Leicester West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8848 (25.6%)
Labour: 16051 (46.5%)
Lib Dem: 1507 (4.4%)
Green: 1878 (5.4%)
UKIP: 5950 (17.2%)
TUSC: 288 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 7203 (20.9%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Leicester.

Profile: This is the whitest of the three Leicester seats, and the one with the highest proportion of social housing. Parts of the seat like Braunstone and Beaumont Leys are made up of large local authority estates and around thirty percent of the housing is council or housing association owned, the second highest in the Midlands. The centre of seat, the Westcote area, is more inner city in character and is popular with young professionals and students.

Politics: Historically this used to be the safest Labour seat in Leicester (in the 1983 Conservative landslide it was the only one to remain in Labour hands). However the high Asian populations in Leicester South and Leicester East have pushed them away from the Conservatives and while this is still a safe Labour seat, represented by the party since the second world war, it is the most marginal of the three Leicester seats. Past MPs include the diarist Harold Nicholson, Barnett Janner, his son Greville Janner and Patricia Hewitt, the former Health Secretary.


Current MP
LIZ KENDALL (Labour) Born 1971. Educated at Watford Grammar School for Girls and Cambridge University. Former Director of the Ambulance Service Network and special advisor to Patricia Hewitt. First elected as MP for Leicester West in 2010. Shadow Minister for Care and Older People 2011-2015. Contested the Labour leadership election in 2015. Seen as the candidate of the Blairite right, she finished a poor fourth and declined to serve under Jeremy Corbyn`s leadership.
Past Results
2010
Con: 9728 (27%)
Lab: 13745 (38%)
LDem: 8107 (23%)
BNP: 2158 (6%)
Oth: 2081 (6%)
MAJ: 4017 (11%)
2005*
Con: 8114 (24%)
Lab: 17184 (52%)
LDem: 5803 (17%)
GRN: 1571 (5%)
Oth: 552 (2%)
MAJ: 9070 (27%)
2001
Con: 8375 (25%)
Lab: 18014 (54%)
LDem: 5085 (15%)
GRN: 1074 (3%)
Oth: 671 (2%)
MAJ: 9639 (29%)
1997
Con: 9716 (24%)
Lab: 22580 (55%)
LDem: 5795 (14%)
Oth: 1853 (5%)
MAJ: 12864 (31%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
PAUL BESSANT (Conservative)
LIZ KENDALL (Labour) See above.
IAN BRADWELL (Liberal Democrat)
STUART YOUNG (UKIP)
PETER HAGUE (Green)
HEATHER RAWLING (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 132 Responses on “Leicester West”
  1. Lord Janner’s house is being searched on suspicion of him commiting historic sex offences against children.

  2. is he a friend of Gary Lineker?

  3. very shocked.

  4. There were allegations a good few years ago when he was still an MP. Janner made a statement in the House of Commons denying everything.

  5. This is indeed not 100% surprising

  6. Many years ago at the end of 1981 I was shortlisted to be Labour candidate for Bosworth – then a Tory marginal. The local Leicestershire Miners had backed Greville’s son Daniel who ,nevertheless, was not shortlisted. This led to much internal acrimony ,and at the selection conference when – following addresses by all the candidates- the formal motion was proposed ‘that we now proceed to select’ it was defeated! This led to the entire selection process having to be rerun, and at the second selection conference held in February 1982 Janner was selected by a single vote. After contesting Bosworth for Labour in 1983, Janner tried in the mid-1980s to win the candidature of a more promising seat – Amber Valley I think. This time he did not succeed – and shortly afterward he joined the SDP. When he again failed to win selection as a candidate he joined the Tories.
    I have often reflected over the years at the wisdom shown by the right wing Leicestershire branch of the NUM.

  7. Graham – interesting, I didn’t know that.

  8. Patricia Hewitt has now returned to the UK and released a statement stating that she apologises and was wrong when she was General Secretary of the NCCL. This was as a result of Sky trawling the archives of Liberty and finding Minutes of meetings which she chaired where PIE recommended amendments to the proposed Protection of Children Act, including an age of consent of 10.

  9. LAB 44
    CON 24
    LD 15
    UKIP 9
    GRN 4
    OTH 4

  10. Paul Bessant chosen as the Tory PPC

  11. Lord Janner’s Parliamentary office has been searched by Leicestershire Police re historical child sex offence allegations.

  12. The Mail has published further allegations that Greville Janner sexually assaulted several underage boys in both Leicester and London. A decision is awaited by the CPS as to whether Lord Janner will be prosecuted.

  13. Graham – I think you had a lucky escape. I see his son, Daniel (also a QC), set up the schoolsQC site. He specialises in defending schools and in appeals of sex offence convictions against children. He was also a governor of a prep school as was his father. Suddenly I feel quite sick (although I should add for AW, that I’m not alleging Daniel is also an offender – he’s just helped some who have gone on to offend again).

  14. And those people are entitled to legal protection too -particularly given the febrile mood of vengeance promoted by your ‘profession’, the evidence of false allegation and the general principle that we are all innocent before proved guilty, not that the press have ever cared about that!

  15. And on an entirely different note-

    prediction for 2015-

    Lab- 44%
    Con- 25%
    Lib- 11%
    UKIP- 11%
    Green- 7%
    BNP- 1%
    TUSC- 1%

    First off I know you might think my green prediction is too high but looking at their past years this seat has been very good for the party, getting over 1500 votes in ’05, over 1000 in ’01 , years when the green party were not even close to as big as they will be by ’15. If the ethnic population wasn’t how it is, this seat would have screamed UKIP now however they may struggle for double figures. Labour had an awful 2010 and that will pick up for them a bit while the tories go two or three points down. The BNP will still have support here, even if two thirds of their vote defected to UKIP and the TUSC may just get on the right side of 1%.

    As for the abuse thing I don’t know the guy so I have nothing to add to it really.

  16. Robbie the BNP are a spent force, I doubt they have the finance to stand in many of the seats they did at the last GE and certainly they don’t have enough to put a decent campaign in. I think this seat will see a higher swing from tory to labour than average because of the demographic changes and the collapse of the size-able lib dem vote here. My prediction would be:

    Labour- 47%
    Tory- 23%
    UKIP-15%
    Lib dems- 8%
    Green- 5%
    Others- 2%

  17. I agree Liz Kendall’s majority will go up fairly substantially here.
    I think 15% for UKIP is a bit Gloy Plopwell mode.

  18. I predicted the BNP to get 1% it’s not like I thought they’d be competition to UKIP. All this said I think Britain first will be getting around 1-2% in some of the seats where it stands and as far as far right parties go will be competition. By far right I mean right of UKIP I think 2015 might go like this votes wise:

    BNP- 80,000 (-480,000)
    BF- 75,000 (N/A)
    NF- 14,000 (+3,000)

    None of them will save their deposits. With more likes on facebook than any other party I do think there will be a sizeable amount of working class people will vote Britain first next year. They seem to be a bit of a point of discussion where I am. I think that they’re the future of nationalism. So this means that only 7% of the BNP voters will vote BNP next year so where will they go?

    – 60% to UKIP
    – 20% will not vote
    – 7% stay BNP
    – 6% BF
    – 6% other party
    – 1% NF

    ramble over.

  19. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-leadership-blairite-liz-kendall-emerges-as-fresh-rival-to-ed-miliband-10000840.html

    “Liz Kendall has emerged as the favourite candidate among Blairite MPs to succeed Ed Miliband if he loses the general election.”

  20. If she stands, she will lose. The grassroots do not like her, and nor do I imagine do the unions.

  21. I always thought that if they elected a female leader, Yvette Cooper would be the favourite by quite a margin.

  22. She would at this point, although I don’t personally see her appeal as leader. In a few years, Lisa Nandy and Stella Creasy will be making moves on the leadership.

  23. And there won’t be a vacancy for a couple of years yet. By which time the Creasy and Umunna generation will be line. The Balls and Cooper generation will be has-beens by then (many of them already are).

    If Miliband loses in 2015 I think the party will elect someone visibly working class and northern – Burnham probably.

  24. It may well be someone we’ve completely overlooked, or who isn’t even in Parliament yet. I don’t think in about 1999 anyone thought Iain Duncan Smith would lead the Tories, or Nick Clegg in 2005.

    Andy Burnham seems to be the most likely choice at this point. I have yet to meet a member who actually dislikes him.

  25. Maybe it will be you!

  26. There are some jokes that just cross the line, H. Hemmelig.

    #Barnaby4Leader

  27. The IPCC is to investigate why police were told not to arrest Janner in 1989.

  28. The DPP has stated that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Janner, but medical experts state his dementia is too advanced so it isn’t in the public interest. Leicestershire Police and Simon Danczuk are to ask the Attorney General to examine that decision. That usually takes place within a fortnight, but Civil Service purdah guidance means it may have to wait until a new Govt is formed. Meanwhile Labour has withdrawn the Whip and suspended Janner’s Party membership.

  29. I think this is an area of law that needs to be carefully looked at in the next parliament, as its going to become increasingly relevant in years to come.

    Personally I’d prefer “unfit for trial” to become “unfit for court or custody” for cases as serious as this – its in the public interest to get to the truth, but (as distasteful as some might find it for some offences) not to act upon it in relation to the accused. I can of course understand the alternative argument due to the impact of a false allegation on the family, and in any event for their benefit. But the anomaly at the moment is that if he passes away next month there’ll probably be an inquiry straight after; if he lives with 24/7 care for a few years nothing will be done in that period, with less certainty after.

    His family’s statement today, while understandable, was decidedly not helpful as far as defending the current system is concerned.

  30. I fail to see why anybody is unfit to stand trial….surely the judge would act fairly during the cross examination if his dementia put him at a disadvantage….dementia should never become an excuse to evade justice in extremely serious cases.

  31. Is this likely to have any impact at all on the election here?

  32. Dalek – people can be if unfit to plead ie they lack the mental capacity to understand or if a child. Of course you can be sentenced to a secure mental institution if insane etc. Here, ITV News made the point that Janner himself said age and infirmity should not be a bar to prosecuting Nazi criminals.

  33. This morning’s METRO quotes Grenville Janner’s view of prosecuting suspected elderly war criminals –

    “I don’t care what bloody age they are. No concessions to age or time that has passed should be made for Justice”

    I agree with his remark but I also think it should apply to suspected sex offenders!

    The story is also covered by The Independent –

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/lord-janner-criticised-justice-system-for-excusing-alleged-nazi-war-criminal-who-had-dementia–but-now-hes-in-the-same-position-10183717.html

  34. It seems the DPP began her career working at the same chambers as Janner.

    A judicial review of her decision seems likely (if she remains in post).

  35. Labour Hold. 10,000 majority.

  36. Interesting…just a few months ago I posted a link about Kendall’s potential leadership. Looks like she’s a name featuring fairly prominently in the last day or so. If she’s as impressive as they say she is let’s see more of what she’s like.

    Kendall is identified as a Blairite. Their voices have suddenly strengthened tenfold since Thursday and I think with good reason. I don’t know what wing of the party Dan Jarvis is on, but I’d rather see him than Chuka Umunna step up to the plate. Umunna may be a Blairite but I can’t see him improving Labour’s problems in non-metropolitan England – the small towns, the suburbs, the commuter towns which Blair used to relish. Umunna comes off as gaffe prone and smug.

  37. Neil,

    I’ve met Jarvis and he’s pretty impressive. He’s pretty middle of the pack as far as Labour MPs go for ideology.

  38. Take it you couldn’t believe the result Bridgen got in North West Leicestershire MrNameless?

  39. That whirling sound coming from Heather is David Taylor in his grave.

  40. Kendall is currently on Sunday Politics. Sounds a lot like she’s making a pitch for leadership in this interview though not saying it.

  41. She’s got a great chance I think. She’s certainly likeable enough and of course has Blairite credentials.

  42. Under the Collins system she will have little chance of victory. I can’t see the membership voting for her. I think it’ll be Burnham, Jarvis or Cooper.

  43. I’ve just seen Kendall’s policy potions and was shocked! She’s even more Blairite than Blair.

    https://twitter.com/Paulabarker1/status/601461180696137728/photo/1

    She’ll do well in attracting Middle England but will Labour elect a leader so far to the right?

  44. Ummuna has thrown his support behind Kendall. I suspect she’ll make him Shadow Chancellor if she wins the leadership contest.

  45. Unlikely that Umunna will be able to handle the shadow chancellorship if he is not prepared for his personal life to be scrutinised – see Johnson and Balls before him. I can’t see how his career in the top rank can survive the past couple of weeks. Either Kendall or Burnham would make him shadow minister for paperclips.

  46. ‘She’ll do well in attracting Middle England but will Labour elect a leader so far to the right?’

    She’s probably the best of the candidates and her policies should get a better reception in middle England than Ed Milliband’s

    The challenge is whether or not she has more appeal with Labour’s core vote – especially in the South (where Labour lost very working class seats like Itchen and Devonport) and Scotland

    She certainly seems to understand them better than the previous leadewr – although that’s not saying much – and while she does come across well, I do get the impression she’s trying a bit too hard

    I can’t see her getting more votes than Burnham – who whilst more likeable (and in touch with Labour’s base) than Milliband, is likely to offer much of the same

  47. Have to say I don’t have a good feeling for the Labour party, but I do think people are significantly underestimating Cooper.

    Remember this is an STV election. With Burnham and Kendall occupying opposite philosophical sides of the contest, Cooper could well scoop up most of the second preferences from both of them and win through the middle.

  48. But Andy Burnham is a centrist – he will pick up many of those votes, and the left will vote for him because there isn’t anyone else

    Cooper’s problem is her hubby. Its the thought of him leaning over the red boxes offering ‘advice’….. but she will have a decent job afterwards

    Kendall…well, if she wins, I leave the Labour party. Just far too right wing. We have to be there to do something, not be the same as the Tories

  49. People have been commenting on the Wakefield thread that the seat is too marginal for a party leader. I think that same issues apply here, albeit the seat is safer tor Labour. And Liz Kendall has even less experience than Mary Creagh.

    Does Liz Kendall really have roots in the constituency, or was she parachuted in as a social services specialist? In the latter case, she might well attract criticism as part of Labour’s having lost touch with “ordinary” people.

    I agree that the Labour leadership election is really between Burnham and Cooper and it would probably have less of a negative effect on the party if other MPs dreaming of being leader accepted this reality.

  50. Andy Burnham was a no hoper in 2010, so perhaps the other runners are hoping “to put down a marker” that will move them to top of the pile next time around.

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