Bradford West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 6160 (15.3%)
Labour: 19977 (49.6%)
Lib Dem: 1173 (2.9%)
Green: 1085 (2.7%)
UKIP: 3140 (7.8%)
Respect: 8557 (21.2%)
Independent: 100 (0.2%)
Others: 98 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 11420 (28.3%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, West Yorkshire. Part of Bradford council area.

Main population centres: Bradford, Thornton.

Profile: Covers Bradford city centre and the area around the university, the northern suburb of Heaton and the more Conservative villages of Clayton and Thornton on the outskirts of the city. It is a seat with a young population, problems of poverty and deprivation and a high proportion of ethnic minorties. It has the highest proportion of people from a Pakistani background and the second highest proportion of Muslims, particularly in the inner-city Manningham area to the north of the City Centre. There is a history of racial tensions here, with riots breaking out in the Manningham area in 1995 and 2001.

Politics: Prior to boundary changes in 1974 Bradford West was a marginal seat, but since then it has normally been Labour. Racial politics have had a major impact here, particularly the birideri clan system amongst Kashmiri voters. It has a history of moving against the trend - in the Labour landslide of 1997, the seat swung towards the Conservatives as they put up a popular Muslim candidate Mohammed Riaz against Labour`s Sikh candidate Marsha Singh. Singh himself remained MP here until 2012, but his later years were marred by ill-health and absence, and he eventually resigned his seat in early 2012, dying later the same year.

The 2012 by-election that followed Singh`s resignation produced a shock win for George Galloway, the former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow. Appealling to disaffected Labour voters, disatisfaction with the dominance of Kashmiri clan politics in the local politics and trading on his own fame from his opposition to the Iraq war and appearances on Press TV, Galloway managed to achieve the largest by-election swing since 1983, which he referred to as the "Bradford Spring". He was defeated at the subsequent General Election when the seat returned to Labour.

By-Election: There was a by-election in this seat in LAB WIN. For full details see here.


Current MP
NAZ SHAH (Labour) Born Bradford. First elected as MP for Bradford West in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 12638 (31%)
Lab: 18401 (45%)
LDem: 4732 (12%)
BNP: 1370 (3%)
Oth: 3435 (8%)
MAJ: 5763 (14%)
2005*
Con: 11544 (32%)
Lab: 14570 (40%)
LDem: 6620 (18%)
BNP: 2525 (7%)
Oth: 1110 (3%)
MAJ: 3026 (8%)
2001
Con: 14236 (37%)
Lab: 18401 (48%)
LDem: 2437 (6%)
GRN: 2672 (7%)
Oth: 624 (2%)
MAJ: 4165 (11%)
1997
Con: 15055 (33%)
Lab: 18932 (42%)
LDem: 6737 (15%)
Oth: 3496 (8%)
MAJ: 3877 (9%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
GEORGE GRANT (Conservative) Educated at Edinburgh University. Business development manager and former journalist.
NAZ SHAH (Labour) Born Bradford.
ALUN GRIFFITHS (Liberal Democrat)
HARRY BOOTA (UKIP) Born Pakistan. Educated at Fairfax Grammar school. Businessman and former serviceman.
CELIA HICKSON (Green)
THERESE HIRST (English Democrat) Educated at Durham University. Retired RE teacher. Contested Bradford South 2005 for Veritas.
GEORGE GALLOWAY (Respect) Born 1954, Dundee. Educated at Harris Academy. MP for Glasgow Hillhead 1987-1997, MP for Glasgow Kelvin 1997-2005, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow 2005-2010. Contested Poplar and Limehouse 2010. MP for Bradford West 2012-2015. A flamboyant left-winger, talented orator and outspoken critic of Tony Blair and George W Bush, long involved in Palestinian and Arab causes. He opposed the 1991 Gulf war and travelled to Iraq several times, meeting both Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz and in 1998 founded a charity to campaign against sanctions on Iraq. He opposed the Iraq War and in 2003 was expelled from the Labour party for making comments encouraging British troops to refuse to obey illegal orders, he subsequently helped found the Respect party. He was elected in Bethnal Green and Bow in 2005 on a pledge to serve only one term, in 2010 he contested the neighbouring seat but lost. He resurfaced again in the 2012 Bradford West by-election.
JAMES KIRKCALDY (Independent)
Links
Comments - 461 Responses on “Bradford West”
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  1. I agree with Pepperminttea’s analysis – but surely accepting George Galloway back into the Labour Party can only cause damage. He’s the Neil Hamilton of the left – nobody likes him but he just refuses to disappear.

  2. Rivers10,

    I think it’s probably fair to say that if you were still in Respect by THIS point you’d be pretty politically peculiar. Yaqoob left Respect a few years ago after Galloway’s idiocy over rape.

  3. “Also by all accounts she tried to become a Lab member last year but was refused on the grounds that she had previously stood against Lab PPC’s, if she’s still interested I imagine Corbyn led Labour would welcome her with open arms and so they should, she’d be a brilliant MP if not shadow cabinet material.”

    This is my constituency, and my ward Labour Party supported her application for membership on exactly these grounds. The hostility came from the Muslim wards, where many of the traditional political activists detest Salma Yacoob’s hostility to paternalist and patriarchal politics.

  4. Galloway didn’t jump ship he was expelled

  5. Galloway’s been keen to come back for a while. No real mystery there, Blair’s long gone, and Respect has collapsed. Although the current leadership (and much of the rest of the party) has some sympathy over his expulsion, many of his actions since have been repulsive, and I cannot imagine him being allowed back in.

  6. Wardofdreams
    Agreed I think it was his comments on rape that really did it for him and with Lab seemingly on high alert for woman’s issues these days what with the confirmation from both Smith and Corbyn that they would commit to rule changes that make the party much more female friendly (commitment to AWS’s, new guidelines on sexual harassment, parity of MP’s, shadow cabinet positions, great offices of state and either leader of deputy leader being a woman) all of this makes Galloway’s past comments stink even more than they did at the time.

  7. Well the current leadership may not actually let Galloway back in because even they might not be quite stupid enough to walk headfirst into that PR disaster. However if they thought they could get away with letting Galloway back in with no negative repercussions I would bet my bottom dollar that they would because lets face it the current leadership and their advisers/inner circle aren’t exactly strangers to controversial/outrageous statements and actions. As George Galloway himself would say he and the current leadership are ‘two cheeks of the same a*se’.

  8. Surely Hamilton was expelled rather than jumped ship, too?

    At the very least, he must have resigned under duress and only joined UKIP much, much more recently I believe.

  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39217525

    Sounds like an exercise in brainwashing to me.

  10. Interestingly, Salma Yaqoob, the former leader of Respect is standing here as an Independent.

    Came as a bit of a surprise as she’d been out campaigning for Labour in the WM Mayoral election and was advocating for a Progressive Alliance to defeat the Tories.

    She is from Bradford and presumably is eyeing up being able to take at least a sizeable chunk of the 21% who voted for Galloway in 2015.

  11. Dawud Islam (who stood here in the Bradford W By-election) for the Greens is now a LibDem (again).

    He was a Liberal throughout the 1980s and ’90s – including standing for council and Parliament – then briefly a Labour Cllr. After being the Green PPC here he left and joined Respect.

    The LibDems even list him on the national site so I assume he is now either an agent or spokesman for their Party.

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