for the House of Commons
Boundary of Croydon Central in Greater London
|Electorate||76,980 (December 2010)|
|Member of Parliament||Sarah Jones (Labour)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Croydon South|
|European Parliament constituency||London|
Croydon Central is a constituency created in 1974 and is represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by Labour MP Sarah Jones.[n 1][n 2] The seat bucked the national results in 2005 and in 2017, leaning to right and left respectively being in other results a bellwether, its winner belonging to the winning party nationally since 1979.
Croydon Central covers a wedge of the London Borough of Croydon to the east of central Croydon and is much more marginal than the other selected two parliamentary divisions constrained to the borough itself; Croydon South (which is safely Conservative) and Croydon North (which is safely Labour).
The northern parts are characterised by terraced houses and urban areas, with small council estates. Labour gains much support from in particular Addiscombe, Fieldway, Woodside 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 Fairfield give large Conservative votes.
In the south-east corner is a large former council estate, New Addington; home to more than 10,000 people. The estate is largely white and has comprised the whole or vast bulk of one or two wards of the United Kingdom in its history.
The New Addington wards saw one of the highest turnouts of British National Party supporters during the 2002 and 2006 council elections, which the BNP described as their "heyday decade," however it never elected a local councillor from the party – its slate of councillors has been consistently Labour. Except on one occasion in 2010, where a Conservative councillor was elected for the first time since 1968. Historically, Labour's strength in the area had been on the council estates, particularly New Addington, but in 2014, Labour support was reduced by UKIP, gauging 24% of the overall vote.
The two major-stop railway stations on the national network,[n 3] most office buildings, businesses and shopping centres of Croydon are in the seat. A wide range of flats forms a major part of the housing sector unlike neighbouring seats, from upmarket expensively-built apartments with dedicated gym and restaurant facilities to ex-local authority brutalist architecture tower blocks, most of which had been replaced by the 2010s decade.
The constituency that preceded Croydon Central, Croydon South (1918-1950) and (1955-1974) had the modern borough area's two periods of brief Labour Party parliamentary representation — David Rees-Williams held the forerunner from the 1945 Labour landslide until unfavourable boundary changes in 1950. David Winnick was MP 1966-1970.[n 4]. Otherwise, the area at parliamentary level has elected, since 1918, Conservative MPs.
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 was chosen over 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 votes. He retained 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 a local record of 7,000 votes between them.
The 2015 general election result, gave the seat the third-most marginal majority of the Conservative Party's 331 seats by percentage of majority. In 2017, Labour's Sarah Jones gained the seat with a majority of 5,652 votes, the largest in the seat for any party since 1992. Croydon Central is one of five constituencies, the others being Enfield Southgate, Leeds North West, Peterborough and Reading East; which elected Labour MPs in 2017 having not done so since 2001.
|1974–1983||London Borough of Croydon||Broad Green, Central, New Addington, Shirley, and Waddon.|
|1983–1997||London Borough of Croydon||Fairfield, Fieldway, Heathfield, New Addington, Spring Park, and Waddon.|
|1997–2010||London Borough of Croydon||Addiscombe, Ashburton, Fairfield, Fieldway, Heathfield, Monks Orchard, New Addington, Rylands, Spring Park, and Woodside.|
|2010–present||London Borough of Croydon||Addiscombe, Ashburton, Fairfield, Fieldway, Heathfield, New Addington, Shirley, and Woodside.|
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 Beckenham to the east.
The seat was redrawn in the 1997 redistribution, taking in territory from most of the pre-1997 Croydon Central constituency (losing Waddon ward to the redrawn Croydon South) and part of the abolished Croydon North East constituency. It covers an area that was Croydon South constituency until 1974 when part of Surrey East was incorporated into a new Croydon South constituency, following the creation of the London Borough of Croydon in 1965.
|Feb 1974||John Moore||Conservative|
|1992||Sir Paul Beresford||Conservative|
|Brexit Party||Peter Sonnex|
|Liberal Democrats||Simon Sprague|
|Liberal Democrats||Gill Hickson||1,083||1.9||-0.3|
|Christian Peoples||John Boadu||177||0.3||N/A|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+5.1|
|Liberal Democrats||James Fearnley||1,152||2.2||-11.0|
|Progressive Democracy||Martin Camden||57||0.1||N/A|
|Labour Co-op||Gerry Ryan||16,688||33.5||-7.6|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Lambell||6,553||13.2||+0.4|
|Independent||Andrew Pelling||3,239||6.5||-34.3 [n 5]|
|BNP||Cliff le May||1,448||2.9||N/A|
|Monster Raving Loony||John Cartwright||192||0.4||+0.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Jeremy Hargreaves||6,384||13.0||+1.8|
|Monster Raving Loony||John Cartwright||193||0.4||–0.5|
|The People's Choice! Exclusively For All||Janet Stears||101||0.2||+0.2|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+4.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Paul Booth||5,156||11.2||+0.4|
|Monster Raving Loony||John Cartwright||408||0.9||+0.9|
|Liberal Democrats||George W. Schlich||6,061||10.9||–2.4|
|Referendum||Charles E. Cook||1,886||3.3||+3.3|
|UKIP||John L.A. Woollcott||290||0.5||+0.5|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+15.5|
|Liberal Democrats||Deborah J. Richardson||5,342||13.3||−5.7|
|Social Democratic||Tyrell Burgess||7,435||19.02||-3.84|
|Social Democratic||Tyrell Burgess||8,864||22.86||N/A|
|Ind. Conservative||M.J. Soper||238||0.47||N/A|
|Workers Revolutionary||P. Gibson||116||0.23||N/A|
|Liberal||Ian Henry Maxwell||7,834||16.17||-5.34|
|Liberal||Ian Henry Maxwell||11,346||21.51||N/A|
|Conservative win (new seat)|