West Bromwich East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 9347 (24.9%)
Labour: 18817 (50.2%)
Lib Dem: 751 (2%)
Green: 628 (1.7%)
UKIP: 7949 (21.2%)
MAJORITY: 9470 (25.3%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: West Midlands. Part of the Sandwell council area.

Main population centres: West Bromwich.

Profile: The eastern part of Sandwell, in the centre of the West Midlands conurbation and seperated from Birmingham to the east by the Sandwell Valley country park. This is mostly a gritty, working class area with high unemployment and a significant number of ethnic minority voters (most notably the Sikh community, one of the largest in the country). The south of the seat is made up of West Bromwich itself, to the north east there are some more middle-class areas around Charlmont and Grove Vale while at the far north are a number of large municipal housing developments like Yew Tree and Friar Park.

Politics:


Current MP
TOM WATSON (Labour) Born 1967. Educated at King Charles I School Kidderminster and Hull University. Former National Political Officer for the AEEU. First elected as MP for West Bromwich East in 2001. Government whip 2004-2006, Under-Secretary of state for Defence 2006. Parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office 2007-2009. Deputy Chair of the Labour party 2011-2013. Deputy leader of the Labour party since 2015. Watson was seen as a key supporter of Gordon Brown, and resigned from government in September 2006 in order to call on Tony Blair to step down as leader, in what was seen as an abortive Brownite coup. In recent years he has led the criticism of News International over the phone hacking scandal, writing a book on the scandal called Dial M for Murdoch. He served as Labours campaign head under Ed Miliband, but resigned in 2013 during controversy over Unite`s intervention in the Falkirk candidate selection.
Past Results
2010
Con: 10961 (29%)
Lab: 17657 (47%)
LDem: 4993 (13%)
BNP: 2205 (6%)
Oth: 2134 (6%)
MAJ: 6696 (18%)
2005*
Con: 8089 (23%)
Lab: 19741 (56%)
LDem: 4386 (12%)
BNP: 2329 (7%)
Oth: 967 (3%)
MAJ: 11652 (33%)
2001
Con: 8487 (26%)
Lab: 18250 (56%)
LDem: 4507 (14%)
UKIP: 835 (3%)
Oth: 585 (2%)
MAJ: 9763 (30%)
1997
Con: 10126 (24%)
Lab: 23710 (57%)
LDem: 6179 (15%)
MAJ: 13584 (33%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
OLIVIA SECCOMBE (Conservative)
TOM WATSON (Labour) See above.
FLO CLUCAS (Liberal Democrat) Former teacher. Liverpool councillor 1986-2012, Cheltenham councillor since 2014. Contested Crosby 1992, Liverpool Garston 1997, Knowsley North and Sefton East 2005, Knowsley 2010.
STEVE LATHAM (UKIP)
BARRY LIM (Green)
Links
Comments - 176 Responses on “West Bromwich East”
  1. Tom Watson has resigned from the shadow cabinet:

    http://labourlist.org/2013/07/tom-watson-resigns-from-the-shadow-cabinet/

  2. I wonder whether he’ll be Shadow Chancellor if Balls loses his seat.

  3. I doubt it, although there are far too many variables to consider when looking at Shadow Cabinet spots – not least, which party will be called upon to form it.

  4. maybe he’ll have time to go to slimming world now ha ha

  5. he has quite a lot of ground to make up before he exceeds Eric Pickles’s weight though. I did notice that Pickles was pictured having a can of Diet Coke a few days ago.

  6. Tom Watson has been reselected here for Labour.

  7. Looks look Labour could end up with 71 out of 72 seats on Sandwell council after the local elections.

    Another council which has become monolithically Labour, and Wolverhampton is heading the same way too.

  8. UKIP are contesting a majority of the Sandwell wards in this years local elections, after not fielding any candidates in 2012.

    It’s also worthy of note that their won’t be a Conservative candidate standing in the West Bromwich Central ward. Only Labour and UKIP standing.

  9. I wonder, how many other seats in the UK have two of the four cardinal directions in their name?

  10. Well that depends, are you counting places like North West Leicestershire or North East Dunbartonshire?

  11. I guess I was excluding ones that form an actual other direction/thinking of opposite ones.

  12. There used to be seats called West Ham North, West Ham South, East Ham North & East Ham South. No prizes for guessing which party held those seats from 1945 (in the case of the East Ham ones) or 1950 (West Ham) until their redrawing as Newham seats in 1974.

  13. Con candidate: Olivia Seccombe.

    http://www.oliviaseccombe.org.uk/

  14. The Lib Dem candidate here is of all people Flo Clucas, in the past a serial perennial paper candidate in the Merseyside area, a former longtime Liverpool City councillor.

  15. Labour hold – majority 9,750.

  16. Labour Hold. 10,000 majority.

  17. Tom Watson wants to be the Labour Deputy Leader. It will be the kiss of the death if he gets his wish!

  18. Why do you say that?

  19. He would repel the middle class / aspirational voters that Labour desperately need win over.

  20. Has anyone since about 1981 ever decided their vote based on who the deputy leader of a party is? The job of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is dealing with internal party matters, liaising with backbenchers and ensuring the party is fighting fit for campaigns. Watson has basically spent the last year as a kind of ultra-canvasser all across the country and would do that job very well.

  21. ” [He] would do that job very well.”

    Mr. Nameless – I hope you’re right because I honestly think the party will fall off a cliff with him in a leadership role as he just comes across as very divisive and tribal. On Twitter Phillip Collins (journalist and former Chief Speech Writer to Blair) said he’d rather have Louise Mensch as Labour Deputy Leader than Watson!!

  22. Since many people don’t even know who the prime minister is, I don’t think the identity of the deputy leader of the Labour Party is going to make much difference.

  23. I agree with Andy, I doubt electorally it will make much difference.

    Thus said, I’d avoid Tom Watson if I were Labour. I think he’s a sincere politician but I feel the Murdoch enquiry and the fact that he happened to be on the select committee dealing with it rather elevated him to a position beyond his capabilities. I just don’t think he’s all that to be honest, and Labour have got better in their ranks. If I were them I think I’d go for Liz Kendall (ideally Mary Craegh as deputy leader but she’s obviously going for the leadership as well)

  24. I seem to recall the prospect of Tony Benn being Labour Deputy scaring quite a lot of people…including a lot of Labour people…

  25. We’ve got to remember that in 2013 Tom Watson resigned from the shadow cabinet and seriously considered resigning as an MP in protest at Ed Millibands relatively modest reforms to Labours relationship with the trade unions. If he becomes deputy leader the right wing press won’t let him forget it and it’ll be like a led weight around his neck.

  26. I usually don’t take much interest in internal politics within the Labour Party, but at the moment I’m backing Andy Burnham for leader and Angela Eagle for deputy leader.

  27. Not as if my view point matters.

  28. According to Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, many Tories are donating money to Watson’s campaign to be deputy leader of Labour. Think that’s a good indicator of what will happen if Watson wins the contest?

  29. According to Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, many Tories are donating money to Watson’s campaign to be deputy leader of Labour. Lord help Labour if Watson wins the contest.

  30. According to Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, several Tory supporters are donating money to Watson’s campaign to be deputy leader of Labour. Lord help Labour if Watson wins the contest.

  31. That’s interesting. I wonder why they would do that?(!)

  32. “That’s interesting. I wonder why they would do that?(!)”

    I assume you’re being sarcastic!

  33. Yes you got it in one Christian.

  34. Tom Watson has refused to apologise for highlighting Leon Brittan.

    He stated that the real scandal was that victims had been ridiculed and belittled by Establishment figures.

    He went on to say, “It’s not al over just because a few famous people have gone to prison. It hasn’t all got out of hand just because a people in high places are now scared.”

    Simon Danzcuk has also repeated his claims against Cyril Smith, Leon Brittan and others outside the House and said if the families aren’t happy they can sue him

  35. What a ridiculous pair of self-publicists.

  36. Danzcuk of course knows very well both families are unable to sue as slander against the deceased is not actionable in law.

  37. In any case the idea that those who’ve not been found guilty of anything should feel they have to prove their innocence in the civil courts is appalling.

    Nonetheless it is an idea typical of the pitchfork waving, no smoke without fire mob that the MP for this seat has so ill advisedly become a spokesman for. The kind of people for whom the absence of evidence does not indicate no crime has been committed, just that the establishment cover up has been particularly effective.

  38. There have always been maverick MPs who take up these kind of difficult/unpopular campaigns and on occasion abuse parliamentary privilege to pursue them – remember Geoffrey Dickens and Tam Dalyell, for example. They are important for democracy. What is astonishing is that such an MP could be elected deputy leader of the Labour party. What are the odds on Watson being ousted before Corbyn?

  39. I don’t think interfering in police investigations and pursuing political witch hunts, abusing parliamentary privilege in the process, is important for democracy myself. Important for demagoguery more like.

    But then I suppose Titus Oates thought he was doing the country a favour too, in his own fevered imagination at least.

  40. Yes, on this specific case I agree.

  41. Isn’t it the case that it is solely the rape claim against the woman in the late 60’s has been dropped? The child abuse allegations remain under investigation I believe. If that’s the case, why would Watson apologise? I feel like separate issues are being cobbled together by the press to make it look like Brittan has been cleared of absolutely everything.

  42. There have been vague allegations about Leon Brittan and others swirling around the political parties for decades. I first heard of them 20 years ago and they go back way before that. I suppose what we are learning here is that the assumption that rumours being so widespread means that they must be based on something is not necessarily the case. We do have to look at abuse of parliamentary privilege in such cases I think, in view of parliament now being televised 24/7.

  43. Yes – in today’s narcissistic political culture the temptation for attention-seekers and troublemakers to abuse parliamentary privilege has never been higher.

  44. And I think we do also need to look at the issue of defaming the dead.

    Not just the paedophile allegations, but we’ve seen it in many other respects in recent years. As a fan of 70s TV, I have been appalled to witness the systematic trashing of reputations in TV “biopics”. The shows on the likes of Harry H Corbett, Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques have been proven to have been based on a tissue of lies, yet the BBC can shrug its shoulders given that the dead can’t sue.

    This is an issue which used to police itself as people generally believed in “don’t speak ill of the dead”….this clearly is no longer the case.

  45. To be emotive, should we refrain from criticising Hitler or Stalin because they are dead?

    There are very serious cases of child abuse, for instance those relating to ex-TV presenter Saville, that nobody denies and which go the the heart of the British establishment.

    Tom Watson may have got matters wrong about certain members of parliament, but even if they are not guilty of the crimes of which they have been accused they are not the sort of people I would vote for in the privacy of the ballot box.

    And why are we discussing such matters on the thread for Tom Watson rather than that for MId Sussex, which if I recollect rightly is the seat represented by Sir Nicholas Soames, the MP who raised the point of order yesterday?

  46. “To be emotive, should we refrain from criticising Hitler or Stalin because they are dead?”

    I didn’t say the dead shouldn’t be criticised, I said they shouldn’t be DEFAMED. I dare say it would be pretty impossible to defame Hitler or Stalin.

    The Savile case is at the bottom of this whole pile of hysteria, with the police and media trying to atone for their decades of turning a blind eye to him by doing the complete opposite, sometimes to a completely ridiculous extent.

    Even in the case of Savile I’m deeply uncomfortable that allegations are presented as facts, and that he can’t be given the chance to defend himself. It is a slippery slope.

  47. It certainly is, and we are already a long way down it.

    The most disturbing aspect of the current situation for me is not so much that a character like Watson goes around making these kinds of accusations, but that the proper authorities e.g. police and DPP are at best supine towards and at worst complicit in this behaviour.

    The people who are supposed to ensure due process is followed are instead allowing it to be undermined.

  48. I take your point about defaming the dead. Actually, I do think it would be possible to defame Hitler, vile vile man though he was, by saying that he was responsible for more deaths than Stalin. Hitler’s mechanisation of genocide was uniquely appalling, but my understanding is that over the period of his rule Stalin sent more people to their deaths than Hitler did.

    Saville’s case was utterly appalling (as was that of Cyril Smith). However, I am not convinced that he was at the bottom of the whole pile of hysteria. Indeed it is possible that hysteria has been defected towards these individuals, whose abuses were on a massive scale but were in the last resort were committed by individuals who came from nowhere. It is to my mind very possible that there have been more systematic abuses going back much further in time and which may have involved people at the heart of the establishment and of establishment organisations.

    The proper people to investigate such deep-seated wrongs are professional and reputable historians. The concern of the police is with the living.

    To repeat myself, it is interesting that the Point Of Order was raised yesterday by Sir Nicholas Soames, who has extensive connections with the heart of the establishment. If Sir Nicholas continues to pursue these matters diligently and without prejudice for the remainder of this Parliament he is likely to be a very busy man.

  49. Take your tin foil hat off.

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