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Luton South

2010 Results:
Conservative: 12396 (29.36%)
Labour: 14725 (34.88%)
Liberal Democrat: 9567 (22.66%)
BNP: 1299 (3.08%)
UKIP: 975 (2.31%)
Green: 366 (0.87%)
Independent: 2813 (2.23%)
Others: 75 (0.18%)
Majority: 2329 (5.52%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 16577 (42.8%)
Conservative: 10877 (28.1%)
Liberal Democrat: 8732 (22.5%)
Other: 2560 (6.6%)
Majority: 5700 (14.7%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 10960 (28.2%)
Labour: 16610 (42.7%)
Liberal Democrat: 8778 (22.6%)
Green: 790 (2%)
UKIP: 957 (2.5%)
Other: 823 (2.1%)
Majority: 5650 (14.5%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 11586 (29.4%)
Labour: 21719 (55.2%)
Liberal Democrat: 4292 (10.9%)
UKIP: 578 (1.5%)
Green: 798 (2%)
Other: 378 (1%)
Majority: 10133 (25.8%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 15109 (31.4%)
Labour: 26428 (54.8%)
Liberal Democrat: 4610 (9.6%)
Referendum: 1205 (2.5%)
Other: 832 (1.7%)
Majority: 11319 (23.5%)

Boundary changes: very minor. Luton South loses around 200 voters in Barnfield to Luton North.

Profile: Luton was historically a manufacturing town, originally for hats (hence the nickname of Luton Town football club, based in the constituency) and more recently for Vauxhall cars and Electrolux. The Vauxhall car plant closed in 2002 and the fast growing London Luton Airport, the hub of EasyJet`s operations and is becoming a far more inportant part of the local economy – Luton reportedly has the highest proportion of taxi drivers per head of anywhere in the UK.

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.

Until it was surprisingly retained by Labour in 2010, Luton South 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 in expenses to treat dry rot in her second home, not before provoking a wide range of anti-sleaze candidates, including TV personality Esther Rantzen.

portraitCurrent MP: Gavin Shuker (Labour) Born Luton. Educated at Icknield High School and Cambridge University. Runs a local church.

2010 election candidates:
portraitNigel Huddleston (Conservative) Born 1970, Lincoln. Educated at Robert Pattinson Comprehensive School and Oxford University. Management consultant.
portraitGavin Shuker (Labour) Born Luton. Educated at Icknield High School and Cambridge University. Runs a local church.
portraitQurban Hussain (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Bedford College and Luton University. Former Labour councillor, defected to the Liberal Democrats in 2003. Luton councillor. Contested Luton South 2005, Eastern region in 2009 European elections.
portraitMarc Scheimann (Green) Educated at St Columba’s College. Computer consultant. Former councillor. Contested Luton South 1997, 2001, 2005. Contested Eastern region 1999, 2004, 2009 European election.
portraitCharles Lawman (UKIP) Engineer and surveyor. Contested Luton South 2001, 2005.
portraitTony Blakey (BNP)
portraitEsther Rantzen (Independent) Born 1940, Berkhampsted. Educated at North London Collegiate School and Oxford University. Television producer and presenter, most famous for presenting That`s Life from 1973 to 1994. Founder of the charity Childline, she was appointed CBE in 2006 for services to children.
portraitStephen Lathwell (Independent) Born Luton. Educated Bedford Modern School and University of Hertfordshire. Innovation Engineer.
portraitJoe Hall (Independent) Born Luton. Educated at Icknield High and Oxford University. Formerly worked for Save the Children.
portraitSteven Rhodes (Independent) Born Dublin. Former radio presenter on BBC Three Counties Radio.
portraitFrank Sweeney (Workers Revolutionary)
portraitFarak Choudhury (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 97341
Male: 50.5%
Female: 49.5%
Under 18: 25.8%
Over 60: 15.7%
Born outside UK: 20.8%
White: 71.6%
Black: 5.5%
Asian: 19.6%
Mixed: 2.2%
Other: 1%
Christian: 57.9%
Hindu: 1.8%
Muslim: 17.4%
Sikh: 0.6%
Full time students: 7.7%
Graduates 16-74: 15.7%
No Qualifications 16-74: 31.1%
Owner-Occupied: 67.1%
Social Housing: 16.2% (Council: 11.9%, Housing Ass.: 4.4%)
Privately Rented: 14.2%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 8.4%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide