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.
|Number of members||One|
|Replaced by||Bermondsey and Old Southwark|
|Created from||Southwark and 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.
The London Borough of Southwark wards of Abbey, Bricklayers, Browning, Burgess, Cathedral, Chaucer, Dockyard, Newington, Riverside, and Rotherhithe.
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, see Southwark and Bermondsey.
Southwark North and Bermondsey was unusual for an Inner London constituency in that the area was represented by a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) for over twenty-five years. Many commentators felt that this unusual state of affairs was 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 continued to win the seat, at times being the only Liberal Democrat MP in London. The Labour Party had a strong desire to re-take the seat, which was often predicted to change hands on a uniform swing occurring in elections. However Hughes repeatedly defied the national trend and held 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 gained the seat, only for the result to re-elect Hughes with a good majority.
In local elections, the London Borough of Southwark was run by the Liberal Democrats until 2010, with Conservative support as the Lib Dems 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. At the 2015 general election, Labour in the person of Neil Coyle finally re-gained the seat in a shock result, bringing Simon Hughes's 32-year parliamentary career to an abrupt end.
Member of Parliament
|1997||Simon Hughes||Liberal Democrats|
|2010||Constituency abolished: see Bermondsey and Old Southwark|
Elections in the 1990s
|Liberal Democrat||Simon Hughes||19,831||48.6||−2.8|
|Communist League||Ian Grant||175||0.4||N/A|
|National Democrats||Ingga Yngvisson||95||0.2||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat win (new seat)|
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrat||Simon Hughes||20,991||56.9||+8.3|
|National Front||Lianne Shore||612||1.7||N/A|
|Communist League||John Davies||77||0.2||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat hold||Swing|
|Liberal Democrat||Simon Hughes||17,874||47.1||−9.8|
|National Front||Paul Winnett||704||1.9||+0.2|
|Christian Peoples||Simisola Lawanson||233||0.6||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat hold||Swing||−5.9|