General Election 2015: Mansion tax

The mansion tax could tilt the balance in a number of key London marginals on polling day, according to new analysis by property experts.

Close races where the levy could influence voters and where house prices have soared include Hampstead & Kilburn, Westminster North, Hammersmith, Battersea and Brentford & Isleworth.

Hampstead & Kilburn is a key Tory target seat and England’s most marginal seat, while Labour has its sights firmly on winning Brentford & Isleworth and Battersea. 

Conservatives believe up to 2,000 votes could be swayed in some constituencies by Labour’s mansion tax which would be imposed on homes worth more than £2 million.

Labour candidates dispute this and say it is hardly coming up as an issue on the doorstep.

Property experts, though, say the levy could influence voters living in homes worth less than £2 million, who worry that further price rises will drag their properties over the mansion tax threshold.

Research by agents Savills shows that a quarter of sales of London homes worth more than £2 million since 2011 were in Labour-held seats. Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills, said: “Our analysis shows that the mansion tax could be a significant issue for the electorate in a number of key constituencies in London.”

Charlie Dewhirst, the Conservative candidate in Hammersmith — currently held by Labour’s Andy Slaughter with a 3,549 majority — said he estimated 1,500 to 2,000 homes in the constituency could be liable for the levy.

He said: “The mansion tax resonates probably more than any other issue in certain parts of Hammersmith. It’s not necessarily the streets where prices have already got past £2 million. Anywhere above £1.5 million and you’ve got a lot of concern, everyone is talking about it and worrying about how they are going to pay it.

“I met one elderly lady whose family had been in the same house for 101 years. Her house was worth more than £2 million but I’m not even sure it had central heating. She feels she’s in an impossible situation in terms of being able to afford it.”

Labour has said that owners of homes worth between £2 million and £3 million will have to pay £250 a month but the rates for higher property value bands have not yet been revealed.

Labour estimates the tax will contribute around half an extra £2.5 billion a year of extra funding it has promised the NHS.

The tightest “mansion house marginal” is Hampstead & Kilburn, where Glenda Jackson won with just 42 more votes than her Tory rival. 

Local Conservative campaigners believe up to 2,000 votes may be at stake as a direct result of the policy. The vast majority of the estimated 95,000 homes that will be hit by the tax are in London.


View Source