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. 10 years ago possibly – not many Tories left in Streatham now though. Same in Lewisham East. Tories might scrape 20% here in 2015 but if the Lib Dems go down to 10% or so, by default Labour will be at or around 60%.

  2. Jonathan Bartley has been selected as the Green candidate for Streatham, he came close to winning a council seat in St Leonards in May and is a strong campaigner. Looks like significant numbers of disaffected LibDems and Labour voters will probably switch to Green in 2015 (even we were surprised at how far the LibDem vote collapsed this year).

  3. The Greens are in 3rd place in Streatham on the basis of the 2014 council election results, and within 1% of the LibDems:

    Labour 40,604 (51%)
    LibDem 13,506 (17%)
    Green 13,173 (16.6%)
    Cons 11,896 (15%)

    In the 8 Streatham wards, Greens came ahead of the LibDems in 6, and ahead of the conservatives in 5. (Percentages shown are of the top 4 parties only).

  4. Predictions

    This seat will become ultra safe Labour like Most of deprived South London.

    Labour 22,804
    LibDem 7,518
    Green 7,173
    Cons 6,896

    Maj: 15,286

  5. The Greens could take second place here by 2020.

  6. My prediction

    LAB 52%
    LIB 25%
    GRN 10%
    CON 8%
    UKIP (if they bother standing here) 2%
    OTH 3%

    Chuka should be increasing his majority definitely, as he’s popular around here, but there are still rather affluent bits of the constituency (including the bit I live in) that I don’t think will bring themselves to vote Labour (although not my family, I myself can’t vote thanks to Clegg’s inability to get any decent bits of his manifesto into the coalition), hence the partial preservation of the Lib Dem vote and quite a good Green result.

    Anyway prove me wrong. I’d rather predict my own constituency than go around predicting ones hundreds of miles away from me I know nothing about as my first post here.

  7. Main party candidates:

    Con: Kim Caddy
    Lab: Chuka Umunna
    LD: Amna Ahmed
    UKIP: Bruce Machan
    Greens: Jonathan Bartley

  8. Did anyone watch that Newsnight segment last night which ran a hypothetical “what if” scenario? Yesterday they explored what the aftermath of the Tories winning most seats but falling short of a majority might look like (Monday had a similar one on Labour as the largest party).

    One of the points it imagined was that Labour would elect Chuka Umunna as new leader, having kicked Ed Miliband out.

    Is he still being tipped for leadership in the future?

  9. I think so. It would be fascinating to see how a BME leader would do on the opinion polls compared to the other candidates in a leadership election(Diane not being well liked at all and having no chance of winning dilutes any polls taken in 2010 for analysing how race affects a candidates chances of being PM.). And if they win the leadership battle, in the subsequent opinion polls for the next election. I wonder if Britain is ready to elect a non- white PM. I suspect Labour Party members are ready for a BME leader through.

  10. BME isn’t the issue…the issue is that Chukka Umunna is universally regarded as a complete and utter cock. Unfortunately for those of us who wish Labour to lose elections, they would not be stupid enough to elect Umunna, who would make Ed Miliband look positively Churchillian in comparison. He is not popular with MPs (too preening, shallow and ambitious), and too Blairite for the unions. He would need a North Korean style majority in the constituency section to win, and he won’t get that.

    My hunch is that the next Labour leader after Miliband will be a woman.

  11. who? Yvette Cooper? Rachel Reeves?

  12. PS I predicted on these pages before the 2010 election that Ed Miliband would be the next Labour leader
    (I did get quite a few scoffs, to say the least)

  13. “who? Yvette Cooper? Rachel Reeves?”

    Could be them or any one of a number of others….Berger, Creasy, Kendall etc

    It’s just as hard to think of an electable male….I think Burnham would do pretty well this time, a much more authentic working class northerner than Miliband.

  14. I do agree the next Leader is likely to be female. I would say Berger and Creasy are both too young if it’s a leadership election this year and neither are in the shadow cabinet. Yvette Copper does seem the most likely leader through and I think she is quite popular among voters as a whole. However if Labour are the government this time she may well be rather more unpopular and out of favour come the next leadership change, being heavily involved in a previous government is not always the best for a leadership battle of any party. Then Berger and Creasy would stand more of a chance.

  15. I can see Burnham getting it, as he has genuine links to the grassroots that mili palpably has not.

    I still expect mili to limp home. I am struck that the media is jumping on the isolated polls where the tories are in the lead and ignoring the others…this reminds me of the republican/democrat race in the presidential election of 2012….all the hype and attention was paid to the odd poll that romney was in the lead.

    I have to say the hayward thing about the “wrong” polls worried me. It’s exactly what the republicans started to say as the election got nearer and they were still behind. If the tories are out of office, the hayward intervention marks the time when it should have been apparent that they would.

    to recap, there have already been 26 polls in 2015, the tories have been ahead in 3 of them, there have been 5 ties, and labour have led in 18….of course, the attention of the media and blogosphere has been rivetted on the polls 2 polls which showed the tories ahead by more than 1 point.

    There may well be movement, if the green surge continues.

  16. “I still expect mili to limp home.”

    I can’t see how anyone can think otherwise. Even Peter Kellner agrees Miliband would become PM on his very optimistic Tory scenario. In simple terms, no-one will work with David Cameron to give him the votes he needs to govern, even if he’s ahead on seats. Miliband can string together a ragbag confidence & supply deal even if he’s behind on seats.

    You’re right the media are exceptionally lazy on this. Probably deluding themselves because they don’t want to pay the mansion tax.

  17. Yvette Cooper is about the only woman I could envisage becoming leader.

    Stella Creasy hasn’t been around long enough, ditto Rachel Reeves. Possibly in the future.

    Of the senior women MPs, Harriett Harman is over 60 and would be slaughtered by the media given her condescending views. Caroline Flint is out of the question.

  18. HH,

    I think the lib dems might just keep the coalition together, so I am marginally less certain than you, but i think a) it’s unlikely that the tories will win more seats and b) having just won more that they could get a deal to secure themselves in govt. so, yes, unlikely but not impossible in my view.

  19. I have to agree with Hemmelig… (a dangerous trend developing) that no-one will work with Cameron (maybe the DUP?)..

    A shell-shocked LibDemmery (except for Cleggers himself) would not vote en masse for another dose of Tory coalition.. the beads and mirrors would have to be way more than we got last time..

    There is a school of thought that the party needs a period of sackcloth and ashes and that would not be provided by more Tory “hair of the dog that bit you”…

  20. “I have to agree with Hemmelig… (a dangerous trend developing) that no-one will work with Cameron (maybe the DUP?)..”

    For the Tories to need only the DUP, they need to INCREASE their seat total. =Not going to happen.

    Sherlock Holmes said that once you have eliminated the impossible the only scenario left, however implausible it sounds, is the answer to the mystery. However implausible it sounds, Ed Miliband will be Prime Minister.

  21. “no-one will work with David Cameron to give him the votes he needs to govern, even if he’s ahead on seats”

    I don’t really disagree with this, though stranger things have happened at sea…

    the lib dems have been very strange this parliament. I thought they would have the lucidity to ditch clegg ahead of May 2015, but i can’t see how he continues post then. Farron the bookies’ favourite by quite some way won’t prop up dave in number 10….
    having said that, will the lib dems ditch clegg in may?

  22. A Con-Lib Dem coalition won’t have the numbers even if both parties miraculously agree to one. Let’s say there are 300 Con seats and 35 Lib Dem….definitely close to a best case IMO. That gives a majority of 20 or so. The government could be defeated on pretty much all controversial votes by a combination of a few troublemakers on the Lib Dem left (Andrew George, Bob Russell, Tim Farron etc) and a few troublemakers on the Tory right (Bone, Dorries etc). It’s a complete non-starter IMO….the biggest non-starter of the lot being that Clegg would probably have to remain party leader. Farron would definitely not wear such a deal.

  23. I am positing Dorothy Thornhill for Leader!

  24. Umunna lacks the grit required to be a good leader. He’s also amongst the most political of politicians: an ever increasing ‘out of office’ reply to his e-mails; an ever growing media profile.

    He is popular because he professes to be Joe Ordinary: a mirror image of his constituents especially in the Brixton heartland. But his roots are a million miles away from the common man or woman. And he lacks the sincerity of connection of his predecessor, Keith Hill MP.

    Locally, there does not seem to be a good deal of choice in terms of a replacement. The Tories are promoting a Yummy Mummy who may pick up votes from those who have turned Tooting Commons (yes, this is in Lambeth) in to a playground and outdoor gym.

    If you are looking for someone who will really pick up on constituents’ interests, the field is depressingly narrow. On the positive side, Umunna does – eventually – pick up his mail and has responded. But – ever the politician – he spouts ‘equality’ on issues that are not about equality at all thus satisfying the PC brigade and the establishment but further eroding the moral backbone of this country.

    I wait and see who shows up to represent us in spring.

  25. I live in the constituency and have already noticed a significantly greater presence of Green campaigners going door-to-door and speaking to people on the weekend. The Greens seem to have an excellent local network of supporters and volunteers.

    I suspect that the Lib Dems will hemorrhage votes to the Greens and to Labour and on that basis I predict that Chuka will substantially increase his majority in Streatham in May 2015.

  26. Chukka puts his big foot in a pile of horse manure again, this time for moaning that the suicide on the line which messed up the trains out of Victoria last night wouldn’t have happened under Labour, when the railway company would be renationalised.

    As luck was have it I was stuck on Victoria station last night at the same time as the great Chukka, though didn’t notice him. Actually it wasn’t all that bad as train nightmares go (most of us Londoners have seen much worse). This guy really should engage his brain before his mouth. I seriously don’t think he’ll make the top rank as a Labour minister let alone ever be leader, he’s far too gaffe prone.

  27. “I live in the constituency and have already noticed a significantly greater presence of Green campaigners going door-to-door and speaking to people on the weekend. The Greens seem to have an excellent local network of supporters and volunteers.”

    Not surprising. This would probably rank in the Greens’ top 25 best prospects in the medium to long-term.

  28. The Green candidate here stood in the 2012 London Assembly elections. I’ve seen him on TV discussion shows like the Big Questions which always seems to bring in a portion of weirdos as guests. He never struck me as being particularly nutty, just your standard lefty.

    He apparently founded a Christian think-tank.

  29. So Labour are going to stop people committing suicide!

  30. as it happens, the samaritans’ founder, chad varah, stood in my area as an independent in a euro by-election in 1979. and what is the link between the by-elections at birmingham northfield in 1982 & eastleigh in 1994?

  31. “So Labour are going to stop people committing suicide!”

    He assumed the delays were down to the incompetence of the rail company even though the station indicators were full of large notices about the suicide. Not sure I am happy about a person running the country when they can’t even read a station indicator board.

  32. They were caused by the suicide of the incumbent. (Was n’t being flippant about tragedy but that’s the way the post read.)

  33. Indeed. Or the connection between Julie Kirkbride and her 3 Tory ‘bfs’ involved in scandals.

  34. The Greens certainly are putting in an intensive effort, with work in each ward. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a result similar to the council election results – bearing in mind that they only really campaigned in St Leonards in that election.
    Council election results, May 2014:
    Labour 40,604 (51%)
    LibDem 13,506 (17%)
    Green 13,173 (16.6%)
    Cons 11,896 (15%)

  35. Can really envision a strong Green second here to set up a potential gain in 2020 or 2025. Liberals are going nowhere. People in places like London are more metropolitan and from the polling I’ve seen are potentially more willing to look towards an alternative solution perhaps.

  36. Chuka does not seem to be making much effort, he has missed 3 hustings already, sending replacements such as the Lambeth council leader. More important things to do, perhaps?

  37. If the Greens finished second here I wouldn’t be surprised. I think they will be third on about 15% of the vote here. St Leonards was somewhat of a leftfield gain for us last year. We were helped by the fact it was a tight three way fight. As we were in Islington, which was a less surprising gain.

    Bartley was instrumental in the gain, although he just missed out on a seat himself. The three council candidates had worked bloody hard for a long time, taking up a huge amount of casework in the ward. They must have learnt from Lib Dem focus teams, making the campaign as local as possible.

    Even though I could imagine us being the main opposition in Streatham, I cant imagine Labour losing this seat for a very long time… if ever sadly.

  38. On another note, I imagine this will be one of 5 best Green results in London in May.

  39. The Green effort may be intensive, but they’ve not canvassed my part of the constituency yet (Brixton Hill). At least, I’ve not noticed them yet. Also looking forward to hearing from the Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol candidate.

  40. It will be interesting to see how much the Save Cressingham campaign hurts Chuka’s margins in the constituency. He must be getting worried given his latest outburst on Facebook against the residents of Cressingham Gardens, the demolition of whose homes he appears to be supporting. Their Open Letter response has had major viewings and is being picked up in the press.

  41. Hearing rumours that Chuka is in big trouble here! Would be an absolute shocker for Labour if they lose this safe seat!

  42. Clearly you heard wrong. Umunna significantly increased his majority to over 13000.

  43. Actually just about 60 votes under 14k.

  44. Thank goodness! Would have been the death knell for Labour if they lost this seat!

  45. Could Chuka be positioning himself for leadership?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/09/labours-first-step-to-regaining-power-is-to-recognise-the-mistakes-we-made?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Still think Dan Jarvis would be a much better choice. Umunna might be more Blairite, but his whole media image and gaffe proneness make him as out of touch as anyone.

    Elsewhere Blair wrote for the Observer and IMO the party would be wise to take some lessons from him:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/09/tony-blair-what-labour-must-do-next-election-ed-miliband

  46. Saw this coming from a mile away:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32706038

    He may echo the words of Mandelson, but it’s debatable if he really could do a “Blair” and reach out to those voters he describe.

    So far it’s Umunna and Kendal expressly declaring an intention to stand.

    Creasy more or less expressed an interest in deputy leadership last night.

  47. “He may echo the words of Mandelson, but it’s debatable if he really could do a “Blair” and reach out to those voters he describe.”

    I like Umunna but he simply won’t connect with Essex man/ woman – the type of voter Labour need to be competitive again (Blair was an expert at wooing these type of voters).

  48. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32748106

    Oh look, Umunna has just withdrawn his bid. That lasted three days by my count:

    “….he said in a statement that he was not comfortable with the level of pressure that came with being a leadership candidate.”

    I agree with Christian. Simply being a Blairite doesn’t guarantee you can reach out to those voters in the same way the man himself could.

    Umunna is too smug and would no doubt harm the party in the north against UKIP.

    Just pray that Tristram Hunt stays out of the race. We now currently have three women (Mary Creagh threw her hat in the ring last night) and one man contesting leadership.

  49. I’m surprised he thought he could stand without “too much scrutiny.”

    Andrew Neil questioned him last year re him altering his wiki entry and claims about Obama etc.

    He’s 36 and only ben an MP 5 years so it always amazed me that so many didn’t think he was a lightweight.

  50. It is hard to see Umunna having much appeal at all outside London.

    None of the surviving candidates look like having a very broad appeal either, though I think Umunna was the worst in that regard.

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