01 December 2006

Birmingham Northfield - Swing Seat Par Excellence


When Birmingham Northfield swings, it really swings! Located in south-west Birmingham and home of the defunct Rover site and close to the Cadbury HQ, the electorate’s voting patterns are volatile. In 1979, when Thatcher swept to power on an overall swing of 5.2%, one of the most stunning successes was in Birmingham Northfield where Jocelyn Cadbury overturned a 10,597 Labour majority with a 10.2% swing. Similarly, when Labour secured its victory in 1997 on an overall swing of 10.2%, Richard Burden increased the Labour majority to 11,443 from 630 on a 14% swing.

Looking forward to the next general election, this seat is Conservative target number 197 and we will need a 10.4% swing to win it again. On the back of an excellent local campaign in the May local elections this year here are the simply stunning results in the four wards of Birmingham Northfield.

- Kings Norton Longbridge
Con - 2344 ..... 2021
Lab - 1822 ..... 1818

- Northfield Weoley
Con - 2674 ... 2207
Lab - 1883 ... 1873

Incredibly, the 9,246 Tory votes at local level in this constituency exceed the number cast in the last General Election and Labour’s vote is less than half what they received at the General Election. If replicated – admittedly highly unlikely – at the next GE, this would be a 15.6% swing enough to secure the seat easily. Our activists are ready. Let's hope we get an appealing candidate, because this seat is in range.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

excellent.. what are we waiting for? pray they find the "right" conservative for the job though the words birmingham make me fear as to how they would react to a "right conservative" but yet as Alexander Pope said "Hope springs eternal from the human breast."

james higham said...

Seems very much to me like the triumph of image politics in this electorate.

Anonymous said...

Having campaigned in Northfield in the last election it was very clear that they were not ready to vote conservative in the general election as they do in local elections. They vote Tory in local elections because the councillors are widely respected and seen to get results, but there was still very much a feeling of concern that the conservatives could not be trusted with the manufacturing economy. The activists had enormous commitment andwith a week to go there is no doubt that Richard Burden was worried. fought a great campaign and won a lot of respect from the Northfield conservatives, but in the end suffered because she had not had enough time to establish her local profile. There is also a significant hard right feeling which may have been tempted by the BNP. Nevertheless I am sure you are right-this seat could fall to a good local candidate with time to do their ground work. Stand up please Adrian Delaney-apply to the PAB now!

Anonymous said...

Let me rephrase-sorry!

Having campaigned in Northfield in the last election it was very clear that they were not ready to vote conservative in the general election as they do in local elections. They vote Tory in local elections because the councillors are widely respected and seen to get results, but there was still very much a feeling of concern that the conservatives could not be trusted with the manufacturing economy. The activists had enormous commitment and with a week to go there is no doubt that Richard Burden was worried. fought a great campaign and won a lot of respect from the Northfield conservatives, but in the end suffered because she had not had enough time to establish her local profile. There is also a significant hard right feeling which may have been tempted by the BNP. Nevertheless I am sure you are right-this seat could fall to a good local candidate with time to do their ground work. Stand up please Adrian Delaney-apply to the PAB now!

Praguetory said...

Er, if that really is Vicky Ford and I suspect it is, then I think your judgment is well qualified. I will drop Adrian a note.