North Southwark and Bermondsey
Former borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of North Southwark and Bermondsey in Greater London for the 2005 general election
CountyGreater London
Created fromSouthwark and Bermondsey
Replaced byBermondsey and Old Southwark

North Southwark and Bermondsey was a parliamentary constituency which returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The constituency was created for the 1997 general election.

Minor boundary changes occurred for the 2010 general election; the constituency was renamed Bermondsey and Old Southwark.


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The London Borough of Southwark wards of Abbey, Bricklayers, Browning, Burgess, Cathedral, Chaucer, Dockyard, Newington, Riverside, and Rotherhithe.

As the name suggests, the seat incorporated large parts of the old Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey and Metropolitan Borough of Southwark, within the modern London Borough of Southwark (which is much larger than historic Southwark).

The seat was created in 1997 and was primarily the successor seat to the old Southwark & Bermondsey constituency which existed from 1983 until 1997. Before that the core of the seat was the Bermondsey constituency in which incarnation a notorious by-election took place in 1983.

For the 2010 United Kingdom general election it was replaced by a renamed but barely altered Bermondsey and Old Southwark.



For the detailed history of the equivalent constituency prior to 1997, see Southwark and Bermondsey.

Southwark North and Bermondsey was unusual for an Inner London constituency in that the area was represented by a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) for over twenty-five years. Many commentators felt that this unusual state of affairs was entirely down to the circumstances of the 1983 Bermondsey by-election.[citation needed] Prior to this, the seat had a long history of representation by Labour MPs, but in the early 1980s the local Labour Party was dominated by the far left. The sitting MP Bob Mellish was directly opposed to their approach and accepted an invitation to sit on the board directing the regeneration of London Docklands.

Bermondsey Constituency Labour Party selected its secretary Peter Tatchell. A magazine article he had written about direct action was used by a Social Democrat MP to embarrass Labour Party leader Michael Foot who impetuously denounced Tatchell and stated that he would not be endorsed, but the party was forced to accept him when Mellish resigned from the House of Commons, triggering a by-election widely regarded as one of the dirtiest in history. Tatchell came in for immense local and national vilification and in a shock result the Liberal candidate Simon Hughes established that his party had the best chance of the other candidates, and monopolised the anti-Tatchell vote.

Hughes continued to win the seat, at times being the only Liberal Democrat MP in London. The Labour Party had a strong desire to re-take the seat, which was often predicted to change hands on a uniform swing occurring in elections. However Hughes repeatedly defied the national trend and held the seat. On one memorable occasion, during the results of the 1997 general election he was told on air by Jonathan Dimbleby that Labour had gained the seat, only for the result to re-elect Hughes with a good majority.

In local elections, the London Borough of Southwark was run by the Liberal Democrats until 2010, with Conservative support as the Lib Dems did not have a majority. Labour won majority control of the council in the May 2010 elections. Following Boundary Commission changes to both sides of the Thames, it altered slightly in shape, but changed its name to Bermondsey and Old Southwark. At the 2015 general election, Labour in the person of Neil Coyle finally re-gained the seat in a shock result, bringing Simon Hughes's 32-year parliamentary career to an abrupt end.

Members of Parliament


The seat's only MP was Simon Hughes, who sat for the various Bermondsey seats since a by-election in 1983 until his defeat in 2015, as a Liberal MP until 1988 and as a Liberal Democrat after that.

Election Member[1] Party
1997 Simon Hughes Liberal Democrats
2010 Constituency abolished: see Bermondsey and Old Southwark


Bermondsey historical election results

Elections in the 1990s

General election 1992: North Southwark and Bermondsey [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes 21,459 56.9
Labour Richard Balfe 11,614 30.8
Conservative Andy Raca 3,794 10.1
BNP Stephen Tyler 530 1.4
National Front Terry Blackham 168 0.4
Natural Law Dr. Graham Barnett 113 0.3
Communist League John Grogan 56 0.1
Majority 9845 26.1
General election 1997: North Southwark and Bermondsey[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes 19,831 48.6 −2.8
Labour Jeremy Fraser 16,444 40.3 +5.8
Conservative Grant Shapps 2,835 6.9 −5.1
BNP Michael Davidson 713 1.7 New
Referendum Bill Newton 545 1.3 New
Communist League Ian Grant 175 0.4 New
Liberal James Munday 157 0.4 New
National Democrats Ingga Yngvisson 95 0.2 New
Majority 3,387 8.3 −8.6
Turnout 40,793 60.4
Liberal Democrats win (new seat)

Elections in the 2000s

General election 2001: North Southwark and Bermondsey[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes 20,991 56.9 +8.3
Labour Kingsley Abrams 11,359 30.8 −9.5
Conservative Ewan Wallace 2,800 7.6 +0.7
Green Ruth Jenkins 752 2.0 New
National Front Lianne Shore 612 1.7 New
UKIP Robert McWhirter 271 0.7 New
Communist League John Davies 77 0.2 New
Majority 9,632 26.1 +17.8
Turnout 35,150 50.1 −10.3
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
General election 2005: Southwark North & Bermondsey[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes 17,874 47.1 −9.8
Labour Kirsty McNeill 12,468 32.8 +2.0
Conservative David Branch 4,752 12.5 +4.9
Green Storm Poorun 1,137 3.0 +1.0
UKIP Linda Robson 791 2.1 +1.4
National Front Paul Winnett 704 1.9 +0.2
CPA Simisola Lawanson 233 0.6 New
Majority 5,406 14.3 −11.8
Turnout 37,959 48.2 −1.9
Liberal Democrats hold Swing −5.9

See also



  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 4)
  2. ^ "1992 General Election - Southwark and Bermondsey". Retrieved 21 June 2024.
  3. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.

51°29′46″N 0°04′16″W / 51.496°N 0.071°W / 51.496; -0.071