- North Southwark and Bermondsey (UK Parliament constituency)
North Southwark and Bermondsey Former Borough constituency for the House of Commons
Boundary of North Southwark and Bermondsey in Greater London for the 2005 general election.
County Greater London 1997–2010 Number of members One Replaced by Bermondsey and Old Southwark Created from Southwark & Bermondsey European Parliament constituency London
North Southwark and Bermondsey was a parliamentary constituency which returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The constituency was created for the 1997 general election.
As the name suggests, the seat incorporated large parts of the old Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey and Metropolitan Borough of Southwark, within the modern London Borough of Southwark (which is much larger than historic Southwark).
The seat was created in 1997 and was primarily the successor seat to the old Southwark & Bermondsey constituency which existed from 1983 until 1997. Before that the core of the seat was the Bermondsey constituency in which incarnation a notorious by-election took place in 1983.
For the detailed history of the equivalent constituency prior to 1997, please see Southwark & Bermondsey.
Southwark North & Bermondsey is unusual for an Inner London constituency in that it has been represented by a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) for over twenty-five years. Many commentators feel that this unusual state of affairs is entirely down to the circumstances of the 1983 Bermondsey by-election. Prior to this, the seat had a long history of representation by Labour MPs, but in the early 1980s the local Labour Party was dominated by the far left. The sitting MP Bob Mellish was directly opposed to their approach and accepted an invitation to sit on the board directing the regeneration of London Docklands.
Bermondsey Constituency Labour Party selected its secretary Peter Tatchell. A magazine article he had written about direct action was used by a Social Democrat MP to embarrass Labour Party leader Michael Foot who impetuously denounced Tatchell and stated that he would not be endorsed, but the party was forced to accept him when Mellish resigned from the House of Commons, triggering a by-election widely regarded as one of the dirtiest in history. Tatchell came in for immense local and national vilification and in a shock result the Liberal candidate Simon Hughes established that his party had the best chance of the other candidates, and monopolised the anti-Tatchell vote.
Hughes has continued to win the seat, at times being the only Liberal Democrat MP in London. The Labour Party have a strong desire to regain the constituency, which has often been predicted to change hands on a uniform swing occurring in elections. However Hughes has repeatedly defied the national trend and retained the seat. On one memorable occasion during the results of the 1997 general election he was told on air by Jonathan Dimbleby that Labour had taken the seat, only for the result to give Hughes a good majority.
In local elections, the London Borough of Southwark was run by the Liberal Democrats until 2010, with Conservative support as the Liberals did not have a majority. Labour won majority control of the council in the May 2010 elections. Following Boundary Commission changes to both sides of the Thames, it altered slightly in shape, but changed its name to Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Members of Parliament
Since the seat's creation in 1997, the Member of Parliament has been Simon Hughes, who has sat for the various Bermondsey seats since a by-election in 1983, as a Liberal MP until 1988 and as a Liberal Democrat since then.
Election Member  Party 1997 Simon Hughes Liberal Democrats 2010 Constituency abolished: see Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Elections in the 2000s
General Election 2005: Southwark North & Bermondsey Party Candidate Votes % ±% Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes 17,874 47.1 −9.8 Labour Kirsty McNeill 12,468 32.8 +2.0 Conservative David Branch 4,752 12.5 +4.9 Green Storm Poorun 1,137 3.0 +1.0 UKIP Linda Robson 791 2.1 +1.4 National Front Paul Winnett 704 1.9 +0.2 Christian Peoples Simisola Lawanson 233 0.6 N/A Majority 5,406 14.2 Turnout 37,959 48.2 −1.9 Liberal Democrat hold Swing −5.9 General Election 2001: North Southwark and Bermondsey Party Candidate Votes % ±% Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes 20,991 56.9 +8.3 Labour Kingsley Abrams 11,359 30.8 -9.5 Conservative Ewan Wallace 2,800 7.6 +0.6 Green Ruth Jenkins 752 2.0 N/A National Front Lianne Shore 612 1.7 N/A UKIP Robert McWhirter 271 0.7 N/A Communist League John Davies 77 0.2 N/A Majority 9,632 26.1 Turnout 35,150 50.1 Liberal Democrat hold Swing
Elections in the 1990s
General Election 1997: North Southwark and Bermondsey Party Candidate Votes % ±% Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes 19,831 48.6 N/A Labour Jeremy Fraser 16,444 40.3 N/A Conservative Grant Shapps 2,835 6.9 N/A BNP Michael Davidson 713 1.7 N/A Referendum Party B. Newton 545 1.3 N/A Communist League I. Grant 175 0.4 N/A Liberal J. Munday 157 0.4 N/A National Democrats Ingga Yngvisson 95 0.2 N/A Majority 3,387 N/A Turnout 62.2 N/A Liberal Democrat hold Swing N/A
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