Election 2010: Jewish candidates await the results

By Jessica Elgot, May 6, 2010
Esther Rantzen is standing in Luton South

Esther Rantzen is standing in Luton South

Jewish candidates in the general election are facing a long day until the polls close tonight, and many have an uncertain night ahead.

Former Labour Friends of Israel Director Luciana Berger is standing in her first election as Labour’s candidate for Liverpool Wavertree.

Despite an impressive CV, Ms Berger upset some locals who saw her as being “parachuted” into a safe Labour seat and now the Liberal Democrats are favourites with the bookmakers to take the seat.

Louise Ellman, who held the adjoining seat of Liverpool Riverside, is likely to have a less nerve-wracking night than her neighbour. With a solid majority of 10,214, Mrs Ellman is expected to hold on to her seat in Parliament.

The Speaker, John Bercow, who is running without competition from Labour or the Lib Dems in Buckingham should, in theory, have an easy night – but UKIP leader Nigel Farage, now recovering from a plane crash, has led a controversial high-profile campaign against Mr Bercow. UKIP are now 7/2 to win the seat.

In Manchester, Ivan Lewis, the Labour MP since 1997 and Foreign Office minister, is standing in Bury South. He has to preserve a 9,779 majority.

His challenger, Conservative candidate Michelle Wiseman, is also Jewish and the chief executive of Manchester Jewish Community Care.

With a smaller, but still sizeable majority, Sir Gerald Kaufman is on course to win another victory for Labour in Manchester Gorton. Manchester Gorton had one of the lowest turnouts in the last general election.

Jewish candidates go head-to-head in Bury South

Jewish candidates go head-to-head in Bury South

In Ilford North, Conservative Lee Scott is hoping to keep a hold of the seat with stiff competition from MPAC-backed Labour candidate Sonia Klein. With a majority of 1,653, a swing of just 2.07% is needed to turn the constituency red.

Hornsey and Wood Green Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone is up against Labour candidate Karen Jennings, who needs a 2.53% swing.

Candidates who may be disappointed tonight include the Liberal Democrats’ Matthew Harris in Hendon. Despite high-profile campaigning in the Jewish community, he is 80/1 to win the seat, which may be a close fight between Labour’s Andrew Dismore and Conservative Matthew Offord.

Luton South will be entertaining viewing for Jewish voters, if Independent candidate and former That’s Life presenter Esther Rantzen manages a shock victory.

The Conservatives are favourites to take the seat but Ms Rantzen is 9/2.

Other key Jewish constituencies to watch are:

East Renfrewshire
Hampstead and Kilburn
Finchley and Golders Green
Harrow East
Ilford South
Leeds North East
Edinburgh South
Glasgow South
Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Blackley and Broughton
Altrincham and Sale
Islington North

Read profiles on many of the constituencies and exclusive blogs from candidates on the campaign trail on our Election 2010 page.

Last updated: 9:35am, October 8 2010