Birmingham, Hodge Hill

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4707 (11.5%)
Labour: 28069 (68.4%)
Lib Dem: 2624 (6.4%)
Green: 835 (2%)
UKIP: 4651 (11.3%)
Others: 153 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 23362 (56.9%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Bordesley Green, Washwood Heath, Hodge Hill, Shard End.

Profile: A seat in urban Birmingham, England`s second city. Hodge Hill is on the eastern side of Birmingham, stretching in towards the city centre, and consists of the wards of Bordesley Green, Hodge Hill, Shard End and Washwood Heath. It is a diverse seat, the more inner city wards like Bordesley Green consist mainly of dense victorian terraces and are heavily Asian and Muslim, moving outwards the Shard End area is made up of post-war estates and tower blocks and is mainly white.

Politics: In 2004 the Liberal Democrats narrowly missed out on gaining this seat in a hard fought by-election, managing a huge 27% swing but ultimately falling short by 460 seats. Since then the constituency has swung back to being the safe Labour territory it had been since its creation in 1983.

Current MP
LIAM BYRNE (Labour) Born 1970, Warrington. Educated at Burnt Mill School and Manchester University. Former co-founder of a venture backed technology company, e-Government Solutions Group. First elected as MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill in 2004 by-election. Under-secretary of state for Health 2005-2006, Minister of State in the Home Office 2006-2008, in the Cabinet Office 2008-2009. Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2009-2010, famously leaving his sucessor David Laws a letter saying "There is no money left". Shadow work and pensions secretary 2011-2013, shadow Higher Education Minister 2013-2015.
Past Results
Con: 4936 (12%)
Lab: 22077 (52%)
LDem: 11775 (28%)
BNP: 2333 (5%)
Oth: 1351 (3%)
MAJ: 10302 (24%)
Con: 3768 (13%)
Lab: 13822 (49%)
LDem: 8373 (29%)
BNP: 1445 (5%)
Oth: 1009 (4%)
MAJ: 5449 (19%)
Con: 5283 (20%)
Lab: 16901 (64%)
LDem: 2147 (8%)
BNP: 889 (3%)
Oth: 1245 (5%)
MAJ: 11618 (44%)
Con: 8198 (24%)
Lab: 22398 (66%)
LDem: 2891 (8%)
Oth: 660 (2%)
MAJ: 14200 (42%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
KIERAN MULLAN (Conservative) Doctor.
LIAM BYRNE (Labour) See above.
PHIL BENNION (Liberal Democrat) Born 1954, Tamworth. Educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar. Lichfield councillor 1999-2011. Contested Tamworth 2005, Telford 2010. MEP for West Midlands 2012-2014.
CHRIS NASH (Green) Petrol station cashier.
ANDY CHAFFER (Communist Party GB)
Comments - 65 Responses on “Birmingham, Hodge Hill”
  1. 2012 council results for this constituency:

    Labour: 17,033 (68.2%)
    Liberal Democrats 4,586 (18.4%)
    UKIP 1,208 (4.8%)
    Conservatives: 1,134 (4.5%)
    Greens 590 (2.4%)
    BNP 361 (1.4%)
    National Front 38 (negligible)
    SDP 14 (negligible)

    Total votes: 24,964

    Compared to the 2010 council elections:

    Labour: +18.3%
    Liberal Democrats: -8.4%
    Conservatives: -8.4%
    BNP: -3.4%
    UKIP: +1.7%
    Greens: +1%

    Swing from LD to Lab: 13.4%

    Considering Byrne won the 2004 by-election by just 2.3%, quite clearly Labour here has now seen off the LD challenge.

  2. My guess right now is:

    Labour 58
    Liberal Democrats 22
    Conservatives 10
    UKIP 6
    Greens 2
    BNP 2

  3. I think that is very plausible – the Lib Dems would be pleased with 22% I think

  4. I’d be amazed if the LDs do as well as 22% in 2015.

  5. I guessed 22 – and two years out, it’s only a guess – because I expect the 2011/2012 period really was the nadir for the LDs, and I expect enough people will make peace with them to improve on their 18% showing, along with the fact gov parties do worse midterm, or tend to, than in generals. Plus, those results suggest no-one else is close to claiming the mantle of opposition here in this seat. All in all, I’m quite content to stick with 22 for now.

  6. I don’t think the national standing of the party has much bearing here. This is now a majority muslim seat and the LD vote, with an Asian candidate came primarily from that demographic. A candidate of the same type with the right connections might be able to retain some of that vote while another candideate may not.
    There was a swing of 35% from LD to Labour in Washwood Heath in 2012 when compared with 2008

  7. I find it absolutely astonishing that Liam Byrne is only 43. He could easily pass for 63.

  8. I thought he was in his 50’s during the Hodge Hill by election.

  9. 42, actually. Birthday in October. Was only 33 when he was elected. Then again, at least we’ve moved on from the days of William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister at 24.

  10. Being bald doesn’t help.

  11. I don’t think he looks particularly old – he’s just bald. This photo isn’t quite right.

  12. Not just looks, but that self important patronising manner really ages him too.

  13. sorry Liam – have to agree with H.Hemmelig here!

  14. ….but the other parliamentary Liam is a jolly sight worse, since we’re into derogatory comments. He makes me very annoyed.

  15. What makes you so annoyed about Fox?

    I’m not a fan either.

  16. The whole thing with his adviser was so sordid, but in general I despise hardline anti-abortionists who have a religious agenda. I could go on but think that that will suffice for a site such as this. Mind you, being an extremist, I do despise a rather wider range of political people than the majority of you!

  17. I agree on Fox – I don’t feel quite as strongly about his anti-abortion views as Barnaby (although I don’t agree with Fox on it).

    It’s just that, more generally, Fox seems quite average to me – he rarely says anything that seems particularly original or inspired, yet he seemed to be talked about as leadership material a few years ago.

    Perhaps Fox’s elevation to that status reflected the dearth of high-quality individuals with charisma within senior Tory ranks. That ‘dearth’ still exists today, hence why Teresa May and Michael Gove are talked about as potential leaders – I doubt they’d have got a mention a generation ago.

  18. There’s something quite unsettling about Michael Gove. I don’t like Theresa May but she does seem somewhat more akin to a normal human being

  19. Bearing in mind that not long ago he was keener of being Mayor of Birmingham than being a Shadow Cabinet Minister, Byrne’s demotion is hardly a surprise. Perhaps the greatest surprise is that he accepted a job lower down the ladder.

  20. A little census trivia for you.

    This constituency contains the highest proportion of residents without qualifications of any English or Welsh constituency (39.2%).

    Only one Conservative constituency appears in the top 20 for this category. Which is it?

  21. I tell a lie- two Tory seats do! But can anyone name them?

  22. Blackpool North or Morecambe are my two guesses.

  23. Boston & Skegness one?

  24. Runnymede is right abut Boston and Skegness. But what is the other one?

  25. Thurrock might be one.

  26. Good guesses but not quite.

  27. Penrith, Morecambe, Great Yarmouth, South Holland?

  28. All good guesses but no. I’ll give the answer at 11:30pm unless someone comes in with the right answer.

  29. Hornchurch & Upminster?

  30. Barnaby- alas that’s incorrect. H&U has a lot of people with Level 1 qualifactions (though to be fair to you, it also has an above average proportion of those with no qualifications too).

  31. I know people are dying to know the other Tory constituency to make the top 20 constituencies for residents with no qualifications!

    The answer is in fact Clacton, which is ranked 3rd on 38.8%.

  32. I should have got that, it’s similar to Great Yarmouth.

  33. Indeed- Great Yarmouth is ranked 32nd.

  34. HH – I agree being shocked re Liam Byrne being only 42! It must be the baldness. I saw a former teacher of mine from 20+ years ago. He’s now 55 and looks the same. So he must have only been 32+ back then when he looked! And yes, he was bald. I assume Byrne was demoted, as Labour couldn’t oppose workfare with him, as he introduced the first schemes. I recall Merseyside CLPs being outraged that most Labour MPs merely abrtained, when the Govt introduced retrospective legislation, after the High Court ruled IDS’s DWP letters were flawed and sanctions were unlawful. Retrospective legislation can never be right imho. I think a few Tory MPs such as Richard Shepherd voted against, plus Labour’s Left.

  35. Having finally looked at the 2011 census figures, this constituency had the highest percentage of Moslems (over 18), at 49%, just ahead of Bradford West. Neighbouring Hall Green was the only other constituency over 40%. Since Moslems tend to register to vote, they should now comprise over half of voters here.

  36. I can’t really see any reason why this would be anything other than a very safe Labour hold with around 60% of the vote.

    UKIP will get a bit of a vote in Shard End but that is unlikely to dent Labour’s majority much. The council election in that ward may be tight but with Labour vote tallies from the other wards the end result will not be in doubt. Shard End makes for an interesting side show as the Deputy Leader of the Council is the Labour candidate and UKIP came close last time with no noticeable campaign.

  37. Why is Margaret Hodge an MP for Barking instead of this seat! Haha! 😉

    *I’ll get my coat*

  38. The BBC Daily Politics showed pictures at a Labour event Liam Byrne was at.

    Men and women were segregated into different seating and almost all were Muslim.

  39. Labour Hold. 15,000 majority.

  40. Funny how Byrne has just got around to realising the stupidity of his actions in 2010 with that Treasury note. Five years too late.

    It’s one of those lasting scars which Cameron could make great political capital of.

  41. It’s clearly done him no harm here – he’s sitting on 70% of the vote!

  42. I recall a newspaper profile of Byrne at the height of his ministerial career.

    They quoted civil service minions at length….”Mr Byrne likes coffee at 9am accompanied by two chocolate digestives, one sugar, not too much milk” etc etc. I remember thinking “what an arrogant twat” (well he did used to work at McKinsey).

    The note is symbolic of both Byrne’s supreme arrogance, and the Brown government’s poorly-disguised glee that they were handing over a huge mess which they hoped the Tories would get the blame for. Neil is right, Byrne’s front bench career effectively ended for good the night Cameron brought his note into the Question Time debate.

    You must be feeling sick as a dog MrNameless. You didn’t even get the consolation of getting very close to Clegg in the end, despite the Lib Dems losing almost all their other seats.

  43. H.Hemmelig,

    I’m holding up okay – have to really. I’d say cutting Clegg’s majority to 2,000 is a pretty good achievement, and I know (because I was responsible for checking on the day) we got an amazing student turnout so I think we did all we could. The exhausted sprinting around the Endcliffe Village with Oliver Coppard and the entirety of Sheffield Labour Students in the last two hours was a ridiculous and inspiring thing – only time I’ve ever been cheered in the street and had cars honk their support.

    My only wobble was after having been up since 4:30 on Thursday, when I was taking a train from Sheffield to Derby at 7:30 the next morning and watching the last few results come through on Twitter. First I watched the little red specks I knew were the stakeboards I’d designed going by as I went past Millhouses Park and Dore.

    Then I checked the North West Leicestershire result and saw Bridgen’s majority up to 11,000, and wondered what David Taylor would have had to say.

    Then I pulled into Derby station just as the final recount was finished and I saw four words I never anticipated: “Con Gain Derby North”. Then I heard Ed Balls had lost his seat. That sort of broke me.

    In some ways it was the best and worst 48 hours of my life, and certainly the most draining physically and emotionally. But what a general election to be the first one I fought.

  44. Who are you backing for the leadership, and who do you think will win it?

    It doesn’t bode well that most of the leading candidates (Umunna, Kendall, Cooper etc) are all smug metropolitan north London types….Labour desperately needs a leader who can rebuild their traditional support in the midlands and north. Burnham’s got the right accent and backstory but perhaps hasn’t got the talent. I wonder how the new one member one vote election system will influence things…presumably it will benefit the right and disadvantage the unions.

    Though it pains me to say so, Labour will also deeply miss Harriet Harman. It will be impossible to replace her doggedness.

  45. I had dearly hoped Dan Jarvis would stand, but understand and respect his decision to look after his children instead. I think Burnham would be my second choice, followed by Cooper.

    The party would be very sensible not to elect Umunna or Kendall.

  46. I will also be supporting Tom Watson for Deputy. He is a dogged campaigner and popular with the grassroots. His work on child sex abuse scandals is commendable as well.

  47. He’s perhaps the closest Labour have to a modern day Prescott; who else is standing for deputy?

  48. Angela Eagle I’ve heard.

  49. Watson is surely a shoo-in then. Forgive me for getting distracted by shallow things, but Eagle’s hair had turned a kind of luminous yellow on the TV the other day; she looked like a female Michael Fabricant. If she wants to win she needs an image advisor and quick.

  50. Simon Danczuk is also standing for deputy I think. Angela Eagle as well.
    I cant see Harriet even quitting the commons next time if it means staying makes her mother of the house.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)