In 1992, Kingston Upon Hull West and Hessle returned the smallest majority for Labour of the three seats in the city, but that was more a reflection of the small electorate than any anti-Labour feeling.
Despite the seat's title, Hull West and Hessle contains most of Hull's inner-city - a depressed area that is currently undergoing renovation. The riverside frontages are being converted into flats, and shopping and business facilities are also being developed. The area still has some way to go before it is fully restored to healthy economic life, and unemployment remains around 11% - a figure not helped by the declining fishing industry. Hessle is a quiet suburb to the west, conservative by nature, having little in common with its larger neighbour apart from its working-class roots.
Mr Johnson, one time general secretary and influential member of Labour's NEC, was the only union leader to publicly back Tony Blair on revising Clause IV in 1995. There are elements of Lib Dem support in this seat, with some success in local elections during the 1990s, but it is Labour which has historically been the most dominant force in Hull.