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. Michael Crick, Channel 4 news: Labour insiders not impressed by any of the candidates, want another leadership election in 2018 in case whoever is elected this year proves not to be up to the job. Obviously worried about being saddled with the wrong choice for five years.

  2. Quite understandable

  3. How much worse could Burnham, Cooper, Kendall or Creagh do compared to Miliband?

  4. Umunna has just endorsed Kendall. lt’s a major boost for her – we’ll have to see if the party membership is panicky enough to elect her. Personally, l doubt it.

  5. Not sure an endorsement from Chuka is much of a boost.

    Labour’s priorities must be to re-connect in Scotland and in scores of unfashionable English towns like Telford. For all his faults, Burnham is the only contender who doesn’t sound like another Hampstead metropolitan posho.

  6. Well Cameron’s an old Etonian toff from Oxfordshire – not exactly a man of the people – but that didn’t do him any harm at the GE. Labour need to choose the candidate that looks most prime ministerial – that’s obviously Liz Lendall.

  7. Perhaps the voters prefer old-fashioned ‘toffs’ like Cameron to metropolitan types like Umunna.

  8. I was going to say exactly the same. Cameron is not an Islington metropolitan, he is an old-fashioned rural one Nation Tory. In any case, the kind of voters he has to connect with are different to those Labour need to connect with, especially with regard to Scotland.

  9. “Labour need to choose the candidate that looks most prime ministerial – that’s obviously Liz Lendall.”

    And sorry, I have to laugh out loud at that one. She looks about as prime ministerial as a rotten tomato.

  10. Choosing Liz Kendall would be effectively giving up on Scotland, which makes it very hard for Labour to form a Government without the support of the SNP.

  11. Very true.

    And despite the pre-election rhetoric from the SNP that they would align with Labour after the election, all the shenanigans about seating in the commons suggest that in reality the two parties despise one another and would find it pretty impossible to work together. Labour’s ridiculous volte face on the EU referendum will hardly endear them to the SNP either.

  12. Blairism without Blair doesn’t work. It was only his charisma and personality that could sell that policy mix to the electorate so well. No New Labour voters were voting for John Reid or Patricia Hewitt.

    That’s not to say another policy platform could not be sold to the electorate just as successfully at the right time (in fact for all Kinnock was derided at the time, a heavily-accented son of a miner would go down rather well with the electorate now) but it would need the right face to go with it.

  13. Not a bad Conservative result here – obviously no chance of winning and a net swing to Labour who also did well.
    Was this just the collapse of the LIb Dems or is there a bit of inching back ground?

  14. Mostly the latter I guess. The Lambeth side of Clapham is gentrifying quite substantially now; the Tories are probably also starting to pick up some votes in Brixton. Ironically it is their former strong wards in the south of the seat where they now have probably the least potential to recover.

  15. Ive lived round here years and I reckon Chucker Umuners a goner the next election. Its getting real posh even in roads in Brickston were it was rough afew years back. Clappams so fullof torys they’ll probably win next time.

    Yours

    Barry Trout

  16. With a Labour majority of almost 28%, and with not enough Lib Dem voters left to tactically vote Conservative? I honestly do not think so. Even substantial gentrification in Battersea in the 1987-1992 period could not produce a swing anywhere near 14% from Labour to Conservative for the 1992 general election!

  17. Gloy,
    Why have you changed your name and become a Tory supporter?

  18. If this seat ever returns to the Tories it won’t be for a awful long time. I do think Labour need to keep a careful eye on Vauxhall though (especially after Kate Hoey goes) particularly if the seat gains Clapham Common or merges with part of Battersea.

  19. If there is a 50/50 cross border seat that doesnt take in Latchmere from Battersea then the tories would likely win.

  20. This seems to be a safe Labour seat due to demographic change.

    Interestingly I do think the incumbent MP may well turn out to be the king across the water to Jeremy Corbyn. Today’s shadow cabinet changes and the method of departure for Chuka Umunna shows a degree of maturity in that instead of just saying NO, he instead sought policy differences that whilst remaining unresolved give him an honourable way out. Contrast this to some of the others who just quit and it shows he is thinking of the future.

    I would say however that the JC victory of 12/09/2015 may well have been brought about by Umunna dropping out for pretty spurious reasons. The infamous JC nomination on charitable grounds would never have taken place if the Tristram Hunts or Chuka Umunna of the labour party had displayed more organisation and forward thinking of the best candidate to win. The real reason I believe Umunna brought his bid to an end was the number of seats Labour won in May 2015, which means that apart from an exceptional number of games in 2020 Labour will not be forming a stable and coherent government for some time. In other words he withdrew because he was frightened of being defined by a poor potential result in 2020.

    2020 is not a forgone conclusion either way as we live in very uncertain economic times. But the election of JC may not be the end of labour that some in the media portray. I think if JC fails and a moderate standard bearer such as Umunna wins the leadership in a second leadership election it could propel labour back into contention in a way that is completely unexpected and unpredictable. For the membership of the Labour party may have changed but the Parliamentary Labour party has not as yet undergone some dramatic leftward shift overnight.

  21. “Interestingly I do think the incumbent MP may well turn out to be the king across the water to Jeremy Corbyn.”

    No chance. Too many skeletons in Chuka’s closet. In some ways eerily similar to Portillo in 2001, he’s had his one chance and blown it. As with Portillo he may well get bored and leave politics.

  22. “The real reason I believe Umunna brought his bid to an end was the number of seats Labour won in May 2015”

    Cobblers. It was because the tabloids were about to print something explosive.

  23. Hemmelig: in that case why wouldn’t they have gone ahead and printed anyway?

  24. Who knows. Risk of being sued probably, given that one of the stories involved someone considerably more powerful than Umunna. Chuka most likely realised that being a leadership candidate whilst imposing injunctions on the press was hardly going to lead to success. At least from the people I know who are close to the London Labour party, this is pretty common knowledge.

  25. Hemmelig- please could you at least hint at to what this juicy gossip is? Now I’m intrigued (although not surprised…he’s dreadfully smarmy).

  26. Well, especially as Chuka’s “girlfriend” is a lawyer….I don’t want to get Anthony sued.

  27. Fair enough. Got it ;-), thanks.

    On a completely unrelated point (that has nothing to Chuka Ummuna), I think Britain would be fine, for the most part, with an openly gay leader of a political party. But I really must stress that this comment has nothing to do with Chuka whatsoever.

  28. Totally agree. Britain would undoubtedly be fine with someone like Ben Bradshaw or Nick Boles as PM. Chuka made two horrendous mistakes at the start of his campaign which make this a different case, not just being pictured awkwardly holding hands with that poor girl but, more seriously, being interviewed on a sofa next to the prince of darkness himself. And with that I’ll say no more.

  29. Dear god. Chuka could do so much better.

    (In his choice of ties I mean. Of course).

    Final word on the subject- yes, I felt terribly sorry for that lady too. She looked so nervous and awkward (understandably).

  30. I get fed up hearing about whether someone is gay or not (or another category). I don’t mind what they are and it obviously doesn’t affect their abilities in any way, but I just think that sort of thing should remain private if possible.

  31. I was talking in general of course with that last post, not referring to anyone in particular.

  32. Andy- a fair enough point. You should reserve your scorn for the media however (who still seem to find stories regarding public figures homosexuality titillating even if their readers don’t) rather than the public figures themselves.

  33. I tend to agree, though I’ve got equal scorn for those who turn into boring gay obsessives to the exclusion of everything else. I’m thinking in particular of the likes of Elton John. In the 1980s I thought he was a really great musician, today he’s frankly an embarrassing freak show.

  34. ” I’ve got equal scorn for those who turn into boring gay obsessives”

    Homophobe

  35. ‘Risk of being sued probably, given that one of the stories involved someone considerably more powerful than Umunna’

    The risk of being sued hasn’t stopped them before

    If they are willing to hack into the voice mails of murdered school girls, I think printing a story about the private life of front-bench Labour politician – even if it is fictitious – is relatively mild

    And if they did get sued, they’d just nobble the jury and/or the judge in the way they so obviously have in all the criminal trials they have faced over the past few years, nearly all of which have resulted in collapsed cases or not guilty verdicts

    The public are still in the dark about precisely how much power the press has – especially the tabloid press

  36. Chuka Umanna bottled it in the Labour leadership contest, for whatever reason. His chance has gone now. Let’s forget him. This seat is safe enough for him to bumble along on the back benches for quite a while if he wants to; but he has about as much chance of advancement as Liz Kendall, who is roughly of the same age and has similar parliamentary (in)experience.

  37. I basically agree, though worth mentioning that the boundary changes are likely to see Chuka and Sadiq Khan (or his successor) fighting it out to be selected for a Streatham & Tooting seat.

    Liz Kendall is a fair bit older than Chuka IIRC, not far off 10 years I’m guessing.

  38. Umunna 1978
    Kendall 1971

    If they propose the same constituencies of the aborted review and the elctorates have not changed much and the Labour rules to define territorial claim don’t change (40% of your electorate going into the new seat) it would be something like this:

    Brixton: Hoey or Hayes
    Clapham and Streatham: Umunna
    Deptford and Rotherhithe: Foxcroft
    Greenwich and Lewisham Central: Alexander or Pennycook
    Lewisham South: Dowd or Alexander
    Bermondsey and South Bank: Coyle
    Dulwich and Peckham: Harriet
    Balham and Tooting: Khan (but it would be a Tory seat)
    Croydon North: Reed

    Some territorial claims were by a whisker (41-42%), hence, some of them could change with a new freeze date.

  39. “Balham and Tooting: Khan (but it would be a Tory seat)”

    If Khan becomes Mayor of London next year then he would not be standing here in 2020.

  40. If he does lose the mayoralty I wonder what Khan would do. Whether he would attempt to win a notional Tory seat, retire after the embarrassment of losing the mayoralty or find a safe Labour seat elsewhere. If Khan fails to become London mayor his political future looks bleak indeed.

  41. The fallout from the General Election is beginning to sort out which of the many Labour MPs with inadequate experience outside a professional political career can really “hack it”. Many of them will fade from view, Umunna and Khan very possibly amongst them.

  42. Red tide a’rising?

    A memo leaked to the Evening Standard has revealed the scale of Labour’s new support in London after Corbyn’s election. The report says there have been 872 new membership applications in Harriet Harman’s Peckham constituency; 659 in Chuka Umunna’s Streatham constituency party; 740 in David Lammy’s Tottenham constituency; and 725 in Walthamstow, currently held by Stella Creasy.

  43. Some of the “predictions” above (15th September) about Sadiq Khan’s future prospects are hilarious to read now.

  44. It’s often easy to say that when looking back

  45. Ummuna has stated that he would be ready to stand for the leadership if there is a vacancy (part 2). I wonder what’s going on. Perhaps the allegedly ‘salacious’ revealations about his private life will be left alone by the tabloids. Or perhaps that was all bullshit to begin with. Who knows.

  46. This seat becomes a highly charming three borough seat containing bits of Lambeth, Merton and Croydon…

  47. They say they cant but I’ve always said the BC seem pretty lax about enforcing their own rules…

  48. They also seem to have split wards where such splits were unnecessary and not split wards where they very much are necessary…

  49. Chuka, you had your chance, you withdrew from the contest over media pressure, you’re never getting another shot.

    Labour’s very own Andrea Leadsom…

  50. A Parliamentary group has recommended that immigrants should have learnt English to arrive in the UK.

    Chuka, who chairs the social cohesion committee of MPs and Peers said, “We have a group of citizens here currently who are leading parallel lives.”

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