Leicester West: your guide to the 2024 general election

Everything you need to know ahead of polling day on Thursday, 4 July.

Graphic with 'Leicester West: Voting Guide' overlay on a map and election iconography
Polls open on Thursday, 4 July. Graphic: Surasti Puri / Great Central Gazette

Leicester West has been a Labour seat since it was created in 1974, and current MP Liz Kendall was first elected in 2010. However, it was the most marginal of the three Leicester constituencies at the last election, with just 4,212 votes between Labour and the Conservatives.

It has some of the most deprived areas in Leicester, with a high proportion of social housing in areas like Braunstone and Beaumont Leys. Towards the city centre, areas like Westcotes are dominated by students from the nearby De Montfort University. Like most of Leicester, it is incredibly diverse, with 79 per cent of people on Narborough Road speaking more than one language, according to a study by the London School of Economics.

Many Leicester West candidates live nearby or in Leicestershire, except the Conservative's Max Chauhan, who's been parachuted in from London. He lives in Chelsea and Fulham, and was until recently a councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 

Most of the candidates are campaigning around the big issues facing the area: access to green space, crime prevention, job opportunities, social housing and higher education. One Leicester's Rahoul Naik is focused on local issues more than the other candidates, and Reform UK's Ian Hayes is pushing for immigration controls despite the large number of migrant communities in the area.

What happened in the 2019 general election?

The Labour Party retained the seat after going up against the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party and the Green Party. Kendall's majority was reduced by 11.1 per cent to 4,212, down from 11,060 in 2017. In 2019, the Conservatives' Amanda Wright came second. Turnout was 53.6 per cent.

Boundary changes

Following the 2023 boundary review by the Boundary Commission, the size of Leicester West was increased with the transfer of Aylestone ward from Leicester South.

Who are the candidates?

All candidates below are listed in alphabetical order, as they would appear on the ballot paper. The questions we asked the candidates were chosen by readers. Where candidates did not respond, we have sourced answers from candidates' websites, social media profiles, leaflets, and other election material.

Aasiya Bora, Green Party

Photograph of Aasiya Bora. She is smiling towards the camerar. There is a bookshelf in the background.
Bora is a long-standing Green Party activist. Photograph: Aasiya Bora


Aasiya Bora most recently ran in May's police and crime commissioner election, coming third of five candidates. She has “a long history of Green Party action and social and environmental action”, the party said. Her “messages of hope, respectful listening and community cohesion really appealed to people sick of the same old politics”, they added. In 2021, she placed third by just one vote ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the North Evington by-election.

Key policies

  • Invest £40bn a year to move to a green economy
  • Introduce a wealth tax on assets above £10m
  • Raise national insurance for those earning more than £50,270
  • Provide 150,000 new social homes a year
  • End the Right to Buy and allow local authorities to introduce rent controls
  • Cut energy bills by improving home insulation and installing low-carbon heating systems like heat pumps
  • Bring railways, water companies and the big five energy firms into public ownership
  • Increase NHS budgets to cut waiting lists
  • Guarantee access to GPs and dentists.

Candidate statement

“I am [a] teacher and project worker. I am an excellent listener and have always tried to do my best for the people around me. I really want to be a grounded, approachable MP who will take Leicester West’s concerns to Westminster.

“Communities in Leicester West are longing for positive change. After 14 years of Tory misrule, the climate crisis, the inequality crisis and cost of living crisis have all worsened immeasurably. In Leicester, our playgrounds look set to close due to political choices and priorities set by Labour politicians.

“The Greens are looking to raise revenue through a wealth tax for the very richest members of society so we can invest in our NHS, youth services, Green jobs for example retrofitting skills to help insulate homes, so bills are lower.

“We are the only ones to demand public utilities like gas, water, and electricity come back into public ownership. A clean-flowing River Soar to paddle and canoe in is something Leicester’s children really deserve as they live furthest away from the coastline.

“Addressing the climate crisis, we would take the necessary long-term steps to ensure flooding and heat waves become more moderate. We need to help farmers become productive and reward them for a nature-centred approach to growing food.

“We are the party with the progressive vision to connect the solutions to our different problems. We want to see a society centred around wellbeing, investment, and innovation and to restore the things that always belonged to the people.”

Q: What steps will you take to strengthen environmental protections, now we can no longer rely on the EU?


“In the long term, the Green Party supports a return to the EU, short-term wise, we’d seek to strengthen environmental laws in the UK through legislation and ensuring existing rules are adhered to and swift action taken against offenders. We want to see ombudsman bodies and regulators take action and be seen to take action, to deter the continuous degradation of our environment. It also works collaboratively with environmental groups, farmer groups and build consensus.”

Max Chauhan, Conservative Party

Photograph of Max Chauhan. He is smiling towards the camera, holding a leaflet, and standing in front of the Westcotes Drive sign and a wooden fence.
Chauhan has been parachuted in from London. Photograph: Conservative Party


Max Chauhan was, until recently, a Conservative councillor for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. According to a Leadership Centre brochure published in 2010, he is active in “local faith groups, the local Conservative Association, residents’ association, societies, and church.” As previously mentioned, he is the only candidate based outside Leicestershire.

Key policies

  • Cut another 2p off National Insurance by April 2027
  • Raise minimum pensions in line with inflation
  • Introduce mandatory National Service for 18-year-olds
  • Raise defence spending to 2.5 per cent of national income by 2030
  • Send asylum seekers to Rwanda to deter illegal Channel crossings
  • Introduce an annual cap on the number of migrant visas
  • Increase NHS spending above inflation every year 
  • Recruit 28,000 more doctors and 92,000 more nurses.

Candidate statement

“I’m Dr. Max Chauhan, born in Birmingham. I have deep ties to Leicester, a city known for its cultural heritage and economic potential. Growing up, this city was my home away from home.

“In 2017, I became the Deputy Medical Director at the University Hospitals of Leicester, overseeing numerous projects and recognising the critical importance of healthcare for Leicester’s residents. My aim is to enhance healthcare services and facilities in Leicester West by sharing the insights gained from my medical career.

“I am committed to securing essential healthcare funding to promote healthier lifestyles, addressing the shortcomings of the current Labour management in the city. For too long, Leicester’s potential has been drained. With the support of my Conservative colleagues, we aim to unlock Leicester’s potential.

“The East Midlands devolution deal, which could have brought over £1.4 billion in funding, was a lost opportunity to invest in Leicester’s healthcare facilities and services due to decisions by the Labour City Mayor and the reluctance of Labour MPs to challenge him.

“However, the Conservative government has allocated nearly £58 million to Leicester through the levelling-up fund. Unfortunately, these funds have been misallocated to projects like pop-up cycle lanes, which cause traffic disruptions and chaos across the city, especially in Leicester West. Instead, they should have been used to preserve local markets and improve infrastructure.

“Leicester deserves better, and with over 20 years of public service experience, I am dedicated to ensuring Leicester West is prosperous and brought back to life.”

Q: What commitments will you make to preserve the country's green spaces and countryside?


“Investing in vanity projects to destroying our local green spaces, Labour no longer represents you as residents. I will work with Conservative councillor's [sic] to protect our green spaces and oppose any plans to destroy them”

Benjamin Feist, Liberal Democrats

Photograph of Benjamin Feist. He is smiling towards the camera. In the background are six Liberal Democrat activists. They are holding signs and leaflets.
Feist has been balancing campaigning with his work as a nurse. Photograph: Benjamin Feist / X


Benjamin Feist is an alumni of De Montfort University and currently works as an emergency department nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary. The local Lib Dems described him as an “experienced campaigner in both politics and for the global HIV response.” They added that his “passion for ending HIV transmission here in the UK and globally came after volunteering in Uganda for several months on an international aid project in 2017.”

Key policies

  • Introduce free personal care, like nursing at home, in England
  • Offer more support to unpaid carers
  • Give everyone the right to see their GP within seven days
  • Invest in renewable power and home insulation to cut bills and drive a strong economic recovery
  • Ban sewage discharges into rivers and seas
  • Repair the UK’s relationship with Europe
  • Introduce a proportional voting system to elect MPs.

Candidate statement

“My name is Ben, I live here in Leicester West and I work as an NHS Nurse in the emergency department at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Every day, I see patients attending A&E because they can’t get a GP or dental appointment, or their health deteriorates while waiting over two years for care.

“The Conservatives have crashed our economy and run our NHS into the ground. We want to revive our NHS. We will recruit 8,000 GPs to ensure people can get an appointment within a week or 24 hours if urgent, and cut waiting lists to alleviate pain and enable people to return to work. We also plan to transform social care with free personal care for disabled and elderly adults.

“Some 40 per cent of children in Leicester live in poverty. This happens under a Labour council and three Labour MPs. The Liberal Democrats will extend free school meals to all primary school children and end the cost-of-living crisis.

“The Conservatives’ cost-of-living crisis has hit everyone hard, forcing impossible choices between rent, bills, and food. We will cut energy bills by implementing a proper windfall tax on oil and gas companies’ profits, insulate homes to reduce energy consumption and, by 2030, ensure 90 per cent of electricity comes from renewables to cut bills, clean up air pollution and meet net-zero by 2045.

“I am immensely proud to stand on our fully costed manifesto to bring about positive change, transform ordinary peoples’ lives, end homelessness, and make taxes fairer. For a fair deal, vote Liberal Democrat.”

Q: What will you do to support unpaid carers who care for adults? Current support is seriously inadequate — financial and emotional in particular — and the impact on the wider family drags more people into needing care themselves and exacerbates mental health problems.


“We've been very clear that we want free personal social care for all disabled and elderly adults so that they can get the care that they need at home.

“For paid carers, we want to introduce a new national minimum wage, which will be £2 an hour above minimum wage. We also want to make sure that we value unpaid carers, and we want to make sure that we have paid leave for unpaid workers.”

Liz Kendall, Labour Party

Photograph of Liz Kendall. She is smiling towards the camera. In the background there are lots of trees and grass.
Kendall has been notably absent from Leicester West, with major Labour MPs visiting other high-profile constituencies around the country instead of their own. Photograph: Labour Party


Liz Kendall has been the MP for Leicester West since 2010. She has served as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since 2023, but before that was the Shadow Minister for Social Care. Kendall stood in the Labour Party leadership election in September 2015 following the resignation of Ed Miliband, finishing in last place.

Key policies

  • No increases to existing income tax rates, national insurance or VAT
  • Cut NHS waiting times with 40,000 more appointments a week by paying staff more to work weekends and evenings
  • Create a Border Security Command with counter-terror style powers to stop trafficking gangs and people smuggling
  • Set up Great British Energy, a publicly owned clean energy firm
  • Tackle antisocial behaviour with 13,000 more neighbourhood police and community support officers
  • Recruit 6,500 more teachers
  • Introduce free breakfast clubs at every primary school.

Candidate statement

“Being Leicester West MP has been the honour of my life, and I’ve always worked hard for local people. Since I was first elected, I’ve led the campaign to save Leicester’s amazing Children’s Heart Surgery unit, which we won against all the odds.

“I’ve fought for more support for our schools and police. I’ve championed local businesses and good quality jobs. And I’ve raised hundreds of pounds for our foodbanks.

“But I know how much needs to change to make life better for people here. Across Leicester, people are struggling to make ends meet because of the Tory cost of living crisis. Residents are also really concerned about rising crime, the lack of decent, affordable housing, and long waits for NHS treatment.

“After 14 years of the Tories, it is time for change. Labour has a plan to rebuild Britain: to deliver economic stability and grow the economy, cut NHS waiting times, launch a new Border Security Command, set up Great British Energy to cut your bills, crack down on anti-social behaviour with more police, and recruit 6,500 new teachers, so all children have the best start in life.

“I am ambitious for our city and country. Despite the challenges we face, I know by working together we can achieve a better future for us all.

“That is the choice on Thursday, 4 July: More of the same decline under the Tories, or fully costed and fully funded plans to change our city and country for the better with Labour.”

Q: How will you make higher education more accessible, and will you commit to abolishing tuition fees?


“Giving all young people the chance to succeed in life is why I came into politics. Under the Tories, one in eight young people are now not in education, employment, or training. Britain can be so much better than this. If you want change, vote for it.”

Rahoul Naik, One Leicester

Photograph of Rahoul Naik. He is smiling towards the camera. In the background, there are two cars passing by.
Naik is a newcomer to the politics scene, alongside his fledgling localist party, One Leicester. Photograph: Rahoul Naik


Rahoul Naik is a local businessman and former member of the UK Youth Parliament for the city. He has worked in community development for over ten years and currently holds trusteeships at two local charities and is also a primary school governor. One Leicester said his “experience of working with young people, navigating a turbulent economic climate during Covid-19 and helping the most vulnerable in our city gives him the perfect foundation to represent Leicester West.”

Key policies

  • Put the people of Leicester first instead of following the 'party line'
  • Fight the cost of living crisis with an economic plan that backs hard-working people, raise the living wage to provide further job security
  • Support the reintroduction of energy grants and discounts
  • Fix our broken NHS and fight for universal dental care for all
  • Invest in green energy and increase windfall tax of energy companies, protect green spaces
  • Push for more police officers on the streets, reverse the cuts to youth services and invest more in young people
  • Introduce a house-building plan that is sustainable, green and quick
  • Withdraw arms sales to Israel and work towards an end to the war in Gaza
  • Create effective global partnerships to support those fleeing war, poverty, and famine
  • Create a social care system that empowers local people to live full, long and happy lives.

Candidate statement

“I thought long and hard about what I should write in this column. You have probably had weeks of politicians telling you about their party manifesto and the supposed “change” they would bring to Leicester.

“In reality, I am sure like most people, your trust in politicians is at an all-time low and with the dictatorship-style leadership in our city, the future does not seem so bright either. So I thought it would be best to try and give you some hope for the future.

“Local people deserve an MP that will put them first and one that will only be accountable to them. There are no big lobbies or donors to answer to, nor an authoritarian leadership that will restrict the freedom to vote for our constituents. That’s what you get with a One Leicester MP, someone who cares and listens.

“I’ve pledged to have an MP’s office that is open at least six days a week and at accessible hours for those working, caring or with childcare responsibilities. Hope comes from actions, not pretty words.

“We do need a change in how we do politics in Leicester and the UK. Politics is something that must be done with people, not to people. That is what you will get with me.

“This is the first election in a long time where you can vote with your heart and not choose the lesser of two evils. Make your voice heard. Vote Rahoul Naik and vote One Leicester on 4 July.”

Q: Despite the adverts advising people to tackle energy prices themselves by washing on a Sunday, this is not a problem to blame on the public. What will you do to tackle this issue?


“We want to see a reintroduction of grants and discounts and make sure people can pay their bills. We need to make sure big oil and gas companies have a windfall tax because they're making way too much profit when many people are in poverty.”

Steve Score, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Photograph of Steve Score. He is standing at the front of an audience, waving his finger. He is stood next to One Leicester candidate Rahoul Naik.
Score recently attended a hustings event run by The Gazette. Photograph: Megan Lupton / Great Central Gazette


Steve Score ran to be Leicester’s mayor in 2023, but came last of the six candidates. City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby won the vote and a fourth term in office. TUSC has described Score as a “long-time campaigner” in the city. He chaired the successful Save Glenfield Children’s Heart Centre campaign, has continued to be involved with defending the NHS, and has more recently been involved in opposing the city council’s proposed cut in special needs school travel.

Key policies

  • Stop privatisation, tax the rich and introduce a socialist Green New Deal
  • Bring banks, finance, and key services (NHS, energy, social care, childcare, transport) into public ownership
  • Improve education and make it free for all
  • Lower voting age to 16 and increase democratic control of local councils and police
  • Strengthen trade union rights and workers' protections
  • Invest in renewables, promote low-pollution farming and eliminate single-use plastics
  • Scrap Universal Credit and benefit sanctions
  • Improve pensions and support for people with health conditions or impairments
  • Eliminate gender pay gap, oppose transphobia, and defend asylum seekers' rights
  • Oppose all wars, nuclear weapons and end arms trading.

Candidate statement

“I chaired the successful Save Glenfield Children’s Heart Centre campaign. I have continued to be involved with defending the NHS and opposing the council’s proposed cut in special needs school travel.

“I would refuse the MP’s £91,346 pay and would live on the average wage in Leicester. The super-rich have got richer, and our living standards have been hammered. The NHS and our public services have been starved of cash.

“But Labour is promising more of the same. They say they will not put the extra money needed into the NHS, education or other vital services. Leicester’s Labour council have provided no opposition to the Tory Government, meekly passing on government cuts.

“Some 40 per cent of children in Leicester live below the official poverty line, yet the Labour council are ending funding for the adventure playgrounds, cutting children’s centres further and cutting special educational needs and disabled children’s 16+ transport support to school.

“If they act like Tories, what’s the point of Labour? That’s why we need to build a new party that fights for working-class people.

“We want public ownership not private profit, no cuts in public services, to combat climate change (for example with free to use, expanded, renationalised public transport), an immediate increase in the minimum wage to £15 an hour, the scrapping of university tuition fees and an end to the war on Gaza and Palestinian people.

“Just 350 people own £795 billion between them. Socialism would use the wealth in society for the benefit of all.”

Q: Will you actively encourage more working-class people to get involved in politics?


“This is the whole purpose of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. We call for the creation of a new mass working-class party as an alternative to the pro big-business parties that exist. That means not just a party that fights for working-class people, but that is also made up of working-class people. That means engaging with people where they live and where they work or study. It means supporting workers' struggles, including on the picket lines. The Labour Party was created, mainly by the trade unions, with that aim. But today has abandoned that idea, with Keir Starmer even banning his front bench spokespeople from attending picket lines.”

Also standing in Leicester West is Ian Hayes for Reform UK. We approached the party to offer its candidate the chance to give us a statement for inclusion in this article, but did not get a response by the publication deadline.

Who's most likely to win?

Alistair Jones, associate professor in politics at De Montfort University, said:

“There are seven candidates standing, five of whom attended the hustings organised by The Gazette. All five engaged with those in attendance and are likely to gain votes from supporters of the other two parties. The reality, however, is that the fight is between Labour and the Conservatives. Kendall will hold, with a reduced majority.”
Leicester West candidates debate social care, warm homes and ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees
The Gazette hosted a hustings with candidates from five political parties at the Church of the Martyrs in Westcotes.

How do I vote?

You can cast your ballot in person between 7am and 10pm on Thursday, 4 July. You need to bring a form of photo ID to vote in person.

If you are not sure who to vote for, you can use our free, impartial voting advice tool to see how your views match what the parties are proposing. 

If you do not like any of the candidates, you can spoil your ballot in protest, which will register your disapproval of the available options.

You can find your polling station, examples of photo ID, and our voting advice tool on our website here.

General Election 2024
Find your candidates, polling station, key dates, previous general election results, and more.

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