Leicester South by-election, 2011
|Location of Leicester South within the English county of Leicestershire|
The Leicester South by-election was held to elect a Member of Parliament (MP) of the United Kingdom for the Leicester South constituency on 5 May 2011. It was prompted by the resignation of Sir Peter Soulsby of the Labour Party, who stood down from Parliament to contest the election for Mayor of Leicester. Soulsby was appointed Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead on 1 April 2011, and the writ for a new election was issued on 5 April. The election was won by Labour Party candidate Jon Ashworth.
All registered Parliamentary electors (i.e. British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK and British citizens living overseas) who were aged 18 or over on 5 May 2011 were entitled to vote in the by-election. The deadline for voters to register to vote in the by-election was midnight on Thursday 14 April 2011. However, those who qualified as an anonymous elector had until midnight on Tuesday 26 April 2011 to register to vote.
Leicester South was very narrowly won by the Conservatives in 1983, and gained by Labour in the 1987 general election. After the death of Labour MP Jim Marshall, a 2004 by-election was held in June 2004 at which the Liberal Democrats gained the seat. At the general election in May 2005, Soulsby regained the seat for Labour; he increased his majority at the 2010 general election.
As a former Leader of Leicester City Council, Soulsby put his name forward for selection as the Labour Party candidate for the directly elected Mayoralty of Leicester after the city council voted to adopt a new leadership structure. In standing for selection he indicated that he would vacate his Parliamentary seat if selected. When Soulsby won the selection he immediately announced that he would indeed resign his seat. On 1 April 2011 the Chancellor of the Exchequer appointed Soulsby as Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, formally vacating the seat. On 5 April, the Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton moved the motion to issue a writ for a new election.
There was a wide interest in the Labour selection. One local councillor, Rory Palmer, entered the contest but subsequently withdrew, having accepted the offer of becoming Soulsby's deputy. The official shortlist of five candidates was confirmed on 18 March and included three Leicester City councillors, Patrick Kitterick (who was also Chair of Leicester South Constituency Labour Party), Mian Mayat and Neil Clayton, together with Jonathan Ashworth, a former advisor to Gordon Brown and current Head of Party Relations, and Josephine Channer, a councillor in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. On 19 March, local Labour Party members selected Jon Ashworth, who won 106 votes out of 153 cast on the first ballot.
Former Liberal Democrat MP for the constituency Parmjit Singh Gill was initially selected as the party's candidate on 18 March. On 23 March, he withdrew from the candidacy saying that he wanted to concentrate on his position as a Leicester City Councillor; he was immediately replaced as candidate by Zuffar Haq.
Labour retained the seat with an increased majority.
Turnout: 34,180 (45.0%) −3.0
Majority: 12,078 (35.3%) +16.6
Swing: +8.4% from Lib Dem to Lab
|Zuffar Haq||Liberal Democrat||7,693||22.5||-4.4|
|Howling Laud Hope||Monster Raving Loony||553||1.6||N/A|
|General Election 2010 
Turnout: 47,124 (61.1%) +3.4
Majority: 8,808 (18.7%)
Swing: +5.0% from Lib Dem to Lab
|Sir Peter Soulsby||Labour||21,479||45.6||+6.2|
|Parmjit Singh Gill||Liberal Democrat||12,671||26.9||-3.7|
- Leicester South by-election, 2004
- List of United Kingdom by-elections
- Opinion polling for the next United Kingdom general election
- "Local elections and Referendum". Electoral Commission. 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011.)
- The deadline for the receipt and determination of anonymous electoral registration applications is the same as the publication date of the notice of alteration to the Electoral Register (i.e. the fifth working day before election day).
- Troughton, Adrian (17 January 2011). "Leicester MP Sir Peter Soulsby begins his bid to become city's mayor". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- Maclean, David (7 March 2011). "MP Sir Peter Soulsby quits to join race to be Leicester's first elected mayor". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- "Manor of Northstead". HM Treasury. 1 April 2011.
- Statement of Persons Nominated Leicester Council
- Maclean, David (12 March 2011). "Labour's Rory is chosen as mayor running mate". Leicester Mercury.
- Ferguson, Mark (18 March 2011). "Leicester South shortlist". Labourlist.
- Ferguson, Mark (19 March 2011). "Leicester South candidate". Labourlist.
- "Jonathan Ashworth is Labour’s choice for Leicester South". Leicester Labour Party. 19 March 2011.
- "Parmjit Singh Gill selected for Lib Dems in Leicester South". Liberal Democrat Voice. 19 March.
- "Parmjit Singh Gill withdraws as Lib Dem candidate for Leicester South". Liberal Democrat Voice. 23 March 2011.
- Isaby, Jonathan (28 March 2011). "Jane Hunt selected as Conservative candidate for Leicester South by-election". Conservative Home. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "Election 2010 - Leicester South". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-05-12.