A by-election was held in Leicester South on 15 July, the same day as the Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election. It was won by Parmjit Singh Gill of the Liberal Democrats, over-turning a Labour majority of 13,243 votes at the 2001 General Election.
The MP for Leicester South, Jim Marshall, from the Labour Party died on 27 May 2004, shortly before the local and European elections in June.
The seat was first won by Marshall in 1974. He lost it to the Conservative Party candidate, Derek Spencer, in the 1983 general election by 7 votes, but won it back at the 1987 election. Marshall had a large personal vote, and both the Liberal Democrat and Conservative Parties targeted the seat at the 2004 by-election. At the 2005 general election, the Liberal Democrats were unable to retain the seat and Peter Soulsby became Leicester South's MP.
The constituency is diverse, covering leafy suburbs such as Stoneygate and Knighton along with inner city areas with a strong Asian community.