Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Greens Achieve Best Ever General Election Result in Haringey (and the rest of London)

The Green party polled 5% (up from 2% in 2010) across London in the general election of 2015. This is the best result we have ever had in the capital at a general election. Of London’s 73 constituencies, Greens saved 22 deposits (by gaining at least 5% of the vote) with the best result being in Hackney North and Stoke Newington (14.6%). Admittedly, we had a pretty disastrous result across London in 2010, but this still represents a real stride forward for the Greens.

I hope other London Green Left supporters will blog about the constituencies where they live, but for now I’m taking a look at Haringey where I live.

The London Borough of Haringey has two general election constituencies, Tottenham and Hornsey and Wood Green. We saved both deposits for the first time ever this year. Both candidates and their campaign teams worked very hard, but election outcomes are usually based on public mood swings, and I think this election certainly had this element.

Hornsey and Wood Green

2015 Result

Labour     50.9%  +16.9%
Lib Dem   31.8%  - 14.7%
Tory           9.3%  -  7.4%
Green        5.4%  +  3.2%
UKIP          2.2%  +  2.2%

Although we have saved our deposit twice before here (2001 – 5.2%, 2005 - 5.0%), this is the best ever result for us in Hornsey and Wood Green. The key factor in this constituency is that it is (was) a Labour/Lib Dem marginal. The Lib Dems took the seat from Labour in 2005 (and retained it in 2010) in the wake of the Iraq war. Like all across London, (and indeed the country) the Lib Dems had a bad election. So, it was no surprise to see Labour regain this seat. The Green vote was consequently ‘squeezed’ by Labour (in particular) and the Lib Dems. I did actually fancy us to do a bit better than we did, but an eve of election opinion poll circulated by local 38 Degrees members, showing the Lib Dems and Labour neck and neck, I think cost us a point or two in the end.

There is something for the Greens to build upon here for sure, and we have to chip away at the Labour and Lib Dem vote, and it is perfectly possible that we can win a council seat or two in the future, and then build further. Looking at recent council election results, Alexandra and Crouch End wards are our best bet for advancement.


2015 Result

Labour     67.3%  +8.0%
Tory         12.0%   -2.9%
Green        9.2%   +6.8%
Lib Dem     4.1%  -13.6%
UKIP          3.6%  +2.4%
TUSC         3.1%  +0.5%

Tottenham is one the safest Labour seats in the country, so it is no surprise that Labour won here (with a decent increase in vote share), and the Lib Dems crashed, from second to fourth.

But take a look at the Green vote, 9.2%, up by 6.8% from 2010. We have never saved our deposit in Tottenham before, although we did run it pretty close in 2001 and 2005. As I’ve observed before, the demographics of Tottenham have changed, with young professionals moving into the area, because of the relatively cheaper accommodation (for London). In the 2010 general election the Lib Dems benefitted from this, but these voters have gone Green in large numbers now.

There is several huge construction developments planned in Tottenham for the coming years which will likely accelerate this process too. As a party we oppose gentrification, but ironically, it will probably benefit the Green vote.  

This trend first became apparent at the 2014 council elections when we scored 15% across the wards that constitute Tottenham, with very little effort on our behalf. Previous to this, we would have expected around 9 or 10% in these wards. Labour are clearly very strong in Tottenham, but if we put more effort now into campaigning for the council elections in 2018, we could well win a council seat or two, maybe even better. Again looking at recent council election results, St Ann’s and Tottenham Green or Tottenham Hale wards look to be our best bets for advancement.

All in all a pretty good result for the Green party in Haringey, and something to give us hope for the future. 

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