Streatham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12540 (25.1%)
Labour: 26474 (53%)
Lib Dem: 4491 (9%)
Green: 4421 (8.9%)
UKIP: 1602 (3.2%)
TUSC: 164 (0.3%)
Others: 241 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 13934 (27.9%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Lambeth council area.

Main population centres: Streatham, Brixton.

Profile: Covers Streatham itself and parts of Clapham and Brixton. Streatham itself used to be very middle class and suburban, but recent decades have seen houses split into flats and parts of the area become increasingly multi-ethnic and downtrodden. The north of the seat includes part of Brixton, which is also split between this seat and Vauxhall, an area associated with the Afro-Carribean community and a past history of troubles and rioting, but now beginning a rather bohemian gentrification..

Politics: Streatham`s political fortunes have followed the demographic changes in the area. When it used to be a solidly middle class suburb it was continously held by the Conservatives from its creation in 1918 until 1992 when it fell to Labour. As it has become increasingly inner-city in character and ethnic make-up it has moved further and further into Labour`s column, by 1997 and 2001 it was a safe Labour seat.


Current MP
CHUKA UMUNNA (Labour) Born 1978, London. Educated at Manchester University. Former Employment lawyer and journalist. First elected as MP for Streatham in 2010. Originally announced he would run for the Labour leadership in 2015 and was seen as a potential frontrunner, but withdrew shortly afterwards saying he wasn't ready for the media attention.
Past Results
2010
Con: 8578 (18%)
Lab: 20037 (43%)
LDem: 16778 (36%)
GRN: 861 (2%)
Oth: 583 (1%)
MAJ: 3259 (7%)
2005*
Con: 7238 (18%)
Lab: 18950 (47%)
LDem: 11484 (28%)
GRN: 2245 (6%)
Oth: 698 (2%)
MAJ: 7466 (18%)
2001
Con: 6639 (18%)
Lab: 21041 (57%)
LDem: 6771 (18%)
GRN: 1641 (4%)
Oth: 906 (2%)
MAJ: 14270 (39%)
1997
Con: 9758 (22%)
Lab: 28181 (63%)
LDem: 6082 (14%)
MAJ: 18423 (41%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
KIM CADDY (Conservative)
CHUKA UMUNNA (Labour) See above.
AMNA AHMED (Liberal Democrat) Born Pakistan. Educated at James Allens Girls School and Oxford University.
BRUCE MACHAN (UKIP)
JONATHAN BARTLEY (Green)
DEON GAYLE (Workers Revolutionary)
ARTIFICIAL BEAST (CISTA)
UNJUM MIRZA (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 328 Responses on “Streatham”
  1. Although interestingly that bit of the Streatham seat that most resembles Wandsworth, the Clapham Common ward, has actually improved for the Conservatives.

  2. Not everyone may realise that until the present London boroughs were formed in 1965 Streatham, and all those parts of Balham & Clapham which are now in Lambeth, were in the old Boroughs of Wandsworth along with the rest of Balham, Tooting, Wandsworth itself & Putney – Battersea was a separate borough. Thus not only does Clapham Common ward resemble Wandsworth borough, it actually WAS in that borough until 1965. I don’t think that there’s any similar instance of a new borough ceding rather than annexing territory at that time.

  3. I was aware of that – it is rather confusing Streatham being further from Wandsworth Town than Battersea. I’m not sure where the southern boundary of Battersea South was – more or less the southern boundary of SW11? The two Battersea seats must have already been undersized by 1974. Then there was a seat called Clapham in 1970 which must have straddled the present day borough boundaries.

  4. Did the inhabitants of Clapham and Streatham have any choice in the matter of the GLC boroughs?

  5. Some people think the london boroughs need to be withdrawn. For example Coulsdon has very little common with Northern Croydon. Pollards Hill with Wimbledon Village etc. Maybe you could have boroughs which are more in line with each other demographically

    For South West London

    1. Kingston, Malden, Raynes Park, Wimbledon, Putney, Barnes, Mortlake, Richmond

    2. Wandsworth, Battersea, Clapham, Balham and Tooting

    3. Croydon (old County borough)

    4. Brixton, Herne Hill, Dulwich, Tulse Hill, Streatham, Mitcham, Morden

    5. Peckham, Vauxhall, Bermondsey

    6. Sutton, Purley, Coulsdon, Surbiton, Tolworth, Chessington,( Epsom and Ewell, Banstead, Tadworth from Surrey though these areas would fight fericiously against it understandably)

    7. Twickenham, Spelthorne

  6. Pollards Hill and Wimbledon Village may have little in common but they’ve both been in Merton for the past 48 years and like most boroughs it adds to the variety of the area. There is no real desire in London to have local government re-organisation, but if does happen, I suspect it will be through mergers, and not by creating new boroughs composing of a number of different areas which would be incredibly expensive and disruptive.

  7. I tend to agree.

    There are also advantages to boroughs containing mixed areas of strength for each political party. It makes elections more competitive and avoids the laziness and corruption associated with one-party domination of the council.

  8. I wanted to add as well that the idea that Twickenham and Spelthorne are more alike than Twickenham and Richmond is pretty idiotic. The White Van Man demographic of Spelthorne would not mix well with the liberal intelligentsia of Twickers (with a few notable exceptions….JJB?). Plus Spelthorne would go through hell and high water to avoid being dragged into Greater London (as indeed it did in 1964). There’s rarely anything so bad as change for change’s sake.

  9. Yes I agree that if there was change it would be to create bigger boroughs.

    I only created the Twickenham & Spelthorne arguemnet as they were same side of river and would be better that area than Hounslow.

    I am not seriously suggesting any of these should ever be created just thought I would bring up a debate.

    Most of these would remain static of have no change of hands at elections.

    with the excepton of 6 and 7 which would be Con vs LD fights.

  10. The columnist Simon Jenkins thinks we ought to create smaller boroughs and that large boroughs are responsible for a lot of the problems that currently exist.

  11. Spelthorne is a much better mix with Hounslow, if mix there has to be, with Hounslow than with Richmond-upon-Thames. Some of the residents are very similar to those one finds in Feltham, though not generally Hounslow itself. In fact the divergence of voting behaviour between, say, the Ashford & Sunbury (but certainly not Lower Sunbury) wards and Feltham ones is quite striking considering that they do have some similarities.

  12. Another striking difference is the voting pattern between Epsom and Ewell (RA) and Sutton (LD) as on the borders to each other these areas are virtually identical.

  13. True, though the wards on the border with Epsom & Ewell are generally the strongest ones for the Tories in Sutton.

  14. Are the E&E wards the weakest for the Tories in that seat?

  15. It is generally an affluent area with the council being controlled by the Residents since 1937.

    Historically they had all the wards except Court which was a Labour stronghold. In the 1980’s the alliance started gaining presence in the council though not in the areas bordering Sutton. And in 2002 the conservatives contesting the elections for the first time in 30 years and gaining 2 seats. Now it comprises of 26 residents councillors, 6 Lib Dems, 3 Labour and 3 Conservatives.

  16. To me Ewell seems definitely nicer than Epsom, but as with places like Cornwall, the presence of independents/ratepayers makes those kind of questions hard to answer. There are much grander and richer places in the constituency than the two named towns, where the Tories presumably do better. Surrey Politics will know better than me. I bought a new car from a dealer in Epsom about a year ago….it is quite an ordinary town and quite gritty in places. Certainly not as posh and horsey as it is often portrayed.

  17. I totally agree, its not that posh in fact its a bit of White Van Man demographic here. It contains two of the three poorest wards in surrey. Plus the town centre is looking really down at the heel beacuse it can’t compete with nearby Kingston and Sutton. The shopping centre part of the towen is doing well but sadly the high street is not, though its nowhere near as bad as West Croydon.

  18. Yes, to my mind Carshalton and Sutton both have surprisingly nice town centres and high streets, far nicer than Epsom.

    The comparison with Croydon is an interesting one. Epsom is perhaps what Croydon would look like if its population were still predominantly white working class rather than increasingly ethnic.

  19. Its still a very nice desirable area towards the downs, bordering Banstead and Cheam. Ewell Village is nice but yes the area is in general is quite ordinary and not what its made out to be. Here and Staines are probably the closest you would get to a working class surrey town.

  20. What about Sunbury & Redhill?

  21. Yes parts of Sunbury, Redhill even some bits of Guildford, Woking and Chertsey/Addlestone too.

    Though its Epsom and Spelthorne that have the Outer London characterstics rather than Surrey.

  22. RIP Dr Abbas Khan, tortured to death in a Syrian prison having left Streatham a year ago to volunteer his services as a surgeon in the midst of the Syrian civil war

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/17/british-doctor-dies-syrian-prison

    Wonders will never cease, George Galloway manages to say something dignified and appropriate in that article.

  23. I wonder if Lembit Opik might get some traction if he ran here. seeing as he got nowhere in the Brent Central selection…

  24. Well the Lib Dem vote here is going to completely collapse whoever is their candidate, so maybe selecting a complete idiot would at least give them a scapegoat.

    The Tories might even squeak back into 2nd place here. There is a lot of potential for them in the gentrifying bit of the seat bordering Clapham.

  25. The Lib Dems are goners here. They reached their peak in 2010 by cutting the Labour majority to under 5000. Might as well go with Opik just for the fun of it. Chuka Umunna’s majority is certain to climb to something quite comfortable next year.

  26. Prediction for 2015-
    Umunna (Labour)- 52%
    Liberal Democrats- 24%
    Conservative- 17%
    Green- 5%
    UKIP- 2%

  27. Swap round the Lib Dem and Conservative positions and that does look like a credible prediction. Greens may be a shade too high though.

  28. Amna Ahmad chosen as LibDem PPC for Streatham.

    http://lambethlibdems.org.uk/en/article/2014/759794/amna-ahmad-selected-as-liberal-democrat-ppc-for-streatham

    Rather impressive tale of progress from foster care to Oxford..

  29. The Mayor of Lambeth has died, aged 43, here. By all accounts he was popular. I don’t have many details other than he was gay and worked in Number 10 during the Blair era.

  30. 2015 forecast here

    Lab 52
    LD 20
    Con 15
    Green 8
    UKIP 3
    Others 2

  31. As expected the Lib Dems got wiped here and Labour surged (plus the Cons won Clapham Common ward).

    What I did not foresee was the big increase in the Green vote, including a gain in St Leonards (within my lifetime a staid Tory redoubt), and the LDs reduced to only a couple of hundred votes above Con.

    Were there some local issues I didn’t know about that helped the Greens?

  32. The Greens did well in many of these inner London boroughs at the expense of the LDs (Brent, Camden, Islington, Haringey), although mostly failing to gain seats.

    It becomes increasingly clear that many of these Green voters were Lib Dems when you look at results outside London, e.g. in Calder Valley where the Greens took decent results in traditionally Lib Dem areas.

    Basically I think its down to the Euros.

  33. Lambeth is almost a one party state now – something that has probably never happened since the Tories won it in 1968.

    I wonder whether the removal of all the LD seats on the council which has inadvertently put the Tories ahead of them could give the latter a chance to emerge as a more effective opposition over time.

    Came back through this area last night and it has some pretty nice areas actually.

  34. There may be some nice patches in Streatham but it is still in that ‘declining half way out suburb’ state and will be for the forseeable future.

    The only glimmer of light here is that this area is close to Clapham and Balham, has some lovely housing and some quality green spaces. I also think Streatham is nicer than Tooting although house prices state otherwise…but the town lacks the tube, decent schools, is in Lambeth not Wandsworth and is dangerously close to other declining suburbs like Mitcham, Norbury, Norwood etc

  35. Joe is also intelligent enough to know that assuming “pretty nice areas” are automatically going to be fertile ground for the Tories these days is horseshit, especially in London. The nicer bits to the south and east of Streatham are increasingly muesli belt territory, as evidenced by the Tories continuing to lose seats in Dulwich & West Norwood last month. LBernard is right, this seat will end up with some Tory strength around Clapham, fighting it out with the Greens elsewhere in the seat for title of main opposition to Labour. It pains me to say so as I seriously dislike Chukka Umunna.

  36. Streatham will be nothing other than solid LAB for the next decade at least. Labour gained Streatham South in 1998 and held ever since, same thing happened in Norbury in 1994. This pattern will be probably repeated in Lower Morden from this election and maybe Cannon Hill as well.

  37. “Ukip voters feel disconnected because they can’t send emails, Chuka Umunna says

    Labour’s shadow business secretary says ‘a lot’ of people who voted for Ukip ‘can’t do things like’ sending and receiving emails and browsing the internet”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10918012/Ukip-voters-feel-disconnected-because-they-cant-send-emails-Chuka-Umunna-says.html

  38. What a patronising twat.

    Even a 5 minute glance through the comments pages of the Sun, Telegraph, Mail, Express etc (and of course ConHome) reveals the internet to be alive with angry, frothing UKIPpers.

    It looks like the post-2015 Labour government is going to be even more out of touch with Joe Public than Cameron’s is.

  39. That was a bit silly of him. However digging into the article I think he made a decent point – if 20% of people don’t have a basic level of IT skills it might cause them problems and might cause the economy problems.

    It’s a shame he said that because as BIS secretary it will be his brief and the gaffe will overshadow the legitimate point he’s trying to make. Having said that I’m not sure if it would have been reported if the Telegraph hadn’t been able to run that story.

  40. It is a legitimate point that our own kids need to acquire the skills to compete with immigrants in the workplace, because no matter how much noise comes from UKIP and the Tory right, large scale immigration is here to stay and there’s nothing any politician is going to do to change that.

    Instead of stating that simple and obvious truth, Mr Umunna tries to label all UKIP voters as stupid and backwards. The day will come when Labour will regret patronising people who have concerns which UKIP pander to instead of being honest with them.

  41. A sure sign of the political elite’s remoteness from some sections of the electorate is when they call for as many services as possible to be provided online. This is a nice idea, but millions of people still have to put up with snail-like internet speeds, sometimes only a few miles from major cities. This is made worse by people like Jeremy Hunt who predicted a few years ago that 99% of the population would have access to high speed internet by 2015. Even going back to 1997, in Labour’s manifesto that year there was a lot of talk about “the information superhighway” as it was then called.

    In many ways it’s a disgrace how long it’s taking to provide high speed internet access to many areas. I remember going to a science park exhibition in 1995 and seeing high speed internet bing demonstrated. Yes, that was 1995. Not a typo.

  42. Agree 100%.

    Even here in Mid Sussex, barely 35 miles from London and 5 miles from Gatwick, internet speeds and mobile coverage are universally appalling.

  43. Chuka referred to Worcester as Wichita, live on BBC regional news.

  44. He’s really been knocking out home runs lately with some of these comments.

  45. What a weird verbal slip. In some ways it’s better he said that than Leicester or something because it sounds more like the genuine mistake I’m sure it was, but think through your words before you say them, Chuka!

  46. I share the dislike of the rather upper class, out of touch Chuka Umunna.
    But none of this will stop him getting about 60% of the vote next year.

  47. That’s probably right. The Greens will also do very well here and will emerge as the second placed party in much of the seat over time…same will probably happen in other trendy safe Labour bits of inner London where the Lib Dems have had a strong presence.

  48. 60%? From 43%?

  49. Not far fetched in this case, nor in other similar seats such as the Lewishams where the Lib Dems could conceivably go from a close second down to below 10%.

  50. Personally I think some of the LD vote in this seat was Tories voting tactically, so I don’t see Labour going beyond 55-57%.

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