Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council election, 1998

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Map of the results for the 1998 Solihull council election.

The 1998 Solihull Council election took place on 7 May 1998 to elect members of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in the West Midlands, England. One third of the council was up for election and the council stayed under no overall control.[1][2][3]

Campaign[edit]

Before the election the Conservative party held 17 seats, compared to 16 for Labour and 12 Liberal Democrats.[4] However the council was run by the Labour party who governed with an agreement with the Liberal Democrats.[4] With the split in seats between the parties the council was expected to remain without any party having a majority with Labour defending 6 seats, compared to 5 for the Conservatives and 4 for the Liberal Democrats.[5] Meanwhile the independent candidates who were defending a seat in Shirley South and 2 seats in Shirley West ward were expected to come under pressure.[4] During the campaign another independent councillor Trevor Eames, who was not defending a seat in the election, resigned from the council after being jailed for 7 years causing a by-election to be held later in the summer.[6]

Election result[edit]

The results saw all 3 independents who were defending seats defeated, reducing the number of Independent Ratepayers on the council to 2.[7] Labour gained 1 seat from the independents in Shirley West, while the Conservative took the other 2 in Shirley South and Shirley West.[7][8] The Conservatives also won a seat from the Liberal Democrats in Packwood ward, with the former leader of the council Ken Meeson being returned to the council.[7] Overall turnout in the election was 29%, varying between a high of 40% and a low of 15% in Smithswood ward.[9]

Following the election the Conservatives elected a new group leader, Ted Richards, after the previous leader Ron Herd stepped down.[10] However despite holding 20 seats, compared to 17 for Labour and 11 for the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives remained in opposition, with Labour running the council with support from the Liberal Democrats.[11]

Solihull Local Election Result 1998[12]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 8 3 0 +3 44.4 45.0 20,883 +7.9%
  Labour 7 1 0 +1 38.9 25.4 11,809 -1.5%
  Liberal Democrat 3 0 1 -1 16.7 23.3 10,831 -2.4%
Independent Ratepayers & Residents 0 0 2 -2 0.0 4.6 2,132 -3.4%
  Independent 0 0 1 -1 0.0 1.7 767 +1.2%

This result had the following consequences for the total number of seats on the council after the elections :[1][8]

Party Previous council New council
Conservatives 17 20
Labour 16 17
Liberal Democrat 12 11
Independent Ratepayers & Residents 5 3
Independent 1 0
Total 51 51
Working majority   -17    -11 

Ward results[edit]

Bickenhill[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour James Ryan 2,036 58.5 +21.4
Conservative Robert Sleigh 1,278 36.7 -11.6
Liberal Democrat D. Moore 167 4.8 -1.8
Majority 758 21.8 +10.6
Turnout 3,481 35.3 +0.7
Labour hold Swing +16.5
Castle Bromwich[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Beryll Kellie 1,717 62.1 +2.4
Labour Ann Wood 799 28.9 -2.5
Liberal Democrat John Knight 251 9.1 +0.1
Majority 918 33.2 +5.0
Turnout 2,767 29.5 -8.1
Conservative hold Swing +2.5
Chelmsley Wood[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robert Reed 883 69.6 -3.6
Conservative Graham Juniper 280 22.1 +3.2
Liberal Democrat Olive Hogg 105 8.3 +0.4
Majority 603 47.6 -6.8
Turnout 1,268 16.6 -5.2
Labour hold Swing -3.4
Elmdon[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sheila Brookes 1,431 51.0 -4.0
Conservative John Bramham 1,153 41.1 +4.9
Liberal Democrat Barbara Harber 221 7.9 -1.0
Majority 278 9.9 -8.9
Turnout 2,805 36.1 -7.4
Labour hold Swing -4.4
Fordbridge[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Arthur Harper 618 68.4 -2.2
Conservative Neil Archer 209 23.1 +5.8
Liberal Democrat Bernard Wright 77 8.5 +1.5
Majority 409 45.2 -8.0
Turnout 904 14.4 -6.6
Labour hold Swing -4.0
Kingshurst[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jeffrey Potts 526 44.4 -20.9
Independent Residents Brian Carter 383 32.3 +32.3
Conservative D. Cleghorn 227 19.1 -7.0
Liberal Democrat Christopher Hayes 50 4.2 -4.4
Majority 143 12.1 -27.1
Turnout 1,186 20.9 -5.0
Labour hold Swing -26.6
Knowle[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Diana Holl-Allen 1,792 62.3 -1.4
Labour David George 635 22.1 +9.3
Liberal Democrat Brenda Chapple 448 15.6 -7.9
Majority 1,157 40.2 -0.1
Turnout 2,875 32.4 -5.0
Conservative hold Swing -5.3
Lyndon[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Norman Chapple 1,331 56.4 -1.6
Conservative Neill Watts 677 28.7 +6.3
Labour John Kimberley 351 14.9 -4.6
Majority 654 27.7 -7.9
Turnout 2,359 30.3 -7.1
Conservative hold Swing -3.9
Meriden[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Lea 1,990 68.9 +31.0
Labour Kenneth Harrop 551 19.1 -3.9
Liberal Democrat Richard Morris 347 12.0 -0.6
Majority 1,439 49.8 +38.5
Turnout 2,888 32.6 -8.6
Conservative hold Swing +17.4
Olton[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat John Windmill 1,710 51.9 -0.9
Conservative Donald Jones 1,145 34.8 -5.1
Labour Donald Bargery 283 8.6 +1.3
Independent Ratepayers David Bayliss 156 4.7 +4.7
Majority 565 17.1 +4.2
Turnout 3,294 36.4 -6.9
Liberal Democrat hold Swing +2.1
Packwood[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Kenneth Meeson 2,119 51.7 +5.2
Liberal Democrat Peter Lee 1,783 43.5 -4.8
Labour Frederick Nash 199 4.9 -0.4
Majority 336 8.2 +6.4
Turnout 4,101 40.0 -3.9
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat Swing +5.0
Shirley East[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Michael Southcombe 1,547 47.7 -2.0
Conservative Susan Rosten 1,240 38.2 +1.3
Labour James Burman 321 9.9 -3.5
Independent Ratepayers Robert Gill 135 4.2 +4.2
Majority 307 9.5 -3.3
Turnout 3,243 35.1 -6.8
Liberal Democrat hold Swing -1.6
Shirley South[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Evans 1,444 40.5 +40.5
Independent Ratepayers Richard Jackson 1,114 31.3 -30.3
Labour Bernard McElholm 683 19.2 -3.8
Liberal Democrat Eric Widger 323 9.1 -6.4
Majority 330 9.3 -29.4
Turnout 3,564 27.1 -2.9
Conservative gain from Independent Ratepayers Swing +35.4
Shirley West[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Richard Lewis 1,040 32.7 +32.7
Labour Peter Metcalfe 844 26.5 +0.1
Conservative Stuart Davis 822
Independent Brenda Otton 767 24.1 +24.1
Independent Jean Duddy 569
Labour Marcus Brain 541
Independent Ratepayers John Rogers 344 10.8 -52.0
Liberal Democrat Linda Whitlock 189 5.9 -4.9
Majority 196 6.2 -30.3
Turnout 3,184 29.6 -2.5
Conservative gain from Independent Swing +16.2
Labour gain from Independent Ratepayers Swing
Silhill[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sheila Pittaway 1,704 47.4 -0.5
Liberal Democrat David Puckering 1,504 41.8 +4.0
Labour Richard Sumner 389 10.8 -3.4
Majority 200 5.6 -4.5
Turnout 3,597 36.6 -4.5
Conservative hold Swing -2.2
Smith's Wood[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Hugh Hendry 861 70.1 -3.8
Conservative Timothy Vernon 261 21.3 +3.8
Liberal Democrat Jennifer Wright 106 8.6 -0.1
Majority 600 48.9 -7.6
Turnout 1,228 15.3 -7.3
Labour hold Swing -3.8
St. Alphege[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Kathleen Wild 2,607 70.9 +7.3
Liberal Democrat J. Herbert 672 18.3 -5.4
Labour Arthur Brill 399 10.8 -1.9
Majority 1,935 52.6 +12.7
Turnout 3,678 33.1 -5.4
Conservative hold Swing +6.3

By-elections between 1998 and 1999[edit]

Shirley South by-election 16 July 1998[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Boy 1,070 44.8 +4.3
Independent Ratepayer John Rogers 612 25.6 -5.7
Labour Bernard McElholm 437 18.3 -0.9
Liberal Democrat Eric Widger 176 7.4 -1.7
Democratic Reform Association Brenda Otton 92 3.8 +3.8
Majority 458 19.2 +9.9
Turnout 2,387 17.7 -9.4
Conservative gain from Independent Ratepayers Swing +5.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Policy and politics: Local Elections: Analysis: Council poll results". The Guardian. 1998-05-09. p. 16. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Solihull M. B. C. Election Results Sheet, 7 May 1998", Solihull M.B.C.(1998).
  3. ^ "Vote 2012: Solihull". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  4. ^ a b c "Shirley in spotlight". Birmingham Mail. 1998-04-07. p. 25. 
  5. ^ Harrison, Stephen (1998-05-01). "Tories could unseat Labour at Solihull Voters across the West Midlands go to the polls in local elections next Thursday. Today, Local Government Correspondent Stephen Harrison looks at the fight for votes in Solihull and Coventry". Birmingham Post. p. 4. 
  6. ^ Swingler, Steve (1998-04-21). "Eames: No appeal over verdict". Birmingham Mail. p. 13. 
  7. ^ a b c Swingler, Steve (1998-05-08). "Backlash hits independents". Birmingham Mail. p. 7. 
  8. ^ a b Swingler, Steve (1998-05-08). "Damning verdict for Independents after Eames scandal". Birmingham Mail. p. 3. 
  9. ^ Gray, Chris (1998-05-09). "Voters and politicians are polls apart People once died to be able to vote. Chris Gray wonders why now they cannot even be bothered to walk to a polling booth.". Birmingham Post. p. 61. 
  10. ^ Ilyas, Mohammed (1998-05-09). "New leader to help Tories reclaim borough". Birmingham Post. p. 4. 
  11. ^ "Tories look on bright side". Birmingham Mail. 1998-05-11. p. 14. 
  12. ^ "Local Elections results". The Times. 1998-05-09. p. 46. 
  13. ^ Swingler, Steve (1998-07-17). "Comeback for Otton ends in failure". Birmingham Post. p. 3.