Birmingham, Ladywood

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4576 (12.7%)
Labour: 26444 (73.6%)
Lib Dem: 1374 (3.8%)
Green: 1501 (4.2%)
UKIP: 1805 (5%)
Others: 216 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 21868 (60.9%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Aston, Nechels, Bordesley, Ladywood.

Profile: Ladywood consists of Aston, Nechells, Ladywood and Soho wards and covers the city centre of Brimingham. Ladywood has traditionally been one of the most deprived seats in the country, with one of the highest levels of unemployment, highest numbers of lone parents and very low levels of home and car ownership. It also has one of the highest proportions of non-white voters, with well over two-thirds of the population from an ethnic minority. Soho ward to the West has a higher proportion of home ownership and has a high Sikh population, Aston and Nechells are more Muslim and more dominated by council housing. The seat includes HMP Birmingham at Winson Green, Aston University and both Aston Villa and Birmingham City football clubs. Ladywood ward itself is underdergoing massive regeneration. In the city centre the Bullring shopping centre was demolished and replaced with a new modern shopping centre in 2003, the high rise estates in Lee Bank have been demolished and replaced with modern housing and similar redevelopment is ongoing as part of the Eastside development.

Politics: Birmingham Ladywood is a safe Labour seat, held by the party since the second world war with the exception of a year of Liberal representation after a 1969 by-election win. Until 2010 it was represented by Clare Short, the left-wing Labour cabinet minister who threatened to resign if Britain went to war in Iraq, but failed to do so until after the war had concluded. She later said she was ashamed of the Blair government and resigned the Labour whip, serving out the remainder of her final term as an independent MP.

Current MP
SHABANA MAHMOOD (Labour) Born 1982, Small Heath. Educated at Oxford University. Barrister. First elected as MP for Birmingham Ladywood in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 4277 (12%)
Lab: 19950 (56%)
LDem: 9845 (27%)
UKIP: 902 (3%)
Oth: 859 (2%)
MAJ: 10105 (28%)
Con: 3515 (11%)
Lab: 17262 (52%)
LDem: 10461 (31%)
UKIP: 2008 (6%)
MAJ: 6801 (20%)
Con: 3551 (11%)
Lab: 21694 (69%)
LDem: 2586 (8%)
UKIP: 283 (1%)
Oth: 3379 (11%)
MAJ: 18143 (58%)
Con: 5052 (13%)
Lab: 28134 (74%)
LDem: 3020 (8%)
Oth: 685 (2%)
MAJ: 23082 (61%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
ISABEL SIGMAC (Conservative)
SHABANA MAHMOOD (Labour) See above.
SHAZAD IQBAL (Liberal Democrat)
TIMOTHY BURTON (Vote for Real People)
Comments - 60 Responses on “Birmingham, Ladywood”
  1. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown reports from Ladywood where, she avers, 70% of children are now raised in households without fathers:^editors_choice

  2. I thought it was a good article. Labour advocate this nonsense for which we all have to pay for, as taxpayers, and as a society. Until politicians start condemning this type of careless, irresponsible behaviour by some of these women the cycle will never be broken.

  3. What nonsense.

    I assume you mean we don’t think there’s any point in demonising single parents – nor harming their children by refusing to pay benefits.

    The reasons why there are a high number of single parents are many and varied, but I suggest you do a comparison with say, Beaconsfield, or Mid-Sussex, and see if you can start to work it out.

    Incidentally, its not religiosity – many more people in this area are likely to practice a faith than in ‘Middle England’

  4. “What nonsense”

    What is nonsense? Your party have been behind the mass breakdown of the traditional family unit for years so for Miss Brown to pretend to be shocked and upset by it is ridiculous.

  5. Indeed that was a really good article, and thanks for linking to it.

    Personally I am very queasy about making family breakdown a party political issue, and the article itself makes this point. Clearly it is a by-product of many social and economic changes over many decades, and I do not see how it can be reversed. The major point jumping out of the article is the collapse of the extended family support network, which is inevitable in a world where we all move so far away from our families.

  6. 2012 council election results for this constituency:

    Labour: 12,400 (64.3%)
    Liberal Democrats: 4,298 (22.3%)
    Conservatives: 1,269 (6.6%)
    Greens: 870 (4.5%)
    UKIP: 215 (1.1%)
    Independent: 145 (negligible)
    Socialist Labour: 79 (negligible)

    Total votes: 19,276

    Compared to the 2010 council election results in Ladywood:

    Labour: +9.8%
    Liberal Democrats: -4.6%
    Conservatives: -5.8%
    Greens: +0.7%
    UKIP +1.1%

    Swing from LD to Labour: 7.2%

  7. A Jonathan Meades documentary on Birmingham (broadcast in 1998). Obviously a bit out-of-date now but still interesting:

  8. 2015

    Lab 63
    LD 16
    Con 8
    UKIP 7
    Others 6

  9. The swing from Clare Short in 2005 must have been bloody huge if her majority was cut down to that level. Although she did manage to hold onto just more than half of vote in Ladywood. I’m assuming it was down to Iraq more than anything.

    Did the Lib Dems target this one in 2010 a lot?

    Labour got this back in their favour last time so it’s a good bet that this will revert to “ultra safe” at the next election.

  10. It’s especially interesting given that Short resigned from the cabinet in opposition to the Iraq war, though she supported it through gritted teeth for the first few weeks. Maybe that is what cost her dear with the voters, compared with Robin Cook who resigned immediately.

    Ironically Short became blisteringly critical of the Blair and Brown governments after her resignation, to a far more vituperative degree than almost any other Iraq rebel. A kind of Labour Zac Goldsmith in that regard. But it seemed to help her very little in terms of her own seat.

  11. Interestingly, Lib Dem blogger Stephen Tall compared Sarah Teather to Clare Short soon after she announced her retirement:

  12. Clare Short always talked the talk better than she walked the walk.

  13. 2005 also had a lot to do to with the birmingham postal vote trial that had sent labour in Aston into disarray, and the lib dem being local in both years.

  14. Documentary about life in Winson Green:

  15. A few problems afflicting Birmingham according to the Ofsted chief inspector:

    “:: Infant mortality rates almost twice the national average and “worse than in Cuba and on a par with Latvia and Chile”.
    :: Having 12 of the 20 neighbourhoods which have declined most dramatically in the whole of England over the past 10 years.
    :: A third of children growing up in households on low incomes.
    :: The highest levels of homelessness in the country and double the national unemployment rate.”

  16. “Having 12 of the 20 neighbourhoods which have declined most dramatically in the whole of England over the past 10 years.”

    This is particularly surprising as most parts of this seat were so poor to start with that there wasn’t much further that they could decline. The only exceptions would be new private flats etc around the city centre and presumably these aren’t the areas that have declined. All the rest of this seat is abject

  17. I need to do more work to extract 2011 census data for parliamentary constituencies (hard work), but this was the seat with the highest unemployment at 2001. The large number of flats built in the city centre in the 2000s might mean that the ethnic minority percentage has actually declined in Ladywood ward, although this will probably be offset elsewhere in the seat. The area with the race riots in 2004 (Lozells) was moved into Perry Barr at the last boundary change.

    There are a lot of council estates in Ladywood and Aston (Newtown), and Nechells is almost entirely council, where it isn’t simply industrial dereliction. There is a great deal of poor owner-occupied housing outside the estates (now almost entirely Asian – Sikh in Soho and Pakistani in Aston). There is an influx of people from everywhere into the private rented segment.

    Much as I like my city I have to agree with Pete that most of this seat is abjectly poor, although some of the new developments in the city centre along the canals are quite nice

  18. @John Chanin

    Of course the people who live there compare it to Lahore
    and Peshawar and by those standards it’s paradise.

  19. Only 50 years since the West Midlands was the richest part of the country too…

  20. Neville Chamberlain was MP for Birmingham Ladywood until 1931 when he switched to Birmingham Edgbaston. The seat remained safe for the Unionists until the Second World War.Times change.

    I understand that the MP here has just got away without disciplinary action at Westminster after taking direct action to close the local Sainsbury’s for being pro Israel.

    What would have happened if she had been white, although it is difficult to see a white candidate being chosen by Labour here? Similarly, what would have happened if she had been opposing Islamic extremism?

    Equality means equality for everybody. The political parties nationally must stand up for this even when it is hard, as in seats like this with a non-white majority.

    A few years, even just a couple, of years, down the road the country could be in very serious trouble if the situation in Syria and Iraq leads to undemocratic risings in the United Kingdom or England. Parliamentary democracy is a basic human right and needs to be defended.

  21. I see Anthony has chopped out our entire discussion from yesterday. Though it veered a bit off the comments policy, this is an OTT response.

    To relate Frederic’s point to psephology, I wonder whether Labour might not suffer in heavily Jewish marginal seats from antics such as Mahmood’s. You could envisage Tories in Hendon or Bury South making hay out of Labour politicians trying to ban Sainsburys from selling kosher goods.

    The key weak point in Sayeeda Warsi’s analysis is the fact that the Tories have nothing to gain electorally by cuddling up to muslims. They could bend over backwards yet the vast majority of muslims would vote Labour regardless. Unlike the Jewish whose votes are increasingly necessary for the Tories in several key seats, and whom Labour cannot afford to piss off if they want to win the likes of Hendon and Ilford North.

  22. What discussion was that?

  23. It isn’t a bad point. There is little doubt that the Labour candidates for both Hendon & Bury S would strongly dissociate themselves from such activities but it isn’t impossible that there could be some effect. Ilford N has a declining though still significant Jewish vote.

  24. Barnaby what was this discussion that Hemmelig referred to above? I don’t recall seeing any comments on here yesterday apart from Frederick’s?

  25. I didn’t see the discussion referred to either. I was replying to the point HH made in his second paragraph. Maybe it was about extending the franchise to 16- & 17-year-olds?

  26. Yes it’s coming back to me now I think that’s right Barnaby something to do with votes for 16-18 year olds?

  27. In fact did said discussion actually take place on this thread?

  28. The popular consensus might be that the Tories are pro Israel at the moment, but try saying that to the Tory councillor in Walsall who succeeded in persuading the council to fly the Palestinian flag over the town hall. That was something I was not happy about.

  29. The 16- & 17-year-olds thing was on Doncaster North thread IIRC

  30. Thanks Andrea.

  31. Adam – that’s true, it isn’t always Labour who are pro Palestianians and Tories who are pro Israel. In Liverpool, MPs Louise Ellman, Stephen Twigg and Luciana Berger are members of Labour Friends of Israel, as is the PCC Jane Kennedy. Liverpool has also had 8 Jewish Lord Mayor’s, Jewish journalists and leading lawyers even though the Jewish population is just 0.6%. Manchester has a larger Jewish org but also a large Muslim population unlike Liverpool.

  32. “it isn’t always Labour who are pro Palestianians and Tories who are pro Israel.”

    In terms of individuals you are right….but the parties nationally are increasingly being forced to take sides. Labour’s hands are tied by their significant muslim voter base and Respect etc snapping at their heels in Bradford and East London. Sooner or later it is bound to have a big impact on their remaining Jewish support, which is still considerable in some places.

    The Tories have nothing to lose by upsetting the muslim vote so might as well go all out pro-Israel.

    Interestingly my own MP (Soames) is one of the few pro-Palestinian Tories but he has kept extremely quiet about it recently.

  33. when people speak of being ‘pro-Israel.’ or ‘pro-Palestine.’ or they really just veiling being ‘anti-Jewish.’ or ‘anti-Muslim.’ in an effort to impress Muslim and Jewish voters respectively.

    I think being pro-Palestine would be the best tac tic as in due course islam will be England’s biggest religion as it already is here but if that is your tac tic you may as well become pro-sharia law , after all 40% of Muslims support that.

  34. I don’t see how anyone can be dismissive of ordinary people being shelled in Gaza.
    There are many different strands of Muslim aswell.

    I think Israel should have been more reasonable agreeing territory a long time ago, then it wouldn’t have got this bad,
    but it’s hard to get it back in the bottle now.

  35. I don’t think British politicians should be taking sides in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and I’m fairly neutral on it as both sides have legitimate causes. But I do believe that Israel has a right to defend itself and that Israel does need to respect pre 1967 borders if it wants a lasting peace settlement.

  36. Isn’t Crispin Blunt (Reigate MP) quite supportive of the Palestinians? Sarah Wollaston spoke out in support of Sayeeda Warsi’s resignation in the media.

    Margot James’ position is interesting. She says that she’s supportive of Israel, but has recently been nudging the Foreign Secretary to have a rethink on Gaza.

  37. HH – that’s true. JJB – except that Israel withdrew from Gaza years ago and yet still got rockets fired at her daily. Neil – yes, Woolaston takes very individual positions. I rate her but think of her as an Ind as she was chosen in an all postal primary selection. The most anti-Jewish MP in the Commons is actually Jewish. Kaufman even attacks, “the Jews” including fellow MP Ellman. Even Galloway hasn’t said that in the Chamber, although his views are more extreme.

  38. Of course they didn’t withdraw. They operate Gaza as a giant prison camp. Shabana Mahmood reflects the views of her constituency. I agree with her.

  39. You agree with her that Sainsbury’s should be closed down for selling kosher food?

  40. The Israel/Palestine debate seems to send even sensible people completely nuts. I know the conflict has been going on for centuries, but why usually balanced people lose all sense of proportion and persistently deify one side while damning the other is a complete mystery to me.

  41. Dr John – that’s sadly true. Merseymike doesn’t like the occupation of the West Bank and so this leads him and much of the Far Left to deny a simple chronological fact re Gaza and goes on to accuse a Jewish state of creating a prison camp, which incites given the concentration camps. She certainly does represent the views of her constitunts as does Galloway, but that doesn’t make them right. Gerry Adams represented the views of most of West Belfast.

  42. This was held briefly by the tories in 1976-79 , I imagine these were mainly blue-collar voters, this makes sense as the NF got 8% in that by-election. I’m surprised such a working class area would go blue really.

  43. No it wasn’t. You’re thinking of Birmingham Stechford which elected the Conservative Andrew Mackay in 1977, but reverted to Labour in the general election. This seat was held by Labour in a by-election in the same year, the member elected being John Sever, who however lost out in a selection contest for the redrawn seat in 1983 to Clare Short, and never made it back to Parliament.

  44. And it was that Andrew MacKay that got elected in East Berkshire, later Bracknell, in 1983, though he ended up one of the more grievous offenders in the expenses scandal and was pretty much forced to stand down for 2010.

  45. Ladywood will be another easy Labour hold. The only interest for me being whether the Tory score nudges up a bit as a result of gentrification around the Jewellery Quarter. I suspect the Lib Dems will do enough to hold on to second place but it may be close with the Tories.

  46. Labour Hold. 18,000 majority.

  47. Labour held with a giant 21,868 majority here, just as I suspected. Very similar to Clare Short’s 1997 majority now.

  48. This seat has a huge Labour majority now. But don’t forget the predecessor Ladywood seat was Tory/Chamberlainit between the wars and went Liberal in the late 1960s. Nothing is for ever in politics!

  49. The bit that went Liberal, Frederic, amounts to about half of the single ward of Ladywood. The seat now covers most of the inner city.

  50. “This seat has a huge Labour majority now. But don’t forget the predecessor Ladywood seat was Tory/Chamberlainit between the wars and went Liberal in the late 1960s. Nothing is for ever in politics!”

    The 1955 to 1974 Birmingham Ladywood had absolutely nothing to do with this constituency. This constituency is the successor to Birmingham All Saints and inherited All Saints MP Brian Walden in Feb 1974.

    The pre-1974 Ladywood had an electorate of 18771 in 1970 and comparing the two would be like comparing the current Birmingham Hall Green with the old constituency of the same name.

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)