Even the Evening Boris is predicting that Gavin Barwell, the MP for the Whitgift Foundation, will lose his parliamentary seat at the General Election in 100 days time.
Barwell had London Mayor Boris Johnson attend his glitzy campaign launch last year, but London’s evening paper, noted for its unquestioning support of the buffoon at City Hall, could not make the numbers look any better for the Croydon Central Tory MP in a capital-focused poll published last night which shows Barwell to be one of six Conservatives likely to lose their seats on May 7, among 10 London seats held by members of the ConDem Government which will change hands.
According to the Standard’s poll, support for Labour in London has risen by 1 per cent since December, to 42 per cent.
In Greater London polling, the Tories are down by 1 per cent, to 32 per cent, the FibDems have fallen 2 per cent in one month, to 7 per cent, while UKIP is up 1 to 10 per cent and the Greens up 2 to 8 per cent.
Based on those figures, Government whip Barwell is set to lose to Labour’s Sarah Jones in Croydon Central, while two prominent south London ConDem figures, Simon Hughes, the LibDems’ deputy leader in Bermondsey, and former Health Minister Paul Burstow in Sutton and Cheam, look vulnerable.
Predicting eight gains for Labour in London at the 2015 General Election will also indicate that after Johnson finally departs City Hall as Mayor, whoever gets their party’s nomination in the 2016 London election (David Lammy, the Tottenham MP, Tessa Jowell who is stepping down in Dulwich and Norwood, and the transport guru, outsider Christian Wolmar are among those expected to seek the role) ought to have a strong chance of becoming the city’s third Mayor.
London polling ought not to be taken as indicative of voting intentions across the rest of the country, however. Barwell’s old boss, Lord Cashcroft, gave the Tories a one-point lead in his latest extensive national survey published yesterday.
But the capital punishment facing Burstow, who is vulnerable to the Tories, and Hughes, who has held his seat in inner London Southwark for 30 years, demonstrate how bad things have got for their party in London. The YouGov/Evening Standard survey has Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats pushed into fifth place in London for the first time since 2010.
The bad news for Barwell will hardly come as much of a shock, though. Ashcroft had him 6 per cent behind Jones in constituency polling in November, and his much-ridiculed campaigning continues to struggle to get noticed for the right reasons. The defeat in Addiscombe, Woodside, Ashburton, New Addington and Fieldway wards in last year’s local elections was hard-felt by Barwell, and the impact on local party fund-raising continues to bite.
But here at Inside Croydon, we’re confident that a capable political operator (ha!) such as Barwell will find himself a cosy directorship with an international firm of developers should he join the ranks of the unemployed come May 8. Zero hours contracts, however, could be in prospect for the six people Barwell pays out of public funds in his parliamentary and constituency offices.
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