Map of the results of the 2006 Solihull election. Conservatives in blue, Liberal Democrats in yellow, Labour in red and British National Party in dark blue.
Map of the results of the 2006 Solihull election. Conservatives in blue, Liberal Democrats in yellow, Labour in red and British National Party in dark blue.

The 2006 Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 4 May 2006 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 there had been two by-elections resulting in Conservative holds, and a Liberal Democrat defection in Shirley West, with Howard Allen changing to Independent. As such the Conservatives ran the council with 27 seats, compared to 14 for the Liberal Democrats, 8 for Labour and 2 independents.[2] This meant the Liberal Democrats only needed to gain 2 seats to deprive the Conservatives of a majority,[3] with predictions in the press that they could achieve this,[4][5] after gaining the parliamentary seat at the 2005 general election.[2][6]

The Liberal Democrats campaigned against cuts to Solihull's Music Service, opposed windfall developments and brought the president of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes to Solihull to open their local election campaign.[7] The Conservative leader of the council Ted Richards predicted their record would enable them to stay in control and the party supported the expansion of Birmingham Airport and the bringing of a Super Casino to the region, both of which the Liberal Democrats opposed.[8] Other issues in the election included proposals for the regeneration of Shirley and Chelmsley Wood, and a plan to transform northern Solihull.[9] Apart from the 3 parties with seats on the council, there were also candidates from the British National Party, Green Party and 2 independents in Shirley, both of whom former incumbent Conservative councillors for the old Shirley seats.[2]

All 3 of the main party group leaders from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties signed a pledge to avoid damaging race relations during the campaign.[10]

Election result

The results saw the Conservative keep control of the council, but with their majority reduced to just 1 seat.[11] The Conservative majority was reduced after the Liberal Democrats gained Shirley South from the Conservatives, meaning the Conservatives had 26 seats compared to 15 for the Liberal Democrats.[11] The British National Party won a first seat on the council after winning Chelmsley Wood ward from Labour by 19 votes after a recount.[11] This reduced Labour to 7 seats, while the 2 independent councillors were not defending seats at the election.[11] Overall turnout in the election was 38.4%.[12]

The successful British National Party candidate George Morgan described his win as a victory for the ordinary working man[13] and put his success down to disillusionment with politicians, immigration and local social issues such as rubbish.[11] Meanwhile, the defeated Labour candidate blamed recent events involving the national Labour government for his defeat.[14] Following the election the other councillors from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties said they would have nothing to do with the British National Party councillor.[15]

Solihull Local Election Result 2006[16][17]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 10 0 1 -1 58.8 46.3 26,822 -7.7%
  Liberal Democrats 5 1 0 +1 29.4 34.1 19,785 +1.0%
  Labour 1 0 1 -1 5.9 11.0 6,386 +0.4%
  BNP 1 1 0 +1 5.9 3.7 2,139 +3.1%
  Green 0 0 0 0 0 2.9 1,679 +2.9%
  Independent 0 0 0 0 0 2.0 1,164 +0.5%

This result had the following consequences for the total number of seats on the council after the elections :[18]

Party Previous council New council
Conservatives 27 26
Liberal Democrat 14 15
Labour 8 7
Independent 2 2
BNP 0 1
Total 51 51
Working majority  3   1 

Ward results

Bickenhill[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alan Martin 1,942 64.5 +33.3
Labour Arthur Harper 581 19.3 +7.9
Liberal Democrats Anthony Verduyn 487 16.2 +7.3
Majority 1,361 45.2 +27.9
Turnout 3,010 34.1 -6.3
Conservative hold Swing +12.7
Blythe[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brian Burgess 1,662 46.5 +3.1
Liberal Democrats Charles Robinson 1,509 42.2 -4.3
Green Pauline Smith 226 6.3 +6.3
Labour Rajeshwar Singh 181 5.1 -5.1
Majority 153 4.3 +1.2
Turnout 3,578 38.8 -1.7
Conservative hold Swing +3.7
Castle Bromwich[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Robinson 2,277 68.1 +3.7
Liberal Democrats Andrew Bull 684 20.5 +4.6
Labour Mohammed Rashid 381 11.4 -8.3
Majority 1,593 47.7 +2.9
Turnout 3,342 37.2 -1.1
Conservative hold Swing -0.4
Chelmsley Wood[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
BNP George Morgan 707 33.0 +7.1
Labour Nicholas Stephens 688 32.1 -8.0
Conservative Martin McCarthy 451 21.1 +1.6
Liberal Democrats James-Morgan Tudor 295 13.8 -0.7
Majority 19 0.9 -13.3
Turnout 2,141 26.2 +0.7
BNP gain from Labour Swing +7.5
Dorridge and Hockley Heath[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ian Courts 2,435 63.8 +4.6
Liberal Democrats Jennifer Wright 913 23.9 -4.7
Green Pamela Archer 290 7.6 +7.6
Labour Michelle Cluney 177 4.6 -7.5
Majority 1,522 39.9 +9.4
Turnout 3,815 45.4 -2.2
Conservative hold Swing +4.6
Elmdon[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Kenneth Hawkins 1,987 49.3 +4.5
Liberal Democrats Jean Hamilton 1,699 42.1 +1.8
Labour Irma Shaw 346 8.6 -6.3
Majority 288 7.1 +2.7
Turnout 4,032 43.5 +2.0
Conservative hold Swing +1.3
Kingshurst and Fordbridge[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Hall 814 39.4 +1.1
Labour Florence Nash 776 37.6 -2.6
Liberal Democrats Brynn-Dafydd Tudor 476 23.0 +1.6
Majority 38 1.8 -0.0
Turnout 2,066 24.9 +0.7
Conservative hold Swing +1.8
Knowle[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Diana Holl-Allen 2,231 58.3 -3.3
Liberal Democrats Geoffrey Berry 1,231 32.2 +7.5
Green Jane Holt 228 6.0 +6.0
Labour Lisa Holcroft 136 3.6 -10.1
Majority 1,000 26.1 -10.7
Turnout 3,826 47.4 +2.6
Conservative hold Swing -5.3
Lyndon[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Robert Reeves 2,079 59.3 +0.8
Conservative Shailesh Parekh 752 21.4 -7.4
Labour Margaret Brittin 368 10.5 -2.3
Green Frances Grice 309 8.8 +8.8
Majority 1,327 37.8 +8.2
Turnout 3,508 36.1 -2.0
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +4.1
Meriden[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Kenneth Allsopp 2,405 67.8 +4.9
Liberal Democrats Peter Whitlock 704 19.8 -2.6
Labour Jonathan Maltman 439 12.4 -2.3
Majority 1,701 47.9 +7.5
Turnout 3,548 39.2 -1.7
Conservative hold Swing +3.7
Olton[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats John Windmill 2,091 52.2 +1.0
Conservative Peter Groom 1,465 36.6 +2.1
Green Elaine Williams 241 6.0 +0.1
Labour Alan Jacques 209 5.2 -3.2
Majority 626 15.6 -1.0
Turnout 4,006 43.2 -1.9
Liberal Democrats hold Swing -0.5
Shirley East[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Ian Hedley 1,394 38.8 -14.6
Conservative Joseph Tildesley 1,113 31.0 -6.7
Independent Neil Watts 877 24.4 +24.4
Labour Kevin Raven 205 5.7 -3.1
Majority 281 7.8 -7.9
Turnout 3,589 43.0 -3.2
Liberal Democrats hold Swing -3.9
Shirley South[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Andrew Hodgson 1,529 38.2 +6.5
Conservative John Hawkswood 1,242 31.0 -21.0
BNP Charles Shipman 658 16.4 +16.4
Labour Ian McDonald 290 7.2 -9.1
Independent Rosemary Worsley 287 7.2 +7.2
Majority 287 7.2 -13.2
Turnout 4,006 42.5 +2.1
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing +13.8
Shirley West[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Simon Slater 1,546 42.1 -10.5
Conservative Anne Forder 889 24.2 -14.2
BNP Victoria Coombes 774 21.1 +21.1
Labour Shirley Young 249 6.8 -2.2
Green Trevor Barker 212 5.8 +5.8
Majority 657 17.9 +3.7
Turnout 3,670 41.0 +2.8
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +1.8
Silhill[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sheila Pittaway 2,061 57.8 +6.4
Liberal Democrats Brenda Davies 1,181 33.1 +3.4
Labour Janet Marsh 324 9.1 -2.5
Majority 880 24.7 +3.0
Turnout 3,566 41.7 -1.5
Conservative hold Swing +1.5
Smith's Wood[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Donald Cornock 852 46.8 -0.3
Conservative Daniel Kettle 629 34.5 +1.4
Liberal Democrats Nigel Dyer 341 18.7 -1.1
Majority 223 12.2 -1.7
Turnout 1,822 21.9 -1.6
Labour hold Swing -0.8
St. Alphege[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Stuart Davis 2,467 55.4 -8.3
Liberal Democrats Kenneth Rushen 1,626 36.5 +9.7
Labour Paul Tuxworth 184 4.1 -5.3
Green Philippa Austin 173 3.9 +3.9
Majority 841 18.9 -17.9
Turnout 4,450 45.5 +0.9
Conservative hold Swing -9.0

References

  1. ^ "Local elections: Solihull". BBC News Online. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Reynolds, Leda (26 April 2006). "Tories must go - Lib Dem ; Politics: Leader sets sights on toppling Conservatives". Birmingham Mail. p. 21.
  3. ^ Connor, Neil (11 April 2006). "We want Whitby out if we do well at elections, say Lib Dems". Birmingham Post. p. 5.
  4. ^ Waller, Robert (24 April 2006). "Will the Tories prove to be credible contenders? Robert Waller analyses the likely gains and losses in the upcoming town hall elections". The Daily Telegraph. p. 8.
  5. ^ Game, Chris (3 May 2006). "So it's not worth voting this time? Now read on ; The council elections could see power changing hands across the region. Local government expert Chris Game looks at how things may look come Friday morning". Birmingham Post. p. 6.
  6. ^ "Fight for voters in bigger cities". BBC News Online. 1 May 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  7. ^ Reynolds, Leda (12 April 2006). "Lib Dems in votes drive ; Politics: Hughes kick-starts election campaign". Birmingham Mail. p. 21.
  8. ^ "Local elections: BIA may prove to be decisive issue; Solihull". Birmingham Post. 28 April 2006. p. 6.
  9. ^ Connor, Neil (5 May 2006). "Lib Dems in Solihull double whammy bid; Solihull". Birmingham Post. p. 4.
  10. ^ "Party leaders putting race relations deal into action". Birmingham Mail. 8 April 2006. p. 17.
  11. ^ a b c d e Newey, Guy (5 May 2006). "BNP win first seat as Tories cling on ; Solihull Labour man ousted by Far Right candidate in dramatic recount". Birmingham Mail. p. 26.
  12. ^ Reynolds, Leda (5 May 2007). "Tory misery as Lib Dems gain; Election results round-up Solihull: Loss of two seats results in hung council". Birmingham Mail. p. 16.
  13. ^ "BNP doubles number of councillors". BBC News Online. 5 May 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  14. ^ Newey, Guy; Walker, Jonathan (5 May 2006). "Tory-held borough sees BNP gain seat". Birmingham Mail. p. 1.
  15. ^ Reynolds, Leda (12 May 2006). "BNP man to get the cold shoulder; Politics: Councillors will have 'nothing to do' with newly-elected member". Birmingham Mail. p. 29.
  16. ^ 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 16 December 2010.
  17. ^ "Local elections". The Times. 6 May 2006. p. 64.
  18. ^ "Local elections 2006: Results in full". The Guardian. 6 May 2006. p. 20.