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. Emley – AWS for this seat does look a bit cynical fort the reason you suggest. Wonder whether there’s any possibility of it backfiring

  2. George Galloway earned £65,050 in 6 months from his outside interests, including Russia Today.

  3. In how many seats are British and other white voters in a minority? Birminham Ladywood is I think another example.

  4. It depends or your definition of British.

    A very significant majority of the voters in this constituency will have been born in Britain. Many, many having been born and brought up in this constituency and who solidly support Bradfor City, the England football team, and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

  5. FS – from memory there were 7 seats where White UK were in a minority from the last Census.

  6. IM – a majority just is a possibility, but I doubt a vast majority were born here. After all 55% of UK ethnic minorities were born abroad.

  7. Do we know how many UK residents who were born abroad are also ethnic minorities here?

  8. Have a look on the census or neighbourhood statistics page. Huge amounts of data are available.

  9. Surely there’d have been some Eastern European migration from A8 countries in Bradford West. Isn’t there a pattern where new waves of migrants arrive in areas where older established immigrant groups have been around for a few generations?

  10. Exactly. Sparkbrook in Birmingham used to be a magnet for Irish immigrants before the 1960’s.

  11. …and as established immigrant groups either move out (increasing prosperity) or dwindle in numbers, the newer group(s) tend to be make up a significant share of the population in a defined area. For all we know, Pakistani communities could move out from certain areas where Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians arrive.

  12. There are not many immigrants in the north east , I go to school there and the younger generation are 80% white British. I highly doubt the indigenous people will be a minority there for many many years.

    It is however scary in my opinion, the rise of islam, not barbecue I’m racist but 40% of Muslims want sharia law in the UK so when the country becomes 50% Muslim, and it will, there will be huge clashes, nationwide between groups like the EDL and Islamic extremists that want to impose sharia law. If you look at places like Luton its already happening , and I’m not supporting people like the EDL and the BNP, they’re idiots but I think the call the instation of sharia law should be oppressed.

  13. “not barbecue I’m racist” – a cautionary tale against the use of spell-check by the look of it!
    At what time do you seriously think the country will be majority Muslim? There are hardly any seats which are majority Muslim even now. This may well be the only one in fact though there are perhaps one or 2 more which may be close.

  14. I’m actually just hoping he was being satirical.

    “4.4% of the population in 2011 were Muslims. OH MER GOD, ISLAM TAKING OVER”.

  15. Robbie’s post is an example of why it is a good idea to try to ignore media hysteria.

    It is wrong to conflate militant Islam with “muslims”. There are plenty of muslims who lead pretty identical lives to indigenous Brits – certainly so here in the affluent Home Counties suburbs, even if Tower Hamlets and Bradford are somewhat different to that, they and places like them will never be anything like a majority of the country.

    Incidentally I find it quite amusing about that UKIP and the radical right can’t accept that high immigration from Eastern Europe is actually a very good thing if you believe in limiting the percentage of the population which is muslim.

  16. @Van Fleet

    Muslims from Pakistan are greatly over-represented in the heroin import, insurance fraud,, and Labour Party local government ranks. That could explain results here and in other places in Yorkshire.

  17. “Incidentally I find it quite amusing about that UKIP and the radical right can’t accept that high immigration from Eastern Europe is actually a very good thing if you believe in limiting the percentage of the population which is muslim.”

    I think Farage and a lot of other UKIP people do accept it privately.

  18. Bang on H.H.

    I do feel Islam is a worse religion than an awful lot of others. However, as H.H says, there’s a difference between Islam and the everyday Muslim. Just as the vast majority of Christians ignore some of the more…controversial tenets of their religion, so too do most Muslims. I’m not saying there aren’t problems within the Muslim community, but that’s a world of difference from trying to say this business with ISIS means Muslims are trying to turn us into a province of a caliphate. My brain hurts dealing with that logic.

  19. “Muslims from Pakistan are greatly over-represented in the heroin import, insurance fraud,, and Labour Party local government ranks. That could explain results here and in other places in Yorkshire.”

    And, to be absolutely blunt, my brain hurt trying to comprehend that post as well.

  20. This upcoming century will be more about a civil war within Islam than the west v the east like we have had for the last 15 years. The amount of Muslims who follow hardcore Wahabi beliefs is rapidly growing and yet there are far too many Muslims who are far too decent and educated to fall into that trap.

    Obviously at the moment we are allied with the lunatics who run Saudi Arabia when we should have been tacitly supporting the Hussains and Assads of this world as the least worst option. We have made matters much much worse and have set the conditions in which groups like ISIS can thrive. We need to be much more canny than we have been.

  21. The war within Islam would be one that has been going on for centuries but will probably rear its ugly once again. Pretty much the Sunnis vs every other Islamic sect they deem beneath them. Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, etc. The Wahabi influences have turned people to extremism, funded by Saudi Arabia primarily. It’s the same people with extremist ideas who preach that all Muslims are brethren but harbour grudges against alternative strands of the religion.

    Even before ISIS became known to the world, a small number of British Muslims went over to Syria to fight. They did so with extremist Sunni elements of the opposition. I’m fairly certain that was motivated on sectarian grounds. Assad is an Alawite and has projected himself as someone who supports minorities in Syria like Christians and Shias.

  22. There are many strands of Muslim, and it seems pretty clear to me that the ordinary people living in Gaza are a more moderate lot.

    But on another issue –

    It’s pretty shameful that in Britain we have re-exported Islamic Jihadists, having failed to stand up to the problem due to years of wet political correctness and liberalism. How ironic.

    We need to do what we can to make sure those who have left our country stay out,
    and that those who were born here abide by our laws, nobody else’s.

    That includes prosecutions the next time banners are paraded in Central London calling for beheadings.
    Incitement to murder is a criminal offence in Britain – always has been.

    And if we win through, it always will be.

  23. I really do think that we are ranging too far and wide on every topic under the sun on this website at present – everything from General Pinochet to Islam v. the West. While I – along with everyone else – have gone ‘off topic’ from time to time, there is usually at least some tenuous link with a particular constituency and its voting behaviour.

    Can I make a plea – in peace, rather than in anger – for us to stay a bit closer to the topic.

  24. Well it needs to be dealt with Dr John.
    And on top of it all, the outrageous cases of benefits being given to some of these characters.
    So your and my taxes going to people who want to kill us in our own country.

    OK – on topic
    Labour will gain the seat back.
    The deeply unpleasant individual currently here second.
    Tories unfortunately third.

  25. Well, without being overly partisan I certainly agree with Joe James B on one matter – it would be deeply satisfying to see GG given his marching orders at the next GE.

    There can have been few political events so depressing in the last couple of years as his election here. Why others on the left such as the late Tony Benn had any time or respect (!) for him, I just do not know.

    If he does stand again, it may be difficult to unseat him and could well be very close.

  26. The member for this constituency has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw after being attacked in Notting Hill.

  27. Apparently he was punched several times, before police managed to stop the assailant. Broken rib, jaw and bruising to his head resulted.

  28. George Galloway. I disagree with pretty much anything he says but it’s never nice to see someone get assaulted.

  29. It was stupid & wrong to assault him. I can’t stand Galloway but can’t condone this on any level.

  30. Absolutely not. He’s a demagogue with some unpleasant and even disgraceful views, but this isn’t the way to tackle them.

  31. George G to stand for Tories here:

  32. Ladbrokes have LAB 1/3, RES 9/4

  33. If there’s one constituency where we should ignore the bookmakers, it’s this one where they lost shedloads of money at the by-election.

  34. No-one has a clue whether Galloway is going to stand again, so betting on the constituency seems a bit silly. If he doesn’t stand I imagine it’ll be an easy Labour win.

  35. Browsed through a bit of Galloway’s book today, and I just thought… Awful man, thoroughly depressing. Glad people here are of a similar opinion. I’m looking forward to him being booted out next year. As someone of Jewish Israeli heritage I find his remarks anti-Semitic in the extreme.

  36. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who knows this seat and has an idea of what is happening locally.

    The bookies make Labour odds on favourites to win but it is not on their target list, they do not even have a candidate and Galloway had a huge majority.

    Is anyone campaigning in the seat? Has Galloway been seen in the constituency since his election and is he likely to stand again? Do Labour plan to actually select a candidate? It’s all a mystery at the moment.

  37. In reply to Ealing Bloke – I spend quite a bit of time in this constituency so can have a go at answering some of your questions.

    As far as I know, nobody is campaigning in Bradford West yet – you are correct in saying that Labour have not even chosen their candidate yet – although they have announced this seat will be an all woman shortlist. (I believe this is an attempt to counter the biraderi system which they’ve been exploiting for years here, which Respect subsequently smashed in 2012)

    George Galloway has been fairly prominent in the constituency – he played a part in saving the National Media Museum, the restarting of the Westfield development and halting the destruction of the Odeon Cinema building in the city centre. He’s also held a number of large rallies in the city centre in support of Palesine and was also heavily involved in Respect’s campaign in the local elections earlier this year.

    As to why this seat isn’t on Labour’s target list – according to senior figures in the party, that’s because they expect to win this back very easily and put Galloway’s victory in 2012 down to exceptional by-election circumstances.

    That strikes me as an incredible amount of arrogance and short-sightedness on the behalf of Labour given the reasons for their own capitulation in 2012 and Galloway’s history in elections.

    It’s a difficult seat to call – I think the bookies odds on Respect (4/1) are very tempting indeed – I’d expect the high proportion of Muslim’s in this constituency, coupled with the recent escapades of Israel to be enough to see Galloway and Respect through here.

  38. If Galloway stands again, he has a strong chance of winning. If he doesn’t, then expect Respect’s majority to go down hugely.

  39. Is there a Respect organization though? All their councillors have left the party. It’ll be very difficult to beat Labour without an organization.

  40. Respect 31
    Con 28
    Lab 27
    UKIP 5
    Green 5
    LD 4

  41. Dalek – Are you serious about the Tories bearing Labour in this seat!

  42. Given that Respect are a far left party….yes.

    Without the Respect presence the Labour majority could increase to 7 or 8K over the Conservatives.

  43. I understand your logic but I just can’t ever envisage the Tories beating Labour in Bradford even with Respect snapping at their heals.

  44. George Galloway will be contesting Bradford West again according to this article:

  45. When will Labour select. Must be one of the last target seats to still select.

  46. Quite worrying that they haven’t got it sorted by now. I still think Galloway will lose as his organisation has collapsed, but they need to hurry up.

  47. Just to clarify that earlier comment a few months back was satire but hey, I guess I have a right to offend.

  48. The Honorable member for Bradford West has weighed in on the Paris attacks while at an anti-Charlie Hebdo rally in Bradford:

    “We will not allow this Charlie Hebdo magazine to be described as a kind of anarchic, fun book of cartoons. These are not cartoons. These are not depictions of the prophet. These are pornographic, obscene insults to the prophet and by extension 1.7bn human beings on this earth. And there are limits to free speech and free expression, especially in France”

    “Of all European countries, in France it is forbidden for Muslim women to dress as they please. hey can wear as little as they like, but they cannot wear as much as they like. In France it is illegal to deny the Holocaust, which massacred millions of Jews in the 1930s [sic] and 1940s. It is illegal. It should be illegal, because of the harm and hurt and offence which it causes to the millions of Jews in France.”

    “But how come it’s illegal to hurt and offend Jews in France, but it’s some kind of freedom of speech to offend and obscene pornography be drawn and published – now in the millions of copies – against Muslims. That’s hypocrisy, not democracy. Shame on the government of France”.

    Stay classy, George.

  49. The idea that it should be illegal for there to be a depiction of the prophet Muhammad is one with which I profoundly disagree. Where it’s always sensible or judicious is one thing. Illegal, absolutely no way.

  50. I am surprised by the bookies odds for this seat.

    I would have thought that Galloways majority in the by election was so substantial that their would be enough fat there for him to scrape home at the very least in 2015.

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