2015 Result:
Conservative: 5090 (12%)
Labour: 28654 (67.3%)
Lib Dem: 1756 (4.1%)
Green: 3931 (9.2%)
UKIP: 1512 (3.6%)
TUSC: 1324 (3.1%)
Others: 291 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 23564 (55.4%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Tottenham, Tottenham Hale, Haringay, West Green, Seven Sisters, Bruce Grove, Northumberland Park.

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 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 and in 2011 the seat was once again the epicentre of widespread rioting after the shooting of Mark Duggan.

Politics: 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 retain some Lib Dem strength, the eastern wards in this seat are solidly Labour.

Current MP
DAVID LAMMY (Labour) Born 1972, Tottenham. Educated at the Kings School, Peterborough and SOAS. Barrister. First elected as MP for Tottenham in 2000 by-election. Under-Secretary of State for health 2002-2003, for constitutional affairs 2003-2005, for culture, media and sport 2005-2007 and for Innovation, Universities and Skills 2007-2008, Minister of State for Higher Education 2008-2010. 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.
Past Results
Con: 6064 (15%)
Lab: 24128 (59%)
LDem: 7197 (18%)
GRN: 980 (2%)
Oth: 2318 (6%)
MAJ: 16931 (42%)
Con: 4278 (14%)
Lab: 18343 (58%)
LDem: 5309 (17%)
GRN: 1457 (5%)
Oth: 2277 (7%)
MAJ: 13034 (41%)
Con: 4401 (14%)
Lab: 21317 (67%)
LDem: 3008 (10%)
GRN: 1443 (5%)
Oth: 1432 (5%)
MAJ: 16916 (54%)
Con: 5921 (16%)
Lab: 26121 (69%)
LDem: 4064 (11%)
Oth: 1598 (4%)
MAJ: 20200 (54%)

2015 Candidates
DAVID LAMMY (Labour) See above.
TURHAN OZEN (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Middle East Technical University. Software engineer. Contested London region 2014 European election.
Comments - 166 Responses on “Tottenham”
  1. Amazing no-one has posted here yet….where’s Justin Hinchcliffe gone??

    Anyway, Norman Atkinson – MP here until 1987 – has died.

  2. I haven’t checked but his 1983 majority of 9,396 must have been one of Labour’s biggest in the capital that year. (Brent South and Ealing Southall were higher).

  3. sorry to hear the news but he did live to a good age.

  4. I had no idea that the Tories did so well here in 1987. I am assuming a large part of that was due to the rate rises in London at the time?

  5. Wasn’t Bernie Grant’s candidature also somewhat controversial?

  6. Absolutely. He said the police got “a bloody good hiding” in the 1985 Tottenham riots. Of course it’s hard to separate this from the rates issue as Grant was also deeply entwined in that, as leader of the council.

  7. The 1987 Conservative poll, was a result of Peter Murphy having stood and campaigned for some years. He gained a council seat in 1986, when Conservatives were falling back in London and ran a right to buy advice campaign.

    Bernie Grant was distrusted locally for several reasons. His supporters arranged Norman Atkinson’s de-selection. He was also Haringey Council leader at the time of the Broadwater Farm riots as mentioned above. He also upset many religious voters with Haringey’s campaigning stance on gay activism.

    The back drop was a strong Conservative swing in London, gaining Battersea and Walthamstow, as well as nearby Thurrock. All the Conservative marginal including neighbouring Edmonton also had strong swings to the Conservatives from Labour. Even marginal like Hornsey and Wood Green, Lewisham East and West and Dulwich stayed Conservative.

    Atkinson was Treasurer of the Labour Party for some years and closely linked to old style union politics. He was typical of a breed of MP’s that have now gone.

    Labour Bernie Grant 21,921 43.6% −8.4

    Conservative Peter Laurence Murphy 17,780 35.4% +5.2

    Liberal Stewart James Etherington 8,983 17.8% +1.6

    Green Darren John Nicholls 744 1.%5 N/A

    Gaitskell Labour Peter Joseph Nealon 638 1.3% N/A

    Workers Revolutionary Miss Clare Louise Dixon 205 0.4% N/A
    Majority 4,141 8.2%
    Turnout 50,271 66.1%

  8. where is peter laurence murphy now

  9. Thats a good post by GT.

  10. That’s all true but all Murphy’s work went to waste as in 1992 the swing to Labour was amongst the highest in the land. Grant had by this time become a more consensual figure and a more effective MP, and I’m not sure that the candidacy of Andrew Charalambous (who popped up more recently as UKIP candidate for Feltham & Heston) for the Tories helped either. I can’t prove this, but I suspect that in a constituency which has very large communities of both Greek Cypriot & Turkish Cypriot origins the Turkish Cypriots basically didn’t vote for him. However, they may well have already been predominantly Labour even in 1987. Since 1992 Labour has had no problems here whatsoever.

  11. Turhan Ozen chosen as LibDem PC for this one…

    Interesting choice of a Turkish (Cypriot?) PPC considering that north London is where this group is bunched…

  12. Not the only North London LD of Turkish heritage – there’s (Baroness) Meral Ece as well.

  13. The White Other group here seems very high at 27.7%.. would that be the Cypriots of the different kinds and who else? Does the census classify Turks from Turkey as Asians and Turks from Cyprus as Europeans?

  14. Antiochian – the census does not elaborate on “White Other”. However, it does have country of birth, and that does show high numbers from Poland and other EU accession countries and high numbers from Turkey.

  15. Interesting that in 1987 Bernie Grant got the following result-
    21, 921 (43.6%, -8.4%)

    But then in 1992 managed to get the Labour position to somewhere around where they were in 1983, but slightly above.

  16. I think that’s been very comprehensively explained upthread

  17. I suppose so. But all the same it is interesting.

  18. Ethnic Turks are almost always classed as White Other and even in apartheid South Africa were regarded as such (though of course that didn’t stop BNP members from racially insulting one of their own members in Barking, Lawrence Rustem, who is half-Turkish). Turks do not have the same ethnicity as Syrians & other Arabs who are usually classified, and indeed self-classified, as non-whites.

  19. In the 2011 census Arab became its own category, a subcategory of Other.

  20. We have it too as a separate ethnicity on the interviews we do on behalf of Transport for London. Some people who originate from Christian minorities in Egypt, Lebanon & certain other countries can at times be reluctant to classify themselves as Arab, preferring to be thought of as Non-white Other, if anything; I have interviewed both Coptic Christians from Egypt & Lebanese Christians as part of my work, though not often.

  21. As someone who carries out and analyses surveys I can tell you that the self-assessments of people from the Near and Middle East are all over the place. They turn up as Other White, Other Asian, or Other in about equal proportions, with some quite reasonably classifying themselves as African (if they come from North Africa). It’s a mess and very unhelpful if you are trying to find out something about these (mostly) Muslim communities.

  22. In the work I do they would have to be classified as Black African, and respondents from countries such as Algeria or Egypt often don’t think of themselves that way.

  23. Predicting this seat may not be as easy as predicting other safe Labour seats, given that both the Greens and Socialists (still standing under TUSC at this time of writing they got one of their best 2010 results here) have some presence here and that both coalition parties are not remotely within a shot of winning this seat. Here is what could happen in 2015 (remember, London seats will have more candidates than average in general elections; many of the seats that had 10 or more candidates apiece in 2010 were in Greater London):

    Lab 64 (David Lammy is not exactly on the left in the way John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn are and therefore will not be able to increase his already high vote share by much)
    Lib Dem 12
    Con 12
    Green 4
    Socialist 4
    UKIP 2
    Others 2

  24. It wouldn’t be a Lotus estimate without a Green surge!

  25. I really doubt Lammy not being on the left of Labour will hinder his vote here. The Greens have done well in certain pockets, but virtually every left wing party has failed miserably.

    Labour is in opposition at the moment, so a TUSC vote will be squeezed mercilessly.

  26. I think the mistaken assumption in Lotus’ estimate is assuming that the other leftwingers will see their local situation and realise cogently that they are free to vote for alternative left parties, rather than seeing the national situation. People’s knowledge of their local political situation is often suboptimal to say the least – how many of Lammy’s constituents would be able to even have a go at pinpointing his politics compared to the rest of Labour?

  27. Lammy has adapted well & his Blairism has been trimmed somewhat, and he doesn’t look quite as right-wing as he once did in any case.
    No I agree that the Greens won’t increase their vote to the extent suggested. They won’t get over 3% here. Mind you, the point isn’t really worth arguing about all that much. This seat is likely to remain within the top 5 safe Labour seats in London, with Camberwell & Peckham, East Ham & West Ham also strong contenders & Hackney N another – perhaps Hackney S too.

  28. St Anns ward is in Tottenham constituency.

    The Labour party in Haringey is a cesspit. Unlike Lambeth etc, it seems never to have moved on from its loony left reputation in the 1980s, perhaps because Labour have never lost power even in the heady days of Lib Dem ascendance in 2002-2010.

  29. But with so many LD’s bailing out, one has to be a little sceptical about this.

    Haringey Labour group is anything but loony left – its one of the most right-wing Labour groups in London!

  30. Seem to be diametrically opposed views.. they are loony Left or Hard Right? Whatever they are they seem to be fractious

    are these LibDems bailing out in Haringey? they seemed to be doing quite well there by my info… the LibDems are running at full throttle in some places and full reverse in others.. its rather dangerous to generalise..

  31. I wonder which London Labour groups are the most left-wing? Islington still seem to be quite left-wing with among other things their refusal to enforce the mayor’s affordable housing threshold and introducing their own rates instead.

  32. Mike’s reply surprises me, though I defer to his superior knowledge on the Labour party.

    Many of the famous London loony-left councils from the 80s are now resolutely Blairite – Lambeth and Lewisham certainly.

  33. I don’t think Lewisham was ever quite as left-wing as Lambeth, although it certainly was more left-wing than it is today. Haringey certainly used to have a left-wing Labour Party, as evidenced by the parliamentary selections of Ted Knight in Hornsey in 1979 & Bernie Grant in Tottenham in 1987. The selection of the left-winger Norman Atkinson too, in Tottenham in 1964, is not that surprising when you consider that the outgoing MP, Alan Brown, defected from Labour to the Conservatives (though he did return later).

  34. Seems the warring parties tried to draw Lammy in and he resisted… I like the way “Ugly Scene” is capitalised…. is it a euphemism for a mega punch up?

  35. As well as the PPC for 2015, the LDs are now running two Turks in the May council elections…its seems Labour is not the only party to play the ethnic card with vigour..

  36. I don’t think that standing candidates of Turkish ethnicity in a seat with many such voters is “playing the ethnic card”. Undoubtedly there will be numerous active members of both parties, and perhaps the Tories too, of Turkish Cypriot as well as Greek Cypriot origin in this constituency.

  37. Not seen a single Labour leaflet here, apart from Harringay ward. They are taking their voters for granted by campaigning in Hornsey and Wood Green.

  38. Well if nothing else he is deluded if he thinks anyone here can be remotely arsed to read through those reams of bullshit. At least when Frederic Stansfield posts his novels on here he usually has something interesting to say

  39. Delusional? Me? Nah, telling it as *I* see it…

  40. Probably fairly safe to take Tottenham for granted tbh.

  41. Justin: who do you think will “win” the popular vote in the Hornsey & Wood Green constituency in the local elections?

  42. There’s really no place for party political press releases here, and certainly no place for personal abuse.

  43. Yes if I were to post something of that length extolling the virtues of Labour in Richmond Park there would be howls of opposition, and rightly so. Of course, on a partisan basis, if Justin wants to spend his time campaigning exclusively in Tottenham for an impossible dream, I could have no possible objection, but really I must agree with the above comments about his interminable post above. Remove it please Anthony, and have a word with the gentleman.

  44. Its not quite the same:

    The previous comment was a personal attack against UKIP and its members. It was untypical of the poster in question in that it veered towards the unpleasant. [Then you are thinking of an entirely different comment, it certainly wasn’t aimed at UKIP. Remember you can’t see comments I’ve moderated! – AW]

    Justin’s is not really on the topic of this site and drastically overlong, but is not personal or unpleasant. It is at least factual, even if the facts are not really relevant.

  45. There are several Labour candidates standing in the council elections in Haringey who were councillors in the 1980’s. George Meehan was leader during the baby P fiasco and also pre-Bernie Grant and is still going. As is Eddie Griffiths.

    Given the poor performance of the council one would have thought that the Labour Party would have purged the very old timers. Rather than being left-wing these days, it all looks a bit like the co-op, lots of “governance” and imagined democracy, yet the outcomes from the council are hugely disappointing to residents, as the same clique controls everything and is largely unaccountable.

    David Lammy appears to be more switched on, but looks hopelessly out of step with the Labour Party both locally and nationally.

    Needless to say, Labour will have no difficulties at either the council or Parliamentary elections in Tottenham.

  46. My apologies — questions were being asked as to what i was doing. Rather than score points, I thought viewers would be interested in our candidates (somebody from the LDs boasted and implied only they had Turkish candidates). Tottenham is a safe Labour seat–I’m not denying that. Will it ever change? Who knows? Not any time soon, is my guess. The fact that we have local Tottenham people who represent the demographics of this seat, is something that I am personally proud of.

  47. Who do I think will win the popular vote in H&WG? That’s an easy one: Labour.

  48. We’ll see what happens.

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