Leicester South by-election, 2011

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Leicester South by-election, 2011
United Kingdom
← 2010 5 May 2011 2015 →

The Leicester South seat in the House of Commons.
Elected by simple majority using first past the post. Triggered by resignation of incumbent
  Jon Ashworth MP.jpg
Candidate Jon Ashworth Zuffar Haq Jane Hunt
Party Labour Liberal Democrat Conservative
Popular vote 19,771 7,693 5,169
Percentage 57.8 22.5 15.1

Location of Leicester South within the English county of Leicestershire

MP before election

Peter Soulsby

Subsequent MP

Jon Ashworth

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[1]) 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.[2]


Leicester South was very narrowly won by the Conservatives in 1983, and regained by Labour in the 1987 general election. After the death of Labour MP Jim Marshall, a by-election was held in June 2004 at which the Liberal Democrats gained the seat. Peter Soulsby regained the seat for Labour at the general election in May 2005; 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.[3] When Soulsby won the selection he immediately announced that he would indeed resign his seat.[4] 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.[5] Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton moved the motion on 5 April to issue a writ for a new election.


Leicester City Council confirmed the list of candidates on 14 April 2011.[6] With only five candidates, the poll had the shortest by-election ballot paper since the 2005 Cheadle by-election.

There was wide interest in the Labour candidate selection.[citation needed] One local councillor, Rory Palmer, entered the contest but—having accepted the offer of becoming Soulsby's deputy—subsequently withdrew.[7] 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, along with Jonathan Ashworth, a former advisor to Gordon Brown and the then Head of Party Relations, and Josephine Channer, a councillor in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.[8] On 19 March local Labour Party members selected Jon Ashworth,[9] who won 106 votes out of 153 cast on the first ballot.[10]

Former Liberal Democrat MP for the constituency Parmjit Singh Gill was initially selected as that party's candidate on 18 March.[11] 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.[12]

On 15 March 2011 the United Kingdom Independence Party selected Abhijit Pandya, a former Leicester South resident and alumnus of the University of Leicester, as its candidate.[13]

On 26 March the Conservatives selected Jane Hunt as their candidate. She had contested the Leicester East constituency at the General Election.[14]


Labour retained the seat with an increased majority.

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
By-election, 2011[15]
Electorate: 75,916
Turnout: 34,180 (45.0%) −3.0
Labour hold
Majority: 12,078 (35.3%) +16.6
Swing: +8.4% from Lib Dem to Lab
Jon Ashworth Labour 19,771 57.8 +12.2
Zuffar Haq Liberal Democrat 7,693 22.5 -4.4
Jane Hunt Conservative 5,169 15.1 -6.3
Abhijit Pandya UKIP 994 2.9 +1.4
Howling Laud Hope Monster Raving Loony 553 1.6 N/A
General Election 2010 [16]
Electorate: 75,916
Turnout: 47,124 (61.1%) +3.4
Labour hold
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
Ross Grant Conservative 10,066 21.4 +3.6
Adrian Waudby BNP 1,418 3.0 N/A
Dave Dixey Green 770 1.6 N/A
Christopher Lucas UKIP 720 1.5 N/A

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Local elections and Referendum" (PDF). Electoral Commission. 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011. )
  2. ^ 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).
  3. ^ Troughton, Adrian (17 January 2011). "Leicester MP Sir Peter Soulsby begins his bid to become city's mayor". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "Manor of Northstead". HM Treasury. 1 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Statement of Persons Nominated Leicester Council
  7. ^ Maclean, David (12 March 2011). "Labour's Rory is chosen as mayor running mate". Leicester Mercury. 
  8. ^ Ferguson, Mark (18 March 2011). "Leicester South shortlist". Labourlist. 
  9. ^ Ferguson, Mark (19 March 2011). "Leicester South candidate". Labourlist. 
  10. ^ "Jonathan Ashworth is Labour’s choice for Leicester South". Leicester Labour Party. 19 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Parmjit Singh Gill selected for Lib Dems in Leicester South". Liberal Democrat Voice. 19 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Parmjit Singh Gill withdraws as Lib Dem candidate for Leicester South". Liberal Democrat Voice. 23 March 2011. 
  13. ^ http://www.ukipleicester.com/
  14. ^ Isaby, Jonathan (28 March 2011). "Jane Hunt selected as Conservative candidate for Leicester South by-election". Conservative Home. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  15. ^ http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Leicester-South-election-result/story-26452119-detail/story.html
  16. ^ "Election 2010 - Leicester South". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-05-12.