Croydon: How deprivation and voter turnout are linked

Like many boroughs in London, Croydon’s poverty is hidden behind the fact that some wards are the least deprived in the country.

Nearly four in ten children live below the breadline in parts of the borough. The life expectancy for males living in the most deprived parts of Croydon is almost nine years less than males living in the least deprived areas.

The stark inequalities in Croydon make the borough an interesting test case for linking voter turnout and deprivation. Of all the ELL boroughs, Croydon demonstrated the correlation between low voter turnout and deprivation most closely.

In the past three local elections, Croydon’s least deprived wards voted at much higher rates than its most deprived wards.

In Seldson and Ballards, the least deprived ward in the borough, half of the ward voted in 2006, 13 percentage points higher than the London average turnout rate. On the other end of the spectrum, Fieldway, the most deprived ward in the borough, had a turnout rate of just 34% that same year.

Croydon is a quickly growing and changing borough. Tom Black, political editor of the Croydon Citizen pointed out in an interview with ELL that the issues affecting Croydon would make the upcoming election an important one.  They include the development of Westfield shopping centre and the areas around it, as well as issues like fly-tipping in the north of the borough.

If you’re a Croydon resident and haven’t yet registered to vote, the deadline is May 6. For registration instructions, see Croydon Council’s webpage on voting here.

By Hajera Blagg & Taku Dzimwasha

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