Winners in 2010, now they’re hoping to do it again


A string of Jewish politicians are fighting to be re-eleceted. What are their chances?

Luciana Berger
Constituency: Liverpool Wavertree
Majority in 2010: 7,167
Parliamentary high: After being elected as Britain’s youngest Jewish MP five years ago, Ms Berger has risen rapidly through the Labour ranks. Currently shadow public health minister, she previously held the shadow energy and climate change brief. Known also for her work on women’s issues, unemployment and food banks. If Labour is in power, she will definitely be in the cabinet.
Parliamentary low: The antisemitic abuse Ms Berger suffered last year, co-ordinated by neo-Nazis, was a dark moment. A former Labour Friends of Israel director, she abstained when her party leader encouraged his MPs to vote in favour of a Palestinian state last October. That rebellion is unlikely to harm her evident career ambitions.
Latest bookies’ odds on re-election (via Oddschecker): 1/100

Louise Ellman
Constituency: Liverpool Riverside
Majority in 2010: 14,173
Parliamentary high: Backbench champion, and respected chair of the Commons’ Transport Committee. At her most passionate when defending Israel and has also hit home over the protection of shechita.
Parliamentary low: As a Labour veteran the Palestine vote would have rankled, and she defied the whips to abstain. Also criticised the Board of Deputies’ “bizarre” creation of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on British Jews, claiming it could be hijacked by anti-Israel MPs.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/100

Gerald Kaufman
Constituency: Manchester Gorton
Majority in 2010: 6,703
Parliamentary high: He would say being Parliament’s most vocal Jewish anti-Israel activist is his high point although most British Jews would disagree. A tough-talking Labour backbencher, if re-elected he would be 89 by the 2020 election.
Parliamentary low: His 2011 jibe in the Commons when fellow Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman rose to speak. Mr Kaufman muttered: “Here we are, the Jews again.” It led to a furious row. He first said he could not remember making the comment, before saying he was sorry if he had caused offence.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/100

John Bercow
Constituency: Buckingham (also Commons Speaker)
Majority in 2010: 12,529
Parliamentary high: His snarled-lip celebration after Labour MPs and Tory rebels defeated the government’s efforts to undermine him on the last day before Parliament was dissolved. In the past year he has spoken movingly about his experiences of antisemitism.
Parliamentary low: The rows — oh so many of them. Mr Bercow has fallen out with practically half of the parliamentary Tory party he represented as a regular MP. The speaker has stumbled through a variety of verbal clashes and endured rumours of an almighty rift with outgoing Commons clerk Sir Robert Rogers.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/33

Jonathan Djanogly
Constituency: Huntingdon
Majority in 2010: 10,819
Parliamentary high: Conservative Mr Djanogly would cite his work to improve local services, the environment and business in his Cambridgeshire patch as his key work.
Parliamentary low: In September 2010, while serving as a minister in the Justice department, he was forced to apologise for hiring private investigators to spy on local party members who he believed were conspiring against him.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/100

Lynne Featherstone
Constituency: Hornsey and Wood Green
Majority in 2010: 6,875
Parliamentary high: Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone has enjoyed five years in government at the Home Office and Department for International Development, making her the most senior Jewish minister in the coalition. Supporters commend her work on women’s issues, including female genital mutilation.
Parliamentary low: She admitted that her party colleague David Ward’s comments on Israel and Jews were intolerable. Currently trailing her Labour opponent in the polls.
Latest bookies’ odds: 9/4

Robert Halfon
Constituency: Harlow
Majority in 2010: 4,925
Parliamentary high: Widely hailed for his lower petrol price crusade, his five years as a Tory MP have included a range of consumer rights successes. His influence on the Treasury was made formal when Chancellor George Osborne appointed Mr Halfon as his private secretary last year.
Parliamentary low: He has been targeted by anti-Israel campaigners for his strong defence of the country, which often raises the ire of backbenchers. He challenged the Jewish community to improve how it co-ordinates support for Israel after last October’s parliamentary fiasco over Palestinian statehood.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/3

Julian Huppert
Constituency: Cambridge
Majority in 2010: 6,792
Parliamentary high: The Lib Dem backbencher has gained respect for his badgering of ministers. Regarded as the Commons’ top scientist, he is also a leading proponent of cyclists’ rights.
Parliamentary low: Dr Huppert has been openly mocked in Parliament for his fastidiousness and determination in questioning the government. The groaning and heckling when he rises to speak led to accusations he was being bullied by colleagues.
Latest bookies’ odds: 2/5

Grant Shapps
Constituency: Welwyn and Hatfield
Majority in 2010: 17,423
Parliamentary high: As Tory Party chairman, “Shappsy” is a Tory heavyweight. Regularly in the media defending the government and attacking Labour opponents.
Parliamentary low: Last month he was again forced to defend his actions in business, where he has used a pseudonym while running a web marketing firm. Made what was seen as a gaffe with a patronising political bingo poster after last year’s budget.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/100

Julian Lewis
Constituency: New Forest East
Majority in 2010: 11,307
Parliamentary high: Tory backbench campaigner who regularly rebels against party leaders. Was appointed to the Privy Council in March.
Parliamentary low: Missed out on becoming a minister in 2010 after the role he had been shadowing in opposition was handed to a Liberal Democrat coalition partner.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/100

Margaret Hodge
Constituency: Barking
Majority in 2010: 16,555
Parliamentary high: Chairing the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee has brought Ms Hodge renewed prominence with battling performances against a series of business leaders. She won her seat five years ago after thrashing the BNP’s Nick Griffin, a defeat which led to the effective disintegration of his party.
Parliamentary low: The select committee job has also brought renewed interest in Ms Hodge’s own private business dealings and political past. Criticism of her approach to child abuse while running Islington Council in the 1980s will not go away.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/10

Michael Ellis
Constituency: Northampton North
Majority in 2010: 1,936
l Parliamentary high: As chairman of Parliament’s group on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Mr Ellis raised around £100,000 from colleagues to commission a Westminster Hall window to mark the occasion.
Parliamentary low: He faces a tough challenge to defend his slim majority.
Latest bookies’ odds: Evens

Michael Fabricant
Constituency: Lichfield
Majority in 2010: 17,683
Parliamentary high: The son of a rabbi, the Tory backbencher has regularly flirted with controversy, usually through his use of Twitter. Defended David Cameron’s policy on Gaza and Israel following Baroness Warsi’s resignation from the cabinet.
Parliamentary low: Forced to apologise last June after posting a tweet saying he would like to punch a female journalist. Revealed this week he is being treated for skin cancer.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/100

Richard Harrington
Constituency: Watford
Majority in 2010: 1,425
Parliamentary high: Tory who has enjoyed his first term in Parliament with election to roles in all-party groups and the International Development select committee. Defended shechita in debates. Abstained in the Palestinian statehood vote.
Parliamentary low: After the last election outlined the abuse he had faced as a Jewish candidate.
Latest bookies’ odds: 6/4

David Winnick
Constituency: Walsall North
Majority in 2010: 990
Parliamentary high: Long-standing Labour member of the Home Affairs select committee. Now aged 81, if re-elected he will be one of the oldest MPs.
Parliamentary low: His majority has been slashed by more than 12,000 since 1997 and is defending an ultra-slim margin.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/3

Oliver Letwin
Constituency: West Dorset
Majority in 2010: 3,923
Parliamentary high: Tory minister responsible for policy. Mr Letwin cites constituency work on social action as a highlight.
Parliamentary low: Was embarrassed in 2011 after being pictured discarding government documents in a park bin. They were later shown to be letters from constituents. He apologised.
Latest bookies’ odds: 1/9

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