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Poplar and Limehouse

2010 Results:
Conservative: 12649 (27.09%)
Labour: 18679 (40%)
Liberal Democrat: 5209 (11.15%)
UKIP: 565 (1.21%)
Green: 449 (0.96%)
English Democrat: 470 (1.01%)
Independent: 519 (1.11%)
Others: 8160 (17.47%)
Majority: 6030 (12.91%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 11929 (34.7%)
Conservative: 7987 (23.2%)
Respect: 7198 (20.9%)
Liberal Democrat: 5099 (14.8%)
Other: 2214 (6.4%)
Majority: 3942 (11.5%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 8499 (21.8%)
Labour: 15628 (40.1%)
Liberal Democrat: 5420 (13.9%)
Green: 955 (2.4%)
Other: 8508 (21.8%)
Majority: 7129 (18.3%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 6758 (19.8%)
Labour: 20862 (61.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 3795 (11.1%)
BNP: 1743 (5.1%)
Other: 950 (2.8%)
Majority: 14104 (41.4%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 5892 (15%)
Labour: 24807 (63.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 4072 (10.4%)
Referendum: 1091 (2.8%)
Other: 3406 (8.7%)
Majority: 18915 (48.2%)

Boundary changes: major changes. The old cross borough seat of Poplar and Canning Town is replaced with a seat entirely drawn from Tower Hamlets, hence the seat loses the Newham parts of the old seat (Canning Town, Custom House and Royal Docks) to West and East Ham. The loss it made up by the gain of St Katherine`s and Wapping and part of Shadwell ward from Bethnal Green and Bow.

Profile: An east London seat covering the Isle-of-Dogs and the Canary Wharf development. To the north it covers Bromley-by-Bow and Mile End, once home to the Jewish community, now dominated by Bangladeshi Muslims. To the west it stretches up to the boundaries of the City of London, and includes the Tower of London.

Poplar and Limehouse is perhaps the most surprising seat on the Conservative target list, requiring a swing of just under 6%, the same sort of figure as more obvious targets like Reading West, Ipswich or Stirling. It has come to this for two main reasons – firstly the rapid gentrification of the area surrounding Canary Wharf, and secondly the rise of Respect and the consequential splitting of the Labour vote.

The seat now contains incredible extremes, from extreme deprivation in the north of the seat to the gleaming skyscrapers and dockside developments of Canary Wharf in the south (although even in the areas surrounding Canary Wharf there are still working class areas). Wards like Bromley-by-Bow are over 70% social housing, mostly Bangladeshi Muslims with around half the population in social classes DE and one in five residents born in Bangladesh. In contrast in Millwall and Wapping there are large proportions of owner-occupiers or private renters, white young professionals looking to move near to Canary Wharf.

Until 2004 the Conservatives had never held a single seat in Tower Hamlets. Even in the Labour rout of 1968 when the Conservatives swept to dominance in unlikely places such as Haringey, Hackney and Lambeth, they failed to take a single seat in Tower Hamlets. They gained a single seat in a 2004 by-election and in 2006 took 7 seats on the council, including all six on the Isle of Dogs. In contrast, the largely Bangladeshi northern part of the seat is a stronghold for Respect, where they hold 8 seats. Whether the seat remains a realistic target probably depends to a great deal on whether Respect continue to take a large slice of Labour`s traditional support in the seat.

The seat contains a number of slices of political history – it was the site of the Wapping Dispute in the 1980s, the Gang of Four made their declaration launching the SDP at David Owen`s Limehouse house in 1981 and in 1993 was the location of the BNP`s first local election victory, when Derek Beackon was briefly elected as a councillor in Millwall.

portraitCurrent MP: Jim Fitzpatrick(Labour) born 1952, Glasgow. Educated at Holyrood Secondary. A former firefighter. First elected as MP for Poplar and Canning Town in 1997. PPS to Alan Milburn 1999-2001. Government whip 2001-2005. Junior minister in the DPM`s department 2005-2006 and in the DTI since 2006. His departmental responsibilities include the post office and the Daily Telegraph has run a personalised “Stop Jim” campaign against the closure of sub-post offices (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitTim Archer (Conservative) Formerly worked in financial services. Tower Hamlets councillor. Contested Poplar and Canning Town in 2005.
portraitJim Fitzpatrick(Labour) born 1952, Glasgow. Educated at Holyrood Secondary. A former firefighter. First elected as MP for Poplar and Canning Town in 1997. PPS to Alan Milburn 1999-2001. Government whip 2001-2005. Junior minister in the DPM`s department 2005-2006 and in the DTI since 2006. His departmental responsibilities include the post office and the Daily Telegraph has run a personalised “Stop Jim” campaign against the closure of sub-post offices (more information at They work for you)
portraitJonathan Fryer (Liberal Democrat) Born 1950, Manchester. Educated at Manchester Grammar School. Freelance writer and broadcaster. Bromley councillor 1986-1990. Contested Chelsea 1983, Orpington 1987, Leyton 1992. Contested London South-East 1979, 1984, 1994, London 1999, 2004, 2009.
portraitChris Smith (Green)
portraitWayne Lochner (UKIP) Business director.
portraitAndrew Osborne (English Democrat) Born 1961.
portraitGeorge Galloway (Respect) born 1954, Dundee. Educated at Harris Academy. A flamboyant left-winger, talented orator and outspoken critic of Tony Blair and George W Bush. Galloway was first elected to Parliament as the Labour MP for Glasgow Hillhead in 1987, defeating Roy Jenkins. He has long been involved in Palestinian and Arab causes. He opposed the 1991 Gulf war and travelled to Iraq several times, meeting both Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz. In 1998 he founded a charity to campaign against sanctions on Iraq. He opposed the Iraq War and in 2003 was expelled from the Labour party for making comments encouraging British troops to refuse to obey illegal orders. Galloway was subsequently involved in the founding of the Respect Party, and was often (incorrectly) identified as its leader. In 2005 he defeated the Labour MP Oona King in Bethnal Green and Bow. In January 2006 he controversially appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.
portraitJim Thornton (Independent) Educated at Manchester University. Managing director of a property management, investment and development company. Former East Hertfordshire councillor for the Conservative party.
portraitKabir Mahmud (Independent) Educated at Anglia University. Occupational therapist.
portraitMohammed Hoque (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 94854
Male: 50.7%
Female: 49.3%
Under 18: 25.4%
Over 60: 11.3%
Born outside UK: 35.3%
White: 53.3%
Black: 7.1%
Asian: 32.8%
Mixed: 2.6%
Other: 4.2%
Christian: 42.1%
Hindu: 0.8%
Jewish: 0.6%
Muslim: 33%
Full time students: 7.3%
Graduates 16-74: 31.2%
No Qualifications 16-74: 32.5%
Owner-Occupied: 29.8%
Social Housing: 50% (Council: 35.4%, Housing Ass.: 14.6%)
Privately Rented: 17.2%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 5.4%

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