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
Con: 12638 (31%)
Lab: 18401 (45%)
LDem: 4732 (12%)
BNP: 1370 (3%)
Oth: 3435 (8%)
MAJ: 5763 (14%)
Con: 11544 (32%)
Lab: 14570 (40%)
LDem: 6620 (18%)
BNP: 2525 (7%)
Oth: 1110 (3%)
MAJ: 3026 (8%)
Con: 14236 (37%)
Lab: 18401 (48%)
LDem: 2437 (6%)
GRN: 2672 (7%)
Oth: 624 (2%)
MAJ: 4165 (11%)
Con: 15055 (33%)
Lab: 18932 (42%)
LDem: 6737 (15%)
Oth: 3496 (8%)
MAJ: 3877 (9%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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.
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.
Comments - 464 Responses on “Bradford West”
  1. It was while flicking thorugh the news Channels that I came across and watched an episode of Sputnick, a current affairs programme that GG cohosts on RT. H was describing all those uprising against the Ukrainian regime as Fascists, even though they were a tiny minority of the protestors.
    He has moved form Press TV (Iranian propaganda channel) to a Syrian TV Channel and on to this.
    I find him increasingly reprensible – when government snipers slaughter those using rocks against them, GG calls it an Intafada in Palestine and fascist uprising in the Ukraine – hypocrite.

  2. I agree Neil. Owen Jones lauded the Venezuelan regime as an example in The Independent last year.

  3. *He *from

  4. Ha hadn’t realised it was called Sputnick! I could only stand 2mins of it. Neil – as I’m sure you agree, it’s because we’re a democracy unlike Russia, but I agree with your line of thinking and I doubt RT is watched in the US, except by some Spooks.

  5. Another aspect of the very ultra left in Britain (i.e. something beyond even Labour’s far left) I don’t get is their fetish for Putin-led Russia. It’s something to do with geopolitics and where it was during the Cold War, but they seem to forget that it’s one of the most right wing countries in the world. Ironically their beliefs would be crushed in today’s Russia.

    Galloway is a moron no one should take seriously and Owen Jones (as Lancs Observer mentions him) is like a parrot at times.

  6. True. While he only said it in passing Prof Vernon Bogdanor during one of the Select Committees on Constitutional matters remarked that quite a few alternative comedians and twitterati would face internment if Britain went to war again. I knew eg Germans living here were in WWII and Iraqis in the ’90s, but if the test is enemies of Britain spreading propoganda I imagine Galloway could be and Amjan Choudhury.

  7. Just realised I mis-spelled reprehensible. Whenever I type about that man it makes me incapable of correct grammar.

  8. The far left doesn’t have a “fetish for Putin-led Russia”. It may be that at times Putin’s foreign policy happens to be closer to that advocated by the far left than that of the USA, but no true socialist, whether Bennite or outright Fourth Internationalist, would ever condone the domestic policies of Putin which are totally at odds with those of a socialist society. No-one who supports the general raft of Putin’s policies could properly be described as far left – they might however be influenced by Stalinism which is a very, very different creed and practice to either Bennite democratic socialism or the Trotskyism of such as the SWP. Owen Jones is not noted for defence of Putin, but I don’t see that defending the government of Venezuela from any possible future American-led aggression is incompatible with democracy, even though I find aspects of that country’s policy worrying and not as pluralistic as they should be. Almost any criticism of Galloway however is OK by me – he of course has a record as long as your arm of defending appalling dictatorships especially if they are Arab or were supportive of the former Soviet Union.

  9. I bet Galloway would have loved the Yanukovich estate with its lake, galleon, sauna and private zoo! Just like when he went to Saddam’s palace.

  10. Interesting post, Barnaby.

    Of course, Putin’s foreign policy also accords with those on the Right who oppose the Blair/Bush doctrine of liberal interventionism.

  11. The relationship between Putin’s Russia and our current far left seems to be “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. They’re both anti-west, anti-American specifically, and they’re both quite short of friends on the world stage.

    On Galloway, he wouldn’t be imprisoned during a war because so few people take him seriously!

  12. I think Barnaby is just thinking of more serious activists. Too often in my time, I’ve allowed myself to fall into that dark cesspit know as Facebook and YouTube comments. There really is a market for pro-Russian, anti-Western commentary…for Westerners. Alot of that is, as MRN says, an ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ mentality. But I wouldn’t say it’s a far-left thing. They tend to be the people who are anti-government: riled up by state surveillance, supporters of Wikileaks and Snowden, anti-interventionist abroad, e.t.c. They also tend to be the people who go in for all sorts of conspiracy theories.

    As far as they’re concerned, Putin is an opponent of the U.S. government, and that’s good enough for them. Nevermind the fact that Putin’s regime is far more unsavoury than what the Americans could pull off – indeed, they try to argue that the U.S. government is still the worst of the two.

  13. @Van Fleet

    Be interesting to compare the number of children raped and murdered by US troops in the last ten years compared to those by Russian troops. Not much covered by the BBC was the death by hanging on Friday of a US soldier who raped an Iraqi child and then murdered her family. Dirlewanger would have been proud of him.

  14. Van Fleet’s point is a good one. I do get annoyed with some on the left who fail to be critical enough of some pretty nasty regimes. If there are human rights abuses, and sadly I feel there are in Russia (let alone some of its allies in the Middle East) they do have to be condemned. There have always been figures on the left however who have had a consistent & honourable record in this – Eric Heffer is a particularly good example, and it may well be for that reason that Margaret Thatcher, unlike the then Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, took the trouble to attend his funeral, for which I will always be grateful to her – but there are too many others who have their geopolitical hats on too much & they get stuck on their heads.

  15. Van Fleet – I agree. Yes, Barnaby I was just thinking of Scousers such as Peter Shore and Eric Heffer ie working class, patriotic and left wing. Whereas many on the far Left now such as middle class lecturers sympathise with the IRA simply because they’re anti-British and bombed Thatcher.

  16. Peter Shore was originally from Liverpool, and I think went to the same school as both John Lennon & Bill Rodgers, but I don’t think he was working class. He went to my college, King’s College Cambridge. Heffer was working-class, and represented a Liverpool constituency, but he was originally from Hertfordshire & spoke with an (albeit somewhat strangulated) Southern accent.

  17. Thanks Barnaby. Actually I’ve just checked and it appears neither were Scousers. I assumed Heffer was as Wareing, Loyden, Parry were. Alton had the best reputation although it seems it was also his adopted city, him being Irish.

  18. Unlike many commentators, which I suspect includes quite a few pontificating on here, I have travelled to and actually done business in Venezuela, Russia and Ukraine.

    Venezuela is a complete and utter basket case. Putin privately believes this just as much as the US government does. Owen Jones, Ken Livingstone and Diane Abbott are useful idiots who know nothing of the damage which Chavez and his successor have done to the country’s long term future. Had his tenure not been fortunate enough to coincide with very high oil prices, the Chavez government would have collapsed years ago and been replaced with something vaguely sane.

    For two years I worked for Ukraine’s biggest bank. The image of Ukrainains the world over, including both the Russians and the EU, is that they are extremely untrustworthy. At least part of the current problem is due to both the Russians and the EU getting fed up with the Ukrainian government making them promises which turn out to be meaningless.

    Putin is a clever and impressive leader, playing on the deep desire within the Russian psyche to return the country to superpower status. In the end however his biggest long term challenge will be the Chinese border. A lot of the US-Russian spats are just for show, for domestic political reasons on both sides.

  19. Galloway says he is going to contest this seat again – denying rumors that he was going to run for mayor of London. This is obviously the parties only hope of survival having lost their base in East London and Birmingham, I think its unlikely he will retain the seat, second place probably, LAB will be desperate to retake this seat and will pour resources into it like Brighton

  20. Well they finally got to work on the Westfield site that laid empty for years, several months ago. Not sure who can take credit for that.

    Don’t know about the outcome of this. I don’t like Galloway, but the Bradford Labour party seriously needs to get its arse into gear if it’s serious about winning this back. At least part of the reason they lost Bradford West was their complacency and seemingly awful organisation.

  21. Galloway takes credit for a whole lot of things on his twitter feed the Westfield site included.. not sure how much he really had to do with any of them.
    I heard somewhere that ‘respect’ are planning to target (or at least stand – if there’s anyone left in the party) next door in Bradford east as well

  22. Perhaps he had a rare flash of common sense, and realised that, while he may well wish to contest the Mayoralty of London, he hasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of actually winning it. Only a few places have the demography to allow him to win without Labour support, and the whole of London put together certainly doesn’t. He does have some chance of holding on here though it will be difficult if Labour even puts up a semi-decent fight.

  23. Galloway will go down here I think.

    Labour 38% -7%
    Con 25% -6%
    +Respect 23% +20%
    LD 5% -7%
    UKIP 5% +3%
    Green 4% +2%

  24. He might hold it, but a lot will depend on how organised his opposition is.

    Galloway has had success only when the national picture is unlikely to be affected by the result. In 2015 that won’t be the case so he will have to work damn hard to convince people.

    Having said that, he can certainly be persuasive, and if the Labour Party don’t put up a decent fight then he might sneak it.

  25. George Galloway has a 5 figure majority. Labour would have to make a comeback on the scale of Glasgow East in 2010 to win here. My view is that Galloway will hold on relatively comfortably and the Conservatives will take second place. This is because Respect will take far more 2010 Labour votes than Tory votes.

  26. Galloway won’t stand here in 2015. Labour re-gain.

  27. Dalek is talking complete nonsense, piffle & balderdash if he really thinks that the Tories could beat Labour into 3rd place here. There is absolutely no way that that could possible happen. Doktorb, some seem to think he’s announced that he will, and that’s what I based my above comments on.

  28. Galloway has a habit of saying he’s here for the long run and then not doing, I’m just basing my opinion on that. Even if he does stand, this is the kind of seat where the national trend would kill off his chances (see Wyre Forest and Blaenau Gwent)

  29. I’m coming round to the view that the management of this site operate a system whereby there is always one poster talking out of their arse at any one time. A kind of duty idiot system. When The Results takes a rest, it’s over to 111 for a bit, when he has a break Windsofchange comes on, and when he rests for a bit Dalek pops in to say hello. Who’s next on the rota?

  30. “George Galloway has a 5 figure majority. Labour would have to make a comeback on the scale of Glasgow East in 2010 to win here”

    Yes, and there is a pretty good chance that there COULD be a swing similar to that in Glasgow East here!

    In by-elections people are not electing a government, so someone like Galloway is perfectly able to change the issues on the agenda to suit his own campaign.
    In 2015 the election will be close nationally and so people who want the Tories out are more likely to back Labour rather than waste their vote on Galloway.

    I would never go as far as ruling him out completely but it will be a struggle. In theory I guess Tory voters could vote for Galloway to try to deny Labour a majority, but I can’t imagine that many would be keen to do so.

  31. I just cannot see Tory voters backing Galloway, a man who would vote for the left-wing aspects of a Labour government while not supporting the right-wing parts. If anything there might be some who vote Labour to get him out.

  32. In Bradford Locals, Respect are standing 9 candidates, in the following wards:
    Bowling & Barkerend; Bradford Moor; City; Great Horton; Heaton; Keighley E; Little Horton; Manningham; Toller.
    Also standing 2 at Rotherham, 2 at Manchester and 1 at Rochdale. No Respect candidates found on Birmingham City Cncl.


  33. I think these locals could be pretty crucial for Respect. If Galloway has no councillors come the General Election his base is going to look awfully wobbly, surely.

  34. I’m frankly amazed the party is still going after ten years.

  35. Their Bradford councilors were sitting as independents late last year, not sure what their status is now.

    The main challenge to Labour in Rotherham is going to be from UKIP. Granted Respect is only standing 2 candidates there, but in the WWC areas where Labour has long been dominant are sure to be under attack by a UKIP campaign.

  36. this has labour gain written all over it.

    ladbrokes labour 4/9
    paddy power labour 1/5

    more with paddy power on this.

  37. I’m surprised they’re not fielding a candidate in the Sparkbrook ward in Birmingham.

  38. Galloway might hold this or he might lose it to Labour. It’s difficult to say.

    I’ve mentioned before that his by-election victory was less impressive than Dick Tavern’s at Lincoln in 1973 (that’s just a statement of statistical fact, though for some reason Galloway and his apologists choose to pretend that Lincoln for some reason is “different” and cannot be compared to Bradford West).

    However, I will admit that from memory the Respect %share and %lead at Bradford West was almost as great as that achieved by Independent Democratic Labour at Lincoln, so it might be informative to look at what happened at Lincoln at the subsequent general election: Tavern only just held it in February 1974 (with a massively reduced majority) and narrowly lost it in October 1974.

    That might – or might not – tell us something about Galloway’s prospects in May 2015.

    The problem that overwhelmed Tavern in 1974 was that general elections have very different dynamics to by-elections. A by-election is a strictly local election, where the candidates and their individual issues are under the microscope: but in a general election all of the media coverage revolves around the national campaigns being fought by the main parties.

    This is why it can be difficult for a minor party to hold a by-election gain in a general election.

    There are, of course, a number of possible differences between Bradford West today and Lincoln 40 years ago in terms of the chances of their incumbents holding their respective seats: one is that Tavern already had a personal vote and would probably have struggled to build on it further whereas Galloway will now presumably have had the chance to garner a personal vote of his own (having previously contested his seat from a standing start).

    On the other hand – and this might count against Galloway – by 2015 it would have been three years since his by-election victory and it may well by then seem like a distant memory. Conversely, Dick Tavern go to successfully (albeit narrowly) defend Lincoln within less than a year of his by-election success and may have benefitted from the fact that his victory was still fresh in people’s minds.

    The truth is that there are too many unmeasurable qualities here in Bradford West. All in all, this really is quite uncallable.

  39. I’m puzzled as to why this isn’t one of Labour’s 106 selected target seats.

  40. As Robin Hood is himself very interested in the politics of race, I’m surprised that he finds much of a parallel between Galloway and Taverne.

    I have said all along that Galloway may well not even stand, and that if he does he will almost certainly lose.

    I can’t really see what burning issue there is to propel Respect to victory now, at least in a general election. Iraq is 10+ years ago and thankfully we have curbed our enthusiasm for getting involved in middle eastern civil wars. I can’t see Galloway eking out a victory in a general election based on hackneyed slogans about Israel.

  41. Well I hate that it might be relevant but Ed Miliband is Jewish. While that won’t be on his election literature, some among his followers may try to keep that thought in the minds of less tolerant voters.

    Had Britain intervened in Syria this might have been a much different situation.

  42. I think that the situations in Lincoln and Bradford West are not only separated by 40 years, but are also completely different demographically, politically and in just about any other way one cares to mention. The only tenuous common theme is that both were won by ex-Labour people in a by-election.

    I think (and dare I say hope) that GG might lose this one, although as others have said, he tends to make his exit if the writing is on the wall. I for one hope we never hear from him again.

  43. Opposition to Syria came from various quarters, whether left or right in Britain. Outside of Parliament it was actually UKIP who were the loudest voices.

    What’s odd was that Galloway spoke in favour of minority Christians in Syria being persecuted by Al Qaeda militants and the like.

    And look at how a few hundred British Muslims are believed to be fighting in Syria, in spite of Britain’s non-involvement. It’s a sectarian thing for the more radicalised of them as they don’t like Shias and other minorities.

  44. EDIT: What’s odd was that Galloway spoke in favour of minority Christians in Syria *who are* being persecuted by Al Qaeda militants and the like.

  45. It’s hard to see why any Conservative voter would want anything to do with Galloway atall, but the by-election, although not representative, does indicate he may just be second, rather than third in my estimate. But this is still meant to be a labour. Marginal over Con from the General Election, so there will surely be a reliable vote for those who see this as a private squabble.

  46. It’s too early to tell whether the Iraq war was justified. Perhaps it wasn’t and the cost of putting it into effect was too high. What i just don’t buy is the way middle class liberals defend hideous regimes with no democracy atall and lazily blame it all on the americans and the uk.

  47. Hey, don’t confuse middle class liberals with CiF commenting trots!

  48. Bradford West local election results show a dramatic change on 2012.

    Lab 61.1% (+20.3%)
    Con 12.5% (-4.3%)
    Respect 12.0% (-22.5%)
    Others 14.5% (+6.5%)

  49. Respect barely exists as an independent political force despite still having an MP. They’ve collapsed completely here, they have disappeared in Birmingham where it seems they have failed to get over what I understand have been Salma Yaqoob’s health issues followed by her falling out with Galloway, and they’ve been in effect subsumed into Tower Hamlets First in that borough. Galloway might still stand here but would be amazing if he survived now.

  50. As expected Bradford West is now Labours, All Woman Seat.

    Somewhere in the ranks the rumor is that this is done to rid Cllr Imran Hussain from prospects of standing again from the constituency as the belief is that a substantial proportion of vote casted to GG was of those who disapporved Cllr Hussain for personal reasons.

    This further mars GG chances of defending his seat, though! Perhaps Yvonne Ridley?

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