Tooting

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22421 (41.9%)
Labour: 25263 (47.2%)
Lib Dem: 2107 (3.9%)
Green: 2201 (4.1%)
UKIP: 1537 (2.9%)
MAJORITY: 2842 (5.3%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Tooting, Earlsfield, Balham.

Profile: A traditionally working class area, Tooting is the more Labour inclined part of the constituency and has a significant ethnic minority community. In both Earlsfield and Balham though attractive Victorian housing and good transport links have seen house prices forced up as middle class professionals move in. The seat includes Wandsworth Common.

Politics: The most Labour inclined of the three seats that make up the Conservative`s "flagship borough" of Wandsworth. While Wandsworth is a solidly Conservative borough at a local level, all three seats fell to Labour in 1997. Putney was regained by the Tories in 2005, Battersea in 2010, Tooting has remained Labour.


Current MP
SADIQ KHAN (Labour) Born 1970, London. Educated at Ernest Bevin School. Former Solicitor specialising in Human Rights and former Chair of Liberty. Wandsworth councillor 1994-2006. First elected as MP for Tooting in 2005. PPS to Jack Straw 2007, government whip 2007-08, Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 2008-09, Minister of State for Transport 2009-10, Shadow Justice Secretary 2010-2015. Managed Ed Miliband`s successful leadership campaign in 2010. Will contest London Mayoralty 2016.
Past Results
2010
Con: 19514 (39%)
Lab: 22038 (44%)
LDem: 7509 (15%)
UKIP: 624 (1%)
Oth: 970 (2%)
MAJ: 2524 (5%)
2005*
Con: 12533 (30%)
Lab: 17914 (43%)
LDem: 8110 (20%)
GRN: 1695 (4%)
Oth: 1316 (3%)
MAJ: 5381 (13%)
2001
Con: 9932 (26%)
Lab: 20332 (54%)
LDem: 5583 (15%)
GRN: 1744 (5%)
MAJ: 10400 (28%)
1997
Con: 12505 (27%)
Lab: 27516 (60%)
LDem: 4320 (9%)
Oth: 935 (2%)
MAJ: 15011 (33%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
DAN WATKINS (Conservative) Educated at Tiffin Grammar and Cambridge University. Entrepreneur.
SADIQ KHAN (Labour) See above.
PHILIP LING (Liberal Democrat) Born Leamington Spa. Educated at Bath University. Contested Bromsgrove 2010.
PRZEMEK SKWIRCZYNSKI (UKIP) Banker and economist.
ESTHER OBIRI-DARKO (Green) Teacher.
Links
Comments - 760 Responses on “Tooting”
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  1. Dan Watkins has been selected by the Conservatives.

  2. any information about him

  3. Did Malcolm Clarke seek re-nomination here or is he now seeking a safer constituency?

  4. I posted on the Conservative Candidates thread – he is a local entrepreneur.

    The 2010 candidate was Mark Clarke, and he has apparantly been removed from the candidates list, although someone (think it was Andrea) said he had tried to get elected onto the City of London body and failed

  5. Some interesting census statistics about Tooting

    (1) Out of the 573 English and Welsh constituencies, Tooting is home to the 15th highest proportion of employed residents working in ‘professional, technical, and scientific activities’ and the 20th highest proportion of those working in ‘information and communication’

    (2) Tooting is home to the 24th highest proportion of ‘higher managerial, professional, and administrative’ residents (18.5%) and the 7th highest proportion of ‘lower managerial, professional, and administrative’ residents (29.6%).

    (3) Tooting has the 2nd greatest proportion of 25-44 year old residents (44.9%).

    (4) 51.4% of Tooting’s residents have Level 4 Qualifications and above- the 10th highest proportion. The next largest group was of those residents with no qualifications at all (12.2%, which is nevertheless below the London and English/Welsh averages).

    This may simply confirm what others already knew but I still think it is interesting to see the figures in black and white.

  6. Not sure I do quite follow – a middle class left puts the ceiling on the Tories, tory?

  7. I wasn’t trying to draw many conclusions as it happens, JJB. I was just putting the data out there and encouraging others with more local knowledge than me to respond. I nevertheless find it interesting that Labour did pretty well here in 2010- given that you have quite a strong private sector-dominated middle-class living here- in fact in certain respects the demographics are very similar to neighbouring Battersea (which in fact has the highest proportion of 25-44 year olds, narrowly pipping Tooting to the post).

  8. I haven’t had a proper look at the Tooting area for some time although I do pass through Earlsfield every working day.

    There are some Labour wards here where in the local elections Labour would have slightly strengthened their presence on the same day as the General Election turnout in 2010.

    Furzedown can quite easily vote Tory in a local election turnout – I think it has some nice large Victorian houses, in quiet roads north of the Town Centre.
    There is some foreign teaching/education/ perhaps FO establishment there where they apparently used to serve nothing else in the canteen apart from hamburgers and chips – Monday to Friday.

    Graveney I think is by far the weakest Tory ward in the Borough which oddly retained some Lib Dem presence aswell as strong Labour votes even in the best Tory local years.

    I suspect Tooting, as the figures show, has a pretty high number of private sector Tory voting professionals but it also has rather more inner city type characteristics in parts of the area – despite being in Wandsworth’s south, which make the seat difficult for the Tories to crack, but they probably will do eventually.

    Earlsfield is quite a success for them – although the local share was down in 2010 because the Lib Dems I think didn’t even contest it in 2006.

  9. I hope one day in Twickenham we can demoralise Gloy so much they don’t even contest seats –
    I’ll put my feet up then.

  10. Tooting was considered by many to be a candidate for the only Tory gain in 1992 following the swing in their direction in 1987. In the event that honour/dishonour went to Aberdeen South.

  11. It is a bit odd that the Tories managed to lead in the Tooting constituency in 1982 despite actually losing a few points in Wandsworth compared to 1978.
    I know the boundaries were different then but I cannot recall whether they made much difference.

    It wasn’t really until 1986 when the Tories held Wandsworth against the national swing that it started diverging away from national trends and staying Conservative almost whatever is thrown at the party nationally

  12. @Joe James B

    Wasn’t the “Shirley-mandering” seen in Westminster City Council, following what was happening in Wandsworth – the then Council Leaders of Wandsworth Christopher Chope and Sir Paul Beresford are still MPs. Not in a partisan way, but would love to find out what they did to alter Wandsworth (and Westminster, which has been detailed in many places) and the decisions taken etc.

  13. Unfortunately, Dan Watkins is a very weak candidate from the Conservatives. According to Conversatives I know, Mark Clarke was a disaster of a candidate and if he had been better they could have won last time.

    The problem for those of us Tooting is that there’s a large middle ground in the constituency that neither the Conservatives nor Labour go after.

    The Labour organisation is dominated by visible ethnic minority voters and old English working class voters, both of which groups are a diminishing presence in the constituency.

    The Conservative organisation is white English middle class and completely insensitive to anyone else. Our local Conservative councillors organised a meeting in a pub on the evening of Eid, in a ward that is 20% Muslim.

    The LibDems were squeezed in Tooting in 2010 as the seat as seen as a marginal. However, you’ll note that the LibDem vote is still twice what it was in 1992. The same effect can be seen in Streatham which, being in Lambeth rather than Wandsworth, has resulted in the LibDems overtaking in the Conservatives in a seat that was Conservative twenty years ago.

    I think the Conservatives will have a better chance in Tooting in 2015 relative to the national result. UKIP is a negligible presence and the seat itself has a demographic that is very unfriendly to UKIP – only 10% over 65 and only 50% white English. Tooting is gentrifying all the time.

    The problem for the Conservatives is that their “mood music” doesn’t suit a big chunk of the population who would be open to voting Conservative. A candidate like Mark Watkins advertising his association with CAMRA (i.e. campaign for real ale) isn’t going to appeal here.

  14. I don’t really agree with the last bit – there are hardly any voters who would even consider voting Conservative who would have a problem with a white British candidate enjoying a pint of beer. I guess I do agree that the Tories can perhaps expect to continue to do slightly better than the national average here, but not dramatically – after all, they haven’t exactly wowed us since Tooting became a constituency in 1974, especially not in comparison with Battersea & Putney. Actually the 2010 result in some of the wards is a little ominous for the Conservatives; it was easily Labour’s best performance in Furzedown since the 70s, and one has to say that a ward which has the sort of composition that Bedford has would be safe Tory by now if it were in Battersea, instead of which Labour are still competitive there. It is interesting given how Labour is still doing in Tooting, Graveney, Furzedown and (relatively, and in general elections only) Bedford, that Wandsworth Common is now the safest Tory ward in the whole borough, which is saying a great deal. The Tories need to get their huge vote there out, and in Earlsfield & Nightingale, to stand a chance of gaining the seat, and no doubt one day in the future when Labour is unpopular enough they may finally succeed. But if anything Furzedown, Tooting & Graveney are actually strengthening demographically for Labour, and it won’t be easy for the Tories to pull it off. Certainly not in 2015 in my opinion.

  15. Im not sure that I necessarily agree with Barnaby – is it not the case that the conservative share has done very well as compared to the national average swing in most recent elections?

    The problem being more that labour have held up very strongly, with very few votes lost to the liberals.

    With a poor liberal vote leaving not much room for a squeeze, I do think the tories will outperform the national swing again.

    We won’t win in 2015, but if there is a labour minority government or a LabLib deal it will be one to watch for

  16. … in 2020 that is.

  17. “But if anything Furzedown, Tooting & Graveney are actually strengthening demographically for Labour, and it won’t be easy for the Tories to pull it off. Certainly not in 2015 in my opinion.”

    It would seem that this constituency is now much more divided. Increased gentrification in areas closer to Wandsworth and South Battersea but with the areas adjacent to Streatham becoming poorer and more Labour.

  18. exactly. As with some other London constituencies, such as Ilford N & Brentford/Isleworth, I’d contend that different parts of the constituency are trending in different directions. It MAY be however that the pro-Tory movement in the north is more pronounced than the pro-Labour movement in the south. Whether this can continue indefinitely – surely there are limits to how much stronger the Tories can get than they are already in Nightingale & Wandsworth Common wards – is another matter.

  19. Labour’s notional majority here in 1979 was 5000, in Battersea it was 7000.

  20. Yes – the swings to the Tories in 1983 were pretty much standard-issue in both constituencies. It was from 1987 that the results began to diverge, although this divergence was interrupted in the 1997 & 2001 general elections.

  21. This has become a much better tory target than Mitcham and Morden over the years though I say the best chance of the tories wininng it was last election.

    Yet again I would say Hackney North is probably better Con target than MM now.

  22. well maybe but both are hopeless of course. I know a Tory party member in Twickenham who has done more work elsewhere than in his own borough in recent years, who described to me how hard the Tories worked to try & win Lea Bridge in Hackney N from Labour, and how far away they were from making any serious impression. It’s clear that the Tories do much better in municipal elections there, especially in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish areas, than in general elections in any case.

  23. I am surprised that they hadn’t progressed from 1998 when they had 12 seats. I would have expected them over the years to take advantage of the gentrification of the south and win Haggerston and De Beaviour in 2002 maybe a partial gain in Hoxton.

  24. “I know a Tory party member in Twickenham who has done more work elsewhere than in his own borough in recent years”

    It isn’t JJB is it 😉

  25. In 1998 the Hackney Labour Party was in a terrible state. When the internecine fighting was brought to an end, the other parties were always going to have a tougher time of it.

  26. no Richard it isn’t. It isn’t a contributor to this site.

  27. The Tory performance here was not bad in 2010 – the difference is the Labour vote is strong and turns out.

  28. I’m not sure that those Labour wards in Tooting are getting poorer. I suspect that the incomes are about average for a London area of that type and the results reflect more a very loyal ethnic Labour vote from the history of settlement in that area. The housing is very similar to Bedford ward but that ward just happens to have a pocket of larger, more expensive housing.

  29. No, I don’t disagree with that. The areas in the south of the seat aren’t getting poorer; but the number of non-white voters is increasing. There are of course still many black voteres but there is a large South Indian community, which isn’t common in London. If anything, South Indians are even more loyal to Labour than the main subcontinental groups of Indian Hindus originating from the north of the country, Pakistani Muslims & Indian Sikhs.

  30. I would hope that the superb performance of the council might attract ethnic incomers to vote conservative.

  31. ‘I would hope that the superb performance of the council might attract ethnic incomers to vote conservative.’

    And I would hop that pigs might grow wings and fly to Canada but I can’t see it happening

    One of the biggest problem the Tories have in winning the ethnic vote – aside from the racist things some of theoir members saay – is their choice of ethnic minority candidates who stand for them. Notwithstanding one or two exceptions, I don’t see ethnic minority voters warming much the the likes of the self-worshipping Adam Afriyie, Euro obessesive Pritti Patel and slavery apologist Kwasi Kwarteng

    They come across and even odder than their white counterparts

  32. Sam Gyimah looks like being something of an exception perhaps – he has made quite an assured start to his career. Don’t see Shailesh Vara or Paul Uppal as being all that repellent either, although I am near-certain Uppal will lose his seat. Nadhim Zahawi is a bit of a mixture – he seems quite sensible at times, but can make surprisingly irascible comments at others. Re the pigs flying, I don’t want to seem complacent, but in general election terms I feel Tim is probably right. I do think that some of those who ticket-split in Wandsworth may well be non-white; but there’s surely no way that what Joe described as “the superb performance of the council” (obviously not a phrase I’d even dream of using re Wandsworth Council) could impact on parliamentary voting habits amongst non-white voters, and for the matter the vast majority of white voters either.

  33. ……..except of course indirectly; the demographic change which has ruined Labour’s base in the other 2 Wandsworth constituencies is of course to a very large extent a product of the policies of the council since the Tories gained control in 1978.

  34. You may not like it, and you may be right Barnaby, but the council has an unusually good reputation.

  35. ‘Sam Gyimah looks like being something of an exception perhaps’

    He was the exception I was referring to

    Uppall and Zahawi aren’t too bad and whilst she’s disliked by many Tories, I find Helen Grant relatively inoffensive

  36. “You may not like it, and you may be right Barnaby, but the council has an unusually good reputation”

    Wandsworth Council is renowned for being efficient. I’m struggling to think of a Labour Council with as good a reputation?

  37. Islington?

  38. Wandsworth Council – an inspiration for what the Tories can do in the cities.
    Lets have many more of them.

  39. Wandsworth council is renowned for having a low council tax. Its reputation on efficient service provision is somewhat more mixed.

  40. I agree with that. One response to “the council tax is very low” is “so it should be!”

  41. Wandsworth Tories have always favoured tax cuts over public services and their popularity is a natural result of the gentrification of the area that’s been happening since the 1980s

  42. Sadiq Khan seems to be in some trouble for his outspoken support for a suspected terrorist.

  43. Big article in the Sunday Times property section about the gentrification of Tooting.

    And a different article about which rough areas might be gentrified next, as I remember possibilities included Alperton, Brockley, Walthamstow and Streatham.

    Now I believe that Alperton, Brockley and Walthamstow have always been downmarket but Streaham was only a few decades ago a respectable Conservative voting area.

    At what point did Streatham become regarded as a rough area?

    And is there anywhere else in London which has seen such a fall in its social status.

  44. I lived in Streatham (at the Common) back in 2012 and was surprised by the contrasts there, having never been exposed to the area before..

    The main street with its proliferation of Somali businesses and charity shops gives a very edgy feel and yet a few blocks in you can understand why it might have been Tory-leaning so recently. I would not be surprised in the massive leisure centre development at the corner of the Common combined with the excellent rail connections don’t make this one of the briefest retreats from gentrification and it starts heading up again..

  45. “At what point did Streatham become regarded as a rough area?”

    Firstly you have to distinguish between Streatham the place and Streatham the constituency. Streatham constituency includes large parts of Brixton, and the less fashionable side of Clapham, which have been regarded as rough for decades. Since the 1983 boundary changes, progressively more of this area has been included in the Streatham seat, diluting the suburbia of Streatham proper which used to be a Conservative stronghold.

    There are still some bits of Streatham itself which aren’t that bad. It is partly a change in the type of people living there, ie. the loss of ordinary middle class white families with kids, which has seen the Tory vote evaporate. It is the case however that certain bits of Streatham have become very rough whereas they never were before.

    I would judge the changes happened mostly between 1980 and 2000, with a tipping point around the early 90s, coinciding with Lambeth council ceasing to be loony left, and people taking advantage of low property prices after the recession to move somewhere else.

    Ironically the unfashionable bit of Clapham is now gentrifying fast, and is easily the best bit of Streatham seat for the Tories now. Estate agents have been saying for years that Streatham is “the next Clapham”. It’ll never happen, partly because it isn’t on the tube.

  46. For all that

  47. The Abbeville Road area (Clapham Common ward) has been gentrified for decades now and would n’t have been during that time or now any cheaper than the parts of Clapham which are in other constituencies.

    Streatham before it went downhill was always regarded as better than Tooting despite the latter’s better communications. Certainly property prices in Tooting are still much cheaper than the rest of Wandsworth.

    As to areas which have declined in social status, definitely the areas to the south of Streatham ie in Croydon borough. Generally, certain areas in outer boroughs rather than inner.

  48. if the constituency redrawing hadn’t been ditched the situation would have looked like this:

    http://streathamlocal.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/streatham-boundary-changes-proposal-2012-470×260.jpg

    The “new”seats appear on paper to be more compact but the Tooting/Streatham construct doesn’t have as good East-West communications/cohesiveness as the current North/South arrangement with the High Street as the backbone.

    The day of reckoning has probably just been delayed until the 2019 redrawing though..

  49. Sadiq Khan has written a letter to UKIP supporters apologising for Labour’s previous stances on immigration:

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/478076/We-were-wrong-we-are-sorry-Senior-Labour-MP-Sadiq-Khan-pens-open-letter-to-Ukip-voters

  50. Is that the same Sadiq Khan who last week was demanding ‘diversity quotas’ for top jobs?

    Did he plan on giving the wwc or non-Londoners a quota?

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