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Tottenham

2010 Results:
Conservative: 6064 (14.9%)
Labour: 24128 (59.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 7197 (17.69%)
UKIP: 466 (1.15%)
Green: 980 (2.41%)
Christian: 262 (0.64%)
TUSC: 1057 (2.6%)
Independent: 268 (0.66%)
Others: 265 (0.65%)
Majority: 16931 (41.61%)

2005 Results:
Labour: 18343 (57.9%)
Liberal Democrat: 5309 (16.8%)
Conservative: 4278 (13.5%)
Respect: 2014 (6.4%)
Other: 1720 (5.4%)
Majority: 13034 (41.2%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 4401 (13.9%)
Labour: 21317 (67.5%)
Liberal Democrat: 3008 (9.5%)
Green: 1443 (4.6%)
Other: 1432 (4.5%)
Majority: 16916 (53.5%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 5921 (15.7%)
Labour: 26121 (69.3%)
Liberal Democrat: 4064 (10.8%)
Other: 1598 (4.2%)
Majority: 20200 (53.6%)

No Boundary Changes:

Profile: A cosmopolitian, inner city seat in the borough of Haringey. Tottenham has a large ethnic minority population, around a fifth of residents are black, there is a large muslim population. The percentage of white residents understates the variation of this seat, since that itself includes Russians, Cypriots, Irish, eastern European and Jewish communties.

The seat covers Tottenham, Tottenham Hale, Haringay, West Green, Seven Sisters, Bruce Grove and Northumberland Park. To the east is the River Lee and the Tottenham marshes, to the south the seat takes in Finsbury Park. The constituency includes the Broadwater Farm estate, notorious for the 1985 riots where PC Keith Blacklock was hacked to death. The estate underwent a massive facelift following the riots and is no longer a crime blackspot, but other areas of the seat like Tottenham Green continue to be blighted by crime, guns and drugs.

Formerly represented by the colourful Labour left-winger Bernie Grant, notorious for having allegedly described the Broadwater Farm riots as the police getting “a bloody good hiding”, the by-election following his death in 2000 was won by another black MP, David Lammy.

Tottenham is a reliably Labour seat, along with its predecessor seats it has returned Labour MPs since 1935, though it was briefly represented by the Conservatives when the sitting Labour MP Alan Browne defected to them in 1962. At a local level Haringey council is split directly down the middle, the western wards that fall under Hornsey and Wood Green are now solidly held by the Liberal Democrats, the eastern wards in this seat are solidly Labour, with three wards in the centre of the borough split between Labour and the Lib Dems. Despite their wipe out on Haringey council there remains a surprisingly active local Conservative association and some pockets of relative Tory strength such as White Hart Lane and Haringay, but overall this is solid Labour territory.

portraitCurrent MP: David Lammy(Labour) born 1972, Tottenham. Educated at the Kings School, Peterborough and SOAS. Barrister. Served briefly as a member of the London Assembly, but stood down almost immediately having been elected as MP for Tottenham in the 2000 by-election. Has served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the departments of health 2002-3, constitutional affairs 2003-5, culture, media and sport 2005-7 and, since 2007, in the department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitSean Sullivan (Conservative) Educated at Oxford University. Barrister. Epsom & Ewell councillor.
portraitDavid Lammy(Labour) born 1972, Tottenham. Educated at the Kings School, Peterborough and SOAS. Barrister. Served briefly as a member of the London Assembly, but stood down almost immediately having been elected as MP for Tottenham in the 2000 by-election. Has served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the departments of health 2002-3, constitutional affairs 2003-5, culture, media and sport 2005-7 and, since 2007, in the department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (more information at They work for you)
portraitDavid Schmitz (Liberal Democrat) born in the USA. Educated at Syracuse University. Barrister.
portraitAnne Gray (Green) Retired social policy researcher.
portraitWinston Mckenzie (UKIP) born 1953, Jamacia. Former amateur boxer and hairdresser. Formerly ran a bar and gym in Thornton Heath. Serial party member, having been a member of the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats, Veritas, Conservatives, his own Unity party and UKIP. Contested Brent East by-election 2003 as an Independent, Croydon North for Veritas in 2005. Resigned from Veritas before rejoining to unsucessfully contest the party leadership. Unsucessfully auditioned for the X Factor in 2005. Unsuccessfully sought Conservative mayoral nomination in 2007 before leaving to stand as an independent.
portraitAbimbola Kadara (Christian Party)
portraitJenny Sutton (TUSC)
portraitNeville Watson (Independent People Together) Director of Sales and Communciations training company.
portraitSheik Gerald Thompson (Independent)
portraitErrol Carr (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 109473
Male: 48.1%
Female: 51.9%
Under 18: 25.8%
Over 60: 12.9%
Born outside UK: 43.4%
White: 55.1%
Black: 28.6%
Asian: 7.6%
Mixed: 4.9%
Other: 3.7%
Christian: 50.9%
Hindu: 2.2%
Jewish: 1.6%
Muslim: 15.2%
Full time students: 9.9%
Graduates 16-74: 27.6%
No Qualifications 16-74: 30.2%
Owner-Occupied: 39.8%
Social Housing: 38.6% (Council: 25.5%, Housing Ass.: 13.1%)
Privately Rented: 17.4%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 9.8%

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

631 Responses to “Tottenham”

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  1. Major disturbance in Tottenham tonight.

  2. Looks like it. I wanted to catch up on the rugby matches but just got half an hour of the same street scene in Tottenham.

    Even so, perhaps the “community leaders” will have a go at calming things down.

  3. “because he has robust views on everything else.”

    Not everything Joe – my robustness reserve does have its limits ;-)

    As to the long term unemployed, whether layabouts or not, it has been too easy for government and society to keep them out of site ‘drugged up’ on welfare. And it will take time, effort and money to bring them back into the world of work.

    The problem economic migrants cause is that they provide an easy and cheap solution for job vacancies but one that causes longer term damage.

    And for all the middle class anecdotals about highly paid immigrants with multiple sets of letters after their names the reality is that the majority of immigrants are doing low skilled jobs. And it is these sorts of jobs which are the only ones suitable to bring the long term workless back into employment.

    Further more economic migrants make it harder for the young to find employment, thus damaging their prospects at the most crucial time.

    Also, a plentiful supply of cheap and willing migrant workers does nothing for productivity growth and capital investment by business. Have you noticed how many ‘Mr Handjob’ style hand carwash businesses have cropped up in the last decade? Ten years ago if you wanted a clean car you either washed it yourself or went to a car wash. Now there must be tens of thousands of people (almost all economic migrants) employed to wash cars – it all seems rather third world to me.

  4. and going back further (say 30 years) it was the sort of thing people like me did to earn extra pocket money. On one level i’m not complaining because I do use these hand car washes and they undoubtedly do a better job than a mechanical car wash (or some spotty teenager for that matter) and its not something I can be bothered to do myself. But your points are all valid and of course last night, yet again, we witness in Tottenham the long term damage caused by immigration which you alluded to further up the thread. And funnily enough I don’t remember these kind of scenes ever being caused by white working class ‘layabouts’ from Dagenham

  5. Pete

    It struck me how history is repeating itself with the apologists for economic migration repeating the phrases of the 1950s/1960s.

    The ‘lets get some more immigrants in, they’re cheap and work hard and happy to live 10 to a house’ was said about West Indian transport and health workers and Asian textile and factory workers two generations ago.

    And a few years later the economic migrants learn that they are ‘oppressed’, should demand their ‘rights’ and are nett recipients of public spending.

    I wonder how long it will be before we get Eastern European ghettoes in this country.

    As this country is likely to suffer at best stagnant living standards over the coming decades further fragmenting society is not a good idea.

  6. I can go to the local university bookshop and find any number of books about the Jews in WW2. But I would think a history of Jamaica and the slave trade generally would be much more useful to the British historian.

  7. “And for all the middle class anecdotals about highly paid immigrants with multiple sets of letters after their names the reality is that the majority of immigrants are doing low skilled jobs.”

    Utter horseshit. Where’s your evidence for such a sweeping statement?

    My wife is a US citizen with two university degrees and her immigration has done nothing to damage this country.

    Richard you talk as if the UK is alone in having large numbers of immigrants, but this has happened in all rich countries in Europe and the western world without exception, and as such is an inevitable side-effect of the globalised world we live in. Without ending or withdrawing from globalisation it is impossible to turn it back.

  8. The above link is to the ONS employment report for July.

    I recommend HH takes a look at page 28 if he wants evidence.

    It shows that between Jan-Mar 2005 and Jan-Mar 2011 employment among those born in the UK fell 718 thousand but rose by 1.218 million among the non-UK born.

    I think we all know what happened to UK unemployment during that period.

    Incidentally employment of US national fell over the period from 75,000 to 74,000. It also fell among South Africa and Australasian nationals and until the last quarter had been stable among Western Europeans.

    Facts not a middle class anecdotal.

  9. And this article gives details of an NIESR report which shows how Eastern European immigration has reduced GDP per capita

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382578/Eastern-European-migrants-boost-economy-insignificant-says-thinktank.html

    although the reduction of GDP per capita isn’t universal as plenty of people have benefited from downward pressure on pay and upward pressure on house prices. While the poorer sections of society have proportionally suffered far more than average.

    As to HH’s ‘the same thing is happening in every country’ I can’t say I share his indifference to the brazilification of society with an increasing split between a small ultra-rich elite, a strained middle class and an ever expanding underclass.

    Although brazilification is perhaps not an appropriate term. Argentinisation might be better.

  10. “I wonder how long it will be before we get Eastern European ghettoes in this country.”

    I don’t think we will see Eastern European ghettoes actually – we already see numbers returning to their countries of origin. Those that do settle permanently will tend to assimiliate quite well (thinking predominantly of the far more numerous Poles than say Slovakian Roma) as they have done in previous generations and as other waves of European migrants have done through history. The problem with gehttoes though does and will arise with groups whose culture is so alien that it cannot be assimilated and in some cases does not want to because it is inherently hostile to the host culture, for example Somalians, Bangladeshis.

  11. It takes time for ‘ghettoes’ to form and the census results might show some interesting results – not just regarding Eastern Europeans but also for example about the Portugese in Thetford.

    Until recently Eastern Europeans haven’t been eligible for most benefits which has acted as a deterrant against the less econmically active though I believe this has now changed.

    As to assimilation and integration unlike previous centuries when immigrants from other European countries quickly adapted to life in this country we now have a huge race relations industry which would just love to add the Eastern Europeans to its list of ‘oppressed’ minorites with the consequent increase in work for itself.

    Perhaps the most likely event in the big urban areas is that Eastern Europeans become just another immigrant community in generalised immigrant ‘ghettoes’, all competing against each other for influence and resources with occasional outbreaks of violence.

  12. Justin Hinchcliffe is briefly interviewed by The Guardian this morning

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/27/labour-conference-rory-weal

  13. The problem with gehttoes though does and will arise with groups whose culture is so alien that it cannot be assimilated and in some cases does not want to because it is inherently hostile to the host culture, for example Somalians, Bangladeshis.

    Pete is spot on here but I blame Governments over the years for allowing newcomers into this country to segregate themselves from the rest of British society. Speaking English should be something all those that want to settle here should be able to do and none should be eligable for any benefits unless they have worked and contributed to the system. This would start the unravelling process of these insular communities as they would have to get jobs, integrate, better their English as well as enhance the lives of any children they may have – somehow I cant see any changes in regards to immigration happening anytime soon.

  14. “cosmopolitian”

    This is not a word I would use to describe Tottenham. I think its about time the descriptions of these seats are given an overhaul.

  15. “The problem with gehttoes though does and will arise with groups whose culture is so alien that it cannot be assimilated and in some cases does not want to because it is inherently hostile to the host culture”

    I’m sorry if this is going to offend, but if they feel so inherently hostile to the ‘host culture’ I start to wonder why they want to be here in the first place.

    I’m not sure it is what Pete intended to say, but in effect what he said has accepted that there are a certain community of people out there today who will never be appeased, they can never be placated, they will always be inherently hostile to the ‘host culture’.
    I have to say that I largely agree, and that in such cases the only course of action is to promote the divorce of the two cultures and to facilitate their speedy removal from our shores if that is what would make them happier.

  16. I think this hostility only arises as many Somalians (for example) come to the UK with such hope of starting a new life only to find that the images they have painted of an England laden with gold is all rubbish. Life proved harder here then many imagined, learning the language proved too difficult and many lived in high ethnic minority communities (even back in the 80s) so had very little contact with British culture.
    So many have simply recreated their native culture instead.

  17. The British are never so hypocritical as when they are moaning about immigrants not learning the language.

    As a country we are one of the worst in the world at learning other countries’ languages. Chances are that LBernard and Shaun are only fluent in English with no experience of having had to learn fluency in another language in a different country?

    Having lived in Norway for 3 years I can testify to how long it can take to get to fluency in a second language and how impractial it is to insist on such fluency before a person even moves there.

    As for the hypocrisy of the British on this…well, for a start the Costa del Sol and the French Riviera are jam packed with British expats who refuse to speak anything other than English. As are many other cities in the world, especially in Asia.

    The benefits issue I agree with – but by law non-citizens aren’t entitled to benefits in any case. Speaking English to be eligible for a British passport – yes that’s fair enough. Also fair enough that we shouldn’t have to pay to translate documents into foreign languages for non-English speakers.

  18. “Chances are that LBernard and Shaun are only fluent in English with no experience of having had to learn fluency in another language in a different country?”

    Indeed. I am quite proud of the fact that I am only fluent in my native language. I dropped foreign languages at school as soon as I could and I do not support the compulsary teaching of foreign languages at any level. Indeed, if I wanted to be controversial, I would go further to say that the onus is on non-English speakers to learn English as the ‘single world language’ rather than vice-versa. So I see no problem with only speaking a single language.

    The difference of course being that I have no intention of going to live in a foreign country where English is not the primary language. Furthermore, if I did do so, I would expect to have to learn the native language-if only because I don’t know how anyone can live somewhere that they don’t understand what people and signs are saying to them.

    Contrast that with some of those who have lived here for years and resolutely refuse to learn the language. How do they expect to get on when the translations are rightly removed?

  19. “The British are never so hypocritical as when they are moaning about immigrants not learning the language.
    As a country we are one of the worst in the world at learning other countries’ languages. Chances are that LBernard and Shaun are only fluent in English with no experience of having had to learn fluency in another language in a different country?
    As for the hypocrisy of the British on this…well, for a start the Costa del Sol and the French Riviera are jam packed with British expats who refuse to speak anything other than English. As are many other cities in the world, especially in Asia.”

    Well Shaun has basically answered this, but I don’t see how there is any hypocrisy here unless Shaun or LBernard or any others of us on here who have made this point are living in the Costa del Sol and refusing to speak Spanish. Since Shaun lives in Stoke, I live in St Albans and as far as I can tell LBernard lives in NE London, the issue of us using a second language doesn’t arise

  20. Completely agree with Shaun here HH, I too have no need to learn another language but if I had to move to another country for work or whatever reason I would make it my primary concern to do so. Even the most ignorant Brits in Spain learn basic Spanish. Not being able to speak another language is down to the way this country’s education system has placed no emphasis on learning langauges unlike France, Germany and many other countries around the world. We are lucky that English is the language of business – had this not been the case then I am sure that we would be able to speak our native language and whatever language would get us further in business.

    Unfortunately the reality is, is that many people who come from to the UK can now go straight into a community which is dominated with shops, schools, health centres etc which cater for their language needs. Getting rid of translators (and saving ourselves money in the process) would make many feel that they can no longer live here without learning the language.

    There was also something in the Evening Standard about a Bengali mother who came to England as a child, was not encouraged to learn English by her parents and so never did. The effect it had on her children was remarkable as she was unable to read to them, teach them anything about their country (being Britain) and in the end resulted with her children being embarassed by her lack of English. After 15 or so years she decided to learn English and now has a job, a mixture of friends, can read to her children and really enjoy the benefits of living here. She proves that learning the language really does break down barriers and it helps to get rid of this us and them mentality.

  21. “Even the most ignorant Brits in Spain learn basic Spanish.”

    Many can’t speak a single word.

    “We are lucky that English is the language of business”

    For now. Though in 20-30 years’ time it could well be Mandarin.

    “Getting rid of translators (and saving ourselves money in the process) would make many feel that they can no longer live here without learning the language.”

    I said in my post that I agree with you about state-funded translators. And obviously you’re right about needing to learn the language if you intend to stay long-term and make a success of your life in a new country. I also saw that Evening Standard article and as I also said in my post I do not think it right for people to become British citizens – hence eligible for benefits – without being fluent in English.

    Where I disagree with you and Shaun and Pete is your view that people should not be able to move here at all if they can’t speak English at the beginning. It is totally impractical. Eg. if you were offered a job in Russia you would not be expected to be fluent in Russian before you had even arrived.

    As long as they are not sponging off the state nor granted citizenship I do not see the problem with people learning or not learning the language as they please.

  22. “Where I disagree with you and Shaun and Pete is your view that people should not be able to move here at all if they can’t speak English at the beginning”

    Well I have never said that. Language is only a barrier if it is a barrier that you are going to do nothing to overcome. If you move somewhere where you don’t understand the language (i’m NOT saying that people should not be allowed) then you MUST make it a priiority to learn it early on. If you can’t or won’t then you shouldn’t bother moving there. Simple!

  23. “Well I have never said that. Language is only a barrier if it is a barrier that you are going to do nothing to overcome. If you move somewhere where you don’t understand the language (i’m NOT saying that people should not be allowed) then you MUST make it a priiority to learn it early on. If you can’t or won’t then you shouldn’t bother moving there. Simple!”

    Fine if that’s just your opinion, but it is impractical to believe you could enshrine that in some kind of law – except in the case of claiming benefits of being granted citizenship, in which case I agree with you.

    I’m interested in how you define “early on”, and in your view of how quickly the average person can be expected to become fluent in a language they’ve never used before. For myself as a graduate professional it still took me about 2 years to be reasonably fluent in Norwegian. How long would it take a bricklayer of below average intelligence who hated school?

  24. The bricklayer probably wouldnt move to Norway!!!
    :-D

  25. Don’t you believe it – the highest wages for manual work in pretty much the whole world.

    And Polish, Ukrainians etc are already used to the cold.

  26. ““Where I disagree with you and Shaun and Pete is your view that people should not be able to move here at all if they can’t speak English at the beginning”

    I’m starting to sound like an echo of Shaun, but I also have to challenge that comment, as I’m not aware of having suggested any such thing

  27. From another place:

    “Justin Hinchcliffe of Tottenham Tories tweeted BC has apparently proposed Edmonton & N. Tott and S Tott & Stamford Hil constituencies.”

  28. Census results, white British, 2001 / 2011:

    Bruce Grove: 30.4% / 17.4%
    Harringay: 44.3% / 33.8%
    Northumberland Park: 28.9% / 16.6%
    St Ann’s: 34.9% / 23.1%
    Seven Sisters: 36.0% / 29.0%
    Tottenham Green: 29.7% / 19.3%
    Tottenham Hale: 30.5% / 18.4%
    West Green: 32.2% / 21.7%
    White Hart Lane: 40.9% / 23.0%

    TOTAL: 34.0% / 22.4%

    White overall, Tottenham:
    2001: 55.1%
    2011: 50.1%

    Black overall:
    2001: 28.6%
    2011: 26.7%

    Black Caribbean:
    2001: 13.6%
    2011: 10.0%

    Black African:
    2001: 13.1%
    2011: 13.2%

    Black Other:
    2001: 1.9%
    2011: 3.5%

    White other:
    2001: 17.1%
    2011: 25.2%

    Asian (excl. Chinese)
    2001: 7.6%
    2011: 9.1%

  29. Quite an interesting discussion on this thread since the general election:

    “a plentiful supply of cheap and willing migrant workers does nothing for productivity growth and capital investment by business. Have you noticed how many ‘Mr Handjob’ style hand carwash businesses have cropped up in the last decade? Ten years ago if you wanted a clean car you either washed it yourself or went to a car wash. Now there must be tens of thousands of people (almost all economic migrants) employed to wash cars – it all seems rather third world to me.”

    The fall in capital investment and productivity is now being discussed in the media.

    But we were there first ;-)

  30. “It takes time for ‘ghettoes’ to form and the census results might show some interesting results – not just regarding Eastern Europeans but also for example about the Portugese in Thetford.”

    Any evidence Andy?

    What are the numbers for the Rotherham Roma?

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