot of people that live here have moved out from areas like Mitcham and don’t want to see the kind of demographic that has happened in that area happening here.”

    What kind of demographic are you talking about, Surrey Politics?

  11. Some of the WWC population from Mitcham/Pollards Hill/St Helier that have done well (successful Builders, Plumbers etc) have moved out to areas like Stoneleigh, Ewell, Chessington etc). This type of “The Sun” reading demographic may have voted for Thatcher in the 80’s and Blair in the 90’s. This type of demographic is rather anti-immigration and have seen the changes in places like Merton and once they had enough money sold their ex council decided to move to the nicer but affordable outer suburban areas. These people are likely to vote either Conservative or may now see them now as not doing enough about immigration and vote UKIP.

  12. Thanks for the clarification.

    In 1988 I moved from Croydon to Southall to get away from people like that.

    Sadly I have since had the dubious pleasure of encountering them on the Wimbledon-Croydon tram line whenever I have visited old friends down there.

  13. To be honest he doesn’t strike me as the sort who should join UKIP. He strikes me as the sort that should join the BNP…

  14. He isn’t that bad.

  15. Romford has been in London, & no part of Essex, for 50 years. London & Essex are two distinctly different & seperate places, they do not overlap.
    Andrew Rosindell is a Londoner since he was born in Romford in 1966.

  16. Romford used as the backdrop to C4 fictional documentary- “UKIP the 100 days”.

    Gerard Batten on LBC says the bias will backfire and result in more people voting UKIP, & that OFCOM should intervene.


  17. Except neither the 1965 nor the 1972 Acts actually abolished or changed the boundaries of the traditional counties as they were simply administrative arrangements. So Mr Rosindell is well within his rights to consider himself an Essex man.

  18. If it was on the BBC it would backfire more but Channel Four is not heavily watched and there is not a lot of the press who will defend UKIP as a party( There polices yes but the Party no. The Daily Mail supports similar polices but not the Party at al)

  19. @Deepthroat, yes, though they called it Romford East. They also prophesied Doncaster North going UKIP as part of that fictional UKIP majority. I can’t remember the other seats specifically named. It is perhaps a bit iffy screening a programme like that although I believe it’s outside of the time period of election rules.

    In any case, I don’t think it will have much influence as the kind of people who watch Channel 4 would be unlikely to vote for UKIP, and I doubt that UKIP voters would particularly watch Channel 4 much, particularly that kind of programme.

  20. TM I think another fictional one they mentioned was Basildon North. I think to be balanced though they should do one on the green party though. 100 days of a Green government would be even more catastrophic than 100 days of ukip.

  21. I’m tempted to agree. We have the dubious example of Brighton Council to go on. If UKIP take control of a council (Rotherham?) there might be a similar indication.

  22. A ukip run council would probably be a gaffe prone disaster. As for Brighton even if the voters of Pavilion do re-elect Lucas I hope for their own sakes they boot out that car crash of a council that is probably one of the worst run in the entire country (except perhaps Rotherham before it got taken over by central government). 100 days of the Greens would probably plunge the economy into recession as capital and business would flee the country in droves costing far more jobs than a Brexit would (exiting the EU is a bad idea too). Saying that said green government would almost certainly become massively unpopular for the above reason and their idiotic immigration plans which are the complete opposite of public opinion. Thankfully such a dystopia will never happen.

  23. I’m pretty sure that what will happen is the local Green council will be defeated very heavily and at the same time Lucas will be re-elected fairly comfortably.

  24. @Peppermintea
    UKIP actually have a very good reputation at a county council level , the only controlled council they have ever had is Ramsey Town council-which by all accounts they did a good job in. UKIP Councillors also have very high average attendance rates (93%) higher than any other party. I’m not trying to sound like a UKIP advert here (though I am a member) , but the Greens have an average attendance of 63%-the Greens have problems with competence at council levels. As to this seat, I think it should be a safe Con hold with UKIP in a good but distant 2nd place.

  25. ‘Traditional counties’, meaning counties that no longer exsist. The only sort of people who even believe they should exsist are those that still refer to America as ‘the colonies’.
    Romford has not been a part of Essex in any way since April 1965. This is fact. Making up stories about fictional ‘traditional counties’ will not change it.
    Andrew Rosindell can call himself a Martian if he wants to, but factually he’s a Londoner having been born in, grown up in, & still living in, Romford in east London.
    What do you think a county boundary is if not an administrative arrangement?

  26. Con 13500 over UKIP.

  27. Never understood how the Tories have such a large majority here? Is it all Essex white van man? Can someone please explain?????

  28. Conservative Hold. 13,000 maj.

  29. An underwhelming Tory performance here compared to 2010 (entirely due to the improved performance of UKIP it would seem).

    Going back to the earlier discussion…I was intrigued by Hemmelig’s comment re: Rosindell being unlikely to join UKIP (for reasons that would be inappropriate to discuss). I can have a guess at those reasons of course, but that comment surprised me. Rosindell does seem a pretty natural fit for UKIP on the surface, but the seat of Romford is not fantastic demographically for UKIP. As he’s pretty much tied his whole career to being a good old Romford boy, he’ll be staying put in the Tories,

  30. Rosindell is a very sensitive type deep down who has scooped up votes by pretending to be a right wing bovver boy. He is thus imprisoned in his inaccurate hard right caricature, dependent on the votes of people he actually doesn’t like very much. I doubt he’d compound that problem by joining UKIP, especially not as this isn’t really the best seat for UKIP demographically.

    Faux right wing populism is a route that quite a few leading Tories have chosen to go down over the years, and tends to lead such people to deep unhappiness and frustrated ambitions in the end – Enoch Powell, Michael Portillo, arguably Norman Tebbit….seems like Douglas Carswell is perhaps another example.

  31. Thanks Hemmelig. Yes, he has almost set himself up as something of a caricature. The Tebbit example is a good one…I’ve read in various places that Thatcher told him bluntly that he could never be Tory leader. This is despite the close professional relationship the two had, and the obvious respect Thatcher had for him.

  32. In private, Tebbit was nothing like his caricature. In the early 80s he was asked to give a speech about the Falklands at a Conservative association dinner ….those expecting a tub thumping rant were sorely disappointed when he devoted much of the speech to expressing his sorrow at the deaths of thousands of teenage Argentinian conscripts who had no choice not to fight and no chance against the far superior British armed forces. He was also quite pro European until he left the cabinet, trying to persuade Mrs Thatcher to join the ERM alongside Howe and Lawson.

  33. ‘1997 and Hornchurch remained so until just over 10 years ago.’

    It was just under 10 years as Labour lost Hornchurch to Tory James Brokenshire in 2005, and both Upminster and Romford (along with Castle Point) had the biggest Labour to Tory swings in 2001

    By 2010 both were safe Tory seats and have stayed like that, whereas most of the rest of London has continued its pro-Labour shift

    Therefore you’d expect Havering to be one of the Tories beat areas in London

  34. There seems to be no remaining pocket of safety for Labour in Havering. Even Harold Hill and (I think) South Hornchurch which used to be strong for them now seem to be competitive between the Tories and UKIP.

    In Tory led Bexley and Bromley at least Labour still have strength in Erith, Belvedere and Penge.

  35. ‘Just over surely’

    I see what you mean – I thought you meant Hornchurch has been Labour-held for 10 years

    ‘Havering really has bucked the trend in London. Richmond and Kingston have had very good Tory results in recent years too.’

    In the latter two that’s more to do with the demise of the Lib Dems, and whilst they have been decimated in places like Richmond itself there was a recovery or sorts in the likes of Twickenham and Kingston and it will be interesting to see if they can build on that

    Havering really stands out though – because unlike those places in South West London, its not a particularly affluent area – not by London standards anyway, which of course is another pattern we’ve seen elsewhere in the country but not in London

  36. Demo change is happening but at snail’s pace by any standards. Other parts of Outer London like Enfield and Redbridge have had an opposite effect on the Conservatives.

  37. Havering does have some similarities with Boris’s constituency, though the rest of Hillingdon is very different (Northwood, Ickenham, Ruislip proper & Eastcote are mostly very affluent, John McDonnell’s constituency is very multi-ethnic).

  38. Romford CLP nominates Jeremy Corbyn.

  39. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Angelina Leatherbarrow.

  40. Andrew Rosindell is the only MP on CCHQ’s longlist of candidates. Hopefully CCHQ will cull him before it gets to the members, who are mad enough to select him.

  41. For the London mayoralty (if that wasn’t obvious).

  42. Selecting Rosindell would be a good test of the floor level for the Tory vote in London.

    Like many on the hard right there are some embarrassing skeletons rumoured to be in his closet. For that reason alone it would be an interesting campaign.

  43. Is this similar to a Chuka Ummuna situation? I’m not implying anything about either man obviously. If it is *that*, then Rosindell would be more damaged politically.

  44. Similar in the obvious sense but I think Rosindell is a much sadder figure. As I guess is inevitable with hard right figures so inclined, there is a tendency to weirdness and severe self-loathing, and much more unfulfillment. J Edgar Hoover an especially good example.

    I think Rosindell’s British Bulldog act hits a bit of a bum note even in Romford these days. Londonwide it would go down awfully.

  45. Interesting, thanks.

    I found it odd that Greening didn’t go for it in the end. Is there an obvious favourite for the Tory nomination (this is addressed to anyone)?

  46. Well if you go by the bookies odds, Khan is a 71% likelihood of winning.

    Its Odd to see the friend of Stephen Lawrence, Duwayne Brooks, on the Tory long list. He has no history in the Conservative Party.

  47. Sean Bailey is shortest Tory in the betting – 25/1 followedby Goldsmith and Osborne both at 40/1

  48. “I found it odd that Greening didn’t go for it in the end. Is there an obvious favourite for the Tory nomination (this is addressed to anyone)?”

    It’s a suicide mission. The Tory candidate is almost certain to be heavily defeated, probably more so than Goldsmith in 2016. Serious players will keep away and the candidate will likely be a second rater. Perennial candidate Andrew Boff might be a dark horse worth watching. I don’t see the London selectorate going for Rosindell and Shaun Bailey is perhaps a bit too mistrusted.

  49. “Its Odd to see the friend of Stephen Lawrence, Duwayne Brooks, on the Tory long list. He has no history in the Conservative Party.”

    He was a Lib Dem councillor in Lewisham East before losing his seat to Labour some years ago.

  50. HH – you can of course be both sensitive and a right winger.

    Tristan – underwhelming result here in 2010? Tbf Rosindell achieved huge swings here in the previous 2 GEs! The obvious answer would be that he and the voters of Romford weren’t impressed by the Cameroons in 2010, unlike the Howard campaign in 2005.

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