Polls open at 7am tomorrow morning (22nd May) for local council and European Parliament elections.
Here, we take a quick look at the local council elections and how things stand in each of the four wards in Northfield District: Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley.
Labour have held the majority of the 120 seats on Birmingham City Council since the last local election in 2012 – with 76 councillors to the Conservatives 29 and Liberal Democrats 15.
There are 40 wards in Birmingham and each ward has 3 seats in the council house. Elections take place for one seat per ward every year. Every fourth year there is no local election.
Labour would need lose 16 of the 21 seats they hold that are up for election this year to lose their majority in the council, an unlikely scenario. Conservatives are defending 12 seats and Liberal Democrats 8.
Northfield District (or Northfield parliamentary constituency) consists of four wards: Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley.
All 4 wards have, in recent years, seen a mainly 2 party battle between the Labour and Conservative parties. Previous candidates from other parties, including the BNP, Communities Against the Cuts, The Green Party, Liberal Democrats and UKIP, failed to gain much support in the district in the 2011 and 2012 elections.
In the last 2 elections, the British National Party stood a candidate in each of the 4 wards – this year they have none.
UKIP are standing a candidate in each ward in the district for the first time, and contesting three quarters of seats across the city. A poll released today by YouGov has suggested a massive swing in intention to vote for UKIP in the European Parliamentary elections – UKIP 27%, Labour 26%, Conservative 22%, Green Party 10% and Liberal Democrats 9%. Whether this bears out, and how it may affect how people vote in local council elections, remains to be seen.
In 2012, the Green Party had a candidate in every ward in Birmingham. This time around, they're standing in less than half. They have a candidate in every ward in Northfield district except Kings Norton.
In the last local election in 2012 just 27% of the electorate in Northfield District turned out to vote, compared to almost 35% in 2011.
Northfield District: Ward by ward
- Steve Bedser (Lab)
- Peter Griffiths (Lab)
- Val Seabright (Lab)
- Steve BEDSER – Labour & Cooperative Party *current councillor
- Christopher HUGHES – Communities Against the Cuts
- Simon JEVON – The Conservative Party
- Peter LLOYD – Liberal Democrats
- Timothy PLUMBE – UK Independence Party (UKIP)
- Labour won the last 2 elections in Kings Norton, gaining seats from the Conservatives, with comfortable margins – 283 in 2012 and 337 in 2011.
- In the last election, 5 other parties – BNP, Communities Against the Cuts, Greens, LibDems, UKIP – took less than 20% of the vote between them.
- Steve Bedser, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, is up for re-election. His main opposition is Conservative candidate Simon Jevon.
- Communities Against the Cuts are standing Chris Hughes again. He'll be hoping to gain more votes than the 129 he managed in 2012, following recent campaigns.
- Andy Cartwright (Lab)
- Ian Cruise (Lab)
- Jess Phillips (Lab)
- Steven BROOKES – UK Independence Party (UKIP)
- Ian CRUISE – Labour and Co-operative Party *current councillor
- Kevin HANNON – Liberal Democrats
- Derek JOHNSON – The Conservative Party
- Aysha TURNER – The Green Party
- Clive WALDER – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
- In 2010, Labour took the first of 3 seats held by the Tories in Longbridge when Ian Cruise was first elected. In 2012, the last Tory seat was taken by Jess Phillips, with a majority of 533 votes.
- In 2012, other parties did not do well: UKIP 305, BNP 173, Green Party 168 and Liberal Democrats 163 votes.
- Now, the ward has 3 Labour councillors and Cllr Cruise is up against new face Derek Johnson for the Conservatives.
- The seat is a target for the Conservatives, but they'd need a swing of 6% to gain it.
- Randal Brew (Con)
- Reg Corns (Con)
- Brett O'Reilly (Lab)
- Randal BREW – The Conservative Party *current councillor
- Barrie CLEWS – UK Independence Party (UKIP)
- Katherine Ann DUNN – Communities Against the Cuts
- Carole GRIFFITHS – Labour and Co-operative Party
- Andrew MOLES – Liberal Democrats
- Susan PEARCE – The Green Party
- Northfield has been a very closely contested seat for the last few years, with Cllr O'Reilly taking Les Lawrence's (Con) seat by just 61 votes in 2012. In the previous election, Reg Corns only managed to hold on to his seat by 56 votes.
- In 2012, other parties again failed to offer any threat to Labour or Conservatives, with the BNP taking 201 votes, Greens 179, Lib Dems 201 and UKIP 353.
- Newcomer Carole Griffiths is Labour's candidate to try and unseat long-serving Councillor Randal Brew this election.
- Communities Against the Cuts are fielding a candidate for the first time in Northfield, on the back of leading recent campaigns against cuts in the area, including a Save West Heath Library campaign.
- Adrian Delaney (Con)
- Peter Douglas Osborn (Con)
- Eddie Freeman (Con)
- Stephen BOOTON – Labour and Co-operative Party
- Peter DOUGLAS OSBORN – The Conservative Party *current councillor
- Sally Ann HAYNES-PREECE – Liberal Democrats
- Anna MASTERS – The Green Party
- Kevin MORRIS – UK Independence Party (UKIP)
- Weoley has had a full compliment of Tory councillors for some years now and, over the last 2 elections, Labour have come very close to taking a seat or two.
- In 2011, Adrian Delaney retained his seat by just 12 votes and in 2012 it was even closer, with Eddie Freeman holding onto his seat by only 2 votes.
- Again, other parties have not done well recently in Weoley – in 2012 BNP 213 votes, Greens 239 and Lib Dems 216.
- This time around, last year's Labour candidate Steve Booton will be up against Cllr Peter Douglas Osborn, who has served Weoley for 14 years.
- UKIP are fielding a candidate in Weoley for the first time this year and it will be interesting to see what effect this will have on this close race.