Could Liz Kendall reach out to Middle England voters?

  • 27 May 2015
  • From the section England
Liz Kendall MP
Leicester West MP Liz Kendall is one of the favourites to be the next Labour leader

So could Leicester be the Midlands powerhouse to propel Liz Kendall to lead her party?

Certainly, according to the bookies, the hot money is backing the Kendall Labour bid.

She's now the second favourite just behind front runner Andy Burnham. Looking at the latest odds, Yvette Cooper and Mary Creagh seem to be trailing some distance behind.

I've been to her Leicester West constituency to find out the qualities that are making Liz Kendall the candidate to watch.

A local politician who knows her well is the assistant city mayor of Leicester Sarah Russell. She's also a member of Kendall's Leicester West constituency Labour Party.

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Election 2015: Swings and roundabouts in the East Midlands?

  • 15 May 2015
  • From the section England
AFP/Getty
Nicky Morgan kept her Loughborough seat and saw a 5% swing to the Tories

If election manifesto claims are all about smoke and mirrors, should we now add swings and roundabouts to the political metaphor?

There's an intriguing aspect to the general election results in the Midlands that puzzled me.

Read full article Election 2015: Swings and roundabouts in the East Midlands?

Packed halls, lively debate: Why hustings are a hit

Hustings in a chapel
A number of hustings have been held in churches and chapels across the East Midlands

David Cameron has been telling reporters that this election campaign is not about photo opportunities but more about the UK's long term economic revival.

However, that's at the heart of the media's frustration.

Read full article Packed halls, lively debate: Why hustings are a hit

Battleground Broxtowe: Could HS2 decide marginal seat?

Potential HS2 train design
The possibility of Toton being a HS2 hub station has divided candidates in Broxtowe

The East Midlands battleground seat of Broxtowe has a reputation for being the touch and go constituency.

In the last general election, the Conservatives' Anna Soubry took the Nottingham suburban seat from Labour with a majority of less than 400. But after five years of austerity, the outcome in this election is too difficult to call. That's why it is so sensitive.

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Why Nicky Morgan faces a new battle to defend her seat

Composite image of the candidates
The Conservatives, Labour, UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and Greens have all declared their candidates for Loughborough

In the battle of the marginals, it always helps to get the bigger picture and a sense of historical perspective. So let me suggest a visit to Cotes Bridge on the outskirts of Loughborough.

During the English Civil War in the 1640s, there was a pitched battle here between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers.

Read full article Why Nicky Morgan faces a new battle to defend her seat

Standing down: Former East Midlands MPs sit out election campaign

  • 1 April 2015
  • From the section England
Removal company outside Westminster
Removal companies were brought in to the Houses of Parliament as several MPs stood down

Away from the heat and battle of this election, three Conservative politicians in the East Midlands will view the campaign from the sidelines.

They're the MPs who've decided to call it a day and step down.

Read full article Standing down: Former East Midlands MPs sit out election campaign

The squeezed middle? The East Midlands responds

  • 28 March 2015
  • From the section England
The M1 motorway
East Midlands Councils fear the region's infrastructure may be overlooked for funding

The East Midlands is at risk of being squeezed economically by the growing influence of the northern cities, according to one of our top council leaders.

Jon Collins warns that government cash for future road and rail projects could easily bypass our region, because of the political clout of the so-called "northern powerhouse" and London.

Read full article The squeezed middle? The East Midlands responds

Budget: The East Midlands gives its reaction

  • 19 March 2015
  • From the section England
George Osborne with the 2015 Budget
A traditional pose outside 11 Downing Street on Budget morning

So who are the winners and loses after George Osborne's last Budget before the general election?

Certainly, Tory MPs defending marginal East Midlands seats left the Commons chamber looking surprisingly upbeat.

Read full article Budget: The East Midlands gives its reaction

East Midlands council leaders voice migrant concerns

  • 6 March 2015
  • From the section England
Somali migrants on the beach; an anti immigration march in the 1960s
An exhibition at the University of Leicester shows contrasting images of migration

At the University of Leicester, there's been a remarkable exhibition of photographs charting the impact of immigration on Britain and the city itself.

Entitled 100 Stories of Migration, some of the images are positive and celebratory. There's a picture of a smiling young mother and her child from Somalia on the beach at Brighton.

Read full article East Midlands council leaders voice migrant concerns

Northern Powerhouse? Midlands councils combine forces

  • 28 February 2015
  • From the section England
Nottingham and Manchester town halls
Could Nottingham emulate the great northern powerhouse centred in Manchester?

Significant new powers over transport, housing and the local economy are to be devolved to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire by the government.

It's the biggest shift in powers from Whitehall in generations, but the deal requires local councils to combine into one super authority. So what could it all mean?

Read full article Northern Powerhouse? Midlands councils combine forces