Monday, 5 April 2010

A Look @: Barnet

Currently Labour hold two of the three Parliamentary seats in the borough of Barnet, but the Conservatives will be hoping for a clean sweep in May. They held on to their loose grip of the council in 2006, gaining five seats to leave them with 37 of the 63 councillors in the borough. This may be a hindrance though as the council were found to have failed to follow proper procedure when depositing money in the collapsed Icelandic banks.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




Andrew Dismore




CON Gain

Finchley & Golders Green

Rudi Vis




CON Gain

Chipping Barnet

Theresa Villiers




CON Hold


Andrew Dismore gained Hendon for Labour in 1997 but it is well within the expected swing for the Conservatives and they'll be hoping to take it back this year. But Labour won't go without a fight and in 2006 they won 9 of the 21 council seats in this constituency, compared to the Tories 10. They'd stand a much better chance of hanging on here if Dismore hadn't been hit badly by the expenses scandal. It was revealed he racked up £65,000 worth of claims in two separate properties, despite living in the Greater London area. It'll be hard for him to survive this on his majority and so it is likely the next MP for Hendon will be the Conservative candidate Matthew Offord; Tory Gain.

The Finchley & Golders Green seat was created in 1997 and Dr Rudi Vis has represented the seat for Labour ever since. It was quite a symbolic win as Margaret Thatcher was a previous MP for Finchley. Vis only just kept his seat at the last election with a majority of just 741, which has subsequently been wiped out by the slight boundary alterations. He's now standing down this year and I imagine his expenses woes were a factor in this decision. This all leaves the Leader of the Barnet Council's Labour group, Alison Moore, with a difficult task to hold his for her party. Moore's up against the Conservative leader of the council Mike Freer and he'll quite confident of winning this contest in May; Tory Gain.

Finally, the Conservatives have held Chipping Barnet since its creation in 1974, so this is unlikely to change this year. The current MP Theresa Villiers was an early target in the expenses scandal following revelations she'd claimed stamp duty on her second home. However, she moved swiftly to counter the allegations by agreeing to receive the London supplement rather than the second home allowance. She shouldn't have much of a problem this year; Tory Hold.


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