Leeds North East (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 53°51′00″N 1°30′54″W / 53.850°N 1.515°W / 53.850; -1.515

Leeds North East
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Leeds North East in West Yorkshire.
Outline map
Location of West Yorkshire within England.
County West Yorkshire
(West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974)
Electorate 68,269 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 1918
Member of parliament Fabian Hamilton (Labour)
Number of members One
European Parliament constituency Yorkshire and the Humber

Leeds North East is a constituency[n 1] which has been represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 1997 by Fabian Hamilton of the Labour Party.[n 2][n 3]


1918-1950: The County Borough of Leeds wards of Crossgates, Roundhay, Seacroft, and Shadwell, and parts of North and North East wards.

1950-1955: The County Borough of Leeds wards of Burmantofts, Harehills, Potternewton, and Richmond Hill.

1955-1974: The County Borough of Leeds wards of Allerton, Potternewton, Roundhay, and Woodhouse.

1974-1983: The County Borough of Leeds wards of Chapel Allerton, Harehills, Roundhay, Scott Hall, and Talbot.

1983-2010: The City of Leeds wards of Chapel Allerton, Moortown, North, and Roundhay.

2010-present: The City of Leeds wards of Alwoodley, Chapel Allerton, Moortown, and Roundhay.

History of boundaries

A North-East division of the city's central parliamentary borough was recommended by the Boundary Commission in its report of 1917. The Commission recommended that the division consist of the whole of the Crossgates, Roundhay, Seacroft, and Shadwell wards, together with the larger parts of two other wards which were to be divided between divisions: North-East ward save for a small part west of Accommodation Road in Burmantofts which was placed in the South-East division and that part of North ward east of Gledhow Park and Moor Allerton.[2] This created a division with a population of 74,054 (according to the 1911 Census); 38,307 lived in the part of North ward, 28,349 in the part of North-East ward, and 7,398 in Roundhay, Seacroft, Shadwell and Cross Gates. Parliament enacted the new boundaries without alteration in the Representation of the People Act 1918.

The initial report of the Boundary Commission in 1947 recommended that the North East division consist of the Burmantofts, Harehills, Potternewton and Roundhay wards. This meant a slightly smaller electorate (in respect of the register in force on 15 October 1946) from 78,498 to a still hefty 66,671; the main change was the removal of Seacroft to the South East division.[3] The Government brought in a Representation of the People Bill based on the recommendations, but after pressure from some affected local authorities, decided give extra seats to some towns and cities where the electorate had resulted in the area narrowly missing out on an additional Member: on 18 March 1948 the Government put down amendments to the Bill which included increasing the number of seats in the County Borough of Leeds from six to seven.[4] The Boundary Commission produced revised recommendations contained the wards of Burmantofts, Harehills and Roundhay, and having an electorate of 51,181.[5] The Boundary Commission consulted on their proposals and received objections to the arrangements in the west of the city which led them to revise the recommendations in May 1948. The alterations had knock-on effects on the North East division, which was now recommended to comprise the North, Roundhay and Woodhouse wards for 56,283 electors.[6]

When the Home Secretary James Chuter Ede proposed altering the Bill in line with the altered recommendations, the sitting MP for Leeds North-East Alice Bacon (supported by George Porter, MP for Leeds Central) moved an amendment to alter the name of a division the Boundary Commission had called 'East Central' to 'North East', and altering the division the Boundary Commission had called 'North East' to 'North'. The Government accepted the amendment,[7] as effected in the Representation of the People Act 1948. The Leeds North East division from then consisted of the Burmantofts, Harehills, Potternewton and Richmond Hill wards and had a 1946 electorate of 49,882. The division was considerably smaller in area after changes in 1950.

Alterations in ward boundaries in Leeds on 28 July 1950 led the Boundary Commission to make an interim report on alterations of constituency boundaries in 1951; although the definition of the constituency was the same, the ward changes had a minor impact on the divisional boundaries.[8] In 1954 the Boundary Commission looked again at boundaries, and recommended that the North East division of Leeds consist of the wards of Allerton, Potternewton, Roundhay and Woodhouse. Three out of the four wards (Allerton, Roundhay and Woodhouse wards) came from the abolished Leeds North, while Burmantofts and Harehills wards were removed to Leeds East, and Richmond Hill ward went to Leeds South East.[9]

By the time of the Second Periodical Report of the Boundary Commission in the late 1960s, the wards of the County Borough of Leeds had again been altered. The commission recommended that the Borough Constituency of Leeds North East consist of the wards of Chapel Allerton, Harehills, Roundhay, Scott Hall and Talbot. The change decreased the electorate (on the October 1968 register) slightly from 53,719 to 53,461.[10] These boundary changes took effect from the February 1974 general election. The Third Periodical Review in 1983 initially proposed a Leeds North East County Constituency comprising 33,200 electors out of 60,120 in the existing borough together with half of the previous Leeds North West seat and Harewood and Wetherby from the Barkston Ash seat. At a public inquiry the plans were challenged and the assistant Commissioner recommended that the Leeds North East constituency remain urban and based on the previous seat, comprising Chapel Allerton, Moortown, North and Roundhay wards; this alteration was accepted by the Boundary Commission.[11] The changes still removed 10,000 electors, mostly to Leeds East but some to Leeds Central and Elmet, and brought in 16,000 electors, mostly from Leeds North West and Barkston Ash and a small number from Leeds South East.[12] No changes were made in the Fourth Periodical Review in 1995.[13]

Current boundaries

Boundary changes implemented the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies — their final recommendations almost matched initial proposals and so the seat comprises Alwoodley, Chapel Allerton, Moortown and Roundhay[14] — which took effect at the 2010 general election. By these changes, 2,100 electors out of 64,106 in the existing seat were removed to Elmet and Rothwell, while 3,875 were added from Leeds North West, 700 from Leeds Central, and 349 from Leeds East.[15]

Constituency profile[edit]

This is a diverse constituency covering the northern half of the City of Leeds. It was Conservative stronghold, represented for thirty-one years by Keith Joseph that has since 1997 seen relatively strong Labour support as many large Victorian houses have gradually been converted into flats and multiple-occupancy homes,[16] helping them gain the seat in 1997 for the first time since the 1950s, and have held on since. A year after Hamilton increased his majority in 2001, psephologists Simon Henig and Lewis Baston wrote that it was now possible to think of Labour winning Leeds North East in a general election which it lost.[17] The Guardian described the seat in 2010 as:

'Diverse Leeds seat including innercity, smart suburbs and farmland.'

The seat stretches from the countryside around the Eccup reservoir to the north, through affluent residential suburbs such as Alwoodley, Roundhay, and Moortown, with their large Jewish populations, up-and-coming neighbourhoods popular with young professionals such as Chapel Allerton, down to deprived inner-city areas such as Chapeltown, the centre of Leeds' Afro-Caribbean community.[18]


At the first election in 1918, it was decided that a Conservative candidate would receive the Coalition 'coupon' in Leeds North East, as four Liberals had received coupons in other Leeds divisions and Labour was allowed an unopposed return in Leeds South-East. Major John Birchall, the Coalition Conservative candidate, was opposed by Labour Party candidate John Bromley, leader of the Locomotive Engineman's Society. The Times described Bromley as "prone to verbal violence" and with "an unnecessary railway strike in his war service record". A third candidate, Captain W.P. Brigstock, announced himself for the National Party, but was felt to have negligible prospects and did not stand.[19] Birchall won comfortably, and went on to represent the seat until he retired in February 1940. His majority never fell below 4,000.

Birchall's resignation resulted in a by-election in March 1940, Professor J.J. Craik Henderson was nominated as a Conservative. Under the war-time electoral truce no Labour or Liberal candidate stood, but he was opposed by Sydney Allen of the British Union of Fascists who campaigned on an anti-war policy. Henderson won the by-election with 97.1% of the vote. Despite the division's history, Labour went into the 1945 general election with a degree of optimism.[20] As it turned out Professor Craik Henderson could not defend his seat, and Alice Bacon won for Labour on a 22.6% swing.

The constituency with new boundaries at the 1950 election was reckoned to be helpful to Alice Bacon,[21] and therefore likely to be held by Labour.[22] She indeed held the seat at both the 1950 and 1951 general elections.

The complex changes to Leeds' Parliamentary boundaries in 1955, which reduced the city from seven seats to six, particularly affected Leeds North East which was reckoned to be the seat which was abolished.[23] In the event Alice Bacon was selected in Leeds South East, while that seat's sitting MP Denis Healey was selected for the new Leeds East constituency. George Porter, sitting MP for Leeds Central, failed to be selected for any new seat when his constituency was abolished and retired. The new North East division was effectively based on the old North division, and that seat's sitting Conservative MP Osbert Peake came forward as candidate. He was thought to have a slightly less safe seat in the new Leeds North East.[24] Peake won easily, and after he received a peerage, his successor Sir Keith Joseph held on in a 1956 by-election.

Joseph had a relatively safe seat at first but his majority fell in the elections of the 1960s. At the 1970 general election, it was noted that the seat had the highest immigrant population among the constituencies in Leeds, and had also produced the smallest swing to the Conservatives at that election.[25] The 1979 general election saw the constituency swing to Labour, against the national trend;[26] in 1987 it was noted that while the Conservatives had held the seat, they had done poorly in terms of votes.[27]

In the run-up to the 1997 general election, the seat was a target for the Labour Party. The Leeds North East Constituency Labour Party selected Liz Davies, an Islington councillor on the party's left wing, but the Labour Party National Executive Committee refused to endorse her candidacy over connections to the Labour Briefing magazine; her appeal to the Labour Party conference was unsuccessful. The winner of the second selection, Fabian Hamilton, was identified as a Blairite and comfortably gained the seat when the election was called.[28] The result of the 2010 general election saw the Labour incumbent, Hamilton retain the seat.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[29] Party
1918 John Birchall Conservative
1940 by-election John Craik-Henderson Conservative
1945 Alice Bacon Labour
1955 Osbert Peake Conservative
1956 by-election Sir Keith Joseph Conservative
1987 Timothy Kirkhope Conservative
1997 Fabian Hamilton Labour


Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
1918 General Election
Electorate: 36,829
Turnout: 51.9%
Coalition Conservative win Major John Deaman Birchall TD Coalition Conservative 14,450 75.5
John Bromley Labour 4,450 24.5
1922 General Election
Electorate: 36,069
Turnout: 74.2%
Conservative hold
Majority: 4,452 (16.6%)
Major John Deaman Birchall TD Conservative 12,343 46.1 –29.4
Ronald Fitzjohn Walker Liberal 7,891 29.5
John Badley Labour 6,525 24.4 –0.1
1923 General Election
Electorate: 37,045
Turnout: 73.9%
Conservative hold
Majority: 4,193 (15.4%)
Major John Deaman Birchall TD Conservative 12,767 46.7 +0.6
Frank Fountain Labour 8,574 31.3 +6.9
Ronald Fitzjohn Walker Liberal 6,030 22.0 –7.5
1924 General Election
Electorate: 38,039
Turnout: 74.6%
Conservative hold
Majority: 7,412 (26.2%)
Major John Deaman Birchall TD Conservative 16,396 57.8 +11.1
Mrs. Edna Martha Penny Labour 8,984 31.6 +0.3
George Redfern Woodcock Liberal 3,007 10.6 –11.4
1929 General Election
Electorate: 54,076
Turnout: 74.3%
Conservative hold
Majority: 5,827 (14.5%)
Major John Deaman Birchall TD Conservative 18,877 47.0 –10.8
David Freeman Labour 13,050 32.5 +0.9
Charles Humphrey Boyle Liberal 8,253 20.5 +9.9
1931 General Election
Electorate: 56,984
Turnout: 73.6%
Conservative hold
Majority: 21,377 (51.0%)
Major Sir John Deaman Birchall TD Conservative 31,671 75.5 +28.5
Alfred James Dobbs Labour 10,294 24.5 –8.0
1935 General Election
Electorate: 60,509
Turnout: 66.1%
Conservative hold
Majority: 11,835 (29.6%)
Major Sir John Deaman Birchall TD[a] Conservative 25,915 64.8 –10.7
Alfred James Dobbs Labour 14,080 35.2 +10.7
By-election, 13 March 1940
Electorate: 70,404
Turnout: 34.9%
Conservative hold
Majority: 23,160 (94.2%)
Professor John James Craik Henderson Conservative 23,882 97.1 +32.3
Sydney Allen British Union of Fascists 722 2.9
1945 General Election
Electorate: 75,886
Turnout: 71.7%
Labour gain from Conservative
Majority: 8,464 (15.6%)
Miss Alice Martha Bacon Labour 28,870 53.1 +17.9
Professor John James Craik Henderson Conservative 20,406 37.5 –27.3
Frank Clay Wilson Liberal 5,097 9.4
1950 General Election
Electorate: 48,131
Turnout: 82.3%
Labour win
Majority: 6,819 (17.3%)
Miss Alice Martha Bacon Labour 21,599 54.6
John Claude Bidgood Conservative 14,780 37.3
William George Victor Jones Liberal 2,612 6.6
Bert Ramelson Communist 612 1.5
1951 General Election
Electorate: 47,461[b]
Turnout: 80.9%
Labour hold
Majority: 6,411 (16.6%)
Miss Alice Martha Bacon Labour 22,402 58.3 +3.7
John Claude Bidgood Conservative 15,991 41.7 +4.4
1955 General Election
Electorate: 55,441
Turnout: 73.1%
Conservative win
Majority: 9,279 (22.8%)
Osbert Peake[c] Conservative 24,902 61.4
Harry Mordecai Waterman Labour 15,623 38.6
By-election, 9 February 1956
Electorate: 55,876
Turnout: 39.9%
Conservative hold
Majority: 5,869 (26.4%)
Captain Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 14,081 63.2 +1.8
Harry Mordecai Waterman Labour 8,212 36.8 –1.8
1959 General Election
Electorate: 54,594
Turnout: 75.0%
Conservative hold
Majority: 11,531 (28.2%)
Captain Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 26,240 64.1 +2.7
Harry Mordecai Waterman Labour 14,709 35.9 –2.7
1964 General Election
Electorate: 54,740[d]
Turnout: 71.1%
Conservative hold
Majority: 8,325 (21.4%)
Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 23,613 60.7 –3.4
Kevin Gould Labour 15,288 39.3 +3.4
1966 General Election
Electorate: 53,824
Turnout: 68.1%
Conservative hold
Majority: 4,962 (13.6%)
Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 20,813 56.8 –3.9
David Arthur Mallen Labour 15,851 43.2 +3.9
1970 General Election
Electorate: 55,597
Turnout: 65.4%
Conservative hold
Majority: 5,067 (14.0%)
Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 20,720 57.0 +0.2
Alan John Patient Labour 15,653 43.0 –0.2
February 1974 General Election
Electorate: 58,522
Turnout: 74.4%
Conservative hold
Majority: 7,260 (16.6%)
Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 20,822 47.8
William John Gunnell Labour 13,562 31.2
Christopher John Greenfield Liberal 8,839 20.3
Clive Richard Lord People Movement 300 0.7
October 1974 General Election
Electorate: 58,954
Turnout: 65.5%
Conservative hold
Majority: 5,628 (14.6%)
Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 18,749 48.6 +0.8
William John Gunnell Labour 13,121 34.0 +2.8
Christopher John Greenfield Liberal 6,737 17.4 –2.9
1979 General Election
Electorate: 59,113
Turnout: 70.1%
Conservative hold
Majority: 5,384 (13.0%)
Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 20,297 49.0 +0.4
Ronald Henry Sedler Labour 14,913 36.0 +2.0
Roy Hollingworth Liberal 5,329 12.8 –4.6
Sara Parkin Ecology 813 2.0
Ernest Leonard Tibbitts Anti-Corruption 103 0.2
1983 General Election
Electorate: 65,226
Turnout: 70.7%
Conservative hold
Majority: 8,995 (19.5%)
Sir Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Bt. Conservative 21,940 47.6 –6.5
Peter Maurice Crystal Social Democratic 12,945 28.1 +15.4
Ronald Henry Sedler Labour 10,951 23.7 –7.3
Ernest Leonard Tibbitts Anti-Corruption 128 0.3 +0.1
Paul Jeffrey Holton Against Cuts in Education 123 0.3
1987 General Election
Electorate: 64,631
Turnout: 75.3%
Conservative hold
Majority: 8,419 (17.3%)
Timothy John Robert Kirkhope Conservative 22,196 45.6 –2.0
Peter Maurice Crystal Social Democratic 13,777 28.3 +0.2
Owen Bryn Glover Labour 12,292 25.2 +1.5
Claire Daphne Nash Green 416 0.9
1992 General Election
Electorate: 64,607
Turnout: 76.6%
Conservative hold
Majority: 4,244 (8.6%)
Timothy John Robert Kirkhope Conservative 22,462 45.4 –0.2
Fabian Hamilton Labour 18,218 36.8 +11.6
Christopher Roberts Walmsley Liberal Democrat 8,274 16.7 –11.6
John Noble Green 546 1.1 +0.2
1997 General Election
Electorate: 63,399
Turnout: 71.8%
Labour gain from Conservative
Majority: 6,959 (15.3%)
Fabian Hamilton Labour 22,368 49.2 +12.3
Timothy John Robert Kirkhope Conservative 15,409 33.9 –11.5
William Winlow Liberal Democrat 6,318 13.9 –2.8
Ian Simon Rose Referendum 946 2.1
Jan Egan Socialist Labour 468 1.0
2001 General Election
Electorate: 64,123
Turnout: 62.0%
Labour hold
Majority: 7,089 (17.8%)
Fabian Hamilton Labour 19,540 49.1 –0.0
Owain Maredydd Rhys Conservative 12,451 31.3 –2.6
Jonathan Michael Brown Liberal Democrat 6,325 15.9 +2.0
Celia Foote Leeds Left Alliance 770 1.9
Jeffrey Michael Miles UKIP 382 1.0
Colin Muir Socialist Labour 173 0.4 –0.6
Mohammed Sabir Zaman Independent 132 0.3
2005 General Election
Electorate: 63,314
Turnout: 65.5%
Labour hold
Majority: 5,262 (12.7%)
Fabian Hamilton Labour 18,632 44.9 –4.2
Matthew Richard Dean Lobley Conservative 13,370 32.2 +0.9
Jonathan Michael Brown Liberal Democrat 8,427 20.3 +4.4
Celia Elizabeth Foote Alliance for Green Socialism 1,038 2.5 +0.6
2010 General Election
Electorate: 67,899
Turnout: 70.0%
Labour hold
Majority: 4,545 (9.6%)
Fabian Hamilton Labour 20,287 42.7 –3.0
Matthew Richard Dean Lobley Conservative 15,742 33.1 +2.9
Aqila Choudhry Liberal Democrat 9,310 19.6 –2.1
Warren Hendon UKIP 842 1.8
Thomas Henry Redmond BNP 758 1.6 N/A
Celia Elizabeth Foote Alliance for Green Socialism 596 1.3
2015 General Election
Turnout: 48,291 (69.9%) -0.1
Labour hold
Majority: 7,250 (15%) +5.4
Fabian Hamilton Labour 23,137 47.9 +5.2
Simon Wilson Conservative 15,887 32.9 -0.2
Warren Hendon UKIP 3,706 7.7 +5.9
Aqila Choudhry Liberal Democrat 2,569 5.3 -14.3
Emma Carter Green 2,541 5.3 +5.3
Celia Elizabeth Foote Alliance for Green Socialism 451 0.9 -0.3

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ The constituency was created in 1918 as Leeds North-East and the name was changed by loss of the hyphen to Leeds North East in 1950.
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "87. Parliamentary Borough of Leeds" in "Report of the Boundary Commission (England and Wales)", Cd. 8757, vol II.
  3. ^ "Initial Report of the Boundary Commission for England", Cmd. 7260, p. 54.
  4. ^ "Constituency Changes", The Times, 19 March 1948, p. 4.
  5. ^ "Representation of the People Bill. Statement showing the names, contents and electorates of certain proposed new constituencies", Cmd. 7363, p. 6.
  6. ^ "Representation of the People Bill. Report of Boundary Commissioners for England on Representations relating to certain proposed new constituencies.", Cmd. 7400, pp. 6–7.
  7. ^ Hansard, HC 5ser vol 452 cols 374-6.
  8. ^ "Boundary Commission for England Report", Cmd. 8100, p. 3; F. W. S. Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1950-1973", 2nd edition, Parliamentary Research Services, Chichester, 1983, p. 181.
  9. ^ "Boundary Commission for England", First Periodical Report, Cmd. 9311, pp. 62–3.
  10. ^ "Boundary Commission for England", Second Periodical Report, Cmnd. 4084, p. 128, 134.
  11. ^ "Boundary Commission for England", Third Periodical Report, Cmnd. 8797-I, pp. 72–4.
  12. ^ "The BBC/ITN Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies", Parliamentary Research Services, Chichester, 1983, pp. 89, 195.
  13. ^ "The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies", Local Government Chronicle Elections Centre, 1995, p. 108.
  14. ^ "Boundary Commission for England", Fifth Periodical Report, Cm. 7032, pp. 190–203.
  15. ^ "Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies", Local Government Chronicle Elections Centre, 2007, pp. 107, 244.
  16. ^ 2011 census interactive maps, see density statistics
  17. ^ Simon Henig, Lewis Baston, "The Political Map of Britain", Politico's Publishing, 2002, p. 746.
  18. ^ 2001 Census
  19. ^ "Asquith Liberals in Yorkshire", The Times, 30 November 1918, p. 9.
  20. ^ "West Riding Liberals' revival effort", Manchester Guardian, 3 July 1945, p. 2.
  21. ^ "New Boundaries in Leeds make prophets cautious", Manchester Guardian, 2 February 1950, p. 6.
  22. ^ "Doubts about Steel", The Times, 9 February 1950, p. 3.
  23. ^ "Alterations to Parliamentary boundaries proposed", Manchester Guardian, 19 March 1954, p. 3.
  24. ^ "Conservative hopes of a 3-3 score at Leeds", Manchester Guardian, 5 May 1955, p. 8.
  25. ^ Michael Steed, "An Analysis of the Results", p. 406-7 in "The British General Election of 1970" by David Butler and Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, Macmillan, 1970.
  26. ^ "The British General Election of 1979" by David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, Macmillan, 1979, p. 377.
  27. ^ "Analysis" by John Curtice and Michael Steed in "The British General Election of 1987" by David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, Macmillan, 1987, p. 332.
  28. ^ "The British General Election of 1997" by David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, Macmillan, 1997, p. 193-4.
  29. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  1. ^ Resigned through appointment as Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, 8 February 1940
  2. ^ A minor boundary change since the previous election had taken place.
  3. ^ Raised to the Peerage as Viscount Ingleby, 17 January 1956
  4. ^ A minor boundary change since the previous election had taken place.