South Leicestershire

2010 Result:
Conservative: 27000 (49.5%)
Labour: 11392 (20.9%)
Lib Dem: 11476 (21%)
BNP: 2721 (5%)
UKIP: 1988 (3.6%)
MAJORITY: 15524 (28.4%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: East Midlands, Leicestershire. Most of Blaby council area and part of Harborough council area.

Main population centres: Braunstone Town, Blaby, Lutterworth, Broughton Astley, Narborough, Whetstone.

Profile: South Leicestershire is a slice of Leicestershire to the south of Leicester itself, with most of the population in commuter towns and villages clustered close to Leicester itself, both in the suburb of Braunstone Town, including the large modern development of Thorpe Astley, and commuter villages like Whetstone, Blaby and Narborough. Further south it is more rural, with the largest settlement the old market town of Lutterworth. Nearby is the former site of RAF Bitteswell, since redeveloped as Magna Park, one of the largest distribution centres in Europe.

Politics: The constituency name of South Leicestershire was new for 2010, but the seat was not massively change from the old Blaby division. Both this as its predecessor are safe Tory seats held by the party since Blaby`s creation in 1974. The best known MP to represent the area is the former Chancellor Nigel Lawson.

Current MP
ANDREW ROBATHAN (Conservative) Born 1951, Surrey. Educated at Merchant Taylors School and Oxford University. Former army officer. Hammersmith and Fulham councillor 1990-1991. First elected as MP for Blaby in 1992. Opposition deputy chief whip 2005-2010. Under-secretary of state for Defence 2010-2012, Minister of State for Defence 2012-2013, Minister of State for Northern Ireland 2013-2014.
Past Results
Con: 22487 (46%)
Lab: 14614 (30%)
LDem: 9382 (19%)
BNP: 1704 (3%)
Oth: 1201 (2%)
MAJ: 7873 (16%)
Con: 22104 (46%)
Lab: 15895 (33%)
LDem: 8286 (17%)
BNP: 1357 (3%)
MAJ: 6209 (13%)
Con: 24564 (46%)
Lab: 18090 (34%)
LDem: 8001 (15%)
Oth: 920 (2%)
MAJ: 6474 (12%)
Con: 39498 (58%)
Lab: 14151 (21%)
LDem: 13780 (20%)
NatL: 521 (1%)
Oth: 260 (1%)
MAJ: 25347 (37%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Blaby
**There were boundary changes after 1992

Comments - 25 Responses on “Leicestershire South”
  1. I don’t know how far one can compare 2010 with past elections because of the boundary changes but it looks like Labour is a bit stronger here these days (though it obviously remains a very safe Tory seat). Is that the case? Are the suburban wards adjoining Leicester beginning to exhibit the characteristics of Leicester itself?

  2. I have a question: are the suburbs of Leicester beginning to acquire the characteristics of Leicester proper? I ask because Labour seems to have improved in this seat in the last 20 years or so. Even in 2010, I have them carrying Ravenhurst and running the Tories close in Winstanley- places which would have gone into Leicester West had the boundary changes gone through?

  3. *gone through.

    PS- obviously this remains a firmly Tory seat but the % majority is somewhat down on what it was in 1992 even if you factor in boundary changes (which I don’t think were considerable in any case).

  4. Tory, I don’t know this area atall – could never get excited about Leicester but have been curious about this seat.

    I Google mapped it and I thought it looked more urban than I expected.
    You’re right Labour seems to have improved a lot – even in 2010 they are doing considerably better than in 1983 when there was a recount in Blaby – I think it must have been to do with Labour’s deposit around 12.5%
    rather than Gloy getting excited about the Alliance winning.

    Perhaps there has been some change in the area.

  5. Looking at the admittedly imperfect electoral calculus figures, it looks like the Tories are still very strong in the Lutterworth area. To be fair, they’re still doing pretty well in the Blaby council area as a whole but the wards adjacent to Leicester definitely show signs of Labour strength. It is perhaps telling the proposed Blaby (which did not include those adjacent wards) would have seen the Tories 20,000 ahead of Labour rather than the 15,500 by which Robathan was ahead in South Leicestershire.

    I wonder if ethnicity might be part of it? Successful Asian families moving out of Leicester itself and settling in the nearby suburbs and taking their voting preferences with them.

  6. *that the proposed Blaby


    The BME population in the Blaby council area is 9% compared with 49% in Leicester. The report states:

    ‘Since 2001 the population (of Blaby) has grown by 4% with the largest change contributed by Asian or Asian
    British people with an increase of 2% or nearly 2,000 people.’

    So there has been a change but 2001 but hardly significant numerically. I would be interested to hear others’ views on why Labour seems to be doing better here than in the past.

  8. I do not know this area but I would suspect that along with the established Asian British community trickling out of Leicester, White Brits from the city have probably also moved out into this seat but are also still voting Labour as they would have done in Leicester itself?

  9. L Bernard- yes, I think that is a very sensible suggestion. It is also interesting that the BNP got 5%- possibly a wwc element that might otherwise have voted Tory?

  10. I don’t think you can assume that BNP voters second preference would be Conservative – I think a fair few are ex Labour (especially somewhere like Rotherham)

  11. I would have thought in this seat the BNP voters would most probably be ex Labour voters more than Tories.

  12. I guess you’re right actually (though remember that in Keighley, the presence of the BNP in 2005 seemed to hurt the Tory vote).

  13. I think the percentages didn’t change notionally when this became Leicestershire South instead of Blaby.

    The Tories are therefore 9% down on 1992, when IIRC they also fell 3% here (although increased 79/83/87)
    and Labour is the same as in 1992 and a lot better than in the 80s.
    It is possible the Labour performance in the 80s was not their natural state and they have just held up better post 2001 but the comments about some change in the area sound sensible to me.

  14. Blaby, Lutterworth, and Glenfield were in Harborough from 1885 to 1974 and then Blaby until 2010.

  15. The village of Glen Parva is where the Leicestershire professional snooker player Tom Ford originally comes from.

    He had the unlucky distinction of making a maximum break at the 2007 Grand Prix without the television cameras present at his match!

  16. There must be someone better known than that from this constituency. Perhaps someone has a suggestion.

  17. There’s a strong association between Lutterworth and Sir Frank Whittle, the man who singlehandedly invented the turbojet engine:

  18. Tom Ford will be known to people in Leicestershire and the East Midlands, and to people interested in the game of snooker, like myself. For others, he may be lesser known. I would be surprised if his own MP Andrew Robathan hasn’t heard of him.

  19. I am not ignorant of snooker but can’t say I’ve heard of either Tom Ford or Andy Hicks.

  20. That’s probably because neither player has ever been on television enough for them to be well known enough by a large number of people. There are comparisons with MPs in a way here. You’ll have heard of David Cameron and so Ronnie O’Sullivan, or Ed Milliband and so you’ll have heard of John Higgins.
    There will be a large number of MPs who are hardly ever on TV, and the same goes for a lot of snooker players sadly.

  21. “Blaby, Lutterworth, and Glenfield were in Harborough from 1885 to 1974 and then Blaby until 2010.”

    Glenfield has been in Charnwood constituency sincw 1997

  22. Andrew Robathan achieved a higher majority when he was first elected for Blaby in 1992 than Nigel Lawson his predecessor had ever managed, and that remains his biggest majority.

  23. That’s partly because it was very close between Labour & the LDs for second place, Labour narrowly scraping into that position.

  24. Indeed. Since then Andrew Robathan’s results have seen small swings towards him in 2001 and 2005, then a more emphatic result here in 2010.

  25. Actually further to the above, the Conservative results here in 2001 and 2005 were quite static in terms of increase. I’m not 100% but I get the feeling that they may have gone up since 1997 by less than the national average of 5.4%, albeit marginally- I might be wrong however given the boundaries were changed for 2010 to create this successor to Blaby.

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