Leicester East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11034 (23%)
Labour: 29386 (61.1%)
Lib Dem: 1233 (2.6%)
Green: 1468 (3.1%)
UKIP: 4290 (8.9%)
TUSC: 540 (1.1%)
Independent: 117 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 18352 (38.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: East Midlands, Leicestershire. Part of the Leicester council area.

Main population centres: Leicester.

Profile: An urban seat in the commercial and engineering centre of Leicester. Leicester East has one of the highest Asian populations of any British constituency. In the 2001 census two-thirds of the population were non-white and 58% of people described themselves as Asian. Almost a third of the population here are Hindu, although there are also significant Muslim and Sikh minorities.

Politics: Leicester East is generally a safe Labour seat. It was briefly and narrowly held by the trenchant Conservative MP turned lay Canon Peter Bruinvels at the height of the Tory party`s popularity in 1983 but was regained by Labour in 1987 and has become increasingly safe since then. Given the Conservative party`s difficulties in attracting votes from ethnic minority voters, this looks like a seat they would be hard pressed to challenge for in the near future.

Current MP
KEITH VAZ (Labour) Born 1956, Aden. Educated at Latymer Upper School and Cambridge University. Former solicitor. Contested Richmond and Barnes 1983. First elected as MP for Leicester East in 1987. PPS to John Morris 1997-1999, PPS to Lord Falconer 1997-1998, PPS to Ross Cranston 1998-1999, Junior minister in Lord Chancellors Dept 1999, Minister of State for Europe 1999-2001. Left office, ostensibly for health results, while under investigation for the Hinduja affair. Vaz was later cleared of impropriety, but criticised for having concealed legitimate payments from the Hindujas to his wife. Suspended from the House of Commons in 2002 for making false accusations about a former police officer. He is the sister of Valerie Vaz, MP for Walsall South.
Past Results
Con: 11722 (24%)
Lab: 25804 (54%)
LDem: 6817 (14%)
BNP: 1700 (4%)
Oth: 1952 (4%)
MAJ: 14082 (29%)
Con: 8139 (20%)
Lab: 24015 (58%)
LDem: 7052 (17%)
Oth: 2100 (5%)
MAJ: 15876 (38%)
Con: 9960 (24%)
Lab: 23402 (58%)
LDem: 4989 (12%)
BNP: 772 (2%)
Oth: 1538 (4%)
MAJ: 13442 (33%)
Con: 10661 (24%)
Lab: 29083 (65%)
LDem: 3105 (7%)
Oth: 538 (1%)
MAJ: 18422 (41%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
KISHAN DEVANI (Conservative)
KEITH VAZ (Labour) See above.
DAVE RAVEL (Liberal Democrat)
TOM DARWOOD (no description)
Comments - 147 Responses on “Leicester East”
  1. Nominations close on Thursday. Going to be an almighty scramble to find his successor, and an ideal opportunity for Labour HQ to impose one of their close allies under the guise that there isn’t time for a full selection process.

  2. “Thank goodness for that. So Vaz, O’Mara and Ross Thomson all out this election…good to hear. Nadine Dorries will win her seat of course but you can’t have everything.”

    Thomson’s (alleged) groping targets have been odd indeed – perhaps it is slightly to his credit that he targeted a fellow MP rather than a lowly young staffer or waiter who can’t answer back. But a very strange business all the same.

    “Coincidentally an old HIGNFY last week showed a montage of MPs dancing in various music videos. They included Cyril Smith (I think it was Banarama) and then Vaz bhangra dancing. Didn’t Kinnock do one as well?”

    I think Kinnock did quite a few jazz dances, similar to Boris Yeltsin drunkenly conducting that band.

    “Going to be an almighty scramble to find his successor, and an ideal opportunity for Labour HQ to impose one of their close allies under the guise that there isn’t time for a full selection process.”

    Word is that he’s trying to get his daughter the candidacy. Will be a true rotten borough if he is successful.

  3. ‘Thomson’s (alleged) groping targets have been odd indeed’.
    The Lab MP he targeted wasn’t bad to be fair…one of the better looking male MPs. I realise that is saying absolutely nothing, but it’s all relative. I feel a bit sorry for that Lab MP…he’ll be turfed out after just 2 years and his main claim to fame will be having his arse groped.

  4. Can I just urge people to be careful. As i understand it, half heartedly adding the word “alleged” is not a defence against litigation.

  5. A fair point.

    Barely one man and his dog comes here these days, perhaps that is making us a bit too lax.

  6. Shaun is right. Thomson has denied all allegations and no charges were brought. The Lab MP in question didn’t press charges but decided instead to dredge the allegations back up at the start of the election campaign. A cynical move even by the standards of 2019 politics.

  7. Yes that is a fair point also. All parties have been heavily mired in sex scandals over recent years so it’s hard to see how this could have done much more damage).

  8. Very similar situation here as there is in Dover.

  9. “Very similar situation here as there is in Dover.”

    From what I know that seems very harsh on Charlie Elphicke, if you compare the facts and allegations of each case plus how much has been proven and how much each has lied to obstruct justice.

  10. From what I know that seems very harsh on Charlie Elphicke

    But Charlie Elphicke has been charged and whilst I know nothing of his specific case, for charges to be brought against an MP of the governing party one can only assume that the evidence must be pretty strong

    I would have thought the strongest similarity to the Ross Thompson case is that involving yet another Tory MP, Nigel Evans ho ended up cleared on all charges despite admitting to the type of behaviour that parliamentarians into disrepute

  11. Interestingly, when first elected in 1987, Vaz was one of a handful of far-left MPs like Dave Nellist and Terry Fields who promised only to collect the average manual worker’s wage and donate the rest of his salary to socialist causes (Skinner still does this). Not sure therefore how Vaz acquired his multi-millionaire status.

    But Tim is right….there’s been a 30 year stench of sleaze about Vaz but nothing criminal is being pursued, whereas Elphicke has been charged and could therefore in theory go to jail. If that happens it puts his wife in a very difficult position indeed – a very strange decision by the Tories to select her.

  12. “I would have thought the strongest similarity to the Ross Thompson case is that involving yet another Tory MP, Nigel Evans…”

    Well if Polltroll was referring to Thomson not Vaz when he made that comparison with Elphicke, that’s somewhat more understandable – my response thought he was talking about Vaz as we’re on ‘his’ thread.

  13. BT Says

    Elphicke has been charged with criminal offences and, despite eing a sleazeball, Vaz hasn’t. So I can’t see how Elphicke’s comparison to Vaz is harsh.

  14. Labour candidate is Islington Cllr and NEC member Claudia Webbe

    Amen. They finally managed to put her somewhere. She was born in Leicester

  15. HH – I meant Kinnock appeared in a pop video. Tracey Ullman’s maybe?

    But you’re right, he drunkenly sang a Latin American socialist anthem on tv too.

    Tim J – the strongest similarity is the Bath bottom pincher, of course!

    The Indian group in the Labour Party are already complaining about Claudia Webbe’s imposition here.

  16. At least 2 Indian origin candidates here furious about Webbe getting PPC. Will add to the “Labour are anti India” narrative that is growing

  17. What has happened to Vaz is in many ways a political tragedy and one which besets too many aspiring politicians from humble backgrounds

    He came into politics with all the right intentions – although as a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, I’d question his means of going about it – but I imagine on getting elected his new found power went to his head as he realised he could use this to become as rich and influential as many of his new colleagues

    I feel sorry for his sister – one MP ho seems in it for the right reasons

  18. That reasoning could be applied to the jailed expenses troughing MPs such as Elliot Morley (simple cos of their background).

  19. The swing her was stunning. The seat could go tory next time.

  20. ~here.

  21. They’ll be fighting against the tide after fourteen years of Conservative government, though. This was already an exceptional election – no party in British political history has ever gained seats after so long in power. For that to happen again would defy political gravity.

    Labour cannot forget about these places; but I think it’s much more likely the Tories lose Chingford, Wycombe, Rushcliffe, Altrincham etc, next time around. Labour may be tearing themselves apart right now, but that can’t last forever.

  22. I don’t know. To me, this feels a lot more like 1983 than 1992.

  23. True; but even after 1983 the pendulum began to swing back to Labour. They were just so far behind that it took three elections to actually win.

    Very possible that Labour wins some seats for the first time ever (Chingford and Chipping Barnet most likely) while remaining in opposition.

  24. Very likely. Much like Manchester Withington in 87 and Streatham in 92. Both longtime Tory seats that the Tories have got nowhere near since losing them.

    Nevertheless, Labour barely managed a 4% swing over 9 years between 83 and 92. They’re gonna have to do better than that to get anywhere near power, probably in minority first.

  25. The difference between now and then though are the seats that can fall on a small swing by 92 the tories had a majority of 40 a similar swing today the Tories would have a majority of 12

  26. Worth remembering that this is an unusually unpredictable government. It is led by a famously fickle/compulsive/untrustworthy leader, and its manifesto was super-thin. I know a lot of commentators have gravitated towards, “well the political geography means he *has* to move towards the economic centre”. I remain sceptical – apart from anything else, where is the party’s funding, already battered by Brexit, going to come from? – but if he does then that’s a real game changer.

    Labour also seems to be at more of a crossroads than usual. It’s always the case that what happens at the next election is dependent on what the two parties between now and then, but the space of possibilities for each seems abnormally large this time around.

  27. PT – yes and no.

    In 1987 the Tory vote rose again and there were further swings to the Cons in over 100 seats IIRC.

    Matt – Tory majority was still almost 100 in 1992. It fell to 21 at the GE.

    Today there are more Lab seats with v small majorities than in 1992 (when the Cons were v lucky to hang on to a lot by sub 1k from Vale of G to Ayr and Stirling). Of course then Lab just held onto Halifax & Dewsbury unlike this time (without even having to look at the unexpected gains in the NE).

  28. PT – that’s false re funding.

    In fact Tory funding is higher because the wealthy Eurosceptics who stopped donating – or went UKIP – during the DC/GO decade have now returned.

    I haven’t checked if it’s true, but Dobbs remarked that they spent less than Major did for the same result : 14m votes. I assume this time it was simply better targeted and some online, as opposed to the mass billboards of the ’90s.

  29. Labour held Halifax this time – it was Dewsbury and Wakefield lost in west yorkshire.

  30. Nobody has mentioned the bleedin obvious on the awful Labour result here, namely that Corbyn’s significant unpopularity with Hindus manifested itself as the polls suggested it would. This was visible in one or two other strongly Hindu seats as well, most notably Harrow East. If it is an early omen that non-muslim ethnic minorities are beginning to splinter away from Labour over sectarian matters, then that is not a good harbinger for Labour in the long term.

    (Yes I realise there were also special factors at play in Leicester East – the sheer awfulness of Webbe, the Vaz scandals and the fact that the Tory candidate was a prominent Hindu)

  31. “True; but even after 1983 the pendulum began to swing back to Labour. They were just so far behind that it took three elections to actually win.

    Very possible that Labour wins some seats for the first time ever (Chingford and Chipping Barnet most likely) while remaining in opposition.”

    If the Labour party remains in the grip of anti-semitic hard left marxists, I doubt it will win either those kinds of seats or win much of the Red Wall back. The key to Labour making progress in 1987 and 1992 was that the moderates were back in charge of the party and gradually shoehorned it back towards the centre. Do you think “the pendulum would have begun to swing back” had a Tony Benn or Eric Heffer succeeded Michael Foot? Very unlikely indeed.

  32. In Harrow West the Tory vote remained static – prehaps because the candidate was a muslim women.
    Harrow East saw the popular Hindu london asembly member replaced as Labour candidate by a white corbyn loyalist.

  33. Harrow West is the grottier of the two Harrow seats (since the Pinner wards were split off) – also less Hindu, less Jewish and more Muslim. I very much doubt the Tories can ever win there again.

  34. Still 25% Hindu in Harrow West in 2011 and surprisingly a similar sized Muslim community. The biggest difference is no Jewish community. Harrow West has of course more poor white people as well.

  35. *similar sized Muslim community in both seats. I had assumed West was a lot more muslim.

  36. Tory ppc un Harrow Eest wasnt a Muslim. She was a gurajat Hindu and actually got a bit embroiled in being accused of Islamaphobia after a tweet about an issue in Kashmir.

    This was on Twitter I haven’t checked it: Nearly 20% more Hindu plus Jewish population in Harrow East than in West. 2011 Census

  37. Interesting. Ealing also has a lot of Hindus, in Southall and also around Northolt and Greenford (which are both Ealing North). I didn’t notice how well Labour held up there.

  38. Well above average swing to CON in EALING SOUTHALL

  39. if the 2018 review comes in Northolt goes into Boris’s seat. This reduces the 7k majority to a little over 3k for Boris.

  40. Harrow meanwhile is split north/south rather than east/west. North would be Tory by 3k while South (including Brent wards) Labour by 3k.

  41. “if the 2018 review comes in Northolt goes into Boris’s seat. This reduces the 7k majority to a little over 3k for Boris.”

    Boris can move to a safe seat, under party rules, if there are meaningful boundary changes

    (in any case he has ripped up the party rules for Mims Davies)

  42. Tories would have Won 352 instead of 365 while Labour would have won 174 instead of 203.

  43. Webbe has been provisionally suspended from Labour as she has been charged with harrassment to a woman.

  44. The MP’s Trial is due to begin on March 16th 2021.

  45. There was a by election last night in this part of the world and as I lived here for a while I thought I’d comment on it.

    I’d thoroughly recommend the by election preview on Britain Ekects website. The election came about because of the death of Humberstone and Hamilton Councillor John Thomas. Bit of background on John Thomas. When I lived in Leicester East John was known as Keith Vaz’s right hand man. John’s job was along with another Councillor to keep the CLP and Councillors in line. I remember we had an AGM in June 2017 which John voided called another meeting and made sure enough people turned up to oust the committee. For a long time our branch was never actually legitimately recognised and then it was tolerated until June 2017.

    It was said you couldn’t be a councillor unless you were in with Vaz and candidates weren’t even invited to their own branch selection meetings. Even when I lived in Leicester there was talk of grooming someone new for the seat. At the time it was a nice man involved in housing and tenacy. I don’t know whay happened though because by the time Vaz’s time was up John Thomas had someone else in mind. As it is the fixers got fixed and John Thomas left the party.

    John represented a part of the city you see a lot of out to east. Mixture of villages swallowed up by new builds. It’s very hidden away. The kind of place that might vote tory and that’s what happened. It was still a surprise. Catching up with a friend it sounds like no campaign and unpopular politicians did Labour in

  46. Thanks for the update, Matt. All a bit quiet here recently. There may be a by-election in this constituency at some point. Claudia Webbe’s trial has been delayed after her barrister fell ill. Now starting on 27 September.

  47. Claudia Webbe was found guilty, but I believe she is appealing. That will probably have to conclude before any by-election can happen.

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