Wimbledon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25225 (52.1%)
Labour: 12606 (26%)
Lib Dem: 6129 (12.7%)
Green: 1986 (4.1%)
UKIP: 2476 (5.1%)
MAJORITY: 12619 (26.1%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Wimbledon, Merton, Raynes Park.

Profile: Wimbledon is most associated with the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, based in the north of the constituency near Wimbledon Park. The areas around the park and Wimbledon Common are affluent, leafy suburbia and are heavily owner-occupied. The south eastern parts of the constituency in South Wimbledon are grittier and less affluent.

Politics: Generally a Conservative seat, although it is capable of being won by Labour in their very best years 1945, 1997 and 2001.


Current MP
STEPHEN HAMMOND (Conservative) Born 1962, Southampton. Educated at King Edward VI School and London University. Former investment banker. Former Merton councillor. Contested North Warwickshire 1997, Wimbledon 2001. First elected as MP for Wimbledon in 2005. PPS to Eric Pickles 2010-2012, Under-Secretary for Transport 2012-2014.
Past Results
2010
Con: 23257 (49%)
Lab: 10550 (22%)
LDem: 11849 (25%)
UKIP: 914 (2%)
Oth: 825 (2%)
MAJ: 11408 (24%)
2005*
Con: 17886 (41%)
Lab: 15585 (36%)
LDem: 7868 (18%)
GRN: 1374 (3%)
Oth: 691 (2%)
MAJ: 2301 (5%)
2001
Con: 15062 (37%)
Lab: 18806 (46%)
LDem: 5341 (13%)
GRN: 1007 (2%)
Oth: 893 (2%)
MAJ: 3744 (9%)
1997
Con: 17694 (37%)
Lab: 20674 (43%)
LDem: 8014 (17%)
Oth: 979 (2%)
MAJ: 2980 (6%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
STEPHEN HAMMOND (Conservative) See above.
ANDREW JUDGE (Labour) Born Salford. Educated at University of Kent. Barrister. Merton councillor since 1995. Leader of Merton council 2001-2006. Contested Wimbledon 2010.
SHAS SHEEHAN (Liberal Democrat) Born Lahore, Pakistan. Educated at Rosa Bassett Grammar and University College London. Former advertising planner. Richmond councillor 2006-2010. Contested Merton and Wandsworth 2008 London election, Wimbledon 2010, London list 2012 London assembly election.
PETER BUCKLITSCH (UKIP) Contested Dartford 2005, South Thanet 2010 for the Liberal Democrats.
CHARLES BARRABALL (Green)
Links
Comments - 105 Responses on “Wimbledon”
  1. How do contributors assess the situation in Wimbledon (I don’t know much about this area but would be interested to read what others think)? Unlike in quite a lot of London seats lost to Labour in 1997, the Conservatives appear to have made a reasonably full recovery here. Can you see the status quo being maintained?

  2. The Tories will be fine here. The growing ‘White other’ demographic is more related to city worker types with a good income who seem to be pretty receptive to the Conservatives so even if White Brits continue to move out (as they will) this should not be too much of a concern. Wimbledon is also very expensive, as is that whole wedge of South West London.

  3. My prediction for 2015:

    Con – 48
    Lab – 27
    LD – 15
    Grn – 4
    UKIP – 4
    OTH – 2

  4. Labour won’t win here but some of the Tory vote could go UKIP’s way, judging by recent defections. My prediction:
    CON – 45%
    LAB – 35%
    LIBDEM – 15%

  5. Shas Sheehan reselected for LDs.

  6. ‘Wimbledon is also very expensive, as is that whole wedge of South West London.’

    Is it?

    I always see two sides to Wimbledon

    The Wimblerdon Village, which would certainly seem to be extremely expensive, and then the more urban part of Wimbledon, which shares more characteristics with other urban south London areas like Balham and Tooting

    I would have thought the voters in the latter would outnumber those in the former, so am surprised that this of all areas has swung so heavily back to the Tories and wouldn’t have thought the low-profile Stephen Hammond to be the sort of MP to command a large personal vote

  7. Well, bear in mind that Wimbledon is home to the highest proportion of ‘higher managerial, professional, and administrative’ workers of any English and Welsh constituency. It is also has the fourth highest proportion of ‘lower managerial, professional and administrative’ workers of any English or Welsh constituency. It also has the fourth highest proportion of those with Level 4 Qualifications or above. Although there may be gritty parts, this is a seriously well-to-do place with a lot of high flyers.

  8. Of course one could say the same of Tooting, which also has significantly above average numbers of professionals etc. But that doesn’t make the level of Tory support in Wimbledon a puzzle. Rather I think it makes the level of Labour support in Tooting a puzzle, but I defer to the superior knowledge of others on that point.

  9. The more urban and gritty parts of Wimbledon which Tim refers to have been gentrifying significantly in recent years, in a similar vain to neighbouring areas in Wandsworth, such as Putney and Balham.

    The best way to characterise Wimbledon is as a 4th Wandsworth constituency.

  10. I see- thanks for that, Hemmelig. I’ve put some census statistics up on the Tooting thread that may interest you by the way.

  11. Re: Tooting

    Unlike Wimbledon, Tooting has a much larger ethnic minority population which accounts for some of the difference in voting habits. It also has more urban and gritty areas but also very upmarket parts such as Wandsworth Common. There are enough Labour-leaning areas in Tooting to keep the constituency in Labour hands although that could well change over time. Future boundary changes here will probably be a major factor in which party keeps winning the seat.

  12. AKMD- good point. I’ve just checked the census figures. Although Tooting and Wimbledon have similar sized Asian communities, Tooting has a sizeable Afro-Caribbean community (12%) whereas Wimbledon (3%) does not. Overall, Tooting is about two-thirds white whereas Wimbledon is about three-quarters white.

  13. Wimbledon is an interesting one because although Labour hung on in 2001 they actually slumped to third place in 2010.

  14. Three quarters of Morden Town centre is in this seat I would defintley say it is gritty and urban there and more like Streatham and Croydon North and some of South Wimbledon is rather deprived too. But yes wards like Trinity and Dundonald have done a Wandsworth and trended away from Labour in recent years

  15. I lived in the Trinity ward for a couple of years. It has some social housing in it, but the majority of the ward is smart (and now super-expensive) terraces and semis on the fringes of Wimbledon town centre. I assume that, like much of south London, the terraces had a residual working class population in the late 90s/early 2000s who had mostly died or moved away by 2010 and been replaced by high-income professionals.

    The area around South Wimbledon tube (Abbey ward) does not look very gentrified and is much more ‘south London’ in character but the terraced streets around there have gentrified in a similar way, although they are generally more modest than those in Trinity and the ward also includes a biggish council estate (High Path) which no doubt helps to keep Labour competitive there.

    The Labour candidate in 2010, Andrew Judge, had mixed fortunes on the day as he slipped to third in the Parliamentary election but managed to win the third seat in Abbey – the only seat Labour won in Wimbledon – thus ensuring they became the largest party on Merton Council and were able to form a minority administration with the support of the three Merton Park independents.

  16. I presume Andrew Judge is the son, or another relative, of Tony Judge who was the GLC member for Mitcham & Morden & who is still a letter-writer to newspapers etc. He was rather unusual amongst prominent Labour figures at the time in being closely associated with the police; he was the editor of Police which was the Police Federation’s magazine.

  17. “The area around South Wimbledon tube (Abbey ward) does not look very gentrified and is much more ‘south London’ in character but the terraced streets around there have gentrified in a similar way”

    I’m a regular visitor to south Wimbledon and certainly recognise what you’re saying here. The walk from Wimbledon town centre is only 5 mins but the area changes drastically in that short distance. The chic poshness of the high street turns into what looks indistinguishable from Mitcham & Morden in the space of a few hundred yards.

  18. Prediction for 2015-
    Hammond (Conservative)- 48%
    Labour- 27%
    Liberal Democrats- 16%
    UKIP- 4%
    Green- 3%
    Others- 2%

  19. Labour has won control of Merton council. The result was decisive- Labour now has 36 councillors to the Tories’ 20 and a majority of 12 overall.

    Labour managed clean sweeps in Abbey and Cannon Hill and Lower Morden. We should recall that in 2010 the Conservatives carried Lower Morden 45-29.5 over Labour in 2010 so a Labour clean sweep is a very good result for the party.

    If there was any consolation for the Conservatives, it came in the form of reasonably comfortable holds in Trinity and Dundonald, both of which having returned a Labour councillor as recently ago as 2002.

  20. Indeed Labour actually finished behind the Lib Dems in Dundonald.

  21. 2014 local election results, Wimbledon (aggregate of all votes)

    Con 43.6 (-1.2)
    Lab 28.3 (+8.3)
    LD 14.4 (-11.5)
    UKIP 3.6
    Grn 2.5
    Others 7.6*

    * mostly Merton Park Independents

    A pretty solid Tory performance in the circumstances and points to an easy hold in 2015, I’m guessing a majority of about 8000.

  22. Given how the Tories have strengthened in Dundonald & Trinity since the heady days of the 1990s, and indeed in Abbey (although as we’ve seen Labour won the ward pretty well on Thursday), this seat is unlikely to return to the winnables column for Labour even in a landslide year. The sharp swing in Cannon Hill (which was worked pretty extensively) has mitigated the pro-Tory trend in the rest of the constituency, but the fact that only 2 wards in the seat now appear to be winnable for Labour even in an extremely good year suggests that Labour’s victory in 2001 will be its last in the seat as it is today. It’s worth noting that a by-election in Wimbledon Park ward, which includes parts of the former Labour-inclined Durnsford ward, during the last council term actually saw a very slight swing to the Conservatives despite the Labour national lead, which says quite a bit about how this seat (always Tory-inclined except in utterly disastrous years for them) has trended even more Tory than it was.

  23. Completely agree. Labour’s vote went up massively in the two wards they won here (Abbey and Cannon Hill), by 15% and 25% respectively, but had mediocre results in the rest of the seat. To a certain extent that was true in some other boroughs as well, notably Croydon. Perhaps it points to a very effective strategy of targeting key wards? The Tories seem to have been bad at targeting in London this year, building up massive majorities in safe wards and losing key marginal in many boroughs.

  24. Cannon Hill and Lower Morden plus Abbey (south of Merton High Street) are experincing the kind of similar demographic changes that has happened in Pollards Hill/Longthornton in the 1990s.

  25. ” lived in the Trinity ward for a couple of years. It has some social housing in it, but the majority of the ward is smart (and now super-expensive) terraces and semis on the fringes of Wimbledon town centre. I assume that, like much of south London, the terraces had a residual working class population in the late 90s/early 2000s who had mostly died or moved away by 2010 and been replaced by high-income professionals.”

    Completely agree. I lived in Trinity 1993-2001 as a teenager and there was certainly such a population. We lived in a Victorian maisonette on the “wrong” side of Haydons Road and the lady upstairs worked as a cleaner for a posh family “up in the village”, while her hubby had worked for a print. Her sister lived next door. I imagine many people like that have now gone.

    That side of Haydons Road was slightly down at heel, although still friendly and safe. Property was slightly blighted by the smell (akin to dry cleaning fluid) that used to emanate from the Connolly Leather works on East Road if the wind was in the “right” direction.

    Their factory closed up at the end of the 1990s, and was replaced by posh housing (aka “Bewley Street”), as was the Sunlight laundry at the eastern end of South Park Road (Sunlight Close) a little bit earlier.

    Our maisonette was OK but it was not all that, and we moved because it needed too much work, and mum cashed in and move to the Home Counties. I honestly thought that when I grew up and got an OK job I would be doing better and maybe could end up in a nice flat on the Wimbledon Hillside. How wrong was I. Now I cannot even afford to move back to my childhood road!

  26. RR – it’s becoming a familiar situation in many parts of London, the children of long term residents cannot afford to live in the same quality of surroundings as their parents have become accustomed to, even if their circumstances were modest to start with. The normal folk in west/south west London are being pushed further and further out and are replaced by very well off professionals, the children of old money or foreign property investors.
    The folk of the late 1980s TV series Three Up, Two Down, which is how I remember a childhood from that era spent in zone 3 of west London, are now scarce.

  27. Re Surrey Politics’s earlier post – I don’t really agree about Abbey ward. It is a traditional working-class area, and I don’t see it changing south of the main road really – it’s the part north of the main road which has gone more Tory. Cannon Hill is another matter.

  28. The roads leading north off Merton High Street look quite smart these days, even if they effectively consist of glorified terraced cottages.

  29. A visit to the Sultan pub in that area will illustrate how the roads NORTH of the High Street have gone upmarket. My best mate told me that when he was young that was where all the local blags were planned, now it’s full of well-spoken classical musicians & prosperous professionals.

  30. Re being priced out…the irony is we learned about such a phenonemon in geography at school…but I perhaps rather selfishly thought:”Lalala I’m Middle Class…it’ll never happen to me!”

    How wrong I was.

  31. Barnaby- indeed, I’m talking about the very same roads as you are.

    South-east of Merton High Street and it’s a very different story still.

  32. yes in that area there were 2 excellent pubs, the Princess Royal & the Trafalgar which have sadly both closed down. It’s not a prosperous area & that has probably contributed.

  33. A similar thing with pubs closing down has happened in Morden, though none of these were really great pubs more like the kind of places where you would get a St Helier “chav” woman threatening to bottle you because they thought you were staring at them and these places were constantly having incidents. The one remaining proper pub in Morden is Ganleys Irish pub which I can say is a decent pub where you never get trouble. People come from across London to drink there.

  34. “Completely agree. Labour’s vote went up massively in the two wards they won here (Abbey and Cannon Hill), by 15% and 25% respectively, but had mediocre results in the rest of the seat. To a certain extent that was true in some other boroughs as well, notably Croydon. Perhaps it points to a very effective strategy of targeting key wards?”

    It is certainly true that Labour aggressively targeted Abbey and Cannon Hill, starting years out from the election, and basically left the other wards alone. I suspect Trinity could have been won if it had been targeted although it doesn’t really have the profile of a Labour ward nowadays and it would probably have taken more resources than it was worth, given that A and CH were enough to deliver control.

  35. Probably a bit of that and also that CH is now getting demographically better for Labour relative to the rest of the seat.

    This is a contrast to when I lived in Trinity (the 1990s) when Cannon Hill was considered far and away a better prospect by the local Conservative Association.

  36. Like many other seats lost by Labour in 2001 and 2005, they now find themsleves in third place here after the incumbents departed.

  37. “Probably a bit of that and also that CH is now getting demographically better for Labour relative to the rest of the seat.”

    Agreed though CH was won in 1971, 1994 and 1998 however in those days the Whatley Avenue/Wimbledon Chase WWC area was the more Labour inclined part and the middle class suburban Morden part of the seat was probably more Tory inclined.

    Now the Morden part of the seat has demographically changed in the way most of metroland has changed and now would be more Labour voting, The Wimbledon Chase part has remained very WWC (more so than St Helier, Ravensbury and Cricket Green) and there is probably a fair bit of UKIP vote there.

  38. Agree with most of that.

    The whole CH ward also suffers from relative remoteness from transport interchanges that have pushed Trinity and Dundonald upwards in the desirability stakes.

    Oh, and the “period” property that proliferates in Trinity and Dundonald is now considered more desirable (and valued) than that built in the 1930s, which is more common to CH.

  39. Follwing the discussions about Merton this is very interesting

    http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/

  40. Have just been conversing with a London Labour activist over at PB.

    He thinks that Labour have a chance in Wimbledon.

    I disagreed.

    I wonder if Barnaby can reveal if this constituency is on his campaigning list 😉

  41. ‘He thinks that Labour have a chance in Wimbledon.’

    He is clearly somewhat deluded.

  42. …on that specific point I may add.

    IIRC the 2014 local elections weren’t too bad for the Tories in the Wimbledon division.

  43. ‘He thinks that Labour have a chance in Wimbledon.’

    “He is clearly somewhat deluded.”

    Agree! Labour have lost Wimbledon forever (along with Putney and Battersea).

  44. Christian, Labour have never won Wimbledon outside of famous landslide conditions anyway-but yes, the gentrification in Putney and Battersea will put those seats out of Labour’s reach for the foreseeable future.

  45. of course labour has no chance of winning wimbledon. either he was pulling your leg, is a hopeless over-optimist, or is very ill-informed.

  46. Well this Labour activist is delusional or Labours campaign organisation is going very badly indeed (It is almost certainly the former). As a Tory supporter Labour is free to throw as much resources at Wimbledon as possible, they won’t win and it means less for elsewhere. However I seriously doubt that Labour campaign headquarters is that stupid.

  47. I feel like Wimbledon may be somewhere where the demographics make it more naturally suitable for a Liberal than a Labour challenge to the Tories – not that I am suggesting, I should stress before I get murdered with a hatchet by someone, that the Liberals will do anything other than crash horribly here in this General Election! More that in the long term its relatively genteel, professional situation with an added core of less well off voters who could be squeezed in an ABT campaign in future might mean that a hypothetical Liberal candidate from 2020 onwards might find it a good place to build up a base.

  48. I have lived here for 20 years – there is no chance Labour or even Lib Dems can win – I concur with the views that older left leaning residents either died, moved out or changed to tory.
    The adage that if you aren’t a socialist when you are young you haven’t got a heart and that if you are still a socialist when you are old then you haven’t got a brain, stand true in this part of the world I am afraid.
    Although many of the professionals and managers who live around here may talk nostalgically of socialist leanings mainly from their childhood or parents when it comes down to voting in private the X will go in conservative. Over time if Lib Dems invest like they have in Twickenham, Kingston & Sutton they could stand a chance but at this point in time I don’t think Lib Dems consider Wimbledon a serious prospect even though as has been stated Hammond is at best a mediocre sitting MP who has been embrolied in some expenses, constituency office employees and 2nd job issues and could be vunerable.

  49. Conservative will hold this by about 9,000. no chance of a Labour gain whatsoever. There are areas of the consititunecy that could long term move in Labours direction. The Morden parts of the seat Cannon Hill, Abbey (south of Merton High Street), Merton Park and West Barnes are becoming increasingly multi-ethnic an ever increasing asian population. On the other hand Dundonald and Trinity once Con-Lab marginals have disappeared off the Labour rador. Labour were close in Trinity in 2014 but that was a good Labour year.

  50. my friend who is a merton labour councillor thinks that it’s still possible to get a labour councillor in in certain circumstances in trinity, if it’s worked hard, but dundonald is totally off the radar now. with raynes park, hillside, wimbledon park & above all super-wealthy village all also much more tory than labour, and west barnes still pretty clearly so too, this will now remain a safe tory seat – probably even in landslide conditions.

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