Luton South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12949 (30.7%)
Labour: 18660 (44.2%)
Lib Dem: 3183 (7.5%)
Green: 1237 (2.9%)
UKIP: 5129 (12.1%)
Independent: 900 (2.1%)
Others: 158 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 5711 (13.5%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: Eastern, Bedfordshire. Part of the Luton council area and part of the Central Bedfordshire council area.

Main population centres: Luton, Caddington.

Profile: Luton was historically a manufacturing town, originally for hats, and more recently for Vauxhall cars and Electrolux. The Vauxhall car plant closed in 2002 and the fast growing London Luton Airport across the boundary in Luton South is becoming a far more important part of the local economy. The constituency has a high proportion of ethnic minorities, in the 2001 census over a quarter of the population was non-white and there is a large Muslim population that could have a political impact.

Politics: Until it was retained by Labour in 2010 this had been one the most reliable bellwether seats in the country, having been won by the party that went on to form the government in every election since 1951. The former MP, Margaret Moran, announced she was stepping down after being criticised for the Daily Telegraph for claiming 22,000 pounds in expenses to treat dry rot in her second home, but not before provoking a wide range of anti-sleaze candidates, including TV personality Esther Rantzen. Moran was later charged with fraud, but found unfit to plead due to mental health issues.


Current MP
GAVIN SHUKER (Labour) Born 1981, Luton. Educated at Icknield High School and Cambridge University. First elected as MP for Luton South in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 12396 (29%)
Lab: 14725 (35%)
LDem: 9567 (23%)
BNP: 1299 (3%)
Oth: 4229 (10%)
MAJ: 2329 (6%)
2005*
Con: 10960 (28%)
Lab: 16610 (43%)
LDem: 8778 (23%)
UKIP: 957 (2%)
Oth: 1613 (4%)
MAJ: 5650 (15%)
2001
Con: 11586 (29%)
Lab: 21719 (55%)
LDem: 4292 (11%)
GRN: 798 (2%)
Oth: 956 (2%)
MAJ: 10133 (26%)
1997
Con: 15109 (31%)
Lab: 26428 (55%)
LDem: 4610 (10%)
Oth: 832 (2%)
MAJ: 11319 (23%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
KATIE REDMOND (Conservative)
GAVIN SHUKER (Labour) See above.
ASHUK AHMED (Liberal Democrat)
YASIN REHMAN (UKIP)
SIMON HALL (Green)
PAUL WESTON (party name) Born 1964, Malaysia. Educated at Fosters Grammar School. Contested Cities of London and Westminster 2010 for UKIP, South East region 2014 European elections.
ATTIQ MALIK (Independent)
Links
Comments - 129 Responses on “Luton South”
  1. ‘This is the saddest’

    Sad maybe – but totally understandable and hardly unexpected

    I wonder if they will be joined by any Tories sick of their equally useless leader who always puts party before country, and the rightwards drift

  2. I hope so, and IMO that will probably determine whether this venture successfully breaks the mould of British politics or is doomed to fail like the SDP. The number 1 root of the SDP’s failure was its inability to attract virtually any wet Tories (MPs, activists or voters). Hence it simply split the left and led to another 16 years of Tory government. Something tells me that this time it might be a bit different, as the Tories are way more divided now than in 1981, and have a pretty useless leader. Also the sense of national crisis is palpable.

    They’ll probably get my vote, despite my personal disdain for Umunna.

  3. I have to hand it to these seven MPs…it takes balls to actually take the plunge and do something like this. This breakaway has been rumoured for a while, but it was definitely ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ territory. I have no idea how successful it will be, but it will be interesting to watch.

  4. I can’t see many tories joining – Maybe Soubry, Wollaston and Allen but can’t think of anyone else at present. A no deal or who the next Tory Leader is might send a few more over.

  5. I think you should rename yourself “Mr Hostage To Fortune”. I’m amazed you can speak with such confidence about everything at such a fractious and perilous time. Much will depend on how the public react and on polling. If it looks like a new Remain centre force might sweep the likes of Surrey and Buckinghamshire you will suddenly find a fair few Tory defectors (not saying that’s likely, but possible).

  6. Maybe. It is so hard to predict what a no deal could do if that effects people day to day life’s. Fascinating time (and also difficult as while I am staying in Labour I do sympathize with plenty of what the seven have said.)

  7. Last comment from me for a bit as I’ve got a stack of work to do-

    About 70-80% of Tory voters are now pro-Brexit which leaves maximum 20-30% as potential pickings for a new party. A pretty thin base compared with the huge number of angry Remainers on the left. I wonder about the geography Tory Remainers. If they are heavily concentrated in the likes of Wimbledon and Putney then Tory voter defections to a new party might be effective. If they are more evenly spread it won’t have much impact.

  8. The one I am saddest about is Mike Gapes but that is only because I have met him.

  9. ‘I hope so, and IMO that will probably determine whether this venture successfully breaks the mould of British politics or is doomed to fail like the SDP’

    Almost certainly – and if it doesn’t happen now it probably never will
    Surely the likes of Soubry, Wollason and Grieve grasp that the Tory Party is no longer the pro-business, internationalist, moderate centre-right party that they joined but a right-wing, pro-Brexit one that shares little if any of the ideals that presumably got them into politics

    Its a mirror image of what’s happening with Labour and I would certainly support such a party if it capable of reaching out across the political divide. If not I think it will very quickly become yesterday;’s news

  10. “BM11..The one I am saddest about is Mike Gapes but that is only because I have met him.” What is this supposed to mean?

    So much hypocrisy from this new splinter group. All rabid Remainers, they are happy to LEAVE, exit, instead of Remaining and arguing and fighting their case.

  11. I would definitely consider voting for them if the grouping grows, and will definitely not vote Conservative if we leave the EU without a deal, even though it would be a wrench not to vote for Kim Caddy, who is an excellent candidate.

    I will be interested, on a local level at least, even if not for the rest of you, what Chris Coughlan and his colleagues in the Renew Party will do. He stood as an Independent in Battersea in the 2017 General Election, having failed to win the Labour nomination (from what I understand, the Battersea CLP had been taken over by Momentum, when it had been one of the most moderate; it heavily supported Owen Smith when he challenged Jeremy Corbyn), and won over 1000 votes, mostly frustrated Conservative Remainers. I only stayed loyal as Jane Ellison had been a very good constituency MP, even when most of her time was taken up by being a Minister. Renew stood in Wandsworth last year, but didn’t get more than 450 votes in any ward. It might, however, offer a ready-made party for the defectors.

    The big thing, of course, is whether any Conservative MPs will defect. Laura Kuenssberg reported on BBC News at Ten that two are close to doing so. Will they? We shall see. Did any of us expect the Labour defectors to go?

  12. The Sun are saying up to six Tories might join.

  13. It’s been accepted that some of the MPs diametrically opposed to the Leadership’s vision would resign at some point.

    It’s inevitable that the slow transformation of Labour was always going to mean splits. It’s necessary & ultimately its good & right if The Right spinter away and team up with some Tories

  14. I listened to Matt Forde’s interview with Chris from Renew. I was very unimpressed. He is clearly very practical and understands jow to run a party from business point of view but he seems to have very little political nous. When Matt asked him if he was in contact with MPs he kind of vaguely made tge suggestion he was and when pressed he conceded it wasn’t really MPs just people.

  15. Yes Matt, I didn’t really expect Renew to come to much, especially given its terrible performance in the local elections, and as far as I know, they only stood in about four wards. Chris leafleted in the General Election campaign, but I didn’t receive any literature from Renew.

    Incidentally, Labour also came nowhere near winning in my ward, apparently as they didn’t campaign (I must say I didn’t see any literature), whereas they nearly won in Balham, Nightingale and Shaftesbury, despite the Conservative vote being almost the same in all four wards.

  16. “So much hypocrisy from this new splinter group. All rabid Remainers, they are happy to LEAVE, exit, instead of Remaining and arguing and fighting their case.”

    Sorry to see you being uncharacteristically nasty tonight Deepthroat. I do understand you’re on the left so must be upset and frustrated, but this site is at its worst when people rant about their own politics rather than try to be bipartisan (yes I know I do it as well at times).

    Personally I admire the courage of the 7 and can’t decide if they are a damp squib or the start of something big. It’s undoubtedly the case, as Matthew Parris said tonight, that something needs to break the current political logjam we are stuck in.

  17. If I had to guess who the two Tories are – Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen?

  18. So Deepthroat thinks that the kind of anti semitic abuse doled out to.Luciana Berger (for example) is totally acceptable, a nd she should just sit there and take it. Someone needs to get his head out of his arse. And it’s hugely.arrogant of him to.assume that his vision.of the Labour party is the way things have to be. Dismissing these people as ‘the right’ is pathetic.

  19. ‘If I had to guess who the two Tories are – Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen?’

    The 7 Tory names I heard who were considering their position were Wollaston, Allen, Soubry, Lee, Greening, Boles and Sandbach

    It would serve May right if they did jump ship, after bending over backwards to appease all those hard Brexit MPs who voted to have her removed just a few months ago

    She’s every bit as despicably lamentable as Corbyn and is quite easily the worst PM I’ve had the misfortune to ever live under – and I lived under a few – Harold Wilson and the fag ends of the Major and Brown governments that were deeply unpopular

  20. “It would serve May right if they did jump ship, after bending over backwards to appease all those hard Brexit MPs who voted to have her removed just a few months ago”

    If the Tories were to lose 10 MPs then the Con-DUP arrangement loses its majority. Unlikely to happen though.

  21. Boles and Sandbach have both ruled out leaving.

  22. If the Tories were to lose 10 MPs then the Con-DUP arrangement loses its majority. Unlikely to happen though.’

    Can’t see why not though

    May has stick two fingers up to almost every one of her anti-Brexit MPs, nearly all of whom backed her when the hardline Brexiteers, who she has now cosseyed up to, were trying to bring her down

    Surely this much be tempting – if only to show May what an utter f***wit she’s been

    Also, Parliament then has its majority against No Deal

  23. There’s only about 9 Tory MPs that back a Peoples Vote

  24. But there’s plenty – a clear majority of Tory Mps- who don’t want a no deal Brexit which May is refusing to rule out in the hope that it will keep onside those hard core no deal Brexiters who want her gone

    It makes no sense in any way other than in May’s muddled mind and is just more proof that this job us waaay beyond her mediocre capabilities

  25. Except that the opposite is the reality: no deal is the position when time expires. You can’t take reality off the table (quite apart from it’d harm the negotiation to rule out the only other option).

    A Remainian drafted Art 50.

    It’s simply that some MPs only seem to have realised after New Year that this is the case at the end of 2 years..

  26. Gavin Shuker has said that TIG would support the government in any upcoming confidence vote, if and only if they agreed to a second referendum:

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/02/independent-group-name-their-price-keeping-tories-power

    I’d have liked to have seen something about Universal Credit there as well, but you can’t win them all. I guess TIG realises that, with only 11 MPs, they couldn’t get everything they want, and are prioritising accordingly.

  27. Also Heidi Allen was the only MP to mention universal credit. TIG is clearly a group that cares about Brexit as its priority and benefit sanctions come second

  28. And democracy. An individual relinquishing their Party and crossing over is one thing – quite another when they’re a distinct, separate grouping.

  29. To be fair the Labour defectors had no reason to mention universal credit during that press conference, since the Labour leadership also opposes it.

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