With the election just a few weeks away, we’ve made a guide of everything you need to know about the election.
Get the facts that will help you make your decision on who to vote for in Islington’s two constituencies, Islington North and Islington South and Finsbury.
Current MP: Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Majority: 12,401 (27.8%)
2010 general election results
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has been MP of Islington North since 1983. The constituency has been described by the Guardian as:
The north end of Islington away from smarter south; poor, but gradually gentrifying. Includes Finsbury Park, Arsenal, and many Cypriot voters.
This compact constituency, the smallest in the country by area, is home to HMP Holloway and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. While it now covers the north half of the Borough of Islington, the constituency’s boundaries have changed considerably since 1970 due to the depopulation of central London as people move to the suburbs.
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
The long-term MP says he has “fought for basic rights such as affordable housing, health care and education for all”. He is a member of Parliament’s Socialist Campaign Group, and believes Trident should be scrapped for health and housing funding.
Julian Gregory (Lib Dem)
The 34-year-old barrister lives in Islington and is standing for the parliamentary seat after previously standing for the council.
Dr Alex Burghart (Conservative)
Running for his home constituency, Burghart stated: “I am proud that under a Conservative-led government, in Islington North we have seen unemployment fall, spending on the poorest pupils rise and the number of vulnerable children being adopted soar.”
Caroline Russell (Green)
Russell was elected in May 2014 to represent Highbury East in the council. She is the Green Party’s national spokesperson on Local Transport, and successfully campaigned for 20mph limits on main roads in Islington.
Greg Clough (Ukip)
Clough, UKIP’s Austrailian-born candidate, says immigrants should wait to access to benefits and NHS treatment. He lives in Highbury fields with his family, and believe the UK should scrap foreign aid overseas to “foreign despots in India.”
Bill Martin (Socialist)
Bill Martin, the Socialist Party’s candidate, states “we see the problems facing the world as stemming from the ownership of the wealth of the world by a privileged class”.
Islington South and Finsbury
Current MP: Emily Thornberry (Labour)
Majority: 3,569 (8.2%)
2010 general election results
Islington South and Finsbury has been described by the Guardian as:
A part-grand, part-poor metaphor for New Labour; Tony Blair lived here prior to his election as prime minister. Its dinner tables are routinely maligned as the natural habitat of the hypocritical, well-off, ostensibly liberal “chattering classes”.
Emily Thornberry has been MP for the constituency for 10 years, but she came under fire last year after a controversial tweet about a white van led to her having to resign from the role of Shadow Attorney General.
The seat encompasses Barnsbury, Canonbury, major parts of Holloway, Kings Cross, Bunhill, Pentonville and Clerkenwell. It is a fashionable residential area, well known because Tony Blair lived here before being elected Prime Minister.
Despite being an up-market area, it also has a high proportion traditional Labour voters – with many council tenants and a substantial Afro-Carribbean community.
Emily Thornberry (Labour)
Thornberry says she will “stand up for what matters to people in Islington”. She recently launched an Equal Pay campaign to coincide with International Women’s Day.
Terry Stacy (Lib Dem)
A tenant of a Housing Association, Stacy has been a local councillor for over 13 years. Saying “you can’t get more working class than me”, he believes he’s in touch with Islington’s poorest.
Dr Mark Lim (Conservative)
Lim grew up in Highbury and now works as a children’s doctor. He has an interest in education, and believes healthcare could be improved through local initiatives.
Charlie Kiss (Green)
Kiss states he is a “strong believer in LGBT equality and justice”. He is a Unison activist, and states that we “need to reverse Britain’s worsening inequality” – having experienced both unemployment and homelessness.
Pete Muswell (Ukip)
Muswell says he has worked in Islington all his life and states he “can no longer watch our political ruling class negotiate away our hard-won rights”.
So what will happen?
Both Islington North and Islington South and Finsbury have solid Labour majority which will be hard to topple.
The results will depend in part on how the Liberal Democrat vote holds up – or otherwise. The party came in second place for both constituencies in 2010. If this vote disintegrates, it could open the election up. As the 2014 local council election results show, the Greens managed to capitalise on this.
2014 local election results for Islington Council
It’s unlikely, looking at national poll projections, that Labour’s hold on Islington’s constituencies will be loosened. The Liberal Democrats, the main opposition party, will most likely lose votes to Labour, Green and Conservative parties – but this splintering of the opposition vote will do little to unsettle the incumbents.
The popularity of UKIP does not appeal to Islington people, with the party failing to achieve even 1% of the local council elections in 2014.
Featured image: t0msk, Flickr