Features

Election preview: Finchley and Golders Green

David Floyd on a seat where the vote was split three ways in 2019

Finchley & Golders Green MP Mike Freer
Finchley & Golders Green MP Mike Freer

Result in 2019:

Mike FreerConservative24,162 – 43.8%
Luciana BergerLiberal Democrats17,600 – 31.9% 
Ross HoustonLabour13,347 – 24.2%

Majority – 6562 / 11.9%

While Labour’s unpopular then-leader Jeremy Corbyn is likely to have had a significant negative impact on the party’s performance in all three of Barnet’s constituencies at the last general election, this impact was particularly dramatic in 2019.

That was because high profile Jewish former Labour MP Luciana Berger, who left the party due to its failure to tackle antisemitism under Corbyn, ran in the constituency for the Liberal Democrats and dramatically increased their vote from 6.6% in 2017 to 31.9% in 2019 and took second place ahead for Barnet councillor Ross Houston (now the council’s deputy leader). 

The result was that despite incumbent MP Mike Freer – currently a junior minister at the Ministry of Justice – receiving nearly 500 fewer votes in 2019 compared to 2017, he substantially increased his majority.

This time around the seat is a straight fight between Labour and the Conservatives, with Lib Dems not currently even having a candidate after former councillor Gabriel Rozenberg was selected but then stepped down due to work commitments.

Labour has selected Sarah Sackman, a human rights barrister who previously ran against Freer in 2015. It is likely that the post-Corbyn improvement for Labour will be particularly big in a seat which has the biggest percentage of Jewish voters of any in the UK – and which Rudi Vis held for the party between 1997 and 2010.

Despite notionally going into the election with the borough’s biggest majority, it is difficult to imagine the circumstances that would see Mike Freer hold this seat. 

The Greens have selected Steve Parsons, a resident of the constituency for over 20 years, who works in TV and volunteers at a local food bank.

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