17 January 2007

Unsteady

Continuing my series on Birmingham Labour MPs, here are the three Birmingham Labour MPs whose prospects at the next election are most unclear. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go for a beer with any of them, so don't get too excited. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Stephen McCabe – Hall Green (TBC as Selly Oak candidate)
Swing to unseat - N/A seat boundaries have changed so much.
As Lynne Jones has announced her intention to stand down, I am assuming that Stephen who is the current MP for Hall Green will be selected for Birmingham Selly Oak. Although uninspiring, Stephen is a safe pair of hands for Labour. However, the boundary changes bring this seat into range for the Tories. After the May elections, it is expected that none of the councilors in the redrawn constituency will be Labour. The majority will be Conservative. This seat is very winnable for the Tories next time especially as I don’t expect the Liberals to go very hard here.

2. Roger Godsiff – Sparkbrook & Small Heath (TBC as Hall Green candidate)
Swing to unseat – N/A seat boundaries have changed so much.
Roger is the sitting MP in the inner city parts of the wholly reworked Hall Green seat. Potentially, he faces strong opposition in the more affluent parts of the seat from the Lib Dems and from the highly ethnic areas from Respect and the Lib Dems. Off-line, I’ve been told by a respected local source that Respect’s campaign is likely to be well supported in this seat by disillusioned Labour supporters the Socialist Alliance. I hate to be pessimistic about Tory prospects, but a top three finish would be an achievement here. Very difficult to call the winner at this stage.

3. Richard Burden - Northfield
Swing to unseat – 10.4% to Conservatives
This is Conservative target number 197. Although I think Labour’s 2005 showing was buoyed by a pre-election bribe injection of funds, which the government have recently reneged upon, the required swing is large (although a similar swing occurred in 1979). This seat is virtually unaffected by boundary changes and Richard Burden is quietly effective. Despite dominating local political representation, the Tories would need a first-class candidate and campaign to mount a serious challenge.

2 comments:

PoliticalHack said...

I'd place a small bet on all three holding their seats. Respect's campaign wasn't as strong in the Sparkbrook end of the constituency as it was elsewhere, so I'd be fairly sure that Roger will pick up enough to win. Similarly, the Labour vote should hold up in Selly Oak and if we lose Northfield, we're in meltdown.

Praguetory said...

Bit far off isn't it? I'd take a small bet that in Brum the number of Tory councillors will exceed Labour after the May council elections.