Hampstead and Kilburn: Election 2010

By Robyn Rosen, April 15, 2010

In the new constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn both the Conservative and LibDem candidates are claiming vast support from Jewish voters.

Both Lib Dem and Tory candidates claim they are the only ones who can beat Labour in the new constituency, a merger of parts of the old Brent East, Brent South and Hampstead and Highgate constituencies.

Hustings have so far taken place in Belsize Square Synagogue and JHub in West Hampstead, and candidates have visited various local synagogues.

Lib Dem candidate Ed Fordham has knocked on 11,000 doors since January and claims he needs only 474 more votes to beat the Labour incumbent, the former Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson. But the Tories' Chris Philp said that a 2009 poll puts the Conservatives in the lead with 36 per cent, in a key marginal which his party needs to win the election.

He has also criticised Mr Fordham for his "targeted leafleting" with different pamphlets put through Jewish and Muslim doors.

Mr Philp, a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel, said: "We are getting a lot of support from the Jewish community. They understand my support for Israel and know the LibDems haven't been good to Israel historically."

Robin Ellison, a Jewish tax lawyer standing as the candidate for the newly-formed U Party, said: "This constituency is very complicated and there is every ethnic minority here you can think of. The candidates are using this by being Jewish on Monday, Irish on Tuesday..."

The U Party's main policy is to simplify and improve the pension system. "I have the Michael Winner approach," Mr Ellison said. "Everything needs to be calmed down."

Glenda Jackson, MP for Hampstead and Highgate since 1992, is running again for the new constituency. Asked about her, other candidates asked "Glenda who?" Also standing are the Greens, UKIP, The Commons Party and the BNP.

Last updated: 8:00pm, April 15 2010