Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Pushing the boundaries
Here's a quick guide with some very quick and dirty views on the notional winners of last year's election on the new boundaries. I tweeted some other figures last night, but I've refined them to take into account conversion of council votes to parliamentary votes and the willingness of voters to vote for two different parties at parliamentary and local level. I have genuinely tried to be objective in my views on the likely outcome for each new seat, but the discussion is open. Of course, these notional majorities are based on the figures for the last general election and we know that the political landscape has changed massively in 18 months, so this is, as Peter Snow used to say, just a bit of fun. Don't bet your house or your career on these figures.
Birmingham Northfield - Lab HOLD
This retains the current Northfield wards of Kings Norton, Longbridge and Northfield, but brings in Bournville from Selly Oak. Notionally, Labour has a majority of just around 1800 votes in this seat, but the Lib Dem vote would be decisive here. My first pass over this constituency actually gave it an 1100 vote Tory majority, but I've revised my calculations.
Birmingham Perry Barr - Lab HOLD
Handsworth Wood, Lozells & East Handsworth and Perry Barr, but now with added Aston from Ladywood. Sure to be a rock-solid Labour seat, with a majority even on last year's figures in excess of 11,600 - over double the runner-up Lib Dem vote.
Birmingham Yardley - Lib Dem HOLD
This keeps Acocks Green, South Yardley, Stechford & Yardley North, but exports Sheldon - a solid Lib Dem seat, even this year - to boost Lorely Burt's chances of hanging on in Solihull. To maintain the size, it acquires Bordesley Green from the defunct Hodge Hill constituency. Notionally, this is now a 1200 vote majority for the Lib Dems, but I would posit that this is incredibly vulnerable given local shifts in the vote and - even trying to hold back my partiality - would expect this to go Labour under the new boundaries. Losing Sheldon will hurt.
Sutton Coldfield - Con HOLD
Shock horror here. Sutton Four Oaks, Sutton Vesey and Sutton Trinity stay at home, while Sutton New Hall plays away in Erdington. Joining the party is Kingstanding, but this still leaves it as a safe Tory seat with a 12,300 majority.
Birmingham Erdington - Con GAIN
A previously solidly safe Labour seat now crosses the floor, as the safe Tory wards of Sutton New Hall and Solihull's Castle Bromwich join Erdington, Stockland Green and Tyburn to create a notional Tory majority of around 3000 votes. Yet again, though, you would have to question what happens if the Lib Dem vote collapses. Gareth Compton, the former Tory councillor and chair of the local party seems happy with the outcome, as well he might. This could be the first seat to send an Alden to parliament. And not the one you'd expect.
Birmingham Edgbaston - Lab HOLD
Birmingham Harborne - Lab HOLD