15 January 2007

Astonishing Prediction

In 2005, Birmingham returned nine Labour MPs. Since then a third have resigned from office or the Parliamentary party and one of that number is also a national laughing stock after his aborted attempt at satire on YouTube.

If I was a Labour member, I’d be horrified. Personally, I’ve been speculating about something in the water. I’ve decided to profile the fortunes and prospects of these nine sitting MPs. Here’s the roll of honour with their current seats and my favourite link pertaining to them.

Edgbaston – Gisela Stuart
Erdington – Sion Simon
Hall Green – Steve McCabe
Hodge Hill – Liam Byrne
Ladywood – Clare Short
Northfield – Richard Burden
Perry Barr – Khalid Mahmood
Selly Oak – Lynne Jones
Sparkbrook & Small Heath – Roger Godsiff

My astonishing prediction is that less than half of the above will be Labour MPs after the next general election. I’m going to do a more detailed rundown on three at a time, so before I start, please contribute any relevant comments.

23 comments:

Andrea said...

Less than half..so you mean that at least 5 won't sit in the Commons next time.
Lynne and Clare are standing down..then Gisela Stuart can easily lose to the tories.
Godsiff will get a strong challenge from the Libdems...probably only a strong Respect performance can save him (in 2006 locals they seemed to have damaged LDs more than Labour in Sparkbrook and Springfield wards).
Then there're McCabe and Burden...IIRC on paper their seat have a similar majority and both with a very weak council base for Labour (I think both seats can be left with 0 Labour councillors by next GE). I think their survival depends on how good the tories will go..if they're going to form the new government with a good working majority (something like a 50 majority), I think both will be close.
I think Simon, Mahmood and Byrne should be back...unless Labour is doing worse than the tories in 1997

Praguetory said...

Ok - here's my rationale. Short and Jones are gone and if my prediction has a prayer, Stewart has to be kicked. So I'm looking for 2 more from 6. The reworking of Selly Oak and Hall Green is unkind to Labour on many levels, but most of all because it is clear in both cases where the anti-Labour vote has to go (Cons and Libs respectively). However, I think Labour win only lose one of these seats - probably Selly Oak. The fifth casualty is conjecture. Byrne is safe unless the Libs do something incredible nationally. Mahmood and Simon's biggest danger is deselection and they are both one more scandal away from that. Simon, Godsiff and Burden are fairly long odds to lose their seats with Burden maybe the most vulnerable. The point you make about how strong the Tories challenge, is well taken.

Andrea said...

"Simon, Godsiff and Burden are fairly long odds to lose their seats with Burden maybe the most vulnerable."

I think Godsiff's position is quite vulnerable. He's defending a majority of something like 10% over the Libdems.
Then redrawn boundaries can create further problems in guessing seats. For ex the great majority of Moseley and Kings Heath was in Selly Oak. I suspected it voted Labour by a good margin in 2005 GE. Now it's moved in Hall Green and there's a good LD presence at local level. Will they continue to vote Labour? Or will they move to LDs (since it's not a wasted vote anymore?)

Praguetory said...

It's hard to equate Godsiff's prospects with the 2005 result. Lib Dems will go hard and should benefit from voting at the southern end of the seat. The unknown quantity is which party will be flavour of the month with the Muslim vote. It's hard to see how the national picture will benefit Respect, but I think it is going to be tricky for the Dems to select a candidate who will have the required appeal across the ward. I do think that Godsiff remains favourite, but it will be a rollercoaster ride.

Andrea said...

"Lib Dems will go hard "

yes, unless they start to over-hype themself and also try in Ladywood and Hodge Hill resulting just in spreading their resources in too many seats. You know the "winning here" feeling can produce damages! :-)

"The unknown quantity is which party will be flavour of the month with the Muslim vote"

yes, I agree. The 2 "Muslim" wards will be the key of the contest. I think that's the most interesting contest in Birmingham next time

"It's hard to see how the national picture will benefit Respect"

I was more thinking on Salma Yaqoob helping them. She's probably the best thing they've around. I saw her on Question Time a couple of times. Once she was there with Ming, Chris Bryant and Alan Duncan. She didn't perform worse than Ming and Duncan.

Praguetory said...

Fair point re the Dems. For his sake, I hope Colin Ross doesn't believe the things he writes about Hodge Hill and Ladywood. The Dems chances are nil in Ladywood and not much better in Hidage Hill.

Andrea said...

"For his sake, I hope Colin Ross doesn't believe the things he writes about Hodge Hill and Ladywood"

:-) I was exactly thinking about it!
I suppose they've to say it. A "We've selected a candidate in seat X and well, we've no chance to win it anyway" press release doesn't sound good.

Newmania said...

That Gisella Stuart Article prompted me to write to her in adoring terms begging her to join the Conservative Party . It still confuses me .

What do you make of her P and what role are you hoping to play in the Midlands in the future

Praguetory said...

Provided the Libs and the Tories agree not to fight the seat I plan to stand as an independent candidate against Sion Simon in Erdington. Once the seat is won I plan to do one term in Westminster on a "standards in public life" platform. More details later.

Praguetory said...

Oh and re Gisela, she's just a sensible person who got tangled up in the wrong party. Being a foreigner, she doesn't buy into the class warfare rhetoric that informs most of the Labour party. However, the Conservative PPC in Edgbaston Deirdre Alden who was recently named as one of the best 3 politicians in the West Midlands has and deserves my unwavering support.

istanbultory said...

I claim no knowledge of West Midlands politics but Godsiff would appear be in a very precarious position. His majority was slashed from 16246 to 3289 in 2005. And the Respect web site has it in for him big time… Could Galloway's shower really win here?

Andrea said...

"And the Respect web site has it in for him big time… Could Galloway's shower really win here? "

Boundary changes are very bad for Respect. They will poll few votes in Moseley and Kings Heath ward (IIRC something like 6% in 2006 locals) and even less in Hall Green ward

Praguetory said...

No, I don't think that he'll lose to Respect. Under the old boundaries, maybe. In fact, Roger may well benefit from a strong Respect showing, otherwise he is very vulnerable to the Dems who are clearly working hard in this seat at a local level and have their eyes fixed on the next election here.

newmania said...

I was rather hoping you might have plans to stand for the cinservative Party P..at some time

Praguetory said...

Lol. I'll give it some thought, but outside of Islington I don't hear anyone beckoning. Seriously, I don't think Westminster would suit me ever. Without going into details, take a look at the personal lives of the merry bunch I refer to in this post. If MPs could vote and debate from home, I'd be very interested.

Andrea said...

"Without going into details, take a look at the personal lives of the merry bunch I refer to in this post"

Are they so bad?
Mahmood is dating a former Tory....McCabe is with Fiona Gordon (secretary of PLP and former director of the West Midlands Labour Party...Clare Short is dating Mo Mowlam's widower...don't have a clue about the others

Praguetory said...

Let's not go down this line, although I should point out that in public Mahmood calls Elaina Cohen his ex-girlfriend - unless he's now going out with another ex-Tory.

Andrea said...

"although I should point out that in public Mahmood calls Elaina Cohen his ex-girlfriend "

oh, sorry, I'm a bit behind and I missed that part!
Anyway if Clare Short can find a man, I think everything is possible!

Praguetory said...

I wish Clare every happiness. Have you ever put your hat in the ring for public office, Andrea?

Andrea said...

Don't get me wrong, I also wish Clare (and Mo's widower) all the happiness. They both suffered a lot in their lives with the loss of their former partners. They would deserve it.

"Have you ever put your hat in the ring for public office?" No, not even school elections!

Anonymous said...

ex nothing, mahmood is still going strong with elaina cohen but they its been keept out the press becuase theres chances cohen will be brought up on criminal charges dating back to her marriage that could result in serious jail time

Anonymous said...

I heard that too Anonymous, the 2 of them have been spotted together many times since, don’t know about the criminal stuff though, please explain further, with all the controversy surroundings her and Mahmood I wouldn’t be surprised, get in touch so you can join some of the more private boards. I doubt she will stand in CS old constituency come next election for a full layout of what she has been doing between now and the last tie she ran in 2001,at very least her new position for Ladywood certainly puts her past back under the microscope

Anyone care to comment

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