Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Birmingham's Winners and Losers


I've been chewing over the Boundary Commission's proposals for the Birmingham area - here are my observations so far:

Winners

Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative, Erdington Ward). Bobby was our Parliamentary candidate for Erdington last time and is hot favourite to be again. The absorption of Sutton New Hall and Castle Bromwich and the removal of Kingstanding makes this a very winnable Conservative seat.

Gisela Stuart MP (Labour, Edgbaston). I'm sticking my neck out a bit on this one. Edgbaston becomes almost unrecognisable from its current state, with the bulk of the existing constituency going into new Birmingham Harborne. The revised Edgbaston, full of right-on students (Selly Oak) and champagne socialists (Moseley), looks good for Labour. I'm not entirely sure how Labour selects its candidates, but as the nominal incumbent, Ms Stuart surely has the edge in getting selected.

Keely Huxtable (Conservative, former PC for Northfield) or Cllr Nigel Dawkins (Conservative, Bournville). Keely and Nigel both came close to winning Northfield and Selly Oak respectively in the last General Election. Nigel's ward goes into the new Northfield at the expense of Weoley, making this a very winnable seat for the Conservatives. Both have a claim to be selected for this constituency.

One as yet unidentified Conservative. All-new Birmingham Harborne, consisting of Harborne, Quinton, Bartley Green, Weoley and Old Warley, should be a definite Tory target. The PPC for this seat will have an excellent chance. 

Losers

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP (Labour, Hodge Hill). 'Dear Mr Byrne, I’m afraid to tell you there's no constituency left.' (Hopefully I'm the first person to make this crack, but I suspect not.)

Steve McCabe MP (Labour, Selly Oak). Selly Oak vanishes under the new proposals; along with Liam Byrne, he will have a fight on his hands to get selected for a different and winnable seat. Mind you, he's managed it once before.

John Hemming MP (Lib Dem, Yardley). John can't be happy with losing Sheldon in exchange for Bordesley Green.

Neither

Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP (Conservative, Sutton Coldfield). Andrew will rightly be aggrieved at the loss of part of Sutton Coldfield from the constituency that bears its name, but he is a very hard-working and high-profile figure and I doubt that his tenure will come under serious challenge.

Roger Godsiff MP (Labour, Hall Green). The redrawn Hall Green swaps a fading challenge from Respect for Lab/Lib and Lab/Tory marginals. I wouldn't expect this has given Mr Godsiff either a sleepless night or reason to open any bottles of champagne.

Shabana Mahmood MP (Labour, Ladywood). Swapping Aston and Soho for Hodge Hill and Washwood Heath is hardly tearing the heart out of this rock-solid Labour seat. I don't think that talk of a challenge from Liam Byrne will come to anything.

Khalid Mahmood MP (Labour, Perry Barr). See above.

2 comments:

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