Croydon Central (UK Parliament constituency)

Croydon Central (UK Parliament constituency)
Croydon Central
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Croydon Central in Greater London.
County Greater London
Electorate 76,980 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1974 (1974)
Member of Parliament Gavin Barwell (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Croydon South
European Parliament constituency London

Croydon Central is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. The current MP is Conservative Gavin Barwell, who won by 2,969 votes in May 2010.


Constituency profile

Croydon Central covers a wedge of the London Borough of Croydon to the east of central Croydon. The northern parts are characterised by terraced houses and urban areas, with small council estates. Labour gains much of its strength from these ethnically-mixed wards of Addiscombe and Woodside, and similar parts of Fairfield and Ashburton. The southern area, largely Conservative, consists of suburban semi-detached houses, populated by commuters, surrounded by golf courses and parkland. The wards of Shirley, Heathfield and parts of Ashburton give large Conservative votes. In the south east corner, there is a large former council estate, New Addington, with two electoral wards for the more than 10,000 rather isolated residents. The estate is largely white and there have been strong British National Party showings, although Labour has traditionally won the bulk of the votes on the estate.

Most of the office blocks and shopping centres of Croydon town centre, as well as the mainline railway stations are within this seat.


The constituency that preceded Croydon Central in this area, Croydon South (not to be confused with the current Croydon South constituency), had twice seen Croydon's only Labour MPs before the 1990s. David Rees-Williams had held the seat from the 1945 Labour landslide until unfavourable boundary changes in 1950. David Winnick won the seat in 1966 before losing in 1970. Otherwise the seat had been firm Conservative territory.

Historically, Labour's strength in the area had been on the council estates, particularly New Addington. However, there were important demographic changes across Croydon that saw greater numbers of ethnic minorities and residents of inner London move to Croydon from the 1970s onwards, making the area, especially north west Croydon, more favourable for Labour.

In 1997, Croydon's seats were reduced from four to three and the displaced Conservative Members had to face one another for the right to stand in the new Croydon Central seat (Croydon North by then a Labour-held seat). The MP for Croydon North East, David Congdon, beat off Sir Paul Beresford, the MP for the former Croydon Central seat. However, three years after Labour had taken control of Croydon Council, Labour's Geraint Davies saw off Congdon with a majority of 4,000. He held the seat with a similar majority in 2001 but lost by just 75 votes to Conservative Andrew Pelling in 2005, with the Liberal Democrats and Green Party gaining some 7,000 votes between them.


Central Croydon's main shopping area
The new wards and boundaries of the Croydon Central Constituency

Croydon Central covers the central and eastern parts of the London Borough of Croydon, one of the Borough's three seats. It is bordered by Croydon North and Croydon South, as well as the Beckenham constituency to the east. It is made up of eight electoral wards from the borough:

The present seat was created for the 1997 general election from most of the old Croydon Central constituency (losing Waddon to the new Croydon South) and part of the old Croydon North East constituencies. It covers an area that was Croydon South constituency until 1974 when part of East Surrey was incorporated into a new Croydon South constituency, following the creation of the London Borough of Croydon in 1965.

Boundary review

Following their review of parliamentary representation in South London, the Boundary Commission for England made minor changes to Croydon Central. Part of the South Norwood ward was transferred to the Croydon North constituency, while parts of the Croham, Selsdon and Ballards, and Waddon wards were transferred to Croydon South. These boundaries were first contested in 2010.

If the changes had been implemented at the 2005 General Election the seat was likely to have been retained by Labour. In the boundary changes over 3,000 electors moved into Croydon South and 2,500 electors into Croydon North.

Members of Parliament

Election Member[2] Party
February 1974 John Moore Conservative
1992 Sir Paul Beresford Conservative
1997 Geraint Davies Labour
2005 Andrew Pelling Conservative
2007 Independent
2010 Gavin Barwell Conservative

Election results

Elections in the 2010s

General Election 2010: Croydon Central[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gavin Barwell 19,657 39.5 -0.9
Labour Co-op Gerry Ryan 16,688 33.5 -7.6
Liberal Democrat Peter Lambell 6,553 13.2 +0.4
Independent Andrew Pelling 3,239 6.5 N/A
BNP Cliff le May 1,448 2.9 N/A
UKIP Ralph Atkinson 997 2.0 -0.2
Green Bernice Golberg 581 1.2 -1.0
Christian James Gitau 264 0.5 N/A
Monster Raving Loony John Cartwright 192 0.4 +0.0
Independent Michael Castle 138 0.3 N/A
Majority 2,969 6.0
Turnout 49,757 63.1 +3.0
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +3.3

The comparison is with the notional 2005 result for the new boundaries which made Croydon Central a Labour defence.

Elections in the 2000s

General Election 2005: Croydon Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Andrew Pelling 19,974 40.8 +2.3
Labour Geraint Davies 19,899 40.6 −6.6
Liberal Democrat Jeremy Hargreaves 6,384 13.0 +1.8
UKIP Ian Edwards 1,066 2.2 +1.0
Green Bernice Golberg 1,036 2.1 N/A
Veritas Marianne Bowness 304 0.6 N/A
Monster Raving Loony John Cartwright 193 0.4 –0.5
The People's Choice! Exclusively For All Janet Stears 101 0.2 N/A
Majority 75 0.2
Turnout 48,957 60.6 +1.5
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +4.4
General Election 2001: Croydon Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Geraint Davies 21,643 47.2 +1.6
Conservative David Congdon 17,659 38.5 –0.1
Liberal Democrat Paul Booth 5,156 11.2 +0.4
UKIP James Feisenberger 545 1.2 +0.7
BNP Linda Miller 449 1.0 N/A
Monster Raving Loony John Cartwright 408 0.9 N/A
Majority 3,984 8.7
Turnout 45,860 59.1 –10.5
Labour hold Swing +0.8

Elections in the 1990s

General Election 1997: Croydon Central[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Geraint Davies 25,432 45.6 +10.1
Conservative David Congdon 21,535 38.6 -16.8
Liberal Democrat G Schlich 6,061 10.9 -2.4
Referendum Party C Cook 1,886 3.3
Green M Barnsley 595 1.1
UKIP J Woollcut 290 0.5
Majority 3,897 7.0 -8.2
Turnout 55,799 69.6 -1.9
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +15.5%

General Election 1992: Croydon Central[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Paul Beresford 22,168 55.4 -1.2
Labour GR Davies 12,518 31.3 +6.9
Liberal Democrat Miss DJ Richardson 5,342 13.3 -5.7
Majority 9,650 24.1 -8.2
Turnout 40,028 71.5 +1.0
Conservative hold Swing -4.1

See also

Notes and references

Coordinates: 51°22′08″N 0°03′14″W / 51.369°N 0.054°W / 51.369; -0.054

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