STOP PRESS: Acocks Green Lib-Dem hold. Lib-Dem win for Roger Harmer
Early Post Election Analysis: This is an interesting result, with a respectable majority, which runs counter to the overall Brum trend, where Labour have been taking seats from the Lib-Dems, though Yardley constituency Lib-Dems have, overall, held up better than elsewhere. Possibly the lack of a UKIP factorhelped here. (Although no doubt there will be more discussion later, perhaps this helped see of longstanding Lib-Dem councillor Paula Smith in Hall Green) However, the Acocks Green result may come as less of a surprise to seasoned Acocks Green activists, regardless of political colour. In reality, and as all the AG candidates would have known, this was always two horse race: Acocks Green has, for many years, only elected Labour and Lib-Dem councillors. In 2012, after a hard-fought campaign, Roger Harmer, who won in 2008, lost to Labour’s John O’Shea by 1,993 votes to 2,170: a majority of just 177 for Labour. Roger Harmer was known for being an active and conscientious councillor, but also Acocks Green resident John O’Shea was already a very well known and familiar figure in Acocks Green and a regular at many community activities. Both John and Roger were known for their willingness to lend a hand and for their own internet commentaries on local affairs and politics. This time around Labour’s Rachel Seabright obviously worked hard over the election period, and also scored a very respectable vote for a newcomer. However, it seems likely that she was hampered by that relatively unknown status in the area. We wish her better luck next time she stands in a local election.
As to the other Acocks Green candidates: interestingly they, also, all did better for their parties than they, or their colleagues, did in 2012. This may partly be because the overall local turn-out was better; certainly, in this tense election there were plenty of reminders about it from the main candidates! However, maybe in this respect we also did our bit with our on-line interviews of all six candidates, who all went to some trouble to answer our questions and explain their policies. We thank them all for their willingness to play the game, and for throwing in some additional and thought-provoking points.
The Focus Group is non-party political and we always aim to work with all our Acocks Green councillors. We look forward to meeting up again with Roger, and will shortly be extending to him the invitation to the now traditional Focus Group grilling at Acocks Green Costa. We were already getting Tim at Costa to heat up the grill nice and hot for the winning candidate, whether that was to be Roger or Rachel.
May 22nd 2014 is your opportunity to help decide who, out of the six candidates below, gets one of the seats you see pictured above, on Birmingham City Council, for the next four years. Who doyouwant to make decisions, and to formulate policy, for Birmingham and, more especially, for Acocks Green Ward. Who is best to fight our corner of the City, and to help care for the appearance and environment of Acocks Green?
Each of the six candidates listed below represents a political party who has selected them to stand to represent Acocks Green as a councillor. Each one has taken the trouble to answer our topical and locally slanted questions with care – thanks guys! Click on their name, below their picture, to read their answers.
Acocks Green Ward Candidates 2014: what they told us
Your local polling station is open on May 22nd: polls open at 7 am and close at 10 pm. As you probably know, it is dead easy to vote, but if you have never done so before the officials will explain the procedure. (Don’t worry if you have mislaid your polling card – you can still vote!)
If you are new to the are, or to voting, there is a map of Acocks Green polling station locations here. It dates from 2012. No map appears to have been produced for 2014, but as far as we know the stations are all the same.
Birmingham City Council will be using the Twitter hashtag #brumvotes14on the day. The day can also be followed onstorify and we will also announce the Acocks Green result as soon as possible afterwards, as a ‘stop press’ announcement at the top of this page.
Finally, and for those of an historical turn of mind, these are the 2012 Birmingham City Council election results for Acocks Green