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
Con: 9728 (27%)
Lab: 13745 (38%)
LDem: 8107 (23%)
BNP: 2158 (6%)
Oth: 2081 (6%)
MAJ: 4017 (11%)
Con: 8114 (24%)
Lab: 17184 (52%)
LDem: 5803 (17%)
GRN: 1571 (5%)
Oth: 552 (2%)
MAJ: 9070 (27%)
Con: 8375 (25%)
Lab: 18014 (54%)
LDem: 5085 (15%)
GRN: 1074 (3%)
Oth: 671 (2%)
MAJ: 9639 (29%)
Con: 9716 (24%)
Lab: 22580 (55%)
LDem: 5795 (14%)
Oth: 1853 (5%)
MAJ: 12864 (31%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
PAUL BESSANT (Conservative)
LIZ KENDALL (Labour) See above.
IAN BRADWELL (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 132 Responses on “Leicester West”
  1. It’s reported in the Times today that Kendall’s seat could become marginal / difficult for Labour if it is merged with (Tory) bits surrounding Leicester. It’s presently too small to be unaffected by boundary changes.

  2. If Kendall became Labour Leader her majority here would probably more than double in 2020.

  3. I’m puzzled why Kendall is a front-runner in the leadership election when no-one had heard of her a few weeks ago, whereas Yvette Cooper — who should have been chosen in 2010 IMO — isn’t being given much consideration.

  4. Andy JS- perhaps Cooper is seen as a has been already (maybe harsh on her, but that might be the perception). Additionally, the right/ Blairite wing of the Labour Party are clearly in the ascendency after the poor election result for Labour. Whether that is the correct solution to the problem I have no idea.

    If Rachel Reeves was not currently heavily pregnant, I wonder if she would be a contender. If anything, she was higher profile than Kendall during the last Parliament.

  5. “If Rachel Reeves was not currently heavily pregnant, I wonder if she would be a contender.”


    Desperate as Labour are, even they know better than to elect a speak your weight machine as leader (though they may well select one for the London mayoralty, in the shape of Sadiq Khan).

  6. A very good article in The Telegraph today suggesting Kendall would be a big threat to the Tories if she won the Labour leadership contest! Absolutely agree with everything the author has written. Yes, Kendall is a Blairite but Blair won three General Elections.


  7. Blair was leader during three General Elections but I think he only won in 1997. William Hague, Michael Howard and Gordon Brown won 2001 and 2005.

  8. “I’m puzzled why Kendall is a front-runner in the leadership election when no-one had heard of her a few weeks ago, whereas Yvette Cooper — who should have been chosen in 2010 IMO — isn’t being given much consideration”

    That’s British modern politics…who had heard of David Cameron in May 2005? He had been an MP for four years, one year fewer than Kendall.

  9. “Desperate as Labour are, even they know better than to elect a speak your weight machine as leader”

    I like Reeves but she has less charisma than Miliband. Would probably do worse than him in a GE.

  10. Re James’ point, I very much doubt that boundary changes would harm Kendall. The most logical means of extending Leicester West is to bring in the innermost Blaby wards like Ravenhurst and Winstanley, which not coincidentally are Labour’s best wards in the South Leicestershire division. Indeed, IIRC, this is exactly what the Boundary Commission proposed in 2013.

  11. As a postscript Ravenhurst Millfields and Winstanley are the Blaby wards that share the most in common with Leicester. The Asian population is now over 20% in Ravenhurst for example. Once you cross the M1 into Enderby, however, it falls to about 2%.

  12. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/05/list-mps-endorsements-labour-leadership-candidates

    This is a list of nominations (so far) for the 4 leadership candidates.

    Clearly many of the Blairites have come out swinging for Liz Kendall. Surprised Simon Danczuk is nominating her given his views about SpAds and middle class Labour frontbenchers.

    Rachel Reeves and Luciana Berger are backing Andy Bunrham which I didn’t at all expect. He seems to be getting support from quite a mixture of names

    I’m not sure which wing of the party those MPs backing Yvette Cooper belong to.

  13. Paul Flynn has announced he is backing Kendall! Very surprising considering he is the most anti-Blairite / Blair of all time along with Kate Hoey!

  14. The list of MPs nominating Andy Burnham are mostly from Lancashire and North West seats. Is this the best way to select a leader?

  15. “The list of MPs nominating Andy Burnham are mostly from Lancashire and North West seats. Is this the best way to select a leader?”

    Dinbych – No, it’s not. I think Burnham will be a northern Miliband. His leadership will pile up Labour votes in their major towns / city heartlands.

  16. …. and won’t reach out to Middle England where General Elections are won or lost!

  17. Janner may face prosecution after all. A decision is awaited from Scotland. New allegations from victim(s) and as the alleged offences occurred there, it is for the Crown office to decide.

  18. I have deep reservations about putting senile 90 year olds on trial. That has always been my view on Nazi war crimes trials and is my view on this too.

  19. I have deep reservations about putting senile 90 year olds on trial. That has always been my view on [email protected] war crimes trials and is my view on this too.

  20. Yes – it was terrible when they put that poor demented fellow Saunders on trial wasn’t it? Marvellous that he made a full recovery though.

  21. I was very impressed by Liz Kendall in the leadership debate in Nuneaton yesterday. She would be the only Labour leadership who could have a chance of persuading me to vote Labour (though if labour selects Tom Watson as deputy leader it would end any chance of that) and she would have by far the most potential in getting 2015 Tory voters to vote Labour in 2020.

    Unlike the other leadership candidates she seems to understand that elections are won from the centre ground and not by pandering to the base, this I found was summed up when Andy Burnham said: ‘the party comes first always’ and Kendall quipped back: ‘well the country comes first always’. She also doesn’t have baggage from previous Labour administrations and is a relatively fresh face which I think is what the party needs. Cooper may be alright on that score now her biggest drawback, her husband, is gone (courtesy of the Tories) but I think Burnham will struggle quite badly due to his questionable record as Health Secretary. As for Corbyn’s baggage… IRA need I say any more…

    I doubt (unfortunately for Labour) that Kendall will win as the base seem to really dislike her though I would contest the more disliked by the Labour Party base a candidate is the more electable they are nationwide.

  22. l think it would be quite extraordinary to decide your voting intention based on who the DEPUTY leader of a party is. l don’t think l’ve ever spoken to a voter who has given that as reason not to support a party – though l accept that if Tony Benn had been elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in 1981 it would have been a more common phenomenon. But no-one can really think that Watson has a powerbase as strong as that Tony Benn had in those days.

  23. Nor, unpleasant as Watson is, does he have the capacity to frighten moderate voters like Tony Benn did (if only because his public profile is so much lower).

  24. Kendall has not been trying to reach out to much of the party outside her base. She seems to be running like she has won and is in an election up against the Torries and the other parties. Corbyn has been doing that a bit Apparently when Tony Blair ran in 1994 he reached out to all wings of the party. Kendall certainly does not appear to do that. Both Kendall and Corbyn’s victories would lead to the loss of many members from the opposite wing to them and they will get more 4th preferences or no preference compared to the other two.

  25. Blair didn’t really reach out to anyone outside his base. Members voted for him, in many thousands of cases, purely for electoral considerations (l didn’t). Of course, Labour would have won that general election regardless of whether Blair, Prescott or Beckett had been leader, though by varying amounts.

  26. http://labourlist.org/2015/06/burnham-shows-small-lead-in-early-leadership-poll-as-voters-say-they-want-a-leader-like-blair/

    Quite a lot of “don’t knows” in these polls among both Labour supporters and the wider public. That’s pretty much the bigger picture, although when no preference is excluded from the equation:

    “The only candidate who did better among the general public than Labour voters was Liz Kendall, with Cooper’s support remaining static and Burnham and Corbyn’s bases suffering similar 3 points drops. This indicates that Kendall has so far done a better job of appealing to the general voters than to the party’s core support. However, she remains in third place despite the boost.”

    Overall not really the most encouraging start.

  27. Kendall is obviously the least threatening looking candidate for the ‘average’ voter – who will have little or no knowledge of any of the candidates. But I am not sure that necessarily tells us she would be especially successful electorally.

  28. I support Liz Kendall. She has by far the nicest hair of all the candidates, plus I quite like her Tory- lite policies and Home Counties accent. All in all, the sensible and pragmatic choice for Labour.

  29. IPSOS MORI found 6% of voters backed a fictionally-named candidate for Labour leader. I’d like to think they were being ironic but I doubt it.

  30. As long as the fictitious candidate had nice hair, decent dress sense and an educated south of England accent, I see no problem with that.

  31. Actually I’ve heard rumours that it’s a wig…

  32. Given the people polled in Nuneaton right after hustings said all the candidates made them LESS likely to vote Labour, the fictitious one benefited from being none of the above?

  33. Lord Janner is to be prosecuted after all.

    The DPP has said she won’t resign – after her decision was overturned – after calls for her to go from Simon Danczuk MP.

  34. l think that’s the right decision.

  35. @ Paul D

    That’s not quite right. The audience for the Nuneaton debate was made up of voters who didn’t vote Labour in May but said they might be persuaded to vote Labour in the future. More people put their hand up to indicate they were less likely to vote Labour if any of the candidates were leader than those who put their hand up to indicate they were more likely to vote Labour if any of the candidates were leader. Labour don’t need everyone who is open to voting Labour to vote Labour. Those that indicated they were less likely to vote Labour already didn’t vote Labour so that can’t reduce Labour’s vote anymore. In contrast even though it was a smaller group, if those that said they were more likely to vote Labour actually do then all things being equal Labour’s vote should go up.

  36. Stewart Lewis for Nuneaton!

  37. What is the current position about trying Sir Greville Janner? Revelations about his signing documents as a peer made the suggestions that he was too senile to be prosecuted incredible to very many people and it would be even more disgraceful if cynical authority were to revert to this position on the grounds that Janner’s health has further deteriorated.

    I very much doubt if, when it comes to be pleading, Sir Greville Janner will be found fit to stand trial, so the trial will simply have to establish a statement of facts. However, it is very important that this process should now take place as soon as possible.

  38. Lord Janner’s is listed for this Friday, but that’s just the Magistrates’ Court, which will presumably want to transfer the case to the Crown Court.

    Incidentally, I don’t think he was ever Knighted. MP then a Peer as far as I know.

  39. Janner appeared in Court (4 hours late and after the Judge said a Warrant for his arrest would be issued if he did not attend today).

    He is charged with 9 counts of indecent assault and 7 counts of buggery against 9 boys.

    He confirmed his name.

    Next hearing is on 1st September.

  40. From the radio reports I got the impression that Greville Janner did not realise what was going on but rather enjoyed the day out.

  41. I gather from the Islington North thread that neither Jeremy Corbyn nor Yvette Cooper would nominate Life Peers if elected Leader of the Labour Pary. What would Liz Kendall’s position be on this.

    Given the current disgraceful Dissolution Honours list, I personally find it difficult to see how any credible Labour leader could kowtow to Cameron by making such nominations.

  42. This might be a big prediction but I can see Liz Kendall coming second in this leadership race. I watched the Sky debate and was surprised by how throughout the debate Liz’s support was solid. For those who didn’t watch it, Sky asked viewers to vote who they wanted to win the debate and who they thought won. Corbyn increased his support from 66% to 80.4% squeezing both Yvette and Burnham. However, Kendall started on around 10% and finished with 9.1% I think, she started last a finished second.

    Now I know people have said that people obviously voted numerous times for Corbyn and that’s why he did so well but if that were true it would squeeze all three of his rivals share. Now it is possible that many Kendallites also voted on numerous occasions and that’s why her share stayed solid. However, humour me for second. Is it not likely that while Liz as the candidate on the right would have less to lose in her vote if Corbyn is doing well. Whereas the centrist candidates in Burnham and Cooper might be more likely to feel the squeeze if Corbyn does well.

    I know the betting companies have been putting them odds on at Corbyn, Cooper, Burnham, then Kendall. However, the question is who will win not which place they will come. Kendall will defiantly not win. However, I do now think it is entirely possible while the centrists fight for 2nd preferences, Kendall will sneak into second. This would be a massive blow for the moderates of the party. A left winger 1st and a red winger in 2nd and the two centrists in last place.

  43. Apologies for the mistakes

  44. The only way I can see Kendall coming second is if the two centrists lose SO many votes to Corbyn that she sails through by default. I can’t see that happening.

  45. She might come 3rd if this supposed Cooper surge (ie shes on like 25%) takes votes off Burnham. Kendall would need around 15% to come 3rd which is achievable. However, I can’t see her beating Cooper/Burnham when 2nd preferences are taken into account as she won’t get many 2nd preferences.

  46. My instinct is that Kendall will finish under 10% and maybe as low as 6%. People second preferencing Kendall must be virtually zero, as the probability of her getting knocked out in the first round is so high.

  47. Some basic misconceptions I think, ?.. unless I’m misunderstanding things said here.

    KENDALL must get more FPVs then COOPER or BURNHAM to get into next stage.

    All the evidence is that she’ll get nowhere near it and as MR N says is likely to get between 6-10% FPVs.

    There’s no evidence or suggestions that AB’s or YC’s vote will go below 15%.

    FWIW, my FPV prediction at this moment is as follows:


    But I will be posting a final prediction on the evening of 11 Sept on the LABOUR TARGETS thread. Hope a few others do too!

  48. Still think Corbyn will walk it then? Seems to be a bit of doubt creeping in lately.

  49. I would think that most of the votes were cast almost as soon as the ballot papers were released several weeks ago – and at that point Corbyn-mania was at its absolute height.

    Any nervous or guilty second-thoughtism or perceptions that Cooper might be now ‘reducing the lead’ are therefore likely to be wishful thinking way after the die has been cast.

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