Manchester’s suburban electorate had a long Radical tradition dating from the creation of suburbs in the mid-nineteenth century. Leicester’s suburbia developed much later, presenting late nineteenth-century party managers with the challenge of developing political institutions in almost entirely new communities. Indeed the particularly rapid withdrawal of the Leicester middle class to surrounding residential suburbs has been seen as a significant development in the growth of class consciousness in the town and, indirectly, to the strength of the Independent Labour Party. 1 Geographical separation from the poor and from town centre Nonconformist leadership produced, it has been argued, new middle-class attitudes, concerned more with material wealth and status than philanthropic and ethical endeavour. 2 If accurate this view would seem helpful in explaining the late nineteenth-century ‘crisis’ in Leicester Liberalism and the growth of class-based politics in the twentieth.