London's Marginal Constituencies: Which Seats Could Change Hands This Election?

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 9 months ago

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London's Marginal Constituencies: Which Seats Could Change Hands This Election?
How many new London MPs will take their seat after the coming general election? Image: Shutterstock

One of the most unpredictable (and, arguably, important) general elections in a generation is fast approaching, and several key battlegrounds are right here in London. We've taken a look at some of the most marginal constituencies in the capital — from seats held by minuscule majorities, to those where views on Brexit may well outweigh the significance of traditional party alliances.

Kensington

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Formerly a Tory stronghold, Kensington is the most marginal seat in the whole of the UK, following Labour's shock victory in 2017. MP Emma Dent Coad holds it by just 20 votes, and will face serious competition from both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. Although the latter party enjoyed a mere 12.2% share of the 2017 vote, in a borough that voted 69% remain in the 2016 EU referendum, the Lib Dems' unequivocally anti-Brexit stance could earn them a more substantial share this time round.

MP: Emma Dent Coad (Lab)

Current majority: 20 (a vote share of 42.23%)

Challengers: Felicity Buchan for the Conservatives. Former Tory minister Sam Gyimah for the Liberal Democrats.

Richmond Park

Since its creation in 1997, this south west London constituency has swung between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. Zac Goldsmith lost it in a post-EU referendum by-election to the Liberal Democrats' Sarah Olney, before regaining it in 2017. However, his majority is wafer-thin, and this Eurosceptic MP will have to fight hard to keep his seat in a borough that voted 79% to remain in the EU.

MP: Zac Goldsmith (Con)

Size of majority: 45 (a vote share of 45.1%)

Challenger: Sarah Olney for the Liberal Democrats

Chipping Barnet

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On first glance, Chipping Barnet looks about as blue as you can get, with Conservatives having represented the constituency since its creation in 1974. Yet in 2017, MP Theresa Villiers' majority shrunk to just 353 votes. Villiers will once again have to see off stiff competition from Labour's Emma Whysall.

MP: Theresa Villiers (Con)

Size of majority: 353 (a vote share of 46.3%)

Challenger: Emma Whysall for Labour

Hendon

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The Conservatives snatched this seat in the borough of Barnet from Labour back in 2010, and have hung onto it since. However, MP Matthew Offord's majority fell substantially in 2017 and the Brexiteer could be vulnerable in this remain constituency.

MP: Matthew Offord (Con)

Size of majority: 1,072 (a vote share of 48%)

Challenger: David Pinto-Duschinsky for Labour

Carshalton & Wallington

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Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake swiped this seat from the Conservatives back in 1997 and held onto it ever since. However, Lib Dems' electoral pledge to unilaterally revoke Article 50 could cost him votes, given that this constituency is part of the only south London borough that voted to leave the EU back in 2016.

MP: Tom Brake (Lib Dem)

Size of majority: 1,369 (a vote share of 41%)

Challenger: Elliott Colburn for the Conservatives

Putney

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Former conservative MP Justine Greening enjoyed over half of the total vote share in 2010 and 2015, but her majority shrunk considerably in 2017. She lost the party whip back in October and has stood down. Tory candidate Will Sweeting is expected to struggle in this remain-backing constituency, and both Labour (who held the seat from 1997-2005 won 40.8% of the total vote share in 2017) and the Lib Dems (who won 11.6%) have targeted the seat. Of course, this may well result in remainers splitting the centre-left vote.

MP: Justine Greening (Independent - standing down)

Size of majority: 1,554 (a vote share of 44.1%)

Challengers: Sue Wixley for the Liberal Democrats and Fleur Anderson for Labour

Finchley and Golders Green

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The Conservatives have controlled this seat since 2010, but MP Mike Freers's majority fell by 3.9% in 2017, with Labour in second place. Yet the ongoing controversy over the Labour Party's handing of accusations of antisemitism could harm the party's chances. And the constituency, which voted remain, is also a key target for the Lib Dems, who have put forward former Labour MP and staunch Corbyn critic Luciana Berger.

MP: Mike Freer (Con)

Size of majority: 1,657 (a vote share of 47%)

Challengers: Ross Houston for Labour and Luciana Berger for the Liberal Democrats

Harrow East

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This Tory/Labour swing seat has been held by Conservative MP Bob Blackman since 2010 but, again, there were less than 2,000 votes in it back in 2017.

MP: Bob Blackman (Con)

Size of majority: 1,757 (a vote share of 49.4%))

Challenger: Pamela Fitzpatrick for Labour

Battersea

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Here's another Conservative/Labour swing seat. Labour MP Marsha de Cordova nabbed it from the Tories in 2017, but her majority is small. The constituency voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, which could see the Lib Dems increase their vote share.

MP: Marsha de Cordova (Lab)

Size of majority: 2,416 (a vote share of 45.9%)

Challengers: Kim Caddy for the Conservatives and Mark Gitsham for the Liberal Democrats

Chingford & Woodford Green

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Iain Duncan Smith has represented Chingford & Woodford Green for the Conservatives since 1997, yet his majority in what was long a Tory stronghold decreased in 2017. This time around Labour are targeting this constituency hard. Known as the architect of Universal Credit, public outrage surrounding the controversial welfare reform may further harm Duncan Smith's campaign.

MP: Iain Duncan Smith (Con)

Size of majority: 2,438 (vote share of 41.9%)

Challenger: Faiza Shaheen for Labour

Cities of London and Westminster

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With 72% of this central London constituency voting remain in the EU referendum, and outgoing Tory MP Mark Field standing down, the Tories could struggle to hold a seat that's been blue for over half a century. Could the Lib Dems' pledge to revoke Article 50 tempt residents away from the Conservatives for the first time since 1950?

MP: Mark Field (Con - standing down)

Size of majority: 3,148 (vote share of 46.6%)

Challenger: Former Labour MP Chuka Ummuna for the Lib Dems.

Dagenham and Rainham

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This young constituency has been held by Labour's Jon Cruddas since its creation in 2010. At 10.2%, his majority is fairly substantial, yet with 70.2% of residents voting to leave the EU in 2016, Labour's neutral stance on Brexit could cost them a number of votes.

MP: Jon Cruddas (Lab)

Size of majority: 4,652 majority (vote share of 50.1%)

Challenger: Damian White for the Conservatives.

Uxbridge and South Ruislip

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Could our current prime minister really lose his own seat? With a majority of over 5,000, it'd be no mean feat, but a coalition of youth campaigners opposed to the incumbent MP are giving it a good go. Indeed, Johnson's majority fell by over half at the 2017 election, so it's certainly not beyond the realms of possibility. If Johnson was ousted, he'd be the second ever sitting PM to lose his own seat.

MP: Boris Johnson (Con)

Size of majority: 5,034 (a vote share of 50.8%)

Challenger: Ali Milani for Labour

Last Updated 06 December 2019