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Results & Constituencies
 
 Lewisham West
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Jim Dowd Labour 18,816 61.1 -0.9
Gary Johnson Conservative 6,896 22.4 -1.4
Richard Thomas Liberal Democrat 4,146 13.5 +3.7
Frederick Pearson UK Independence 485 1.6  
Nick Long Independent 472 1.5  
Majority 11,920 38.7
Turnout 30,815 50.6 -13.4
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 0.2% from Conservative to Labour

Description
This seat, occupied by Labour MP Jim Dowd, a former Lewisham Council member, has had a volatile recent political history. It has changed hands between Labour and the Conservatives seven times since 1945. Between 1983 and 1992 it was held by former Treasury Minister John Maples.

Socially and economically the constituency is mixed. It shares borders at one end with the inner city Deptford and at the other with the leafy Bromley and Beckenham; from the long semi detached streets of Catford in the east to Forest Hill and Sydenham in the west. In his maiden speech to Parliament, Jim Dowd described Lewisham West as a "fairly anonymous part of inner suburban London." With its 25% council housing, 55% owner occupation and a non-white population (mostly Afro-Caribbean) of almost 20%, the constituency approaches the Greater London average.

All Lewisham Council wards that fall within Lewisham West constituency are represented by Labour. The Conservatives used to be strong in Catford and Horniman but they lost these in the May 1994 borough elections, along with the previous marginals of Sydenham, Forest Hill and Perry Hill.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Lewisham West
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Jim Dowd Labour 23,273 62.0
Clare Whelan Conservative 8,956 23.8
Kathy McGrath Liberal Democrat 3,672 9.8
Anthony Leese Referendum 1,098 2.9
Nick Long Socialist Labour 398 1.1
Liz Oram Liberal Party 167 0.4
Majority 14,317 38.1
Turnout 37,564 64.0
 
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