16 January 2007


There are three MPs in Birmingham that look like they are going next time. It’s an unfortunate coincidence for Labour, that it is likely that all of three female Labour MPs elected in 2005 won’t be around after the next election, although it is expected that the Ladywood reselection will have an all-women shortlist.

1. Clare Short – Ladywood
After 23 years in the House Of Commons Clare announced at the end of last year that she will not be standing for Labour at the next election
Swing requirement – 10.3% to Lib Dems – as the issues around the Iraq war fade, Labour are reasserting their authority in the Ladywood seat at the local level. Although the selection process should make interesting viewing, a hat-stand with a red rosette could get in here. Labour will regain this seat at the next election.

2. Lynne Jones – Selly Oak
Labour lose one seat as a result of the redrawing of constituency boundaries. Three Labour seats into two does not go and Lynne Jones is the fall gal. She has announced her intention to stand down at the end of this Parliament to spend more time with the family and due to the challenging reselection process that she would have faced.

3. Gisela Stewart – Edgbaston
Swing to unseat – 2.8% to Conservatives
This is Conservative target no. 47. Gisela might well fall on a national swing next time, but other factors make her even more vulnerable. Deirdre Alden, the popular Conservative PPC is a local councillor and also stood in 2005. Furthermore, local Conservative activists have become significantly more energized of late. Increasingly right-wing, Gisela receives fanmail from conservative conservatives. Her best hope to remain in Parliament is to go the whole hog and defect to the Conservatives to fight a nearby seat.


Peter Smallbone said...

Good analysis PT. My thoughts:

Clare Short was elected on a Labour platform less than two years ago and is now an independent. I can't believe her conscience didn't tell her to stand down at the time. The Conservatives have a lot to do in Ladywood, but maybe there'll be an upset in the Council elections in May, which will be a good starting-point...

I'm surprised that Lynne Jones has decided not to stand again. She was the best of an average bunch in the area.

Gisela Stuart will undoubtedly lose to Deirdre Alden at the next election, and no amount of faux-right-wing posturing on Gisela's part can change this. The Conservatives in Edgbaston are well organised, well led and have taken the initiative; a recent example is our regular attendance at Harborne Farmers' Market, which Labour has copied.

Praguetory said...

I agree that Deirdre is taking a brilliant initiative on many local issues and think should would make a fine MP. Personally, I think Gisela's drift to the right is real. Labour are such an indisciplined rabble that this doesn't seem to matter to her or the Labour party.

Andrea said...

"Clare Short was elected on a Labour platform less than two years ago and is now an independent. I can't believe her conscience didn't tell her to stand down at the time"

The "funny" thing about Short is that when she left the PLP, she wanted to continue as ordinary Labour member