Kensington (UK Parliament constituency)

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Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Kensington in Greater London.
County Greater London
Electorate 62,784 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 2010
Member of parliament Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Conservative)
Created from Kensington and Chelsea
Replaced by Kensington and Chelsea
Created from Kensington North & Kensington South
European Parliament constituency London

Kensington is a constituency[n 1] in Greater London represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since its 2010 recreation by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a Conservative.[n 2]


The constituency formed for the 2010 election comprises the northern and central parts of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in and around Kensington and has electoral wards:

From 1974 to 1983 the constituency comprised electoral wards:

  • Golborne, Holland, Norland, Pembridge, Queen's Gate and St Charles.

From 1983 to 1997 the constituency comprised electoral wards:

  • Avondale, Campden, Colville, Golborne, Holland, Kelfield, Norland, Pembridge, Queen's Gate and St Charles.[2]


As to elections contested, it was first created for the February 1974 general election and abolished for the 1997 general election, when mostly replaced by newly created Regent's Park and Kensington North which was served by Labour MPs, won three times during the Blair Ministry, and Kensington and Chelsea which was held by Malcolm Rifkind.

The constituency was recreated by adopting the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies of the Boundary Commission at the 2010 general election, combining elements of the two constituencies.

Constituency profile[edit]

Kensington is mostly residential — housing varies between expensive apartments with manicured gardens in architecturally stunning squares or terraces and, by contrast, North Kensington and Ladbroke Grove have for the mostpart dense social housing, tower blocks in output areas with high rankings in the 2000-compiled Index of Multiple Deprivation.[3] Kensington High Street is an upmarket shopping hub, Kensington Palace is the residence of several members of the Royal Family, and Kensington Palace Gardens is the site of many embassies and a few private residences for the super-rich. South Kensington also borders Hyde Park and includes Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert.

Earls Court, Brompton, Holland Park and Notting Hill have their own characters. Earls Court comparatively more run-down and cheap than its richer neighbour and while it is undergoing rapid gentrification and includes its own areas for the super-rich, it has still a minority of run-down hotels and bedsits around Earls Court Exhibition Centre, which extends into the marginal Hammersmith seat. Notting Hill is an affluent and trendy area which hosts the Notting Hill Carnival, led by the area's vibrant Afro-Caribbean community. It is a highly cosmopolitan area, but having fallen on hard times in the twentieth century, associated with dingy flats and multiple-occupancy homes but has undergone gentrification; old Victorian private houses in these areas similarly high as Fulham in price.[4]

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1974-1997[edit]

Election Member[5] Party
Feb 1974 Sir Brandon Rhys-Williams Conservative
1988(b) Dudley Fishburn Conservative
1997 constituency abolished: see Kensington and Chelsea

MPs since 2010[edit]

Election Member[5] Party
2010 Sir Malcolm Rifkind Conservative
2015 Independent

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Kensington[6][7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Rod Abouharb
Alliance for Green Socialism Toby Abse
CISTA Tony Auguste
Conservative Victoria Borwick[8]
UKIP Jack Bovill[9]
New Independent Centralists Roland Courtenay
Animal Welfare Party Andrew Knight
Liberal Democrat Robin McGhee
Green Robina Rose
General Election 2010: Kensington[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind 17,595 50.1 +6.2
Labour Sam Gurney 8,979 25.5 −4.1
Liberal Democrat Robin Meltzer 6,872 19.6 −0.6
UKIP Caroline Pearson[11] 754 2.1 +1.0
Green Melan Ebrahimi-Fardouée 753 2.1 −2.4
Alliance for Green Socialism Eddie Adams 197 0.6 +0.2
Majority 8,616 24.5
Turnout 35,150 53.3 +1.5
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1992: Kensington
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Dudley Fishburn 15,540 50.3 +2.8
Labour Patricia Ann Holmes 11,992 38.8 +5.6
Liberal Democrat Chris K. Shirley 2,770 9.0 −8.3
Green Ajay Burlingham-Johnson 415 1.3 −1.4
Natural Law Anthony J. W. Hardy 90 0.3 N/A
Anti-Federalist League Anne Bulloch 71 0.2 N/A
Majority 3,548 11.5
Turnout 30,878
Conservative hold Swing −1.4

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

Kensington by-election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Dudley Fishburn 9,829 41.59 -5.92
Labour Ann Holmes 9,014 38.14 +4.89
Social and Liberal Democrats William Goodhart 2,546 10.77 -6.48
Social Democrat John Martin 1,190 5.04 N/A
Green Phylip Hobson 572 2.42 +0.73
Rainbow Alliance - Payne & Pleasure Cynthia Payne 193 0.82 N/A
Monster Raving Loony Screaming Lord Sutch 61 0.26 N/A
London Class War Candidate John Duignan 60 0.25 N/A
Anti Left-Wing Fascist Brian Goodier 31 0.13 N/A
Free Trade Liberal - Europe Out! Thomas McDermott 31 0.13 N/A
Fair Wealth & Health Roy Edey 30 0.13 N/A
Leveller Party William Scola 27 0.11 N/A
Anti-Yuppie John Crowley 24 0.10 N/A
Peace - Stop ITN Manipulation John Connell 20 0.08 N/A
Independent Janata Party Kailash Trivedi 5 0.02 N/A
Majority 815
Turnout 23,633 51.6 -13.1
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1987: Kensington
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brandon Rhys-Williams 14,818 47.51
Labour Ben T Bousquet 10,371 33.25
Social Democratic William Goodhart 5,379 17.25
Green R Shorter 528 1.69
Humanist L Carrick 65 0.21
Public Independent Plaintiff Party M Hughes 30 0.10
Majority 4,447 14.26
Turnout 31,191 64.70
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1983:
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brandon Rhys-Williams 14,274 45.96
Labour Ben T Bousquet 9,173 29.54
Social Democratic William Goodhart 6,873 22.13
Ecology Jonathon Porritt 649 2.09
Independent T Knight 86 0.28
Majority 5,101 16.43
Turnout 62.63
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Kensington
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brandon Rhys-Williams 17,361 51.29
Labour P Holmes 11,898 35.15
Liberal B Vincent-Emery 3,537 10.45
Ecology Nicholas Albery[12] 698 2.06
National Front C Hopewell 356 1.05
Majority 5,463 16.14
Turnout 64.60
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Kensington
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brandon Rhys-Williams 15,562 45.18
Labour John Vincent Tilley 13,645 39.62
Liberal R Cohen 5,236 15.20
Majority 1,917 5.57
Turnout 56.37
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Kensington
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brandon Rhys-Williams 18,425 46.08
Labour John Vincent Tilley 13,293 33.24
Liberal Robert LeFever[13] 8,270 20.68
Majority 5,132 12.83
Turnout 65.75
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ The remaining electoral wards in the Royal Borough involved: Cremorne, Hans Town, Redcliffe, Royal Hospital, and Stanley were lost to the cross-borough Chelsea and Fulham.

Coordinates: 51°30′18″N 0°12′00″W / 51.505°N 0.20°W / 51.505; -0.20