WALTER CRONXITE on some worrying numbers for Labour in Croydon
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
If a General Election was held this week, then this clown (right) would become Croydon Central’s Member of Parliament.
That’s according to the latest London-only opinion poll conducted by Queen Mary College at the University of London and YouGov.
As it has done in the past, the YouGov/QueenMary’s polling predicts trouble for Labour in Croydon and Sutton (their last poll was in December, as we reported at the time).
With the state of national politics is a state of flux, if not complete meltdown, capital-only polling is very useful, as metropolitan London these days has a mind of its own.
In the 2017 General Election, the Corbynmania tide in London was overwhelming, with a 6.3 per cent swing to Labour in the capital, compared to the national swing of just short of 3 per cent. Then, Labour secured a dominating 54.5 per cent of the London vote.
That domination saw Gavin Barwell lose the Croydon Central seat which had been a Tory hold since 2005, to be replaced by Labour’s Sarah Jones.
Jones, pictured below, has made a good impression since becoming Croydon’s first woman MP, both at Westminster and in her constituency.
But her tenure in Parliament is now under threat as London’s Europhile voters are becoming disenchanted with the Labour leadership’s positioning on Europe, with many seeking refuge in the avowedly Remain parties: the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and, to a very modest extent, the ChUKa party (or whatever it is calling itself this week).
Both at the 2017 General Election and in the Croydon local elections 12 months ago, the Conservatives and Labour took the lion’s share of the votes cast in what seemed to be a return two-party politics.
- In London in 2017, the two parties took 87.6 per cent of the vote.
- In the Croydon local elections in 2018, the political duopoly took 84.6 per cent.
But now Brexit uncertainty has scattered those voting blocs among half a dozen competing parties, with the EU-friendly LibDems transforming their vote share in London to 21 per cent, up from the 8.8 per cent in 2017, according to the YouGov/QueenMary’s polling.
The LibDems are now just two points behind the Tories in London, as the Conservatives witness their supporters drifting off to the Brexit Party of Nigel Farage (whose initials, conveniently, spell out the political skeleton in his cupboard), or to any of the Remain parties. The Greens on 7 per cent are also taking a vegan bite out of Tory and Labour votes, while ChUKa is on 2 per cent.
The Brexit Party is polling at 10 per cent in London, where the collapse of the vote for UKIP could see their party leader, the Islamophobic Gerard Batten, finally lose the lucrative seat at the European Parliament that he has held since 2004 when the Euro elections are held in a fortnight’s time.
Where all this threatens Sarah Jones’s parliamentary seat is that according to the polling, Labour’s vote share in London is down to 35 per cent, a fall of 19.5 per cent since 2017.
The Tory share, meanwhile, is down 11.1 per cent.
Locally, that means the Conservatives, and Mario Creatura, winning in Croydon Central by about 1,700 votes.
Creatura, for anyone who’s not been paying attention, is the former bag-carrier for Barwell who for has been working in Downing Street as Theresa Mayhem’s £80,000 per year Twitterer-in-Chief.
A councillor in Coulsdon Town ward , since being selected as the Tories’ prospective parliamentary candidate (and not, as he insists on describing himself, as the “prospective MP”), Creatura has dropped all pretence of trying to represent the people who pay his council allowances (another £18,344 on top of his Whitehall salary, since you ask).
As well as abandoning regular ward surgeries in Coulsdon, Brexit-backing Creatura has draped his personal Twitter account with images from Croydon Central, with nothing from the south of the borough, the area he is actually supposed to represent.
According to the YouGov/QueenMary polling, in Croydon South the Liberal Democrats would return to to second place in the seat for the first time since 2010. Chris Philp would hold the true-blue seat, though his vote would fall by more than 9,000.
In Croydon and Sutton as a whole, where there’s London Assembly elections coming up in 12 months’ time, Labour would fall into third place there, too, with the Tories 16,000 votes ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
In one important respect, the Conservatives are already a country mile ahead of Labour in the London Assembly election campaign. They, at least, have managed to select a candidate, Sutton councillor Neil Garrett, who has been out campaigning in both boroughs, working at raising his profile in those parts of Croydon that don’t already know him as local politics’ very sweary answer to the foul-mouthed Father Jack.
Contrast that to Labour, where the likes of Croydon councillors Jamie Audsley and Patsy Cummings have been left waiting for a starting gun to be fired, as they stage their own quasi-campaigns. With the London elections coming in May 2020, Labour has not yet even advised its party members of how their selection process will work.
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