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 - 464 Responses on “Bradford West”
  1. Interesting. Given that he won the By-election but lost on a higher turnout, I assume he’s hoping for an August re-run?

    The Court may of course also find that he committed an election offence and bar him from standing in any re-run.

  2. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke. Hope he runs for Mayor of Londonand gets rinsed.

  3. Very pleased about this result and I warned previously that Galloway’s by-election result was actually less spectacular than Dick Taverne’s at Lincoln and that he would go the same way as Taverne (though at least the latter did briefly hold his seat at the subsequent general election).

    I particularly thought that Galloway’s rant at a public meeting was disgraceful. He had a go at Naz Shah because she had claimed that she underwent a forced marriage at the age of 15 and he produced her marriage certificate which said it was 16.

    What difference does a year make? Forced marriage is wrong, full stop. Further more Asian women don’t need privileged white men to tell them what their problems are.

    For the record I love multiculturalism (and even edit ‘Wikipedia’ under the pseudo of ‘Multiculturalist’) but that involves celebrating diversity and enjoying things like Eid and Diwali – not using bogus arguments about so-called ‘cultural sensitivities’ to justify the oppression of women.

    Given the result I would contend that Naz Shah probably won among all ethnic and religious groups and among both genders. It proves that most in the Islamic community support gender equality, contrary to popular belief.

  4. Bradford West and Thanet South re-runs would be interesting in August.

  5. Surely the relevant court isn’t going to set aside the result here. Galloway on a litigation frenzy is nothing new.

    Why can’t this clown just go back to Scotland and try get elected in some Muslim-heavy Glasgow constituency next year and annoy Sturgeon? I don’t know if the community there is nationalist or unionist. Rather he becomes a pain in the arse for Hollyrood than us.

  6. “Why can’t this clown just go back to Scotland and try get elected in some Muslim-heavy Glasgow constituency…”

    Errrr… Because the Muslims have shown clearly that they don’t want him?

    Trust me, I know something about the Muslim community: all of my housemates are Pakistani or Afghani immigrants and they don’t like zealotry any more than you do.

  7. Robin Hood “It proves most in the Islamic community support gender equality” – they wouldn’t have liked that pic of the Labour event with segregated sexes then?

  8. Well presumably they were segregated equally…?

    No but seriously there is an issue about to what extent society should accept cultural differences. My own view is that multiculturalism should be accepted only up to the point that it does not infringe on other egalitarian concepts, e.g. gender equality.

    But then again we in the Christian community are far from perfect on this issue: we’ve only just accepted women priests and some Christians do not agree with that.

    Other Christians oppose gay marriage and believe they have the right to discriminate against gay people, whereas many Muslims (including most Muslim Labour MPs) voted for gay marriage.

    Do you support gay marriage, Lancs Observer?

  9. This was one of the few truly gratifying results in the GE and very interesting that Naz Shah won both a higher numerical total and percentage of the vote for Labour than they managed in either 1997 and 2001.

    Had Galloway been successful in his litigation and forced a re-run, one would imagine that he would have been defeated even more comprehensively. Interesting that he didn’t pursue it, given his propensity for litigation.

  10. Is that in itself not mildly suspicious though?

    I find it astonishing that Shah, who was widely regarded as a hopeless candidate throughout the party and constituency managed to take 50% of the vote here – as you mention – even higher than Marsha Singh managed in 1997.

    Given that the vast majority of the 21% (8,500 votes) of the Respect vote would go to Labour had Galloway not have stood, that would suggest a winning percentage of 65%+ is possible here for Labour which I just don’t believe to be the case.

  11. Naz Shah is in trouble for old anti-Semitic comments that Guido have dredged up – http://order-order.com/2016/04/26/labour-mp-israelis-should-face-transportation-out-of-middle-east/, and this for Tory MPs criticising her http://order-order.com/2016/04/26/tory-mps-demand-labour-sacks-naz-shah/

    Whilst the left clearly has a major problem with anti-Semitism which, for many reasons (not least electoral in seats with a high Jewish population), they need to get a grip with I must admit to being slightly uncomfortable with people being demonised for social media posts made years ago.

  12. Naz Shah is in trouble for old anti-Semitic comments that Guido have dredged up – http://order-order.com/2016/04/26/labour-mp-israelis-should-face-transportation-out-of-middle-east/.

    Whilst the left clearly has a major problem with anti-Semitism which, for many reasons (not least electoral in seats with a high Jewish population), they need to get a grip with I must admit to being slightly uncomfortable with people being demonised for social media posts made years ago.

  13. Jack – I disagree to an extent. The posts made in the Guido article were in 2014, at a time when Shah will have, if not already been chosen to fight this seat, at least had serious ambitions in that direction. I can agree that in the first flush of immature youth people may say/write things they later come to regret (I’m sure I have) but this sort of thing is clearly more recent by this time Shah should have been totally “on message” with regard to any social media posting.

  14. Naz Shah has resigned as John McDonnell’s PPS in the wake of P. Staines’s story.

  15. She has now resigned as John McDonnell’s PPS.

  16. Jack – ” I disagree to an extent. The posts made in the Guido article were in 2014, at a time when Shah will have, if not already been chosen to fight this seat, at least had serious ambitions in that direction. I can agree that in the first flush of immature youth people may say/write things they later come to regret (I’m sure I have) but this sort of thing is clearly more recent by this time Shah should have been totally “on message” with regard to any social media posting.”

    Fair.

    Labour have a tricky question to answer on what action against people that do this kind of thing is proportionate. The activist in Woking that was in the news the other week – who had been re-admitted after being suspended – had said some horrible things, but is banning for life (as many were calling for) proportionate for social media posts that probably weren’t thought through? I’m not sure.

  17. I think Shah’s tweet will prove to be very prophetic actually. It will almost certainly be the case that the Jewish communities will be gradually driven out of Europe and, in the absence of a viable peace with Palestine, increasingly out of Israel as well. America will indeed emerge as a friendly and safe oasis for jews, as indeed it already is. In private moments I’m sure many American politicians have had similar thoughts to hers, and would prefer to accommodate their Israeli allies at home rather than be forced into open-ended commitments to defend Israel at huge financial and political cost.

  18. By riddling her post with anti semitism she ruined a pretty good idea. I wonder if a future radical US president might run with it. Namely allow every Israeli citizen to move to the US with immediate citizenship rights with a grant of a few hundred thousand dollars each to cover expenses and accommodation. Quid pro quo to withdraw all military expenditure and support to Israel and those who choose to stay will have to pay to defend themselves.

  19. She absolutely had to resign, particularly given the recent controversies surrounding Labour and accusations relating to anti- Semetism. Her comments are, of course, extremely mild in comparison with some of the nonsense peddled by her former opponent in this seat. Galloway has gotten away with some pretty abhorrent comments under the guise of simply being ‘anti- Israel’, rather than anti- Semetic. I don’t believe him for a minute.

  20. It’s always strikes me as odd that the old-fashioned Right (such as the Daily Mail) make such a big thing about anti-semitism, ignoring the fact they themselves despised Jews for many decades and still would had not Muslims moved over to Western Europe in big enough number to take over the roll of ‘bogey men’

    Even odder is when they attack those who urge Israel to show restraint as “appeasers” despite the fact they endorsed Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler – arguably the vilest man whose ever set foot on earth

    I can’t help thinking that some of these so called anti-semitic attacks in the West that we read so much about are fictitious and put out there as a smokescreen to cover the real atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinians – as happened during the last Gaza bombardment in 2014

  21. Trust Tim to come along and turn this MP’s comments and subsequent storm into an attack on the right!

  22. ‘Trust Tim to come along and turn this MP’s comments and subsequent storm into an attack on the right!’

    I’m attacking the Daily Mail

    And just for the records MPs from both Labour and Tories are just as guilty as each other in their totally unbalanced, biased and of course politically opportunistic approach towards the Middle East

    Have you seen how many Labour and Tory Mps are ‘Friends of Israel’?

    Shah’s comments are ill founded to say the least, but no more so than the things the Daily Mail right about Muslims on a – forgive the pun – daily basis

    That’s my point

  23. TJ – it’s hardly surprising MPs feel the need to be friends of Israel when so many on the far Left think the nation shouldn’t continue to exist.

    I’ve never heard the Mail say that a Muslim nation should be wiped off the map.

    Incidentally all of the – few – Labour MPs who are Friends of Israel have received abuse due to their stance.

    HH – that’s the total opposite of what is happening. Jews are moving out of Europe and Russia TO Israel. Indeed there are groups dedicated to supporting this ‘return’ with some groups not even being Jewish [the American Right has a lot of Christian groups who see this as prophetic]

  24. It’s depressing how intolerant some posters are of different views. This board is a centre right heaven (on the constituency pages at least) and yet some want to shout down one of the few differing viewpoints (such as Tim’s). Pretty pathetic, uninspiring stuff.

  25. “Shah’s comments are ill founded to say the least, but no more so than the things the Daily Mail right about Muslims on a – forgive the pun – daily basis
    That’s my point”

    The obvious response to that is so what? It looks like a tu quoque argument; or alternatively a piece of whataboutary.

    Shah’s comments should be judged on their merits. The fact that others may have said similar or worse is of no relevance.

  26. You supported the shouting down of someone else. If anything, that’s even more desperate.

  27. Tristan – Tim was the one suggesting there was somehow a large powerful group of Friends of Israel amongst Labour MPs.

    I fail to see how they are right wing either.

    Although I realise the far Left will call any Labour MP right wing these days.

    Louise Ellman MP has received abuse from new Party members who are members of Friends of Palestine. That’s fact not opinion. She’s not right wing either. It’s those very same far Left who shout down her differing view. Which again shows she is in the minority within the Party, as opposed to the suggested large group.

    Tim was only right about the Tories as I think they have 70 – 80 MPs who are members compared with Labour’s couple of dozen.

  28. But we are meant to be discussing psephology in a non-partisan way.

  29. Tristan – I just found it mildly amusing that Tim, in his own inimitable style, was able to twist what this MP has said and turned it into an attack on the right (and in particular the right wing press). I wasn’t aiming to “shout down” anyone, but it does betray something of a one-eyed approach (as with the comments re: Israel).

  30. ‘I Just found it mildly amusing that Tim, in his own inimitable style, was able to twist what this MP has said and turned it into an attack on the right’

    It just seems a bit odd to me Jason, if not downright perverse that this MP’s albeit ill thought-out comments have attrracted far more criticism that Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza

    It shows the immense influence the Jewish lobby have in the UK, and as the UK is a Christian country, I don’t think that’s a good thing

    No doubt in today’s world such a remark will be derided as anti semitic, which kind of underlines my point

  31. Perhaps the reason this MP hasn’t been suspended has something to do with the upcoming London mayoral election.

  32. And entirely predictably she’s now lost the whip.

    Question now is what next? There isn’t much to ‘investigate’ so surely it is a case of either forgiving her and letting her back in or expelling her.

  33. This seat has been a little unlucky of late with its MPs.

  34. There was previous little support for her at PMQ’s today. Some seriously stony faces on the Lab front bench when this subject/ her name came up. As Jack S said- unclear as to where they will go from here.

  35. ‘Precious little…’

  36. “Question now is what next? There isn’t much to ‘investigate’ so surely it is a case of either forgiving her and letting her back in or expelling her.”

    Presumably they will investigate whether there’s more of this sort of thing, particularly anything more recent. The Labour leadership are rightly concerned about anti-Semitism in the party, but it’s not realistic to expel every member of a party who makes a reprehensible post on social media unless it’s ongoing or no apology is forthcoming.

  37. This seems entirely overblown – it almost makes the Emily Thornberry/white van debacle look petty.

    How did this even come to light? Did the Daily Mail employ people to search through everything that every Labour MP has ever said, going back years, to try and find something anti-Semitic?

    I guess it’s Labour’s turn to feel undue pressure after the Tories were over-scrutinised on their tax arrangements.

  38. I agree. Regardless of party political advantage it is bad for politics to remove the whip for making bad taste jokes even before entering the house.

  39. I completely disagree with Polltroll that this is comparable to the Emily Thornberry/white van story. Naz Shah’s comments were highly offensive and it is completely right that she’s been pulled up for them. However, from her comments today I think she’s quite genuinely repentant and keen to make amends. Personally, I hope she gets the opportunity to do so.

  40. It seems this seat hasn’t had much luck with its MPs over the last few years! Could we be seeing another Bradford West by-election in the next few months?

  41. I think Labour will want to avoid that at all costs.

    IMO this isn’t a hanging offence though undoubtedly stupid and crass comments for someone trying to become an MP

  42. Each parliament sees around 10 MPs lose the Party whip over one issue or another, and most have it restored after a few months.

    In this case, I’d expect it to be shorter than that.

  43. looks like there was tactical voting by tories to defeat george.

  44. The Respect Party has been deregistered. From the possibility of three seats and opposition on Bradford Council to nothing in the space of six years. Amateurs – the Liberal Party’s been hanging on much longer!

    http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Registrations/PP362

  45. I imagine the current leadership of the Labour Party adequately suits Respect/George Galloway’s vision and share their goals so there is no point having a separate party. Though the question Labour should ask themselves is are the ex-Respect lot really the kind of people they want in their party?

  46. Well undoubtedly the moderates will tarnish anyone who was once in Respect as a raving Trot even though some (most notably Salma Yaqoob) would be assets to the Lab party. Indeed various former and present Lab party figures on the moderate wing of the party have had nothing but praise for Yaqoob and by all accounts she was offered on multiple occasions a safe Lab seat by Blair and Brown which she obviously refused.

    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.

  47. The current leadership the vision of George Galloway, you really must think much of us if you’re lumbering us with Galloway

  48. MrNameless, despite this deregistration Respect’s website is still active.

  49. I think the same is true for the BNP

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