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
Con: 19514 (39%)
Lab: 22038 (44%)
LDem: 7509 (15%)
UKIP: 624 (1%)
Oth: 970 (2%)
MAJ: 2524 (5%)
Con: 12533 (30%)
Lab: 17914 (43%)
LDem: 8110 (20%)
GRN: 1695 (4%)
Oth: 1316 (3%)
MAJ: 5381 (13%)
Con: 9932 (26%)
Lab: 20332 (54%)
LDem: 5583 (15%)
GRN: 1744 (5%)
MAJ: 10400 (28%)
Con: 12505 (27%)
Lab: 27516 (60%)
LDem: 4320 (9%)
Oth: 935 (2%)
MAJ: 15011 (33%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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.
Comments - 755 Responses on “Tooting”
  1. Technically, of course, she will no longer by Labour’s 100th serving female MP as Jo Cox ceased to be an MP on her death. But I’m sure she’ll reference Jo’s legacy and talk about democracy winning out in Tooting. EU referendum and other political points will be off limits and there will be none of the usual cheering you get at by-elections. Presumably the Loony and Give Me Back Elmo candidates will ditch the fancy dress.

  2. Wandsworth are usually one of the relatively early declarers at GEs so on a by-election turnout we might get something by 1am-ish?

  3. I’m hearing there are to be no speeches.

  4. That’s what’s just been on BBC London – 1am and no speeches plus minute’s silence in tribute.

  5. 42.5% turnout apparently. About standary for a by-election.

  6. Maybe times have changed since 1990: I seem to remember seeing photos of the winner of the Eastbourne by-election David Bellotti celebrating as if it were just a normal election despite the fact that the previous MP Ian Gow had been murdered.

  7. The by-election was several months after the murder, not the same day

  8. Not quite the same, of course, as the by-election was a few months after the murder.

    Grant Shapps has already tweeted that the Batley and Spen by-election should be uncontested. I’m not so sure. Competition is a fundamental part of democracy and a clean by-election would get the message across that the democracy is the winner more than a coronation in my view.

  9. Sorry wrong thread. But obviously it seems very weird today seeing that photo of the winner of the by-election celebrating in that way in the circumstances. Good that we’ve moved on from that.

  10. Worth saying also that the Eastbourne by-election came just a couple of days after Thatcher’s famously toe-curling recreation of the “Dead Parrot” sketch. I guess the Lib Dems felt like they were getting their own back. Though only 14 at the time I do remember that the result was a big shock. Eastbourne was as deeply Conservative as Kensington & Chelsea at that time.

  11. Dear god. Thatcher and the Dead Parrot sketch (a reference she of course didn’t get at all). Thanks HH, I needed a wry smile after today’s horrible event.

  12. Monty Python? Is he one of us? 🙂

  13. Mayor of Wandsworth and Returning Officer interviewed on Sky News. He says result in next hour and thinks it’s close/could go either way.

  14. Monster Raving Loonies in full fancy dress. Doesn’t seem appropriate.

  15. Facepalm. Pretty pathetic.

  16. It would also have been slightly farcical for them to come in black suits and ties and all straight faced. I suspect the only way they could win was not to turn up.

  17. Contrary to the returning officer’s comments, LabourList have called it as ‘likely to be a decisive win for Labour’

  18. Like Del Boy & Rodney turning up to that funeral dressed as Batman & Robin

  19. LabourList live blog expecting the majority to be around 6,000 (they may have made a typo there). In any case, they expect the majority to be substantially higher than they predicted.

  20. Sounds about right.

    Frustratingly just when a declaration seemed about to happen on time for once in a by-election they have found a discrepancy in the figures and are recounting the bundles. Another 25 mins.

  21. I hadn’t realised there were so many candidates.

    The Mayor sounded as if he was reading the football scores with some of those Inds polling so few votes.

  22. LAB 55.9% (+8.7)
    CON 36.1% (-5.8)
    GRN 2.6% (-1.5)
    LD 2.6% (-1.4)
    UKIP 1.6% (-1.3)

    One of the indys got five votes, Bring Me Back Elmo nine!

    About what most on here predicted – if anything, LAB majority even a little bigger. Good result for them, obviously, but there wasn’t really any reason to think this would be anything other than a comfortable hold given their strong performance in the area in May, the selection of a good candidate and the fact that Tooting is a trendy urban seat of the type Labour aren’t suffering the same problems in as they are in many other places. Dan Watkins shouldn’t be too disheartened, though I do think Tooting may be destined to be a seat that’s just out of reach.

  23. Voting figures from Radio 5 Live. :-

    Party Candidate Votes % Votes
    Labour Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (Lab) 17,894 56.01%
    Conservative Dan Watkins (Con) 11,537 36.11%
    Green Esther Obiri-Darko (Green) 830 2.60%
    Liberal Democrat Alexander Glassbrook (LD) 820 2.57%
    UKIP Elizabeth Jones (UKIP) 507 1.59%
    Christian Peoples Alliance Des Coke (Chr Peoples All) 164 0.51%
    Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope (OMRLP) 54 0.17%
    English Democrats Graham Moore (Eng Dem) 50 0.16%
    Other 2 Dr Akbar Malik (Immigrants Political Pty) 44 0.14%
    Other 1 Ankit Love (One Love Pty) 32 0.10%
    Independent Zirwa Javid (Indep) 30 0.09%
    Other 3 Dr Zia Samadani (Indep) 23 0.07%
    Other 5 Bobby Smith (Give Me Back Elmo – F4J) 9 0.03%
    Other 4 Smiley Smillie (Indep) 5 0.02%


  24. Impressive result for Labour. A real shame that it has been completely overshadowed by Jo Cox’s assassination.

    I hope Batley & Spen is uncontested. I wouldn’t feel comfortable about anyone (including the Greens) trying to gain advantage over a murder. I know that the by election is incredibly unlikely to have been one of the motivations of the murderer, but it feels very different from other by elections. I remember Gow’s assassination(I was at school)but I don’t remember whether there was any controversy about the by election?

  25. Even if the main parties decide not to contest Batley and Spen, I’m sure that the minor and fringe ones will still put up candidates, so it won’t be fully uncontested.

    I tend towards the view that we should not let terrorists undermine our democracy. The by-election should go ahead as normal.

  26. I agree. There is no reason the other parties would have to make capital over the death. If I were the local Tory Party (or any other) I’d put up a candidate and then not campaign.

    The by-election following Gow’s murder was close fought and controversial like any other, though it will have been helped by the fact it took place several months after the fact.

  27. Jack

    Tooting isn’t trendy. It is a mixture of down at heel London with added professionals who can’t afford Clapham. It might well be trendy in 10 years, but only if the housing market does not crash first. I know the seat well as I lived within a five minute walk of it for ten years and my brother lives there.

    This is a good result for Labour.

  28. Surely that doesn’t hold true if the by election is only happening BECAUSE of the terrorism?

  29. Obviously, there has to be a by election, but the main parties could show solidarity. Let minor parties stand if they want (it would be very interesting if ‘Britain First’ did, and I wouldn’t put it past them).

  30. If it was a straight fight between Labour and Britain First, it could be a contender for highest postwar by-election share of the vote.

  31. Is Smiley Smillies 5 votes a new record low for a candidate in a Parliamentary seat under universal franchise?

  32. I agree, but I will write to the local Green Party to ask that we don’t contest it.

  33. @GT: No. In the 2005 general election, Catherine Taylor-Dawson got only one vote in Cardiff North.

    Despite standing under the banner of the “Vote For Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket,” apparently it wasn’t her who cast that solitary ballot in her favour.

    Five votes is the joint-lowest number received by any candidate in a parliamentary by-election, however.

  34. No, Tooting certainly isn’t ‘trendy’. Not counting the result of last night’s by-election, the Conservatives did about the same in 2015 as they did in 1987 – 28 years previously. There is little evidence of long term trending to the Tories here in the way that there has been in neighbouring Battersea.

  35. Indeed so. It may be even more accurate to say that the Mitcham and Morden southern part of the Tooting seat has trended Labour over the years while the Wandsworth northern end has trended Tory. These more-or-less equal and opposite movements have simply cancelled each other out.

  36. ‘Tooting is too far south of the Thames to be trending Tory. Parts of the seat resemble Mitcham and Morden, and these outvote the Battersea-like areas of the seat.’

    Mitcham is quite different from Morden, which is more suburban, but you’re right in that Tooting does more closely resemble Mitcham than Battersea but the extortionate house prices ensure that the area is certainly trending Tory – as all of Wandsworth has been since the 1980s – just less so than other parts like Battersea and Balham

  37. Belfast South was also contested in 1982 after the murder of the previous MP.

  38. “Belfast South was also contested in 1982 after the murder of the previous MP.”

    The parallels between yesterday’s events and the IRA murders in the 70s-90s are weak and not very appropriate IMO.

    Though I agree that not contesting the by-election would be daft.

    As so often in life, through the veneer of sympathy, I think a lot of MPs’ reaction to this can be explained as “that could have been me”. Especially for Labour MPs, who are used to being thought of as the good guys and have never been likely targets for assassination unlike right wing unionist Tories.

  39. I frequently visit this constituency (and campaigned in the by-election, latterly doing an early morning leaflet yesterday just before the polls opened), and while I agree that there is very little which could be said to be “trendy” about the 3 solid Labour wards (Tooting, Graveney & Furzedown), it’s not difficult to find some very trendy patches in the others (Earlsfield less so than the remaining wards of Nighingale, Bedford & Wandsworth Common). The latter ward is actually the safest Tory ward in the borough now, even ahead of strongholds such as Northcote, East Putney & Thamesfield, but all 3 wards have some very upmarket areas punctuated by what one might flippantly call yummy mummy cafés. One such example is at the junction of Balham High Road & Ritherdon Road – if that little area isn’t trendy I don’t know what is.

  40. How’s your wife doing Barnaby?

  41. HH I am rather touched by your question. She is absolutely fine thank you though her arm movement has been affected by her surgery. To those of you who think ill of H.Hemmelig, can I tell you that he’s a really good bloke. Seriously.

  42. There was a Balham & Tooting seat until 1950. Of course that was before present-day gentrification of Wandsworth (the areas were then, too, in the borough of Wandsworth) and the seat was easily won by Labour. The seat was essentially merged with Wandsworth Central (which was previously held by Ernest Bevin, who however moved to Woolwich East, before dying soon after) and that seat is the nearest predecessor to the present Tooting seat. Wandsworth Central was won by the Tory Michael Hughes-Young in 1955 and 1959 but Labour won it in every election until Tooting was created in 1974. To date, Labour has held that seat even though it has often elected a plurality of Tory councillors locally.

  43. I meant “every other election” of course.

  44. BARNABY MARDER – I like H.HEMMELIG, too.

  45. Agreed, assuming the boundaries go through Allin-Khan has this as long as she wants it.

  46. @rivers True but chances are they will be altered to attempt to rectify the complete and utter mess they have made of Mitcham.

  47. Most probably


    Mark Clarke’s mistress is back it seems.

    I imagine May will want to expel these once and for all.

    “Gorge Osborne’s cocktail…” is an unfortunate Mail typo indeed in the circumstances.

  49. Conservative win

  50. If the poll movement 2015-2017 is basically UKIP to Tory then surely this could be a Lab hold?

    Especially as I imagine this was even more remain than Wandsworth as whole if that is possible. Doesn’t feel like there are enough leavers or UKIP here to replicate what is happening in the country as a whole, although demographic changes in 2 years would help the Tories.

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