Map of the results for the 2000 Solihull council election.
Map of the results for the 2000 Solihull council election.

The 2000 Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 4 May 2000 to elect members of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in the West Midlands, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party gained overall control of the council from no overall control.[1]

Campaign

Solihull was a top target for the Conservatives in the 2000 local elections[2] with the party needing 2 gains to win an overall majority.[3] Among the councillors defending seats in the election were the Conservative leader of the council in Castle Bromwich ward and the Labour group leader.[4]

The Conservatives campaigned on promises to protect the green belt and carefully manage the council's finances, while the national party's hard line on asylum seekers was also seen by the party as helping in the election.[5] Labour defended its strongholds in the north of the council area, pledging to target spending on addressing social problems in an area with high unemployment.[5]

Election result

The results saw the Conservatives win a majority of 5 on the council to have majority control for the first time since 1991.[6][7][8] Solihull also became the first metropolitan borough with a Conservative majority since the mid-1990s.[9] The Conservative gained Elmdon from the Labour party,[7] Packwood and Shirley East from the Liberal Democrats and Shirley South where an independent councillor stood down at the election.[10] Meanwhile, the Labour group leader Mick Corser lost the election in Bickenhill after having been deselected in his previous ward of Fordbridge.[8][10][11] Overall turnout in the election was 30.1%, a rise from 28.3% in 1999.[12]

The Labour party blamed the threatened closure of the Longbridge plant for a disappointing performance in the election,[10][11] while the Conservatives put their success down to local campaigning and the national issue of pensions only going up by 75 pence.[13] Following the election the former deputy group leader Hugh Hendry was elected as the new leader of the Labour group.[14]

Solihull Local Election Result 2000[12][15]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 11 4 0 +4 64.7 58.9 27,601 +7.9%
  Labour 4 0 1 -1 23.5 18.2 8,524 -5.3%
  Liberal Democrats 2 0 2 -2 11.8 22.6 10,608 -2.9%
  Independent Labour 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.3 158 +0.3%

This result had the following consequences for the total number of seats on the council after the elections :[16]

Party Previous council New council
Conservatives 24 28
Labour 15 14
Liberal Democrat 11 9
Independent Ratepayers & Residents 1 0
Total 51 51
Working majority  -3   5 

Ward results

Bickenhill[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Sleigh 2,070 66.0 +7.4
Labour Michael Corser 854 27.2 -7.6
Liberal Democrats Linda Whitlock 213 6.8 +0.1
Majority 1,216 38.8 +15.0
Turnout 3,137 31.5 +1.6
Conservative hold Swing +7.5
Castle Bromwich[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative George Richards 2,149 74.7 +11.7
Labour Florence Nash 518 18.0 -11.1
Liberal Democrats John Knight 211 7.3 -0.6
Majority 1,631 56.7 +22.8
Turnout 2,878 30.4 +1.9
Conservative hold Swing +11.4
Chelmsley Wood[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Alfred Hill 630 53.8 -12.7
Conservative Graham Juniper 391 33.4 +9.7
Liberal Democrats Jennifer Wright 149 12.7 +3.1
Majority 239 20.4 -22.4
Turnout 1,170 15.5 -0.2
Labour hold Swing -11.2
Elmdon[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Wild 1,782 58.0 +5.3
Labour Ann Littley 1,085 35.3 -1.6
Liberal Democrats Anthony Verduyn 208 6.8 -3.7
Majority 697 22.7 +6.9
Turnout 3,075 38.2 +4.8
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +3.4
Fordbridge[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Frederick Nash 436 48.7 -17.4
Conservative Graham White 319 35.6 +10.8
Liberal Democrats Christopher Hayes 140 15.6 +6.6
Majority 117 13.1 -28.2
Turnout 895 14.6 -0.7
Labour hold Swing -14.1
Kingshurst[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Andrew Montgomerie 608 46.8 -14.6
Conservative Martin Diggins 443 34.1 +5.0
Independent Labour Brian Carter 158 12.2 +12.2
Liberal Democrats Christine Reeves 89 6.9 -2.6
Majority 165 12.7 -19.6
Turnout 1,298 22.9 +2.2
Labour hold Swing -9.8
Knowle[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Leslie Kyles 2,306 73.4 +4.6
Liberal Democrats Eric Widger 514 16.4 +1.3
Labour Kevin Foster 320 10.2 -5.9
Majority 1,792 57.1 +4.4
Turnout 3,140 35.3 +3.2
Conservative hold Swing +1.7
Lyndon[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Irene Chamberlain 1,297 58.2 -1.5
Conservative Alan Vincent 643 28.8 +4.5
Labour Michael Weale 290 13.0 -3.0
Majority 654 29.3 -6.0
Turnout 2,230 28.6 -0.4
Liberal Democrats hold Swing -3.0
Meriden[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Bell 2,061 69.0 +4.7
Labour Jonathan Maltman 508 17.0 -4.2
Liberal Democrats Peter Whitlock 417 14.0 -0.4
Majority 1,553 52.0 +8.9
Turnout 2,986 32.3 +2.0
Conservative hold Swing +4.4
Olton[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Norman Davies 1,734 50.8 -4.8
Conservative Patricia Handslip 1,456 42.7 +6.4
Labour Gerald Cooke 221 6.5 -1.6
Majority 278 8.2 -11.2
Turnout 3,411 35.9 +0.1
Liberal Democrats hold Swing -5.6
Packwood[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Andrzej Mackiewicz 2,515 56.1 +9.4
Liberal Democrats Robert Reeves 1,752 39.1 -9.4
Labour Margaret Brittin 218 4.9 -0.0
Majority 763 17.0 +15.2
Turnout 4,485 41.1 +2.4
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats Swing +9.4
Shirley East[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Neill Watts 1,861 51.3 +6.7
Liberal Democrats June Gandy 1,556 42.9 -2.1
Labour Philip Knowles 212 5.8 -4.6
Majority 305 8.4 +7.9
Turnout 3,629 39.0 +4.4
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats Swing +4.4
Shirley South[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rosemary Worsley 2,325 67.3 +4.1
Labour James Burman 626 18.1 -3.2
Liberal Democrats Douglas Hogg 502 14.5 -0.9
Majority 1,699 49.2 +7.3
Turnout 3,453 26.2 +1.4
Conservative gain from Independent Ratepayers Swing +3.7
Shirley West[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Hillas 1,694 63.0 +12.1
Labour David George 617 22.9 -10.0
Liberal Democrats Susan Reeve 379 14.1 -2.1
Majority 1,077 40.0 +22.0
Turnout 2,690 29.5 +0.9
Conservative hold Swing +11.0
Silhill[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Hogarth 2,325 67.7 +13.5
Liberal Democrats Barbara Harber 692 20.2 -12.6
Labour Marcus Bennion 416 12.1 -0.8
Majority 1,633 47.6 +26.1
Turnout 3,433 33.7 +0.7
Conservative hold Swing +13.0
Smith's Wood[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Graham Craig 605 55.0 -10.4
Conservative Daniel Kettle 361 32.8 +9.3
Liberal Democrats Sandra Oakes 135 12.3 +1.1
Majority 244 22.2 -19.7
Turnout 1,101 14.5 +0.2
Labour hold Swing -9.8
St Alphege[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Nicholas Worley 2,900 74.7 +4.0
Liberal Democrats Brenda Chapple 620 16.0 -1.4
Labour Irma Shaw 360 9.3 -2.6
Majority 2,280 58.8 +5.4
Turnout 3,880 34.5 -4.9
Conservative hold Swing +2.7

By-elections between 2000 and 2002

Shirley East by-election 28 September 2000[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brian Burgess 1,194 49.0 -2.3
Liberal Democrats June Gandy 1,116 45.8 +2.9
Labour James Burman 128 5.3 -0.5
Majority 78 3.2 -5.2
Turnout 2,438 26.1 -12.9
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats Swing -2.6

References

  1. ^ "Solihull". BBC News Online. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  2. ^ Watson, Roland (10 April 2000). "'Lots to lose', Blair tells local party activists". The Times. p. 10.
  3. ^ Hetherington, Peter; Watt, Nicholas (25 April 2000). "Armchair rebels threaten Labour hopes: Local elections: Party workers fear disillusionment and apathy as expected low turnouts prompt experiments to woo the voters". The Guardian. p. 8.
  4. ^ Luck, Deborah (4 May 2000). "Hang on to your seats as election fight begins". Birmingham Post. p. 4.
  5. ^ a b "Battleground Solihull: Conservatives fight for a metropolitan foothold". Financial Times. 5 May 2000. p. 6.
  6. ^ Frean, Alexandra (5 May 2000). "Tory grass roots burst into life". The Times. p. 1.
  7. ^ a b Gray, Chris (5 May 2000). "Tories win Solihull City socialists axed Knowles out as Labour crumbles". Birmingham Post. p. 1.
  8. ^ a b "Borough still not true Blue". Birmingham Post. 6 May 2000. p. 5.
  9. ^ "Tories set to revive power base in local government". Financial Times. 5 May 2000. p. 6.
  10. ^ a b c Walker, Jonathan (5 May 2000). "Labour leader is ousted as Tories regain control". Birmingham Post. p. 3.
  11. ^ a b "Labour vote hit by crisis at Rover". Birmingham Post. 5 May 2000. p. 1.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Local Election Results - 2000". Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 2 September 2000. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  13. ^ "Election special: End of a 10-year Tory wait". Birmingham Mail. 5 May 2000. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  14. ^ Lissaman, Vicky (8 May 2000). "Labour group appoints leader". Birmingham Mail. p. 6.
  15. ^ "Election results: local councils". The Times. 5 May 2000. p. 4.
  16. ^ "Local council results". Financial Times. 6 May 2000. p. 6.
  17. ^ Lissaman, Vicky (29 September 2000). "Tories tighten grip on council". Birmingham Mail. p. 31.