#ELLGE19 Election Preview: Lewisham Deptford: ‘Tories getting in would be a disaster’

Lewisham market. Pic: Orbisnonsuficit

Home to many forward thinking, left wing, creative types, Lewisham Deptford is set to remain a Labour stronghold this election. Buildings like Goldsmiths University of London, Lewisham Youth Theatre, and The Albany Pub are peppered around the constituency, a reflection of its rich cultural life.

Voices in the streets:

“Labour are good here. I’m from France, so the Conservatives getting in would be a disaster for me.”

William Serfass, 34, musician.

“Nationally it’s all such a mess, but I’m voting for Vicky Foxcroft [Labour candidate]. She is the only candidate that stands a chance at winning here.”

Abigail Marshall, 22, betting shop worker.

Lewisham Deptford is celebrated as a culturally rich constituency, with Deptford high street decsribed as a “gloriously chain free zone“, operating as a vital part of Lewisham’s 2021 bid for the London Borough of Culture.

Lewisham Councillor André Bourne told Eastlondonlines: “Lewisham is such a diverse borough and that diversity is our strength. There is a community spirit here that is authentic and not found anywhere else in London.”

The constituency has been dominated by Labour since it was created in the 1970’s, with the party never getting a majority of less than 6,000. Walking through the area one can see the red logo emblazoned on nearly every street. Despite their efforts, the same cannot be said for any other party.

Lewisham Deptford constituency

With a young and ethnically diverse population, compared to the national average, support for Labour has grown rapidly since 2005. Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft was elected to the seat in 2015 with a 45.4 per cent majority. Then in 2017 this shot up to 63.3 per cent, which cemented the area as a Labour stronghold, and the 15th safest seat in the country.

Like Foxcroft, Lewisham Deptford is a pro-EU constituency, with 69.9 per cent voting Remain in the referendum.

Running a campaign against Brexit and Conservative Party austerity, Foxcroft has consistently voted in Parliament for laws promoting equality and human rights, preventing climate change, and pro-EU integration.

Foxcroft told Eastlondonlines: “We have now endured almost a decade of austerity under the Tories and it has been painful to see the impact this has had on my constituents and the country as a whole.”

“​Whether it is fighting Brexit, pushing for more funding for our local schools or tackling rising youth violence, I have always taken on campaigns that make a difference to our local community.”

The Conservative Party are the closest competition to Labour, with Melanie McLean winning 13.7 per cent of the vote in 2017.

This election, the main challenger to Foxcroft is Gavin Haran. Haran told Eastlondonlines: “I’m focused on getting cleaner, safer streets in Lewisham Deptford. Voters have been taken for granted by the Labour MP and Council here for too long. Crime has gone up almost 20 per cent in the borough over the past five years. It’s time for a change.”

The Liberal Democrats strong pro-EU message has been received well, meaning their candidate, Bobby Dean, is expected to do well, despite gaining just 5.3 per cent in the last 2017 election.

Dean told Eastlondonlines: “I am determined to stop Brexit. It is my generation that will be impacted by it the most and I’m fed up with Labour’s fence-sitting on the biggest issue of the day.”

“Lewisham residents demand better on the economy, health, crime and education. The Liberal Democrats are the party ready to deliver. “

The full list of this years candidates is:

  • Vicky Foxcroft – Labour
  • Bobby Dean – Liberal Democrat
  • Gavin Haran – Conservative
  •  Andrea Carey Fuller – Green
  • Moses Etienne – Brexit
  • Tan Bul – Independent

2017 General Election results

Results: Labour HOLD (Majority: 42,461, 77%)

Turnout: 55,112 (70.2%)

CandidatePartyVotesVote (%)+/- % Compared to 2015
Vicky FoxcroftLabour42,46177.0+16.8
Melanie McLeanConservative7,56213.7-1.2
Bobby DeanLiberal Democrats2,9115.30.0
John CoughlinGreen1,6403.0-9.5
Malcolm MartinCPA2520.5-0.2
Laura McAneaAnimal Welfare Party2250.4+0.4
Jane LawrenceThe Realist Party610.1+0.1

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