Mike Gapes
Member of Parliament for Ilford South
A local man with a national voice

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    Ilford South

london_mapThe Ilford South constituency covers most of Ilford and the whole of Redbridge south of the A12, Eastern Avenue.

The London Borough of Redbridge is the white area on the map of London. Ilford South - as its name suggests - covers the southern half of the borough. The rest of Redbridge is in the Ilford North constituency and parts of the Leyton and Wanstead and Chingford and Woodford Green constituencies.

The Ilford South constituency has a long history as a marginal seat and has usually voted for the Government. It had a Labour MP, Jim Ranger, from 1945 to 1950, a Conservative MP (Albert Cooper) from 1950 to 1966 and 1970 to February 1974. Labour’s Arnold Shaw was the MP from 1966 to 1970 and from February 1974 to 1979. The Conservative Neil Thorne was the MP from 1979 to 1992. In the General Election in April that year Mike Gapes was elected with a 402 majority - the result of one of the best swings (5.9%) to Labour nationally. Mike was the first Labour MP to represent Ilford South under a Tory government.

In the 1997 election,despite adverse boundary changes, this slender majority was boosted to 14,200, when Mike Gapes received a further swing of 16.6% from the Conservatives. The full results of the 1997 election were:

votes cast
% of vote
Mike Gapes
29,273
58.5
Conservatives
15,073
30.1
Liberal-democrats
3,152
6.3
Referendum party
1,073
2.1
Socialist Labour Party
868
1.7
British National Party
580
1.2

The result of the 2001 General Election was a further 2.6% swing to Labour from the Conservatives and a majority of 13,997 on a reduced turn-out. The full results were:

votes cast
% of vote
Mike Gapes
24,619
59.6
Conservatives
10,622
25.7
Liberal-democrats
4,647
11.3
UKIP
1,407
3.4

The 2005 election saw a reduction in Mike’s majority to just under 50% of those voting. The full results were:

Votes Percentage
Mike Gapes 20,856 48.9
Conservatives 11,628 27.2
Liberal Democrats 8,761 20.5
British Public Party 763 1.8
UKIP 685 1.6

The 2010 election saw an increase in Labour share of the vote in the parliamentary elections and the gain of 14 council seats to give Labour 26 councillors. The parliamentary election results were:

Votes Percentage
Mike Gapes 25301 49.1
Conservatives 14014 27.4
Liberal Democrats 8,679 17.0
All other parties 3197 8.2

The turnout was 58.3% with the total electorate being 87765.

Ilford South is a very diverse community. Most of the housing in the constituency is owner-occupied (less than 10% of housing in Redbridge is social-housing). Large areas consist of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century terraced housing, especially in the south of the borough. Some areas, such as the Bungalow Estate (Mayfield Ward) have their own unique character.

Many residents commute to work in Central London and a only a small percentage of the population at work are classified as ‘manual workers’. The council is one of the major local employers. The Town Hall and most administrative offices are located in the centre of Ilford South.

The constituency is also home to The Mall shopping centre, Ilford Police station and King George Hospital.

Ilford South is a diverse and harmonious. It is estimated that up to 100 mother tongue languages are spoken by children in local schools.

Ilford South includes the following council wards:

  • Chadwell
  • Clementswood
  • Cranbrook
  • Goodmayes
  • Loxford
  • Mayfield
  • Newbury
  • Seven Kings
  • Valentines.
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