…here in Hammersmith is between the usual 3: Labour, Tories, Lib Dems plus the Greens, UKIP, and the BNP. So that’s 4 avowedly capitalist parties, one fascist party and one ever-so-slightly left wing party but no socialist candidate standing for election here. I know this is a marginal seat but why haven’t RESPECT or TUSC stood a candidate here? I suspect the answer lies with the popular perception that Hammersmith is a constituency that is comprised of the fairly well off and the extremely well off. But there are also a lot of social housing tenants here too; they seem to have been ignored by the Left. Perhaps they realise that they have little chance of beating Labour, whose traditional support comes from places like council estates; the very same council estates that the council leader, Stephen Greenhalgh, wants to see bulldozed to make way for ‘mixed’ housing. If his plan goes ahead, Hammersmith & Fulham will become the Wandsworth of the 21st century; a socially cleansed borough that returns one Tory council after another.
But this doesn’t always mean that the electorate will necessarily vote for a Tory parliamentary candidate. The Tooting constituency in Wandsworth borough has been won by Labour, while the once solidly Labour constituency of Battersea (which the estate agents marketed as “South Chelsea”) changed hands in the mid-80’s at the height of Thatcher’s property boom.
Hammersmith is one of two constituencies in a densely populated but small borough. The other, Fulham and Chelsea, was reunited after a lengthy separation; it is natural Tory territory…the two are meant to be together…or are they? Have you seen North End Road recently? It’s hardly on a par with Kings Road! There is one council estate in Chelsea and that is the appropriately named World’s End Estate.