David Floyd on Labour’s attempts to win a constituency for the first time ever
Result in 2019:
|25,745 – 44.7%
|24,533 – 42.6%
|5,963 – 10.3%
|1,288 – 2.2%
|71 – 0.1%
Majority – 1,212 / 2.1%
In 2019, incumbent MP Theresa Villiers narrowly defeated Barnet councillor Emma Whysall for the second having beaten her by just 353 votes in 2017.
Despite the fact that Labour has never won Chipping Barnet since its creation in 1974, the area has been trending towards Labour in recent years and it is likely that Villiers would have lost in 2019 without the combination of Labour’s generally poor performance – and the specific local unpopularity of the party’s then leader Jeremy Corbyn.
This time around Villiers faces a new Labour challenger, Dan Tomlinson, an economist for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. She is fighting hard to hang on to the seat, with a clear focus on motorists – which has seen her slam the Mayor of London’s ULEZ expansion and criticise plans for new bus lanes in the constituency – and opposing local developments.
The Boundary Commission changes which have seen Conservative-held Edgwarebury ward incorporated into the constituency and the Labour-hed Friern Barnet ward leaving it, increase her chances slightly. But, unless the national picture changes dramatically, a Conservative victory in Chipping Barnet would be a surprise.
The Green Party has announced its candidate. David Farbey has been a Whetstone resident for over 20 years. He is a school governor, a volunteer with the Felix Project and a member of New North London Synagogue.
The Liberal Democrats have not yet selected a candidate for the seat.