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Coventry North East

2010 Results:
Conservative: 9609 (22.15%)
Labour: 21384 (49.29%)
Liberal Democrat: 7210 (16.62%)
BNP: 1863 (4.29%)
UKIP: 1291 (2.98%)
Others: 2026 (4.67%)
Majority: 11775 (27.14%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 21694 (56.7%)
Conservative: 7208 (18.8%)
Liberal Democrat: 6338 (16.6%)
Other: 3002 (7.9%)
Majority: 14485 (37.9%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 6956 (18.7%)
Labour: 21178 (56.9%)
Liberal Democrat: 6123 (16.5%)
UKIP: 1064 (2.9%)
Other: 1874 (5%)
Majority: 14222 (38.2%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 6988 (18.8%)
Labour: 22739 (61%)
Liberal Democrat: 4163 (11.2%)
BNP: 737 (2%)
Other: 2638 (7.1%)
Majority: 15751 (42.3%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 9287 (19.3%)
Labour: 31856 (66.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 3866 (8%)
Referendum: 1125 (2.3%)
Other: 1951 (4.1%)
Majority: 22569 (46.9%)

Boundary changes:


portraitCurrent MP: Bob Ainsworth(Labour) born 1952, Coventry. Educated at Foxford Comprehensive School. Former Jaguar worker. Coventry councillor 1984-1993. First elected as MP for Coventry North East in 1992. Government whip 1997-2001. Under-secretary at the department of the environment 2001, then the Home Office 2001-2003. Deputy chief whip 2003-2007. Minister of state for armed forces 2007-2009. Secretary of State for Defence since 2009 (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitHazel Noonan (Conservative) Former senior care assistant. Coventry councillor since 2000.
portraitBob Ainsworth(Labour) born 1952, Coventry. Educated at Foxford Comprehensive School. Former Jaguar worker. Coventry councillor 1984-1993. First elected as MP for Coventry North East in 1992. Government whip 1997-2001. Under-secretary at the department of the environment 2001, then the Home Office 2001-2003. Deputy chief whip 2003-2007. Minister of state for armed forces 2007-2009. Secretary of State for Defence since 2009 (more information at They work for you)
portraitRussell Field (Liberal Democrat) Educated at De Montford University. Computer analyst. Coventry councillor since 2003. Contested Coventry North East 2005.
portraitChristopher Forbes (UKIP)
portraitTom Gower (BNP)
portraitRon Lebar (Christian Movement for GB)
portraitDave Nellist (Socialist Alternative) Born 1952, Cleveland. Former Labour MP for Coventry South East between 1983 and 1992, he was deselected for the 1992 for his support of Militant. Contested Coventry South East 1992 as Independent Labour, Coventry South 1997 for the Socialist Party, Coventry North East 2001 for the Socialist Alliance, 2005 for the Socialist Party, West Midlands 2009 European election for No2EU. Coventry councillor.

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 105991
Male: 49.4%
Female: 50.6%
Under 18: 26.8%
Over 60: 18.1%
Born outside UK: 14.9%
White: 78.1%
Black: 2.3%
Asian: 16.4%
Mixed: 2.1%
Other: 1%
Christian: 61.3%
Hindu: 3.1%
Muslim: 6.1%
Sikh: 6.8%
Full time students: 5.9%
Graduates 16-74: 13.5%
No Qualifications 16-74: 36.9%
Owner-Occupied: 65.2%
Social Housing: 21.3% (Council: 9.5%, Housing Ass.: 11.8%)
Privately Rented: 9.1%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 13.9%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at

100 Responses to “Coventry North East”

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  1. Depressingly, the media are reporting that the Labour selection will be a “possible battle of the sons for his seat: Will Straw V Euan Blair”. I do hope not. Being an MP is not supposed to be a hereditary occupation, like passing on a family business. I’m totally sick of Labour Special Advisers taking seats, Jonny Reynolds, John Woodcock, and Emma Reynolds to name three (though at least Emma Reynolds was a local), let alone to have children of former bigwigs in Parliament. There are millions of families in this country, why can’t more of them have a go at running the country?

  2. “Another potential high-profile retiree could be Margaret Beckett, whose long, distinguished front bench career has surely come to an end.”

    I was also thinking about Blunkett.

    Alan Johnson had gone very quiet since standing down from Shadow Cabinet.

    Then there’s Frank Dobson who hinted at something last year before backtracking after being pissed off by all the hopefuls already sniffing around the seat.

  3. Apologies. I do realise Jack Straw is still in Parliament, which would make it even worse if he stood again. Also, there are spouses and siblings together in Parliament. No wonder people think politics isn’t for them when they see family connection being the most important thing in getting selected. I must say it appears to be worse on the Labour side than on the Tory side. Wait to see Joe Dromey gettig a nice safe seat before too long!

  4. I heard Jack Straw interviewed on Radio 5 Live a few weeks ago & he said he was intending to stand again in 2015.

  5. Will Straw said he was interested in standing in Rossendale and Darwen, a 2010 Tory gain which is next door to his father’s constituency

  6. BigD

    We have often argued on here, but I have to say that you’ve hit the nail on the head on this.

    I don’t know if Labour politicians realise quite how ridiculous they look, day after day bemoaning the decline of “social mobility”, whilst at the same time fast-tracking a stream of carpetbagging children and relatives of former and sitting MPs into winnable and safe seats. It is an absolute disgrace.

    Children or spouses of an MP should be barred from selection to widen the gene pool at Westminster.

  7. How many current MPs are children of former MPs? Possibly without counting Norhern Ireland where they are all related to each other within some parties.

    Dominic Grieve, son of Percy Grieve (Solihull 1964-83)
    Nick Hurd, son of Douglas Hurd (Mid Oxfordshire 74-83 Witney 83-97)
    Bernard Jenkin, son of Patrick Jenkin (Wanstead and Woodford 64-87)
    Francis Maude, son of Angus Maude (Ealing Souyth 50-58 Statford 63-83)
    Andrew Mitchell, son of David Mitchell (Basikngstoke 64-83, NW Hampshire 83-97)
    Nicholas Soames, son of Christopher Soames (Bedford 50-56)
    Charles Walker, stepson of Chris Chataway (Lewisham North 59-66 Chichester 69-74)
    Richard Benyon, son of William Banyon (Buckingham 70-83 Milton Keynes 83-92)
    James Arbuthnon, son of John Arbuthnot (Dover 50-64)
    Ben Gummer, son of John Gummer (Lewisham North 70-74 Eye 79-83 Suffolk Coastal 83-10)
    Mark Pawsey, son of James Pawsey (Rugby 79-97)
    Laura Sandys, daughter of Duncan Sandys (Norwood 35-45 Streatham 50-74)
    Robin Walker, son of Peter Walker (Worcester 61-92)

    Anas Sarwar, son of Mohammed Sarwar (Glasgow Central 1997-2010)
    John Cryer, son of Bob Cryer (Keighley 74-83 Bradford South 87-94) and Ann Cryer (Keighley 97-10)
    Hilary Benn, son of Tony Benn
    Lindsay Hoyle, son of Dough Hoyle (Neston and Colne 74-79 Warrington 1981-97)
    Alison Seaback, daughter of Michael Ward (Peterborough 74-79)

    Anyone else?

    Just Sarwar directly followed his father in the same seat. Walker and Pawsey are elected in the same area of their fathers but after many years. Some of the rest have been elected many years after their parents left Parliament.

    Ed and David Miliband
    Angela and Maria Eagle
    Keith and Valerie Vaz

    If we enter the spouses/partners territory it becomes tricky….

    I don’t have much knowledge on who is married to who on Tory side.

    On Labour side, we have Ed & Yvette, Harriet & Jack….
    Nick Raynsford (Greenwich) and Alison Seaback (Plymouth Moor View)
    Joan Ruddock (Lewisham Deptford) is partnered with Frank Doran (Aberdeen North)

    LD Jo Swinson has recently married the MP for Chippenham.

    John Cryer just married Rachel Reeves’ sister (who is also a NEC member…I mean the sister).
    Oh and I think an MP is dating Nadine’s daughter.

  8. @BIGD and H Hemmelig Completely agree too. So frustrating and it seems it is becoming more and more of a commonplace.

    Don’t forget Georgia Gould (daughter of Philip Gould) and almost Erith&Thamesmead MP, perhaps it was because of her that Frank Dobson is holding on (hope he does do so too) – could also be due to the interests of Alistair Campbell and his wife Fiona Millar.

    It probably helped that Rachel Reeves, Valerie Vaz and Jack Dromey were selected having relations in the Labour NEC – the 3 of them had no/very little connection to the seat they now represent.

  9. @Kokopops

    Gould didn’t come close to win Erith selection in the end. She finished third with 55 votes behind Teresa Pearce (109) and former MP Melanie Johnson (73). The candidate which was described by some papers as her main rival (and as the “left wing” candidate even if she wasn’t) was even further behind.
    However, considering all the bad press she got during that selection contest, it can be plausible she would have got more votes if the controversy had not been raised.

    That selection left some “victims” on the ground…even if we were never told who tampered one of the ballot boxes at Labour HQ.

    Vaz and Dromey were indeed late selections with shortlisting done by NEC panels (even if some Tories still seem not to have understood it, Erdington wasn’t supposed to be an AWS. What they should concentrate on is who was shortlisted along with Dromey).

    Just for our entertainment: Dromey was kept off the Pontefract shortlist in 1997. However, Cooper herself was excluded from Don Valley shortlist some weeks earlier. It’s like a wheel….

    But Reeves was selected early in the 2005 Parliament. So the selection process was conducted by the CLP. She beated decent competition: a local Cllr (who finished a strong second) and a former aide to Cooper.

  10. What really infuriates me is that politicians are constantly bashing our top universities over the head, moaning about how much easier it is to get a place if you come through the old boys network of a privileged background and a private school.

    Yet those same politicians are more than happy for scores of relatives of former and current MPs to get a fast track into the commons through shameless pulling of strings and family connections.

    If we are not careful, in a couple of decades our politics will have been completely expunged of the last drop of legitimacy, and we will have MPs hanging from lamp posts.

  11. Margaret Beckett asked a question at PMQs, I think it was this week, and I have to say I was somewhat surprised t learn she was still an MP.

  12. If Bob Ainsworth does retire (which I think is only speculation)
    then that will be a sad day, and a loss to national politics.

    There aren’t many manufacturing and industrial backgrounds left.

  13. Sorry Andrea,
    I see you have confirmed Bob A is to retire.
    Well that is sad news.

  14. “Margaret Beckett asked a question at PMQs, I think it was this week, and I have to say I was somewhat surprised t learn she was still an MP.”

    She’s also still on Labour NEC. Elected in the PLP section.

    #Joe James
    Yes, he announced it yesterday

  15. Quite a lot of the married / partnered MP’s met in the Commons. I suppose that’s not too surprising given the hours and proximity.

  16. @ Andrea

    Thanks for the clarification. I always forget that the NEC only shortlist in late selections and by-elections. Reading James MacIntyre and Mehdi Hasan’s biography of Ed Mil, it does briefly illustrate how local CLPs get sweetened up by Party bigwigs to select the favoured candidate.

    I knew that Erdington was not going to be AWS and I think Cllr. Yvonne Mosquito was one of the other candidates who faced Jack Dromey. Mosquito had just lost out to Shabana Mahmood (daughter of Chair of Birmingham Labour??) in Ladywood, which was referred to the NEC. Who were you referring to?

    PS I always love your informative posts

  17. Bill Wiggin is the son of Jerry Wiggin (Weston-super-Mare 1968-1997). A predecessor to Sir Jerry, Sir Ian Orr-Ewing, also had a son sitting in the House at the same time as him.

  18. @ Andrea

    Sorry I think I was wrong on Yvonne Mosquito shortlisted at Erdington

  19. kokopops

    Sorry, I guess the Erdington AWS comment sounded like a pre-empitve reprimanding!
    I don’t personally know the people involved and their qualites. However, on another place, a LD Cllr said that the 2 other people (both local) shortlisted along Dromey were unlikely to fit in Erdington CLP demographics. So their winning chances were much threatening.

    Doncaster North shortlist when EdM was selected was: Nick Dakin (now MP for Scunthorpe), Elizabeth Donnelly (2011 Sleaford and North Hykeham candidan; union officer but I didn’t check if she was already it at the time), Michael Dugher (SpAd to Hoon, then he worked for Gordon and is now MP for Barnsley East), Sandra Holland (aid to Flint at the time, then failed Doncaster Mayoral candidate when EngDem won), Ed Miliband and Aidan Rave (the deputy mayor of Doncaster council).

  20. Other long serving Labour MPs in safe seats who will be 65 or over in 2015 (age in 2015 in brackets)

    Joe Benton, Bootle 1990 (81)
    Clive Betts, Sheffield South East 1992 (65)
    Nick Brown, Newcastle-upon-Tyne East 1983 (65)
    Ronnie Campbell, Blyth Valley 1987 (72)
    Tom Clarke, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 1982 (74)
    Ann Clywd, Cynon Valley 1984 (78)
    Jeremy Corbyn, Islington North 1983 (66)
    Jim Dobbin, Heywood and Middleton 1997 (74)
    Frank Doran, Aberdeen North 1987 (66)
    Frank Field, Birkenhead 1979 (73)
    Roger Godsiff, Birmingham Hall Green 1992 (69)
    Peter Hain, Neath 1991 (65)
    Margaret Hodge, Barking 1994 (71)
    Kate Hoey, Vauxhall 1989 (69)
    James Hood, Lanark and Hamilton East 1987 (67)
    George Howarth, Knowsley 1986 (66)
    Tessa Jowell, Dulwich 1992 (68)
    Gerald Kaufman, Manchester Gorton 1970 (85)
    Anne McGuire, Stirling 1997 (66)
    Michael Meacher, Oldham West 1970 (76)
    Alan Meale, Mansfield 1987 (66)
    Andrew Miller, Ellesmere Port 1992 (66)
    Austin Mitchell, Great Grimsby 1977 (81)
    Paul Murphy, Torfaen 1987 (67)
    Stephen Pound, Ealing North 1997 (67)
    Nick Raynsford, Greenwich & Woolwich 1992 (70)
    Joan Ruddock, Lewisham Deptford 1987 (72)
    Barry Sheerman, Huddersfield 1979 (75)
    Dennis Skinner, Bolsover 1970 (83)
    John Spellar, Warley 1992 (68)
    Joan Walley, Stoke-on-Trent North 1987 (66)
    David Winnick, Walsall North 1979 (82)
    Mike Wood, Batley & Spen 1997 (69)

  21. @James Martin

    Other not mentioned yet (I take long serving as being elected before 2001)

    Adrian Bailey, West Bromwich West 2000 (born in 1949)
    Kevin Barron, Rother Valley 1983 (1946)
    Ann Coffey, Stockport 1992 (born in 1946)
    Michael Connarty, Linlithgow and East Falkirk 1992 (1947)
    David Crausby, Bolton NE 1997 (1946)
    Brian Donohoe, Central Ayrshire 1992 (1948)
    Ian Davidson, Glasgow SW 1992 (1950)
    Louise Ellman, Liverpool Riverside 1997 (1945)
    Paul Flynn, Newport West 1987 (1935)
    Harriet Harman, Camberwell and Peckham 1982 (1950)
    Kelvin Hopkins, Luton North 1997 (1941)
    Andy Love, Edmonton 1997 (1949)
    George Mudie, Leeds East 1992 (1945)
    Jon Trickett , Hemsworth 1996 (1950)
    Alan Whitehead, Southampton, Test 1997 (1950)

    yes, that’s quite a long list of Labour MPs. Obviously many will carry on (but we already have younger MPs retiring). So there can be another large turnover in the PLP.

  22. It would be horrible to have a really distinguished long career with large majorities and end up decapitated by the Lib Dems.
    But Kaufman will have the last laugh – an 100% Labour council in 2014 and a massive majority in Gorton in 2015 when he stands again.

  23. Ann Clwyd looks pretty good for 78!! And Gerald Kaufman, not that bad for 85 either.

    @ Andrea

    In the Macintyre and MehdiHasan bio, they describe how Ed Miliband and the Brown camp were resigned to losing out on Doncaster North and probably losing to Michael Dugher (who wasn’t working for Gordon Brown at that point but was seen as the ‘local’ candidate, as a Yorkshireman and Ed not being one). Ed Mil was staying with John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne) and his wife during the campaign, and used his contacts, as well as the Yorkshire contacts of Ed Balls (who had been selected in Normanton) and Yvette Cooper. So then, Gordon intervened and spoke to Martin Winter (then Mayor of Doncaster) and with some other local fixers, managed to win some support for Ed, before Ed gave a good pitch at the Selection Meeting. I think the authors briefly mentioned that Martin Winter was promised some sort of reward as payback for helping Ed but that didn’t fully materialise (or something like that), which played a part in Martin Winter leaving the LAbour party.

    The back-up plan for the Brownites, had Ed Mil, not won in Doncaster North was that, they were going to get him nominated in Wolverhampton South East (??), which would have been seen to be “provocative” as it would have pitched Ed against Pat McFadden (who was a close aide to Tony Blair, and was supporting him).

    It was a good and interesting bio and not fully brown-nosing towards Ed either.

  24. I would be surprised if Tessa Jowell doesn’t retire as Kevin Maguire in his columns in New Statesman last year, twice alluded that had Jack Dromey not won selection in Erdington, Jowell had already “offered” her own seat to him. This would be the neighbouring seat to HH and where the couple live in.

  25. I was under the impression that Jowell had already said she would retire.

  26. @Kokopops

    Herne Hill is in the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, so he would of been representing the seat he lives in not the one next door.

    BTW, that comment sums up what’s wrong with the Labour party. How can a sitting MP “offer” a seat to someone? We are supposed to live in a democracy! It should be local Labour Party members who select the candidate. I must say I admire the Tory Party local associations for resisting central control on selections. More power to their elbow. I’ve seen the undemocratic results of central control in the Labour party and I don’t like it!

    My sources in Lewisham Deptford tell me Joan Ruddock will do another term then retire. I’m also told a lot of members will be very unhappy at an AWS given they’ve had a woman MP since 1987 and the majority of London Labour MPs are female. Many feel that just becaue Joan was the best candidate in 1987 doesn’t mean they must have a female candidate forever! There is a feeling that the national party need to concentrate on those areas of the country where female representation is very low before they impose AWS in London!

  27. “Herne Hill is in the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, so he would of been representing the seat he lives in not the one next door.”

    I took it to read “This [DF&WN] would be the neighbouring seat to HH and [is the seat] where the couple live in.”
    rather than “This would be the neighbouring seat to HH and [to the seat] where the couple live”

  28. @kokopops

    Thanks. Interesting reading.

  29. @Barnaby

    I don’t think she has announced it officially but everyone is expecting it.
    Back to memory line….in 1992 Jowell won Dulwich selection in a close fight against Barbara Follett.

    Back to Coventry NE, former NEC member Luke Akehurst thinks it’s likely to be AWS.
    However, it can depend on if when it will be decided, other Coventry seats are vacant and considered at the same time.
    And the NEC organization subcommitee works in mysterious way……I know of a CLP who asked an AWS last time and was given an Open one.

  30. At this rate we will be needing a few AMS!

  31. Hardly, Joe. I don’t see 50% of the PLP as female, unlike the population….

  32. I find the whole idea of AWS utterly appalling – it is nothing less than sexist apartheid and I refuse on principle to support any candidate selected under such a system.As a consequence, in Norwich North next time I shall be voting Green.

  33. Talk about of the frying pan and into the fire! :p

  34. Indeed. Graham should perhapsfamiliaries himself with the Green party’s leadership election rules (amongst other things)

  35. Well- if I discover my Green candidate has been selected from an AWS she too will forfeit my support! I am grateful for having been alerted.

  36. The green party I believe legislates for a female and a male leader (or principal comrade or whatever they call it – i dont think they like the term leader as its too capitalist)

  37. JJB – true, although some retire and then the seat falls, eg Benn in Chesterfield. Although you could argue he led to this happening.

  38. @BigD I indeed did mean that Dulwich and West Norwood was where the Dromey-Harmans live, and which is next door to Harriet’s seat. I, too, share the dislike of the way some Labour PPCs are chosen and seats ‘offered’ around to who you know etc. however, I guess Jack Dromey, belonging to Dulwich and West Norwood CLP would have been known in the constituency and he was the Treasurer for the party so has name recognition, as well as being married to the neighbouring MP, all would probably have made him a strong cert for the seat, had Tessa Jowell abdicated.

    @Graham incidentally the Labour PPC in Norwich North is Jessica Asato, currently Special Adviser to Tessa Jowell.

    @Andrea What was the reason for that seat not being granted an AWS? Was a male candidate chosen from the Open Shortlist, and if so, any connections/relations to the party hierarchy?

    When Euan Blair was talked about running in Sir Geoffrey Robinson’s seat (Coventry North West??), I thinking read somewhere that that seat would be made an AWS, so surely you wouldn’t have 2 AWS in one city?

  39. @kokopops

    The CLP that wanted an AWS but was given an open one was Wirral West. A marginal which ended up as a Tory gain. So no plum seat for well connected people. But, yes, a man was selected in the end.

    “so surely you wouldn’t have 2 AWS in one city?”

    Newcastle had 2 retirements last time. 2 AWS. Sunderland had 3 retirements (all their MPs) and it had 3 AWS. Makerfield/Wigan were also both AWS.

    Don’t try to find a logic 🙂

  40. @Andrea wow! I do think AWS is necessary but it will be interesting what happens when we do reach 50% women in the PLP (2020?), when I think the policy should be relaxed/dropped, even if it is a short term thing. However I think it is massively unfair in those example you have mentioned.

  41. Whats wrong with saying there has to be 3 women out of 6 (for example) on a shortlist. Means women get the chance to impress, but if they aren’t good enough they aren’t good enough.

  42. Because Harriet Harperson has just a grip on things that the Labour Party have been bullied into AWS against anything else. When they get to 50% of the PLP, I wonder if someone would be brave enough to go “Maybe this is fine now”.

  43. @Graham and @JoeR

    The Green Pary does not have all women shortlists in any seat, and will not be introducing them at any point in the foreseeable future.

    We do have a rule that our Leader and Deputy Leader positions must be gender-balanced. This is a holdover from the old system we used to have of having a male and female Principal Speaker, and was a source of controversy within the party during our recent leadership election. There are currently proposals to change this rule in time for the next leadership election in two years time.

  44. The legislation allowing AWS expires at the end of 2015 if the government doesn’t renew the sunset clause. If Labour doesn’t return to power in May, I doubt any other government would renew the sunset clause.

    Andy must know it. Is there a large BAME community in this constituency? The local paper has an article about many Asian Labour Cllrs (+ a daughter of one of them in case it’s an AWS) considering to run for selection here

  45. It says on here that it was 16% asian in 2001 so probably over 20 now.

  46. @Andrea I don’t know much about Coventry but do know that Foleshill has a significant Asian community and I think it is a ward in this constituency.

  47. @Andrea

    I think I read in a previous NEC report that it was hoped that in each of the major cities, to have or at least encourage BAME candidates, in at least one of the seats. If this is true, then I guess it would make sense, it would be this one. I also remember at previous GEs there was consternation that some seats where there were particularly high BAME voters, AWS were imposed e.g. West Ham, Walthamstow etc. So if this seat does become AWS, would be interesting to know what BAME men would say.

  48. @Doktorb

    I don’t know the power play at the top of the LAbour party but I just do not get the Harriet Harman as this forceful person with a “grip” on the Labour party. She seems a bit of a sheep, who follows instructions rather than barking orders, unlike say Hillary Clinton.

  49. @kokopops

    One concern was that in the run up of 1997-2005 GEs no AWS has ever been won by a BAME woman. For 2010 GE this trend has been broken with Birmingham Ladywood, Newcastle Central and Walsall South selections.

  50. @Andrea

    Wasn’t Birmingham Ladywood controversial though as there was a complaint to the NEC of a stitch up in the voting at the selection meeting with Shabana Mahmood winning over the local Councillor Yvonne Mosquito – Shabana’s dad was/is? the Chair of Birmingham Labour…it sounded like what had happened in Bradford West CLP had happened over there previously

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