West Ham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8146 (15.4%)
Labour: 36132 (68.4%)
Lib Dem: 1430 (2.7%)
Green: 2651 (5%)
UKIP: 3950 (7.5%)
Others: 484 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 27986 (53%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Newham council area.

Main population centres: Forest Gate, Upton Park, Plaistow, West Ham, Canning Town, Stratford.

Profile: West Ham is deeply deprived seat in the London Borough of Newham. It has one of the highest proportions of ethnic minorities of any seat in the country, and is one of the few where white people form a minority - in the 2011 census only 35% gave their ethnicity as white. Around a quarter of the population are Muslim, around a quarter are black. Parts of the area have undergone unprecedented revelopment in recent years, especially Stratford where the a huge Stratford City project includes large scale residential and commerical development, a new international railway station on the channel tunnel rail link and, most significantly, the Olympic Village and Stadium for the 2012 Olympics.

Politics: Politically Newham is normally a one party state, in the 2010 and 2014 elections every councillor elected represented the Labour party, as did the elected mayor. The large Muslim population allowed Respect to gain some support in the area and they secured second place in the 2005 general election, albeit a distant one, but failed to put forward a candidate since. In 2015 the Labour majority climbed to over fifty percent.

Current MP
LYN BROWN (Labour) Born 1960, London. Educated at Plashet Comprehensive and Whitelands College, Putney. Former social worker. Newham councillor 1988-2006. Contested Wanstead and Woodford 1992. First elected as MP for West Ham in 2005. PPS to Phil Woolas 2006-2007, PPS to John Denham 2007-2009, government whip 2009-2010.
Past Results
Con: 6888 (15%)
Lab: 29422 (63%)
LDem: 5392 (11%)
UKIP: 766 (2%)
Oth: 4483 (10%)
MAJ: 22534 (48%)
Con: 3618 (12%)
Lab: 15840 (51%)
LDem: 3364 (11%)
GRN: 894 (3%)
Oth: 7250 (23%)
MAJ: 8999 (29%)
Con: 4804 (16%)
Lab: 20449 (70%)
LDem: 2166 (7%)
GRN: 1197 (4%)
Oth: 657 (2%)
MAJ: 15645 (53%)
Con: 5037 (15%)
Lab: 24531 (73%)
LDem: 2479 (7%)
Oth: 1614 (5%)
MAJ: 19494 (58%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
FESTUS AKINBUSOYE (Conservative) Born Nigeria. Educated at St Pauls Secondary School and London College of Printing and Distributive Trades. Parliamentary assistant.
LYN BROWN (Labour) See above.
PAUL REYNOLDS (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Professor. Contested Leicestershire North West 2010.
CYDATTY BOGIE (Communities United)
Comments - 72 Responses on “West Ham”
  1. Having travelled here over the weekend I was wondering what will happen to the Labour vote here as older, more reliable, Labour voters move out and newcomers move into all the developments around the olympic park.

    It goes withut saying that this seat is poor, heavily multicultural and wholly uninspiring for the best part of it but if (and it’s a big IF) other types of folk start moving in it may give Labour some opposition….at last.

  2. It’s also too early to say whether the redevelopment will take off.

    Redevelopment of the East End has had patchy success. Compare the enormous success of Canary Wharf with the failure of attempts to redevelop the docks further east around City Airport and Beckton gas works.

    It is also always being stressed that a lot of the new property in the Olympic park will be “affordable” – probably a bad omen in terms of the redevelopment being a success.

  3. I would have thought this seat might be one where individual voter registration has some impact…on the size of the electorate rather than the result of the election, I hasten to add

  4. Probably so yes.

    Its main importance will be on the mayoral election.

  5. i think they should put a statue of christine ohurougu here

  6. Does anyone know why the Labour share increased by so much in east and West Ham in 2010?

  7. 1. Fading impact of Iraq war
    2. Massive immigration and demographic change
    3. Electoral fraud

  8. Respect got about 20% in both East and West Ham in 2005 and most of it was always going to go back to Labour.

  9. Is there a Tory controlled borough equivalent to Newham in the country that is monolithically blue, just as this one is monolithically red?

  10. Bracknell and Waverley are close

  11. Could H Hemmelig provide us with the evidence or at very least any credible allegation of ‘electoral fraud’ in West Ham & Newham? or is he just making spurious allegations the like of which have become de rigueur on this site especially if a seat is multi ethnic (read into that what you will). Odd given that this seat is super safe in any case.

    Even in Tower Hamlets where allegations of irregularities are two a penny the Met have investigated & found no evidence of allegations made on numerous occasions. Engaging in such errant nonsense does nothing but undermine faith in integrity of elections & election results by making it seem as if fraud is a feature of the system when nothing could be further from reality.

  12. quite apart from anything else, why would anyone bother to commit electoral fraud in Newham?

  13. “Could H Hemmelig provide us with the evidence or at very least any credible allegation of ‘electoral fraud’ in West Ham & Newham?”



    “Conservative party workers examined 41 addresses with eight residents or more in Newham and estimated that as many as 200 registered voters were not in fact living there.

    Council officials said they had been conducting their own checks and as a result several people registered to vote on May 3 would be deleted from the roll.”


    “quite apart from anything else, why would anyone bother to commit electoral fraud in Newham?”

    That’s a bit of a dim question Barnaby. In numerous elections in London (Mayor, GLA, European, referendums), every single vote is vital, as much so in the safe boroughs as the marginal ones.

  14. “quite apart from anything else, why would anyone bother to commit electoral fraud in Newham?”

    Good question, but it has also happened in other Labour strongholds like the inner city wards of Birmingham.

  15. It has, but in years where there was a perceived threat from other parties. Aside from the Christian People’s Alliance in Canning Town South, I’m not sure there was any threat to Newham Labour in 2010 with the virtual disappearance of Respect.

    Which isn’t to say that false entries on the register might not have remained there, just that there would have been less reason for anybody to take advantage of such entries and that the contribution of electoral fraud to the increase in the Labour vote would likely have been extremely minimal, if it was present at all.

  16. Andy JS

    The electoral fraud in Birmingham was specifically because the wards were under threat – the Liberals and the local Peoples Justice Party having won everything the previous year following the Iraq war. This threatened a lot of Muslim politicians in the Labour Party.

  17. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a very small amount of electoral fraud in every constituency — ie. a householder receiving postal votes for an entire family who aren’t interested in politics, and deciding to fill them all in himself to save them the trouble.

  18. Outside of inner city areas, the most widespread electoral fraud is undoubtedly in care homes.

  19. Agree with both of you! Wonderful how we can have a decent non-partisan conversation on this site.

  20. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a very small amount of electoral fraud in every constituency”

    I have to agree with this but I think there is a greater case of electoral fraud in Labour held seats with a high Muslim population (eg Tower Hamlets, Newham, Ilford and Walthamstow) rather than the odd housewife filling out postal votes for the whole family for one party.

    100% agree about the care homes voting.

  21. Swing to the Tories in Newham compared to 2010 locals. Labour won all of the seats again:

    Newham local elections, popular votes:

    Lab 46,882 (60.01%)
    Con 18,053 (23.11%)
    CPA 4,127 (5.28%)
    UKIP 3,299 (4.22%)
    LD 2,737 (3.50%)
    TUSC 1,887 (2.42%)
    Green 562 (0.72%)

    Changes since 2010 locals:

    Lab -0.80%
    Con +4.54%
    CPA -2.81%
    UKIP +3.90%
    LD -0.92%
    TUSC +2.42%
    Green -0.15%

    Swing, Lab to Con: 2.67%

  22. Festus Akinbusoye has been selected as Conservative candidate for West Ham:


  23. Festus Akinbusoye was selected as the Conservative Party’s candidate for West Ham. Seems a decent chap from what I’ve heard on the streets. He is of African extraction and grew up in the area. Still think he’s in for a pasting but for once it looks like the Tories are picking candidates that fit constituencies. Labour started doing this years ago. I’ve only heard good things about him and got his leaflet through just last week. Looks like he’s picking a hopeless fight with Labour run council over a car park closure in Canning Town at the mo. Robin will soon squash him



  24. This is my constituency and I think there were three reasons for the small local swing to the Tories. One reason was some of the tory candidates (especially the Green Street Wards split between this and East Ham) were community figures with some very in favour of the large mosque in West Ham which Robin Wales and the council rejected. Another reason was lower turnout compared to the last local at the same time as the general affected Labours support base more while older Conservative voters especially in the south of the borough came out at a more similar rate to four years ago. A third reason was some Labour Voters switched to Ukip to counteract Con/Labour switchers.
    Be interesting to see the swings in May here. The White and Asian Tory Vote may swing sadly away from a Black Conservative (My late Grandad, who lived in the constituency his entire life would not have voted for a Black Candidate with an obvious African Name through he voted Conservative at every election including the last) while a few black people may switch but not many. The White ex Tory vote I can see going to UKIP. Of course Lyn Brown will win the seat safely with a swing towards her( Bethnal Green next door is the only Labour seat in London which stands a chance of falling I think and only if TH first stand. More on its page through. )

  25. Some time ago Pete calculated how Newham South would have voted in the 2010 election.

    This was once an ultra safe Labour seat (previously West Ham South) that became a Lab/Con marginal in 1987.

    Some believed it was a possible Conservative gain in 1992 but according to Pete it would have reverted back to being a very safe Labour seat.

    My view is that the Conservatives vote came from two sources. White working class vote in Victorian and Edwardian terraces and expensive new docklands development. In visiting the areas much of the white working class and ‘Yuppie’ villages have become buy to let.

  26. UKIP polled 7.5%, pretty good for a constituency with its demographics:


  27. Probably boosted a percentage or two very sadly due to the Tory have an clearly identifiable non English name. UKIP was lower in many of the surrounding seats which still have slightly more WWC.

  28. I didn’t, but I’ve seen the rather predictable howls of outrage in certain papers.

    What did you think of it?

  29. So much intellectual laziness these days at the BBC. Very little of Newham is part of the “East End” as traditionally defined. The East End was defined as most of what is now Tower Hamlets, plus Hackney east of Victoria Park. Except perhaps for the slither west of Stratford, most of Newham is far too far out to be part of the traditional East End. In books from the 1940s and 50s much of the borough is considered in the same vein as Dagenham, ie part of South Essex.

  30. It was the sort of programme the BBC would probably never have broadcast between 1997 and 2010.

  31. Nevertheless, the title is misleading, bordering on totally wrong. There are plenty of whites left in the East End. It’s just that they are mostly bankers and hipsters these days rather than dockers and market traders. Newham is not the East End.

  32. Canning Town is the East End surely? Although I concur that I’d say the Isle of Dogs is the last of the real East End.

    Not sure I’d say plenty – as there’s clearly been a huge change even just in the past 20 years. But yes there are still White Easterners living where they were always have. Is Millwall ward (where the BNP famously won) still a WWC enclave? I realise Tower Hamlets is now largely Bengali (or a plurality are).

  33. Actually no need – I’ve just found the figures.

    In 2013 Millwall Ward was 31% White UK

    18% Muslim (the lowest in the borough where the average is 34%).

  34. Interesting debate on the east end, I do think of Stratford as part of it, but certainly not Plaistow, East Ham etc. Those areas are as far out from London as the likes of Morden and Wembley.

  35. Presumably the BBC doing a programme titled “The Last West Indians of Brixton”, is only a matter of time.

    To say that Newham is not the East End is….well indicative here of how some people have FAR too much time on their hands.

    Are they not aware that Newham Council contains Canning Town, Plaistow, E Ham W Ham and the old docks. Newham, the name, is a derived of the place names East Ham and West Ham

    The newspaper editors of the 1940s would I’m sure take issue with anyone saying The Queen meeting bombed citizens in West Ham in 1940 was not visiting people in the East End of London.

  36. I’m inclined to agree with Deepthroat, although he/she needs to remember all the fanatical traditional county conservatives on this site. Newham was not part of the county of London, so in their view cannot be the “East End” because this refers to the east end of London (basically modern Tower Hamlets and South Hackney).

    East London in modern usage means all of London east of the Lea, but this usage annoys the traditional county fanatics even more, because although this area has been in London administratively for more than 50 years now, they will insist that it is “Essex”.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to call Newham, and indeed Leyton the “east end”, although myself I prefer the east London usage.

  37. The whole point is that the people leaving West Ham don’t particularly think of it as being Essex these days, whereas they do think of places like Hornchurch as being so. On this occasion it’s the opinion that is more important than the facts because we’re talking about why people do things.

  38. Interesting piece describing briefly the various waves of European migrants coming to the East End of London.


  39. “To say that Newham is not the East End is….well indicative here of how some people have FAR too much time on their hands.”

    That is about as inaccurate a description of my present life as it would be possible to make. It is impossible to run a business by yourself with two toddlers and have too much time on your hands.

    John is correct. In modern parlance the “East End” is used as a term describing virtually the whole of the east side of Greater London. I’m merely saying that the traditional definition of the East End does not include most of Newham which as John says was clearly defined as what is now Tower Hamlets and Hackney south/east of Victoria Park. In more coloquial terms, it was said that to be in the proper East End you had to be withing earshot of the Bow bells, which you certainly are not in East Ham or Canning Town.

  40. You are confusing “Cockney” with “Eastender”.

  41. But if you’re talking way back say, in mid 19th century then yes, East End is conterminous with the Manor of Stepney. But since the workers left Stepney, Whitechapel, Shoreditch etc and moved to W Ham and E Ham, the term East End has been accepted to mean the boroughs just to the east of the Lea. So this term was universally used partly, maybe mainly because due to the movement of people

    Certainly the TV show has W Ham, Canning Town and the docks more or less right in the middle of their map in the opening credits!

    More seriously, Alan Palmer, includes the area across the Lea; (the eastern parts of the London Borough of Newham) in his excellent “The East End”, published in the late 1980s. His main argument being the diaspora of people from Stepney etc into areas just East of the Lea. Have you read it?

  42. Well, whether referring to 19th century or modern definitions of the East End, hopefully we can agree that the idea that that there are only a few white people left there and that they are all about to leave is totally daft. I highly doubt Newham will dip below 30% white and the gentrifying bits by the river will probably start to gain white residents again as the mass redevelopment around City Airport finally gathers pace. Tower Hamlets of course has a higher white % than Newham, having already experienced some of this. What the BBC probably meant to say is “the last ethnically British WWC in the East End”, but for some reason they daren’t say it.

  43. AM – eh? You obviously missed the prosecutions in Tower Hamlets then.

  44. HH – true.

    Newham is 18% White UK (2011)

    Although they remain the largest group in the borough.

    Whereas in Tower Hamlets, at 32% Bengalis are the largest group, ahead of White UK. Plus Tower Hamlets tends to receive more coverage due to its history.

  45. But the programme mentioned “whites”, not just “white British”. Newham is about 30% white overall IIRC. IMO the east Europeans who end up staying here long term will probably integrate quite well and in a few decades time won’t be easy to distinguish from native British.

  46. In fact one of the gentlemen interviewed in the BBC documentary had a Romanian partner, and was quite happy with Eastern Europeans around Newham. He is a churchgoer and mentioned that Eastern Europeans make up a large chunk of congregations in the areas.

    But because he had a young child, he wanted a better start for her so had no choice but to move to Hornchurch.

  47. Minus 22%?

  48. Why are you including Irish but not East Europeans though. Over decades the East Europeans will integrate as the Irish have done, and indeed past East European refugees from WW2 did. This is IMO one of the key peculiarities in the policy platform of UKIP and the Tory brexiteers. Anyone interested in minimising the influence of Islamisation in the UK in the decades ahead should be welcoming Christian EU immigrants with open arms.

  49. I think most of the Eastern Europeans are likely to move out of areas like Newham within a short time. They’d probably rather live in places like Ealing where there’s an established Eastern European presence.

  50. HH – I think it’s fair when saying ‘the last Whites of the East End’ to mean people who grew up there.

    They’re hardly likely to be Slovakians.

    However I also see what you mean: there are White people in the Isle of Dogs, it’s just that they’re mainly non-locals in the apartments, hence the Tory wins in the new wards there (Canary Wharf, Island Gardens and so on).

    I think speaking English is another reason (as well as common history and relations) why UKIP favour the Commonwealth countries over Poland, Hungary, Spain etc.

    Plus they’re mainly Protestant rather than RCs from the EU as Frank Field pointed out.

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