The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments will shortly be closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide. The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.
.

Kensington

2010 Results:
Conservative: 17595 (50.06%)
Labour: 8979 (25.54%)
Liberal Democrat: 6872 (19.55%)
UKIP: 754 (2.15%)
Green: 753 (2.14%)
Others: 197 (0.56%)
Majority: 8616 (24.52%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Conservative: 13958 (44.9%)
Labour: 8857 (28.5%)
Liberal Democrat: 6161 (19.8%)
Other: 2108 (6.8%)
Majority: 5102 (16.4%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 18144 (57.9%)
Labour: 5521 (17.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 5726 (18.3%)
Green: 1342 (4.3%)
UKIP: 395 (1.3%)
Other: 208 (0.7%)
Majority: 12418 (39.6%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 15270 (54.5%)
Labour: 6499 (23.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 4416 (15.8%)
UKIP: 416 (1.5%)
Green: 1158 (4.1%)
Other: 279 (1%)
Majority: 8771 (31.3%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 19887 (53.6%)
Labour: 10368 (28%)
Liberal Democrat: 5668 (15.3%)
Other: 1165 (3.1%)
Majority: 9519 (25.7%)

Boundary changes: Major. The borough of Kensington and Chelsea will no longer be twinned with Westminster when deciding boundaries, so the North Kensington part of the old Regent`s Park and North Kensington seat, including Notting Hill, joins this seat, while Chelsea is hived off to form the new Chelsea and Fulham constituency.

Profile: a residential seat west of central London, recently brought into the congestion charge zone. Kensington is one of the most solidly Conservative parts of the country, the housing is largely expensive gardens squares and Georgian terraces. Kensington High street is an upmarket shopping hub, Kensington Palace is the residence of several members of the Royal Family and Kensington Palace Gardens the site of many embassies and a few private residences for the super-rich. South Kensington is the museum district, home to the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert and is somewhat more cosmopolitan, housing the halls of residence for Imperial College.

As well as Kensington itself the seat covers Earl`s Court, Brompton, Holland Park and Notting Hill. Earls Court is far more run down and cheaper than it`s richer neighbour and while it it undergoing rapid gentrification and contains its own areas of the super-rich such as the Boltons, there are still cheap areas of run down hotels and bedsits around Earls Court Exhibition Centre, which straddles the boundary between this and Hammersmith.

Notting Hill today is an affluent and trendy area associated politically with David Cameron and the younger Conservative set surrounding him, and more widely with the Notting Hill carnival, led by the area`s vibrant Afro-Carribean community. It is a highly cosmopolitan area, having fallen on hard times in the twentieth century and become associated with dingy flats and houses of multiple occupancy it has undergone rapid gentrification. These days while the old Victorian private houses are sought after and extortionately expensive, there is much social housing and tower blocks and there remains a large ethnic population and areas of social deprivation in North Kensington and Ladbroke Grove. Whereas the Kensington wards are safely Conservative, northern wards like Notting Barns, which includes the tower blocks of Lancaster West Estate, and Colville reliabley return Labour councillors.

Kensington and Chelsea has had a high turnover of high profile MPs. When originally created in 1997 it selected the Chelsea MP Sir Nicholas Scott, who was forced to stand down prior to the election over accusations of alcoholism after being found in a gutter in Bournemouth. The seat was instead fought and won by the former MP and famed diarist Alan Clark, making a return to Parliament having grown bored of retirement. He died two years later and the subsequent by-election returned Michael Portillo, the former Defence Secretary. Portillo spent a year as Shadow Chancellor before unsuccessfully contesting the Conservative leadership and then stepping down from politics. In 2005 the seat was won by another former minister, defeated in 1997, this time the former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Like Michael Portillo he briefly served in the shadow cabinet, stood for the leadership of the party, lost, and returned to the backbenches, though unlike Portillo he shows no signs of retiring from politics.

portraitCurrent MP: Sir Malcolm Rifkind(Conservative) born 1946, Edinburgh. Educated at George Watson`s College and Edinburgh University. Advocate and QC. Contested Edinburgh Central 1970. Elected as MP for Edinburgh Pentlands in February 1974 where he served until his defeat in 1997, during that time serving as a junior minister in the Scottish office 1979-1983, minister of state in the foreign officer 1983-1986, secretary of state for Scotland 1986-1990, secretary of state for transport 1990-1992, secretary of state for defence 1992-1995 and foriegn secretary 1995-1997. After his 1997 defeat he was given a knighthood in John Major`s resignation honours and served as President of the Scottish Conservative party. He stood again in Edinburgh Pentlands in 2001, but in 2005 moved to the safe Conservative seat of Kensington and Chelsea. Following the 2005 he joined the shadow cabinet as shadow work and pensions secretary, intending to contest the party leadership following Michael Howard`s resignation. In the event he recieved little support and dropped out of the race prior to the first round of voting. He stepped down from the shadow cabinet following the leadership election having failed to be appointed shadow foriegn secretary, the only role which he wished to be considered for. Rifkind has indicated he will contest the Kensington seat at the next election, rather than seek nomination for the new Fulham & Chelsea constituency (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitSir Malcolm Rifkind(Conservative) born 1946, Edinburgh. Educated at George Watson`s College and Edinburgh University. Advocate and QC. Contested Edinburgh Central 1970. Elected as MP for Edinburgh Pentlands in February 1974 where he served until his defeat in 1997, during that time serving as a junior minister in the Scottish office 1979-1983, minister of state in the foreign officer 1983-1986, secretary of state for Scotland 1986-1990, secretary of state for transport 1990-1992, secretary of state for defence 1992-1995 and foriegn secretary 1995-1997. After his 1997 defeat he was given a knighthood in John Major`s resignation honours and served as President of the Scottish Conservative party. He stood again in Edinburgh Pentlands in 2001, but in 2005 moved to the safe Conservative seat of Kensington and Chelsea. Following the 2005 he joined the shadow cabinet as shadow work and pensions secretary, intending to contest the party leadership following Michael Howard`s resignation. In the event he recieved little support and dropped out of the race prior to the first round of voting. He stepped down from the shadow cabinet following the leadership election having failed to be appointed shadow foriegn secretary, the only role which he wished to be considered for. Rifkind has indicated he will contest the Kensington seat at the next election, rather than seek nomination for the new Fulham & Chelsea constituency (more information at They work for you)
portraitSam Gurney (Labour) TUC policy officer.
portraitRobin Meltzer (Liberal Democrat) TV producer.
portraitMelan-Zahra Ebrahimi-Fardouee (Green)
portraitCaroline Pearson (UKIP)
portraitEddie Adams (Alliance for Green Socialism)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 116478
Male: 48%
Female: 52%
Under 18: 17.8%
Over 60: 15.4%
Born outside UK: 45.5%
White: 76.2%
Black: 8.2%
Asian: 5.2%
Mixed: 4.4%
Other: 5.9%
Christian: 60.4%
Hindu: 1%
Jewish: 2.2%
Muslim: 9.3%
Full time students: 8.6%
Graduates 16-74: 51.1%
No Qualifications 16-74: 13.5%
Owner-Occupied: 42.1%
Social Housing: 27.8% (Council: 8.5%, Housing Ass.: 19.3%)
Privately Rented: 24.9%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 13.6%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide