Local By-Election Preview : May 30th 2013
Fazeley on Lichfield (Con Defence)
Last Local Election (2011): Conservative 46, Labour 10 (Conservative majority of 36)
Last Ward Result (2011): Con 758, 595, 460 (60%) Lab 512 (40%)
Fazeley, a small town (and not to mention, civil parish) is located on the outskirts of Tamworth and as such as been part of the electoral ding dong that has become the norm in the south of Staffordshire, north of Warwickshire and north west of Leicestershire.
Back in the 1970’s, Lichfield and Tamworth was famed for being the key battleground. In 1970, the Conservatives gained the seat from Labour (for the first time ever) with a majority of 4% on a swing of 6%.
A Liberal candidate at the February 1974 election prevented Labour gaining it, which they did ay the following October election (recording a 2% swing over the two elections) but the Conservatives retook it in 1979 on a 5% swing to Con before the constituency was renamed Staffordshire Mid in 1983.
At the 1997 general election it was brought back into Tamworth constituency (just in time to see Brian Jenkins hold the by-election gain of the previous year) where it resides at the moment (and with Tamworth being the sort of seat that Labour have to gain to get an overall majority, it’s electoral ding dong battle is set to continue) and yet this is in direct constrast to it’s local election results.
In 2003, the ward was a ding dong (2 Lab wins and 1 Con win) with the two party virtually tied, but in 2007 the trend was clear as the Conservatives gained one seat in the ward (and opened up a 8% lead) and in 2011 (thanks in part to no Liberal Democrat candidate) their lead extended to 20%, but with the same allocation of councillors.
Which poses the question, with just the Conservatives and Labour standing again this time in a straight fight, will Labour be able to gain the ward and thus demonstrate that the potential for a gain in Tamworth is there or will the Conservatives hold it and show that in a two horse race, the Conservatives cannot be ruled out of anything
Candidates duly nominated: Doug Pullen (Con), Dave Whatton (Lab)