#ELLGE2015 Lewisham West: leafy Labour safe seat

The smallest of the three Lewisham constituencies is a vibrant mix of different communities building suburban lives in inner London. It has been a safe Labour seat since Jim Dowd won it from the Conservatives in 1992.

Population

105,993

Area

818 hectares

Profile

Created in 2010, the constituency was formerly known as Lewisham West. It was formed from the boroughs of Lewisham and Bromley gaining the wards of Clock House, Crystal Palace and Penge, and Cator.

The constituency in its current form comprises seven wards: Bellingham, Forest Hill, Perry Vale, Sydenham, Clock House, Crystal Palace and Penge, and Cator.

Historically, Lewisham West regularly flipped between Labour and the Conservatives. Labour MP Jim Dowd has held the seat since 1992 and is likely to be returned on May 8.

At the last election, Dowd won with a majority of more than 12 per cent. The Liberal Democrats crept into second place with the Conservatives third.

Pollsters believe that this year the Conservatives will place second and, as predicted for the country overall, the Liberal Democrats will lose a lot of their support.

The constituency is very diverse with more than a quarter of residents born overseas. Nearly 40 per cent of residents hail from ethnic minority backgrounds – much higher than the UK average of 12 per cent.

The area is primarily residential with nearly 50 per cent of residents owning their homes. At 21 per cent, rates of private housing rental are 5 per cent higher than the national average but lower than the average for London (25 per cent).

The constituency is highly professionalised with over 23 per cent of residents employed in professional occupations, beating both the London and national averages.

Acute demand for affordable housing in the constituency has put this issue high on the electoral agenda.

2015 candidates

Jim Dowd – Labour
MP for Lewisham West and Penge since 1992. Dowd did not immediately respond to requests from Eastlondonlines for comment.

www.jimdowd.org.uk

Russell Jackson – Conservatives
“In an area like Lewisham West and Penge, there are a lot of challenges and you do need good public services on which people can rely. The best cure for poverty is creating more employment and a growing economy, and over the last five years the Conservative Party has rebuilt the economy and got us to a point where the economy is growing and there are more jobs being created.”

www.russell-jackson.co.uk

Tom Chance – Green
www.tomchance.org

Alex Feakes – Liberal Democrats
www.facebook.com/alexfeakes

Martin Powell-Davis – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
electmartin1.blogspot.co.uk

Gary Harding – UKIP
No information on this candidate was available at the time of publishing.

David Hansom – Independent
No information on this candidate was available at the time of publishing.

George Whale – Liberty GB
No information on this candidate was available at the time of publishing.

2010 result

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