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Labour heading for victory in Northfield and Edgbaston, but it’s anyone’s guess in Yardley

Labour heading for victory in Northfield and Edgbaston, but it’s anyone’s guess in Yardley

🕔28.Apr 2015

Labour is on course to easily hold both Birmingham Northfield and Edgbaston at the General Election according to a new study of voting patterns, reports Paul Dale.

But the contest in Birmingham Yardley between Liberal Democrat candidate John Hemming and Labour’s Jess Phillips is too close to call.

And while Solihull is leaning towards a Conservative victory, the Lib Dem’s are far from on the ropes.

The fascinating snapshot by polling organisation YouGov is based on data modelling of social demographics and daily interviews with representative panels of voters in every UK constituency.

Information gleaned from the process delves into what constituents think about a variety of political issues as well as assessing their favourite television programmes and even the celebrities they most rate and the newspapers they read.

The data, which YouGov stresses is a snapshot and not a forecast, suggests that support at the moment for Labour in Northfield is running between 37 and 50 per cent. The Conservatives are between 22 and 34 per cent. UKIP are between 10 and 18 per cent, the Greens 2 to 7 per cent and the Lib Dems 2 to 6 per cent.

If these patterns were repeated on polling day Labour’s Richard Burden, who has held the seat since 1992, would easily be returned to parliament. Such an outcome would be a bitter blow to the Conservatives who have named Northfield as their number one target in Birmingham and have local businesswoman Rachel Maclean as their candidate.

According to the demographics, Northfield constituents are more likely to take a right wing attitude to social issues, crime and punishment and nationalism than the UK average, but are more to the left when it comes to education and taxation.

Unusually popular celebrities are comedian Catherine Tate, singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey and the 1960s American pop group Kool and the Gang.

In Edgbaston, Labour candidate Gisela Stuart, the MP since 1997, looks to be racing to victory over Conservative Dr Luke Evans.

YouGov puts the Labour range of support at 41 to 55 per cent, while the Conservatives are between 23 and 36 per cent. UKIP’s range of support is 8 to 16 per cent, the Greens 3 to 8 per cent and the Lib Dems 1 to 5 per cent.

With significant public sector employment – the Queen Elizabeth super hospital and Birmingham University the largest employers in the constituency – it is no surprise that voters are be more to the left than average on a wide range of issues including crime and punishment, nationalism, social, education, taxation and green.

Unusually popular celebrities for Edgbaston people include the 1980s Coventry ska band The Specials, reggae musician Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley and the Wailers.

The General Election contest in Yardley looks to be going down to the wire with the Liberal Democrat range of support at 25 to 39.3 per cent and Labour on 24.6 to 38.9 per cent. UKIP is at 13 to 24 per cent, the Conservative 8 to 17 per cent and the Greens 1 to 4 per cent.

Labour has been pouring resources into Yardley in an attempt to oust Liberal Democrat John Hemming, who has been the MP since 2005. The Labour candidate is Birmingham city councillor Jess Phillips.

According to YouGov, Yardley people are more to the left than average on the size of the state, nationalism, social, education, taxation and green issues.

Unusually popular celebrities include the football reporter Chris Kamara, television presenter Simon King and Adam Henson.

Conservative candidate Julian Knight is on course to win in Solihull where the Tory range of support is between 30 and 42 per cent against 22 to 34 per cent for the Liberal Democrats. UKIP are at 11 to 20 per cent. Labour 8 to 16 per cent and the Greens at 3 to 8 per cent.

YouGov list the constituency as a “likely Conservative win”.

Mr Knight is battling against Liberal Democrat Lorely Burt who has been MP for Solihull since 2005.

YouGov found Solihull to be more to the right than average on the size of the state, nationalism, social, education, taxation and green issues, but more to the left on crime and punishment.

Unusually popular celebrities includethe American actor and comedian  Jonah Hill, musician Jake Bugg, and the singer-songwriter Mark Knopfler.

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