Almost everywhere in Croydon North there is visible support for the Labour Party. From posters in shop windows to boards in front of houses that are almost identical to the “For sale” signs! But this alone cannot prove or disprove that Steve Reed is guaranteed to get Croydon North’s vote.

This consistency includes the areas of Upper Norwood, Norbury, Selhurst, Thornton Heath, Broad Green and South Norwood. Since the consistency was re-formed in 1997 Labour has received the largest proportion of the consistency’s votes, all being more than fifty per cent according to the UK Poling Report Website, with the Tories at each election not far behind.

Steve Reed believes that “No elections are ever a foregone conclusion.” This is a valid opinion that other candidates also share. Croydon North candidate Shasha Khan from the Green Party described “It is not foregone. Traditional Labour voters are realising that Steve Reed is a closet Blairite.” But then again, across Croydon North the support for Labour seems to be overwhelming in comparison to other political groups, including the Conservative Party which are the biggest rivals of the Labour Party nationally.

UKIP has a national reputation of being labelled being in favour of strict controlled immigration policies. In the Croydon borough during the 2011 census it was found that forty seven per cent of the Croydoners had an ethnicity of White British, according to the England and Wales Office for National Statics. Throughout the Croydon North consistency it is clearly visible that it is an area of Diversity and immigration has allowed this. If UKIP’s controlled immigration policies were in place in the past, perhaps many individuals wouldn’t be living in Croydon North wouldn’t be here right now! Nevertheless UKIP is unlikely to ever be a popular party in such a diverse community which sees immigration as positive.

Green Party Candidate for Croydon North Shasha Khan described that one of their aims include “reducing traffic, thus encouraging walking and cycling.” However, if thought about sensibly people wouldn’t waste petrol on unnecessary journeys if they were able to easily walk or cycle. Even so, in Croydon North’s main roads there include many buses and cars and without a bicycle lanes, cycling seems to be a dangerous form of transportation. The fact he described that the “Greens would end the creeping privatisation of our NHS” is pretty much what every political group is claiming. Hence, the Green Party doesn’t effectively target the needs of Croydon North and lack creativity.

Political parties that aren’t mainstream such as Communist and TUSC are often unacknowledged completely. Parties of such nature have never gained more than four per cent of votes since the Constituency was re-created in 1997 according to the UK Poling Report Website. Perhaps people are reluctant to vote for political parties they have never knew existed!

But even with knowledge of manifestos of the political parties who aren’t mainstream, their aims seem to be extremely unrealistic and somewhat playing with fire. Glen Hart, Croydon North Candidate of the TUSC Party described that “TUSC says no to all cuts”. Perhaps this is an aim of the TUSC Party that would be attractive to people, but realistically TUSC would cut our economy down to its weakest by potentially spending too much money on areas unnecessary.

 Vidhi Mohan Candidate for the Party described that he would “support Conservative plans for GP surgeries to open seven days a week”. Whereas Steve Reed “will fund 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 more nurses through a mansion tax on homes over £2 million”.

Despite the fact it may appear that the Labour Party have guaranteed the vote from Croydon North, both the Labour Party and Conservative Party have many aims that directly seem to better Croydon North. But, according to tradition it would be quite surprising if Steve Reed is not elected to be the MP for Croydon North during this General Election. However, now it is down to the people of Croydon North to decide who will be their next MP!

All quotes from the Candidates have been taken from the Croydon Advertiser.

By Peaches Brown-Senior, Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College