Map of the results for the 1999 Solihull council election.
Map of the results for the 1999 Solihull council election.

The 1999 Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 6 May 1999 to elect members of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in the West Midlands, England. One third of the council was up for election and the council stayed under no overall control.[1][2]

Campaign

Before the election the Conservative party needed to gain 5 seats in order to take control over the council, which was being run by a Labour led administration.[3][4] The Conservatives were defending 7 seats at the election, compared to 6 for Labour, 4 for the Liberal Democrats and 1 independent seat.[5] The 2 seats that were to be contested in Shirley West ward after the death of a Labour councillor and the stepping down of an independent councillor at the election were top targets for the Conservatives.[3][4]

Labour defended their record in control of the council pointing to their record in combating crime and surpassing national targets for reducing class sizes.[5] However the Conservatives were optimistic of making gains and said they could deliver good services, while keeping council tax levels low.[5]

Election result

The results saw the Conservatives make 3 gains to strengthen their position as the largest party on the council with 24 seats, but failed to make the 5 gains they needed to take majority control.[6] The Conservatives easily gained the 2 seats contested in Shirley West and another in Elmdon from Labour,[7] but fell short in another 2 seats.[8] They were just 15 votes from winning Shirley East from the Liberal Democrats,[7] while in Packwood the Liberal Democrats held on by 76 votes over the Conservatives after 2 recounts.[8] Overall turnout in the election was 28.3%.[9]

The Conservatives won over half of the votes in the election, but combined the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties retained more seats.[10] However following the election the Liberal Democrats refused to make any agreement with Labour, thus allowing the Conservatives to take control as the largest party from Labour who had run the council since 1996.[11][12] Labour councillor Arthur Harper was meanwhile elected mayor, becoming the first Labour councillor to hold the post since 1980.[12]

Solihull Local Election Result 1999[13]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 10 3 0 +3 55.5 51.0 22,828 +6.0%
  Liberal Democrats 4 0 0 0 22.2 25.5 11,423 +2.2%
  Labour 4 0 2 -2 22.2 23.5 10,518 -1.9%

This result had the following consequences for the total number of seats on the council after the elections :[14]

Party Previous council New council
Conservatives 21 24
Labour 17 15
Liberal Democrat 11 11
Independent Ratepayers & Residents 2 1
Total 51 51
Working majority  -9   -3 

Ward results

Bickenhill[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alan Martin 1,765 58.6 +21.8
Labour Frederick Nash 1,049 34.8 -23.7
Liberal Democrats Christine Reeves 200 6.6 +1.8
Majority 716 23.8 +2.0
Turnout 3,014 29.9 -5.4
Conservative hold Swing +22.8
Castle Bromwich[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robin Draycott 1,705 63.0 +0.9
Labour Marcus Brain 788 29.1 +0.2
Liberal Democrats John Knight 214 7.9 -1.2
Majority 917 33.9 +0.7
Turnout 2,707 28.5 -1.0
Conservative hold Swing +0.3
Chelmsley Wood[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Nicholas Stephens 841 66.6 -3.0
Conservative Graham White 300 23.8 +1.7
Liberal Democrats Bernard Wright 122 9.7 -1.4
Majority 541 42.8 -4.7
Turnout 1,263 15.7 -0.9
Labour hold Swing -2.3
Elmdon[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Bramham 1,430 52.7 +11.5
Labour Florence Nash 1,003 36.9 -14.1
Liberal Democrats Barbara Harber 283 10.4 +2.5
Majority 427 15.7 +5.8
Turnout 2,716 33.4 -2.7
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +12.8
Fordbridge[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Kenneth Harrop 638 66.1 -2.2
Conservative Timothy Vernon 240 24.9 +1.7
Liberal Democrats Jennifer Wright 87 9.0 +0.5
Majority 398 41.2 -4.0
Turnout 965 15.3 +0.9
Labour hold Swing -2.0
Kingshurst[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Kimberley 745 61.4 +17.1
Conservative Joan Allsopp 353 29.1 +10.0
Liberal Democrats Christopher Hayes 115 9.5 +5.3
Majority 392 32.3 +20.3
Turnout 1,213 20.7 -0.2
Labour hold Swing +3.5
Knowle[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Don Blake 1,977 68.8 +6.5
Labour C. Cotton 463 16.1 -6.0
Liberal Democrats Douglas Hogg 434 15.1 -0.5
Majority 1,514 52.7 +12.4
Turnout 2,874 32.1 -0.3
Conservative hold Swing +6.2
Lyndon[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Olive Hogg 1,371 59.7 +3.2
Conservative T. Handslip 560 24.4 -4.3
Labour Kevin Foster 367 16.0 +1.1
Majority 811 35.3 +7.6
Turnout 2,298 29.0 -1.30
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +3.7
Meriden[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Kenneth Allsopp 1,786 64.4 -4.5
Labour Patricia Harrop 590 21.3 +2.2
Liberal Democrats Peter Whitlock 399 14.4 +2.4
Majority 1,196 43.1 -6.7
Turnout 2,775 30.3 -2.3
Conservative hold Swing -3.3
Olton[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Honor Cox 1,917 55.6 +3.7
Conservative Donald Jones 1,251 36.3 +1.5
Labour Philip Knowles 279 8.1 -0.5
Majority 666 19.3 +2.2
Turnout 3,447 35.8 -0.6
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +1.1
Packwood[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Peter Lee 2,005 48.5 +5.0
Conservative Robert Sleigh 1,929 46.6 -5.0
Labour William Shaw 203 4.9 +0.0
Majority 76 1.8 -6.3
Turnout 4,137 38.7 -1.3
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +5.0
Shirley East[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats John Reeve 1,472 45.0 -2.7
Conservative Neill Watts 1,457 44.6 +6.3
Labour Margaret Brittin 340 10.4 +0.5
Majority 15 0.5 -9.0
Turnout 3,269 34.6 -0.5
Liberal Democrats hold Swing -4.5
Shirley South[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Fiona Mawson 2,101 63.2 +22.7
Labour Bernard McElholm 709 21.3 +2.2
Liberal Democrats Eric Widger 515 15.5 +6.4
Majority 1,392 41.9 +32.6
Turnout 3,325 24.8 -2.3
Conservative hold Swing +10.2
Shirley West[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Skelding 1,375 50.9 +18.2
Conservative Ian Hillas 1,339
Labour David George 889 32.9 +6.4
Labour Michael Weale 798
Liberal Democrats Susan Reeve 437 16.2 +10.2
Liberal Democrats Anthony Verduyn 274
Majority 486 18.0 +11.8
Turnout 2,701 28.6 -1.0
Conservative gain from Independent Ratepayers Swing
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +5.9
Silhill[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Susan Gomm 1,838 54.3 +6.9
Liberal Democrats Robert Reeves 1,111 32.8 -9.0
Labour Richard Sumner 438 12.9 +2.1
Majority 727 21.5 +15.9
Turnout 3,387 33.0 -3.6
Conservative hold Swing +7.9
Smith's Wood[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Donald Cornock 759 65.3 -4.8
Conservative Daniel Kettle 273 23.5 +2.2
Liberal Democrats Keith Brown 130 11.2 +2.6
Majority 486 41.8 -7.0
Turnout 1,162 14.3 -1.0
Labour hold Swing -3.5
St. Alphege[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Stuart Davis 2,488 70.8 -0.1
Liberal Democrats Brenda Chapple 611 17.4 -0.9
Labour Marcus Bennion 417 11.9 +1.0
Majority 1,877 53.4 +0.8
Turnout 3,516 31.0 -2.1
Conservative hold Swing +0.4

References

  1. ^ "Solihull". BBC News Online. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Solihull M. B. C. Election Results Sheet, 6 May 1999", Solihull M.B.C.(1999).
  3. ^ a b Bell, David (9 April 1999). "Labour 'is facing poll meltdown' Birmingham and Solihull council election nominations: Party's appeal waning -report". Birmingham Mail. p. 6.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Lisa (5 May 1999). "Local election countdown: Line polling decider". Birmingham Mail. p. 6.
  5. ^ a b c Summers, Deborah (22 April 1999). "All to play for in town of scandal". Birmingham Post. p. 4.
  6. ^ Worrall, Boris (8 May 1999). "Middle England takes its revenge". Birmingham Post. p. 3.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Lisa (7 May 1999). "Just a few votes from winning back control". Birmingham Post. p. 7.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Lisa (7 May 1999). "3 key seats swing right". Birmingham Mail. p. 6.
  9. ^ "Local Election Results - 2000". Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 2 September 2000. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  10. ^ Smith, Lisa (11 May 1999). "Tories bid to run council". Birmingham Mail. p. 6.
  11. ^ Smith, Lisa (13 May 1999). "Tories set to seize back Solihull". Birmingham Mail. p. 5.
  12. ^ a b Swingler, Steve (18 May 1999). "Solihull back under control of Tories". Birmingham Post. p. 3.
  13. ^ "Local Councils: Results round-up". The Times. 7 May 1999. p. 4.
  14. ^ "How Britain voted: Council Election Results". The Independent. 8 May 1999. p. 12.