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General Election 2015: Our guide to the West Midlands political battleground

General Election 2015: Our guide to the West Midlands political battleground

🕔06.May 2015

With less than a week to go to the big day, Chamberlain Files chief blogger Paul Dale casts his eye over the West Midlands General Election marginal seats and finds that there is much still to play for in what looks certain to be the tightest battle for decades.

The chances of UKIP returning an MP from the West Midlands have receded, but significant support for the party in the Black Country will take votes away from both the Conservatives and Labour and make the result in several seats unpredictable.

Nigel Farage’s best bet to send shock waves through the political establishment is Dudley North where Labour’s former West Midlands minister Ian Austin is up against UKIP’s Bill Etheridge and the former Tory leader of Dudley Council Les Jones.

According to YouGov’s nowcast snapshot of voting intentions based on daily interviews with panels in every constituency, Mr Austin has edged ahead of UKIP.

Support for Labour in Dudley North is in a range of between 30 and 46 per cent, while UKIP is at 24 to 39 per cent and the Tories are on 18 to 32 per cent. YouGov says the seat is “leaning towards Labour”.

On the other side of the borough in Dudley South, YouGov reckons the result is too close to call between the Conservatives and Labour.

The Conservatives are defending the seat in the shape of Mike Wood who has replaced the former MP Chris Kelly. Natasha Millward is the Conservative candidate and UKIP are putting up Paul Brothwood.

YouGov puts the Tory range of support at between 31 and 47 per cent while Labour is at 28-43 per cent and UKIP 12-24 per cent.

Also in the Black Country, in Walsall North, Labour’s David Winnick is defending the seat against a strong UKIP campaign. Labour support is in the 30 to 46 per cent range while UKIP is 21 to 36 per cent and the Conservatives at 15 to 29 per cent. YouGov say the result is a likely Labour victory.

Valerie Vaz, defending Walsall South for Labour, has opened up a lead over the Conservatives. Labour support is between 35 and 51 per cent, the Conservatives are at 22 to 36 per cent and UKIP are 12 to 24 per cent. This is another likely Labour victory, according to YouGov.

Elsewhere in the West Midlands the Conservatives and Labour are locked in a desperate battle to win marginal seats that will ultimately send either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to Downing Street.

In Wolverhampton South West defending Conservative Paul Uppal is facing an uphill battle. Tory support is between 26 and 39 per cent with Labour between 38 and 52 per cent and UKIP between nine and 17 per cent. A likely Labour win.

Wyre Forest, another Tory-held UKIP target, is leaning towards the Conservative candidate Mark Garnier according to YouGov. The Conservatives are between 26 and 38 per cent, UKIP 21 to 32 per cent and Labour 12 to 22 per cent.

An expected UKIP surge in Halesowen and Rowley Regis has failed to materialise. Defending Tory James Morris is running neck and neck with Labour, making the seat too close to call. Tory support is 32-45 per cent, Labour is at 33-46 per cent and UKIP is at 10-19 per cent.

Margot James won Stourbridge for the Tories in 2010 but faces a tough battle this time. YouGov puts the Conservatives just ahead but thinks the result is too close to call. Conservative support is between 34 and 47 per cent, Labour 30-43 per cent and UKIP nine to 18 per cent.

Labour could pick up Cannock Chase from the Conservatives. Amanda Milling has replaced Aidan Burley as the Tory candidate and is up against Janos Toth for Labour and Amanda Milling for UKIP. Support for Labour is between 31 and 44 per cent, the Conservatives are between 27 and 40 per cent while UKIP is between 15 and 25 per cent. YouGov says the seat is leaning towards Labour.

Worcester, where Tory Robin Walker is defending the seat he won in 2010, is another contest that is too close to call. Conservative support is between 33 and 45 per cent, Labour is at 30 to 42 per cent and UKIP is at nine to 16 per cent.

The Tories appear to have little to worry about in Aldridge Brownhills where defending candidate Richard Shepherd has a significant lead over Labour. Conservative support is between 45 and 59 per cent, Labour 17 to 29 per cent and UKIP 10 to 20 per cent.

The Conservatives are hanging on in Redditch where defending candidate Karen Lumley has opened up a lead over Labour. Conservative support is at 34 to 47 per cent, Labour 29 to 41 per cent and UKIP nine to 17 per cent.

In Warwickshire, Labour look certain to win North Warwickshire where the party’s candidate is former minister Mike O’Brien. Labour support is at 35 to 49 per cent, Conservative 26 to 39 per cent and UKIP 15 to 25 per cent.

Nuneaton, also defended by the Tories in the shape of Marcus Jones, is a lot closer but Labour has edged ahead with support ranging from 34 to 46 per cent. Conservatives are at 30 to 41 per cent and UKIP is at eight to 16 per cent.

Rugby, defended by Tory Mark Pawsey, is too close to call. Conservative support is between 35 and 47 per cent, Labour 31 to 43 per cent and UKIP four to 10 per cent.

There’s another nail-biting contest in Warwick and Leamington where defending Tory candidate Chris White has a slender lead. Conservative support is 34 to 45 per cent, Labour 31 to 42 per cent and UKIP eight to 14 per cent.

Tamworth, another key marginal, is looking hopeful for the defending Conservative candidate Christopher Pincher. Conservative support is at 37 to 51 per cent, Labour 29 to 42 per cent and UKIP seven to 15 per cent. YouGov says the seat is leaning towards Conservative.

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