A Conservative-run borough since 1978, could Partygate be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and turn Wandsworth red in the 2022 local elections?
The closest south west London borough in terms of seats – with 33 Conservative councillors and 26 Labour, the local elections in Wandsworth are expected to be tightly fought.
Indeed, polls suggest that the borough may shift, as part of the backlash against the Government in the wake of a number of high-profile scandal.
On the doorstep, campaigners report Partygate and the cost-of-living crisis as concerns in the borough.
- 58 seats are up for election, down from 60 in 2018
- 20 wards across Battersea, Putney, Tooting, and Wandsworth Town
- Current council is Conservative-led, with 33 Tory councillors, 26 Labour, and 1 independent
Polling expert Lord Robert Hayward has predicted Wandsworth could go to Labour this year.
All three MPs are high-profile Labour politicians: Fleur Anderson, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, and Marsha de Cordova, and the borough supported Sadiq Khan in the 2021 mayoral election.
Wandsworth famously has the lowest council tax in London – and was the only borough to cut the tax this year.
Both parties have promised to maintain this.
The controversial Nine Elms development, where the sky pool installed in the American Embassy overlooks one of the borough’s poorest wards.
Ravi Govindia has led the council since 2011.
As co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, Govindia worked on the development of the Northern Line extension to Battersea.
He is also member of the Government’s national panel of experts on estate regeneration.
Simon Hogg is the Leader of Wandsworth Labour.
He trained as a scientist and now works as a journalist.
The Conservative manifesto promises to maintain the lowest council tax in the country.
It also promises the development of 1000 new homes, and the regeneration of the Alton, Wistanley and York Road Estates.
They plan to plant 2600 trees by 2026 and to install the ‘highest number of electric vehicle charging points in the country’.
The Tories have also committed to building two new schools in Nine Elms and Springfield, and providing an additional £280k to develop the work of youth clubs in the borough.
An ambitious £10 million is marked for investment in Wandsworth’s high streets.
The Labour manifesto aims for the Council to be carbon-neutral by 2030.
To reach this goal they will build more than 1000 new bike hangars and bring food waste collection borough wide.
It sets a target of 50% affordable housing on all new developments, to develop a landlord licensing scheme and a Renter’s Charter for the borough.
They promise to campaign for a Clapham Junction tube extension.
Labour highlight funding free covid tests, and developing Wandsworth as a Borough of Sanctuarywith a Refugees Champion.
They also state they will maintain the low council tax.