Map of the results for the 2003 Solihull council election.
Map of the results for the 2003 Solihull council election.

The 2003 Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 1 May 2003 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 stayed in overall control of the council.[1]

Campaign

Before the election the Conservatives ran the council with 28 seats, compared to 13 for Labour and 10 for the Liberal Democrats, with 17 seats being contested in the election.[2] The election came after a by-election in Shirley West ward in March 2003, which saw the Liberal Democrats gain the seat on a swing of 26%,[2][3] making that ward a key seat in the election.[4]

Issues in the election included broad opposition to windfall development, while Labour campaigned on a north-south divide they said was evident in the council.[2] Proposals for the expansion of Birmingham Airport divided the parties, with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats opposing expansion, while almost all Labour councillors supported it.[4] A recent increase in council tax of 11% was another issue in the election, with the ruling Conservative group blaming the increase on the national Labour government due to a change in the grant,[4] but the Labour Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford said the increase was double that of other local Labour controlled councils.[5]

Election result

The results saw the Conservatives keep a 5-seat majority on the council.[6] The Conservatives gained one seat from the Liberal Democrats in Packwood ward, but lost another one back to the Liberal Democrats in Shirley West.[7]

Solihull Local Election Result 2003[8]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 9 1 1 0 52.9 51.3 22,557 +2.1%
  Liberal Democrats 4 1 1 0 23.5 30.8 13,524 +3.7%
  Labour 4 0 0 0 23.5 17.9 7,850 -5.8%

This result had the following consequences for the total number of seats on the council after the elections :[9]

Party Previous council New council
Conservatives 28 28
Labour 13 13
Liberal Democrat 10 10
Total 51 51
Working majority  5   5 

Ward results

Bickenhill[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alan Martin 1,765 67.9 +27.8
Labour Florence Nash 747 28.7 -25.5
Liberal Democrats Douglas Hogg 89 3.4 -2.3
Majority 1,018 39.1 -25.0
Turnout 2,601 25.2 -10.5
Conservative hold Swing +26.6
Castle Bromwich[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robin Draycott 1,731 66.8 +1.4
Labour James Moore 589 22.7 -1.6
Liberal Democrats Geoffrey Daniell 270 10.4 +0.1
Majority 1,142 44.1 +3.1
Turnout 2,590 28.2 -3.6
Conservative hold Swing +1.5
Chelmsley Wood[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Nicholas Stephens 719 58.8 -3.4
Conservative Martin McCarthy 330 27.0 +2.8
Liberal Democrats Jennifer Wright 173 14.2 +0.6
Majority 389 31.8 -6.2
Turnout 1,222 16.9 -2.7
Labour hold Swing -3.1
Elmdon[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Bramham 1,268 48.1 +3.4
Liberal Democrats Nigel Dyer 864 32.8 +18.6
Labour Frederick Churchill 502 19.1 -22.0
Majority 404 15.3 +11.6
Turnout 2,634 33.8 -3.9
Conservative hold Swing -7.6
Fordbridge[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Kenneth Harrop 485 56.1 -5.2
Conservative Michael Robinson 252 29.2 +2.5
Liberal Democrats Christopher Hayes 127 14.7 +2.6
Majority 233 27.0 -7.6
Turnout 864 15.0 -4.8
Labour hold Swing -3.8
Kingshurst[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Kimberley 669 59.8 -3.5
Conservative David Plaister 360 32.2 +5.4
Liberal Democrats Bernard Wright 90 8.0 -2.0
Majority 309 27.6 -8.9
Turnout 1,119 20.7 -3.1
Labour hold Swing -4.4
Knowle[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Blake 2,173 71.4 +6.1
Liberal Democrats David Small 563 18.5 -3.0
Labour Patricia Harrop 307 10.1 -3.1
Majority 1,610 52.9 +9.1
Turnout 3,043 34.9 -2.0
Conservative hold Swing +4.5
Lyndon[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Olive Hogg 1,479 67.3 +1.9
Conservative Gary Allport 441 20.1 +0.4
Labour Catherine Connan 279 12.7 -2.2
Majority 1,038 47.2 +1.6
Turnout 2,199 28.9 -2.9
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +0.7
Meriden[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Kenneth Allsopp 2,054 64.2 -5.4
Labour Jonathan Maltman 581 18.2 +1.7
Liberal Democrats Peter Whitlock 563 17.6 +3.6
Majority 1,473 46.1 -7.0
Turnout 3,198 34.0 -2.0
Conservative hold Swing -3.5
Olton[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Honor Cox 1,953 63.4 +1.6
Conservative Jeffrey Stocks 942 30.6 +0.2
Labour Rajeshwar Singh 187 6.1 -1.7
Majority 1,011 32.8 +1.4
Turnout 3,082 33.6 -5.0
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +0.7
Packwood[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Courts 2,522 62.4 +1.7
Liberal Democrats Christine Reeves 1,226 30.4 -2.4
Labour Kenneth Nye 291 7.2 +0.7
Majority 1,296 32.1 +4.1
Turnout 4,039 34.6 -3.3
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats Swing +2.0
Shirley East[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats John Reeve 1,567 49.8 -7.3
Conservative Patricia Handslip 1,307 41.5 +6.5
Labour Kevin Raven 273 8.7 +0.8
Majority 260 8.3 -13.8
Turnout 3,147 34.4 -4.7
Liberal Democrats hold Swing -6.9
Shirley South[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Fiona Oakes 1,897 53.3 -1.0
Liberal Democrats Roger Gemmell 1,151 32.3 +4.6
Labour James Burman 512 14.4 -3.7
Majority 746 21.0 -5.6
Turnout 3,560 27.5 -1.2
Conservative hold Swing -2.8
Shirley West[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Susan Reeve 1,492 56.3 +35.2
Conservative David Skelding 843 31.8 -22.3
Labour Arthur Harper 317 12.0 -12.8
Majority 649 24.5 -4.8
Turnout 2,652 29.5 -0.9
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing +28.7
Silhill[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Susan Gomm 1,849 61.4 -0.3
Liberal Democrats Barbara Harber 794 26.4 +2.9
Labour Una Kimberley 370 12.3 -2.5
Majority 1,055 35.0 -3.1
Turnout 3,013 30.7 -4.6
Conservative hold Swing -1.6
Smith's Wood[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Donald Cornock 716 59.9 -5.2
Conservative Daniel Kettle 307 25.7 +3.9
Liberal Democrats Brenda Davies 173 14.5 +1.4
Majority 409 34.2 -9.1
Turnout 1,196 16.5 -1.9
Labour hold Swing -4.5
St Alphege[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Stuart Davis 2,516 66.7 +0.6
Liberal Democrats Brenda Chapple 950 25.2 +1.0
Labour Marcus Bennion 306 8.1 -1.6
Majority 1,566 41.5 -0.4
Turnout 3,772 34.1 -3.0
Conservative hold Swing -0.2

References

  1. ^ "Local elections". BBC News Online. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Watts, Anna (8 April 2003). "Solihull council nominations". Birmingham Mail. p. 13.
  3. ^ "Birmingham Elections: Conservatives view poll as start of gradual march back to power". Birmingham Post. 15 April 2003. p. 4.
  4. ^ a b c Connor, Neil (24 April 2003). "Election 2003: Airport controversy acting as runway for election take-off ; In the run-up to the local council elections on May 1, The Birmingham Post will be looking at some of the region's key election battlegrounds. Neil Connor puts Solihull under the spotlight". Birmingham Post. p. 4.
  5. ^ Walker, Jonathan (30 April 2003). "Labour and Tories cross swords as battle for Midlands begins". Birmingham Post. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Local elections 2003: Still true blue!; Solihull Tories maintain control after early blow". Birmingham Mail. 2 May 2003. p. 1.
  7. ^ "Elections 2003: Early scare but Tories stand fast; Solihull". Birmingham Mail. 2 May 2003. p. 14.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Borough Council election" (PDF). Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Tories stay in control". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 3 May 2003. p. 5.