Sutton & Cheam

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20732 (41.5%)
Labour: 5546 (11.1%)
Lib Dem: 16811 (33.7%)
Green: 1051 (2.1%)
UKIP: 5341 (10.7%)
NHA: 345 (0.7%)
TUSC: 79 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 3921 (7.9%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Sutton, Cheam.

Profile: A solidly middle-class suburban seat on the south-western fringe of London.

Politics: Sutton and Cheam was won by the Liberal Democrats in 1997 when a swathe of affluent south-west London swung heavily towards the party, although this was not the first time they had been successful here - the Liberals briefly held the seat between 1972 and 1974 after winning a by-election on a huge swing. It was narrowly retained by the Liberal Democrats in 2010, probably helped by the Observer running a prominent story a couple of days before the election making (strongly denied!) claims that the Conservative candidate, Philippa Stroud, had once founded a church that offered to cure homosexuals. In 2015 it was regained by the Conservatives.

Current MP
PAUL SCULLY (Conservative) Former public affairs consultant. Sutton councillor 2006-2010. First elected as MP for Sutton & Cheam in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 20548 (42%)
Lab: 3376 (7%)
LDem: 22156 (46%)
BNP: 1014 (2%)
Oth: 1414 (3%)
MAJ: 1608 (3%)
Con: 16922 (40%)
Lab: 4954 (12%)
LDem: 19768 (47%)
Oth: 288 (1%)
MAJ: 2846 (7%)
Con: 15078 (38%)
Lab: 5263 (13%)
LDem: 19382 (49%)
MAJ: 4304 (11%)
Con: 17822 (38%)
Lab: 7280 (15%)
LDem: 19919 (42%)
Oth: 287 (1%)
MAJ: 2097 (4%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PAUL SCULLY (Conservative) Public affairs consultant. Sutton councillor 2006-2010.
EMILY BROTHERS (Labour) Head of policy for equalities and human rights commisson.
PAUL BURSTOW (Liberal Democrat) Born 1962, Carshalton. Educated at Carshalton College and South Bank Polytechnic. Campaigns officer of the Association of Lib Dem Councillors. Sutton councillor 1986-2002. Contested Sutton and Cheam 1992. MP for Sutton and Cheam 1997 to 2015. Lib Dem Chief Whip 2006-2010. Minister of State for Care Services 2010-2012.
ANGUS DALGLEISH (UKIP) Born 1950, Harrow. Educated at Harrow County School for Boys and University College London. Consultant oncologist.
MAEVE TOMLINSON (Green) Educated at University of Arts London. Cycle instructor.
DAVE ASH (NHA) Technical manager.
Comments - 279 Responses on “Sutton & Cheam”
  1. I like to have a laugh at my own expense on here by looking back at what turned out to be some ludicrous predictions on my part ages ago for the election just gone…

  2. you’re not the only one

    but still 4% swing and stupendous momentum 2020 will see this seat return a yellowy orangey tingy

  3. tingey even

  4. Good one.

  5. Leave doing pretty well in Outer London. Huge wins in Barking and Bexley and now a reasonably comfortable win here.

  6. Sutton and Cheam CLP nominates Corbyn 32-11.

  7. I wonder if the Liberal Democrats or even Labour could potentially win Sutton and Cheam in the future. Figures have shown that many wards had become more deprived between 2004 and 2010. It appears that the London Borough of Sutton is experiencing a decline like many other outer boroughs.

    I use to live here and the area could always be characterised as a nice leafy lower-middle class area. Nowadays Sutton is very run-down and has definitely experienced a decline. It seems to resemble more of a mini Croydon. Many people I know from the area have moved away, many into Surrey.

    Cheam and Belmont still come across as nice desirable middle-class Surrey/SW London neighbourhoods, which could ensure that the Tories remain competitive. However lots of areas in the borough have become more deprived.

  8. Didn’t the Boundary Review stick a bit of Walthamstow into C&WG? That would help Labour.

  9. I may be wrong but I just don’t see a Labour gain in Chipping Barnet, except in a 1997/2001 style landslide. There is a bit of suburban decline in the south east of the seat – wards proposed to be transferred to Finchley and Southgate in the boundary review, incidentally – but the core of seat remains as Tory as ever and, knowing the area as I do, I just don’t see it as credible that those areas will trend towards Labour any time soon. Plus there is also some quite substantial gentrification going on in parts of the seat – particularly Underhill ward where the Dollis Valley sink estate is being demolished and controversially eplaced by a much nicer development likely to be mainly middle class.

  10. @maxim I am from South West London so I have a good understanding of the area.

    The Labour vote is mainly low because of tactical voting for the Liberal Democrats from Labour voters. Without the Liberal Democrats, Labour could be on around 20-25% (similar to other Tory outer suburbs seats). Labour is definitely not going to win in 2020 here, but if support for the Liberal Democrats falls further I could see Labour becoming more competitive. If the so called Libdem come back is real, they could probably win this back again easily.

  11. The only seats to change hands in 2020 in this part of the world will probably be Croydon Central, Tooting, Brentford and Isleworth and Twickenham. Though it’s interesting to discuss how demographics changes in London might change its political landscape. The 2020 is likely to be won or lose in the Northern and Midlands marginals.

    Also I feel seats such as Chipping Barnet, Chingford and Woodford etc could be winnable for Labour in the future. However this will only be achievable in a 1997/2001 type result (which seems unlikely in the foreseeable future).

  12. @James Sutton and Cheam has the lowest child poverty rate in London. It would rapidly have to turn demographcally into Morden for Labour to stand a remote chance in this seat. The less affluent parts of the seat are far too white van man/UKIP/thatcherite to ever vote Labour. Apart from Sutton Central the Labour vote is absolutley abysmal. Carshalton and Wallington could be won in years like 1997 and 2001. One significant factor is to why Sutton would never go Labour is that it voted LEAVE.

    Kingston and Surbiton would be a better Labour prospect in my opinion, it’s wealthier but has more run down areas like Norbiton and Tolworth, it also has a university.

  13. The Labour vote if anything, is likely to go down not up in 2020 in this area and in Carshalton and Wallington. Corbyn is toxic in this borough. ditto Bexley and Havering

  14. I agree that the less affluent parts of the borough can be described as more ‘white van man’. However these less affluent parts of Sutton have become a lot more diverse and multicultural in the recent years. Nowadays Sutton feels a lot more like London than a Surrey town. Consequently I wonder if this will disadvantage the Tories in the future.

    I’m surprised Sutton voted out considering nearby Croydon, Epsom and Bromley all vote remain. However I have heard that the Sutton and Cheam seat did narrowly vote in. High leads for leave in the north of the borough probably swung it for Leave overall.

  15. @Maxim Parr-Reid I agree that the Labour vote will go up a fair bit in the following seats in the next 20 years but will come nowhere near winning them

    Croydon South
    Bromley and Chislehurst
    Epsom and Ewell

    Yes Sutton and Cheam is becoming more multicultural however this might be like in Harrow, aspirational Asian vote which could actually Conservative leaning.

  16. Labours potential in Sutton very overestimated. Labour did win the Carshalton GLC seat narrowly in 1973, bear in mind they almost won Twickenham and Chislehurst that year too. But in both general elections in 1974 Carshalton wasn’t particularly marginal to Labour, which points to that Labour would only win Carshalton in a landslide Labour year.

  17. @maxim I should have made it clearer. They will be the the bellwether seats in London. If the Tories do very well in 2020 I can see them winning those seats and holding onto Croydon Central. If the Tory vote remains the same or declines, losing Croydon Central is likely.

    It’s interesting how the old doughnut effect is slowly ending in London.

    @surrey politics I agree with the following apart from Epsom and Ewell. The combined Tory and UKIP vote share is 70%+. It remains a solidly middle class constituency with lots of well-off pensioners and London commuters. The only things which may help Labour is that Epsom and Ewell voted Remain and all the students from the art university and drama school. Other than other it seems a Tory friendly seat.

  18. @james

    Re: Epsom and Ewell

    I agree, just I think the LDs will become irrelevant here which will help Labour in the student areas and the council estate areas in the West, Labour could do okay here (for an affluent seat) in a good year, yes they would still be 7,000 odd behind the tories at best.

  19. “Nowadays Sutton is very run-down and has definitely experienced a decline. It seems to resemble more of a mini Croydon. Many people I know from the area have moved away, many into Surrey. ”

    Do you mean the HS or wider area? Agree it is now more London than Surrey, but I would say the High Street is actually now improving with much new development after years of decline (in common with a lot of suburban High Streets and thanks to competition from Kingston, Croydon and London). The Suttion Central area was always relatively working-class with labour potential (indeed, the old wards there voted Labour in the 1970s).

    The rest of the Borough is stil pretty leafy and affluent and (unlike Croydon) there are no tracts of serious poverty. It also (like Kingtson and Bromley and unlike Croydon) has very good schools (still has Grammar Schools for instance).

    I grew up in the wider area in the 90s and now live in Sutton so know it well. The main demographic change I would say is a tranche of incoming Asians (primarily Hindu Indian) who like the suburban feel and the schools. Not exactly a harbinger of decline.

  20. Have to say I agree 100% with the above comment. I also know Sutton borough pretty well and for the most part it remains the nice leafy suburb it always was. When you drive across the border into Carshalton from Waddon / Broadgreen in Croydon you get a palpable feeling that the area around you has just got so much nicer….I’ve been doing that for 20 years and it still feels exactly the same. No way is Sutton turning into Croydon (yet).

  21. Unique for London there is actually potential for Labour to lose their deposit in these seats because of Corbyn’s politics. Kingston and Twickenham have student vote unlike Sutton.

  22. I go with Con Hold 10,000 maj.

    Sutton and Cheam is more like Orpington than Richmond Park

  23. ‘Sutton and Cheam is more like Orpington than Richmond Park’

    I think that’s right

    A better comparison might be Epsom & Ewell with Epsom/Sutton being a sort of mini Croydon, with Ewell/Cheam being much more middle class

    The Epsom & Ewell vote was one of the Remain votes that surprised me most

  24. I think this will go Lib Dem by 6-8,000 but I’m still nervious as it would have been better to have had a template where the Lib Dems could come out for Brexit in specific seats only like this one.
    In Kingston, Richomnd and Twickenham definitely need to be for remain.
    Need more paper than usual, it’s so excriting.

  25. The LD candidate here is a Muslim woman, and I honestly think that could hurt them, sad as it is to say it.

  26. “A better comparison might be Epsom & Ewell with Epsom/Sutton being a sort of mini Croydon, with Ewell/Cheam being much more middle class”

    East Ewell and Ewell Village is very much like Cheam, West Ewell is different is rather more similar to the Northern bits of Carshalton and Wallingon, there is a large council estate area called Watersedge located near Ruxley Lane hence where the name for the Ruxley ward comes from.

    Epsom remain vote is surprising considering the area is a lot like Havering and even the most affluent wards like Upminster voted leave.

  27. Labour candidate for GE2017 is Bonnie Craven.

  28. final prediction

    Conservative: 28,661
    Lib Dem: 15,775
    Labour: 4,681
    Green: 1,252

    maj: 12,886

  29. Excellent Tory performance in this constituency both at the general election and in this year’s general election.

    There is now a striking split at a local level between the 2 constituencies

    Sutton and Cheam

    Con 16
    LD 11

    Carshalton and Wallington

    LD 22
    Ind 3
    Con 2

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