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Bermondsey and Old Southwark

2010 Results:
Conservative: 7638 (17.11%)
Labour: 13060 (29.25%)
Liberal Democrat: 21590 (48.35%)
BNP: 1370 (3.07%)
Green: 718 (1.61%)
Independent: 155 (0.35%)
Others: 120 (0.27%)
Majority: 8530 (19.1%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Liberal Democrat: 17422 (47.8%)
Labour: 11621 (31.9%)
Conservative: 4632 (12.7%)
Other: 2746 (7.5%)
Majority: 5801 (15.9%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 4752 (12.5%)
Labour: 12468 (32.8%)
Liberal Democrat: 17874 (47.1%)
Green: 1137 (3%)
UKIP: 791 (2.1%)
Other: 937 (2.5%)
Majority: 5406 (14.2%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 2800 (7.6%)
Labour: 11359 (30.8%)
Liberal Democrat: 20991 (56.9%)
UKIP: 271 (0.7%)
Green: 752 (2%)
Other: 689 (1.9%)
Majority: 9632 (26.1%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 2835 (6.9%)
Labour: 16444 (40.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 19831 (48.6%)
Referendum: 545 (1.3%)
Other: 1140 (2.8%)
Majority: 3387 (8.3%)

Boundary changes: Loses part of Livesey and Faraday wards to Camberwell and Peckham. Despite the seat being largely unchanged, the name was changed from North Southwark and Bermondsey at the suggestion of Simon Hughes, so as to make clear the constituency did not include the whole of the North of the borough of Southwark, and didn`t include only the northern part of Bermondsey.

Profile: This covers central London south of the river, facing the City of London across the Thames. It includes Elephant & Castle, Walworth, Bankside, borough, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays. The riverfront has undergone massive redevelopment and gentrification, and is now backed with offices, luxury apartments, the cultural quarter of Tate Modern and the Globe theatre and skyscrapers popping up around City Hall, whose crash helmet style home sits on the riverfront here. The seat also includes Guys Hospital and the fashionable Borough market.

Alway from the trendy apartments to the north though, the rest of the area is still poor, racially mixed and struggling with problems of crime and deprivation. Over half the housing is social housing and there are huge and troubled council estates here like the Heygate estate and planned regeneration has been delayed by tenants voting against being transferred to housing associations. In future years massive regeneration is still planned, but for the moment much of the seat is a testament to the grim concrete social housing of the last century.

Demographically you would expect this seat to return a Labour MP: a poverty striken inner city seat, over 20% afro-carribean, over 40% of properties council owned. In fact it has been held by the Liberals and Liberal Democrats for almost a quarter of a century. Simon Hughes continued tenure is probably due to his own performance as MP, but he probably only became the MP for Bermondsey in the first place because of the unusual circumstances of his election. The Bermondsey by-election must be one of the most infamous in recent political history. The local Labour party had selected as their PPC the left-winger Peter Tatchell (see Oxford East), who was disowned by the then Labour leader Michael Foot. He was opposed by a Labour right-winger, John O`Grady, who stood as a “Real Labour” candidate and was backed by the former MP Bob Mellish. The by-election was notoriously dirty, Tatchell was consistently attacked for his sexuality, received hate mail and a bullet in the post. The Liberal party took the seat on an overwhelming swing and have remained here ever since.

portraitCurrent MP: Simon Hughes(Liberal Democrat) born 1951, Cheshire. Educated at Llandaff Cathedral School and Cambridge University. Barrister. The second longest serving Liberal Democrat MP, Hughes was first elected to Parliament in the notorious 1983 Bermondsey by-election. Environment spokesman 1983-1988, education spokesman 1988-1992, environment spokesman 1992-1994, health spokesman 1994-1997, home affairs spokesman 1997-2003. He contested the London Mayoral election in 2004. President of the Liberal Democrats since 2004. Contested the Liberal Democrat leadership elections of 1999 and 2006, during which he was outed by the Sun newspaper (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitLoanna Morrison (Conservative) Journalist and businesswoman.
portraitVal Shawcross (Labour) Former Croydon councillor (1994-2000) and leader of Croydon council. London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark since 2000. Awarded the CBE in 2002.
portraitSimon Hughes(Liberal Democrat) born 1951, Cheshire. Educated at Llandaff Cathedral School and Cambridge University. Barrister. The second longest serving Liberal Democrat MP, Hughes was first elected to Parliament in the notorious 1983 Bermondsey by-election. Environment spokesman 1983-1988, education spokesman 1988-1992, environment spokesman 1992-1994, health spokesman 1994-1997, home affairs spokesman 1997-2003. He contested the London Mayoral election in 2004. President of the Liberal Democrats since 2004. Contested the Liberal Democrat leadership elections of 1999 and 2006, during which he was outed by the Sun newspaper (more information at They work for you)
portraitTom Chance (Green)
portraitStephen Tyler (BNP)
portraitSteve Freeman (Independent)
portraitAlan Kirkby (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 108379
Male: 50.1%
Female: 49.9%
Under 18: 20.2%
Over 60: 13.1%
Born outside UK: 30.2%
White: 67.5%
Black: 20.5%
Asian: 4.8%
Mixed: 3.5%
Other: 3.7%
Christian: 61.6%
Hindu: 1.2%
Muslim: 7.2%
Full time students: 12.3%
Graduates 16-74: 34.9%
No Qualifications 16-74: 24.3%
Owner-Occupied: 26.9%
Social Housing: 56.3% (Council: 44.1%, Housing Ass.: 12.2%)
Privately Rented: 13.8%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 7.2%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. It will be replaced by a new guide in 2013, once the fate of the boundary review is finally settled.