Aldridge-Brownhills

2015 Result:
Conservative: 20558 (52%)
Labour: 8835 (22.4%)
Lib Dem: 1330 (3.4%)
Green: 826 (2.1%)
UKIP: 7751 (19.6%)
Loony: 197 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 11723 (29.7%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands. Part of the Walsall council area.

Main population centres: Aldridge, Brownhills, Streetly, Pelsall.

Profile: Covers the eastern part of the Walsall Metropolitan Borough on the northern edge of the West Midlands conurbation. The seat consists of the two towns it takes its name from as well as surrounding villages and suburbs. The seat is generally Tory voting suburbia although there area areas of deprivation and Labour hold some council seats. The Streetly ward has more in common with Sutton Coldfield and Brownhills retains strong links with other ex-mining towns across the border in Staffordshire. The anomalous name of the constituency is a hangover from the old Aldridge-Brownhills local government district which was abolished in 1974.

Politics: Was held by Labour from 1974 to 1979, but has since become increasingly safe for the Conservatives.


Current MP
WENDY MORTON (Conservative) Former Richmondshire councillor. Contested Newcastle Central 2005, Tynemouth 2010. First elected as MP for Aldridge-Brownhills in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 22913 (59%)
Lab: 7647 (20%)
LDem: 6833 (18%)
GRN: 847 (2%)
Oth: 394 (1%)
MAJ: 15266 (40%)
2005*
Con: 18744 (47%)
Lab: 13237 (33%)
LDem: 4862 (12%)
BNP: 1620 (4%)
Oth: 1093 (3%)
MAJ: 5507 (14%)
2001
Con: 18974 (50%)
Lab: 15206 (40%)
LDem: 3251 (9%)
Oth: 379 (1%)
MAJ: 3768 (10%)
1997
Con: 21856 (47%)
Lab: 19330 (42%)
LDem: 5184 (11%)
MAJ: 2526 (5%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
WENDY MORTON (Conservative) Former Richmondshire councillor. Contested Newcastle Central 2005, Tynemouth 2010.
JOHN FISHER (Labour)
IAN GARRETT (Liberal Democrat)
ANTHONY THOMPSON (UKIP)
MARTYN CURZEY (Green)
MARK BEECH (Loony)
Links
Comments - No Responses on “Aldridge-Brownhills”
  1. I’m gonna make an initial prediction for this seat:

    Conservatives – 45%
    UKIP – 26%
    Labour – 19%
    Lib Dem – 6%
    Others – 4%

  2. This is one of those seats that has gently but decisively drifted away from Labour over the years. They had a considerably better result here even in 1983 when they were only 25 points adrift rather than 40 as in 2010.

    Lots of de-industrialisation and new private estate builds in this northerly part of the West Midlands and Shepherd was of course highly respected, but nonetheless the Tory strengthening has been phenomenal. A drive through Brownhills reveals a town which at first sight looks like it should be Labour to the core, but other parts of the seat have become strong Tory territory.

  3. Brownhills is, in truth, atypical of the seat as a whole and even that ward is not a given for Labour in recent years. UKIP took it in 2014 and the Conservatives have won it several times in the last decade.

    The main interest in this seat will be how much the Conservative vote falls in May – Shepherd’s personnel vote last election could have easily exceed 10% and may be one of the biggest anywhere – and whether UKIP or Labour come second.

  4. In the 30 or so local elections since the borough was created, Brownhills has voted Labour in all but 6 of them. The tories won it a few times when the last Labour government was becoming unpopular, but it reverted to type in 2011. UKIP did win it last year. They’ve also won council seats in the other local ex mining towns of Cannock and Burntwood. It gives you an idea of how the working class are voting these days in this part of the world.

  5. The Liberal Democrat candidate is Ian Garrett.

  6. Is that information from YourNextMP?

  7. Yes. It might not be correct. No other confirmation can be found online, but it’s found it’s way on to Wikipedia.

  8. The Green Party candidate is Martyn Curzey

  9. That is the same Ian Garrett who stood in West Bromwich East in 2001, 2005 and 2010.

  10. On his final day in parliament Richard Shepherd rebelled against the government, on the subject of secret ballots to remove the Speaker.

    True to the last!!

    You might not agree with all of Shepherd’s politics (I don’t) but his persistent belief that the role of an MP is to hold the executive to account has been quite admirable. He has been an outstanding MP. He will be much missed.

  11. Prediction –

    CON – 51
    UKIP – 23
    LAB – 18
    LD – 6
    GREEN – 1
    OTHER – 1

  12. Conservative hold – majority 9,000.

    I think it’s too close to call on who’ll get 2nd place, either Labour or UKIP.

  13. Regarding longterm electoral trends here, in retrospect Labour winning in 1974 looks like an odd Powell-driven fluke rather than any kind of last hurrah. Before ’74 most of this seat was in Walsall South (though Brownhills was in Walsall North), and was one of the reasons why it was a reliable Tory seat in those days.

    Still, the result here will be interesting (not competitive though), given Shepherd’s retirement. A Tory hold but with a very sharp drop in their vote seems likely.

  14. Just how sharp, I wonder? UKIP did not even stand here in 2010, Sibboleth-and is Wendy Morton pro-European or Eurosceptic?

    My fellow Greens did reasonably well here in 2010-maybe they will be better beneficiaries of the collapsing Lib Dem vote than Labour.

  15. As I posted on 25th Jan, Richard Shepherd’s personal vote could easily exceed 10% and will not easily transfer to the new Conservative candidate. No surprise if the Conservative vote fell into the mid to high 40’s.

  16. ‘Regarding longterm electoral trends here, in retrospect Labour winning in 1974 looks like an odd Powell-driven fluke rather than any kind of last hurrah.’

    Is that really so?

    I thought the 97 result stood out as I expected a Labour gain – given that they won far more unlikelier seats in that election – and Brownhills looks like a very Labour town, although the more prosperous Aldridge has grown considerably since the 1970s and probably has quite a bit to do with explaining why evenb in an excellent election year, this seat is beyond Labour now

    And of course, Shepherd himself, who I’d imagine must have a very high personal vote

  17. This is currently the safest Conservative seat in the W Midlands region (not just the county) – that accolade is likely to be lost back to Mid-Worcestershire taking the loss of Shepherd’s personal vote into account. Brownhills is still a Labour town, but the only other ward in the constituency in which Labour are competitive is Rushall-Shelfield, and even that is marginal.

  18. I know for a fact that Shepherd expected to be defeated in 1997 (he told me himself a few months afterwards).

    Not many Tories who expected to be defeated actually survived…plenty who expected to survive ended up defeated.

  19. Peter Luff has stood down in Mid Worcestershire as well, so loss of incumbency will also be a factor there.

  20. Sure it’s likely that Labour would have won in 1997 were the Conservative candidate more generic, but considering that it was *1997* I’m not sure if that tells us much: Labour won *Romford* in 1997.

  21. The Tory vote will drop but I’d be surprised if it goes below 50%.

  22. The comparison is with Teddy Taylor, who also had an enormous personal vote. It was little noticed but there was a 5% swing to Labour in 1995, quite against the national trend, when he retired. Expect a big swing here, although it won’t prevent a comfortable Conservative hold.

  23. PS: Kenilworth & Southam will surely be the safest Conservative seat in the West Midlands.

  24. Conservative Hold. 10,000 majority.

  25. Didn’t realise Wendy Morton was the Conservative candidate (now MP) here. I believe she was shortlisted for Hague’s former seat.

  26. There was a considerable decrease in the Conservative vote share here, indicative of the size of the retiring MP Richard Shepherd’s personal vote perhaps. Also what was noticeable IMHO was the lack of an increase in vote share for the Green Party here- I wonder why that was?

  27. Richard Shepherd must have had one of the largest personal votes of any Conservative MP I think during his time in the House of Commons- he increased his vote share in every election between 1983 and 1992, then decreased less than the national average in 1997. And of course he had a big increase in 2010 as well.

  28. It’s hard to tell how much exactly. I think UKIP would have got about 6% had they stood in 2010 and Shepherd would have ‘only’ got between 53-56% then if we’re comparing this with the likes of Stone and Lichfield.

  29. I agree. It’s possible the decrease this time around wasn’t just because of the loss of Shepherd’s personal vote, but also because UKIP indeed didn’t stand as you say in 2010.

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