Birmingham’s 2018 elections: these are the 7 redesigned wards which could see the closest votes

Birmingham City Council Building

With the upcoming elections taking place this week on May 3rd, 69 newly redesigned areas (wards) are up for grabs in the city, each sending either one or two newly-elected councillors to Birmingham City Council.

Some of the new wards see the combination of wards which were held by different parties. Based on previous electoral results of former wards, and using a special new electoral map, we’ve identified 7 parts of the city that could see the biggest surprises in this year’s election.

Aston’s election: Labour and Liberal Democrats fight it out…

This new ward is a merger of the old Aston (northern half) and Perry Barr (about a fifth of it, in its southern part) wards. There are 2 councillor seats up for election here.

Based on the 2016 election, the ward is split between Labour and the Liberal Democrats: both wards were won by a comfortable majority by each party respectively leaving the contest finely balanced.

…and in Glebe Farm & Tile Cross too

A merger of the Shard End ward (southern half) and Stechford & Yardley North (northern part) with some of Washwood Heath (southeastern part) included too, this seat also has 2 councillor seats up for election.

Shard End was won by Labour in 2016, while Stechford & Yardley North was won by the Liberal Democrats. Both wards were won by a comfortable majority for each party so the red domination of the map above does not necessarily mean that Labour will win here.

It’s Conservatives versus Labour in Kingstanding’s election…

The new Kingstanding ward sees an expansion of the old Kingstanding ward (now making up the northwestern half of its new form) and part of Oscott (south). It will elect 2 councillors.

The old Kingstanding was won by the Conservatives in 2016, but Oscott was won by Labour — and while Labour won by a comfortable majority, the winning majority was much thinner in Kingstanding for the Conservatives.

…and in North Edgbaston too

A new ward created by the intersection of four former wards, each one in roughly equal proportions (Edgbaston, Ladywood, Soho and Harborne), this area will elect 2 councillors too.

3 of the wards integrated into the new one were won by Labour in 2016, while Edgbaston was won by the Conservatives
— but by a thin majority. Labour won Soho and Ladywood comfortably, and while its majority in Harbone was smaller, the party should perform well here, but historically low turnouts mean small differences can have a big impact.

Could Perry Barr’s election be swung by a small red triangle?

Like Kingstanding, Perry Barr sees an old name used for a new area, merging parts of the old Perry Barr ward (with Aston now having its own ward) with parts of Oscott (in the southern part). 2 councillor seats are up for election here.

The older version of Perry Barr was won by the Liberal Democrats in 2016. The new, smaller part of it is from a ward that was won by Labour. Both wards were won by a comfortable majority for each party, but given Perry Barr’s geographical domination you might expect Labour to retain control of the new version.

Sutton Wylde Green — a 3-way fight for one seat

A merger of Sutton New Hall (the western part) with former Sutton Vesey (eastern) and Sutton Trinity (a small southern part) wards, this area is only electing 1 councillor seat.

Of the three old wards, Sutton Vesey was won by Labour, while the two others were won by the Conservatives. The last election saw comfortable majorities for each, but the Conservatives enjoyed a much wider margin, so might be expected to win the new seat.

Yardley West & Stechford: back to yellow versus red

A merger of former Stechford & Yardley North (the northwestern section) and former South Yardley (the northern part), Yardley West & Stechford also has just 1 councillor seat up for election.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour each won one of the older wards by a comfortable majority in the last election, and with not much difference in terms of geographic dominance, this could also go either way.

Information on the new wards courtesy of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

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  1. Pingback: Mapped: how boundary changes have reshaped Birmingham for the 2018 election – Birmingham Eastside

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