A by-election in Coventry?

March 20, 2012 7:08 pm

We’ve already heard earlier today about the Manchester Central by-election (set for November), but there could be a spate of them on the same date. A few weeks ago we talked about Birmingham where either Liam Byrne or Gisela Stuart could trigger a by-election if Birmingham chooses to have a mayor (and if either are selected as Labour’s candidate). But there’s another potential by-election we missed in nearby Coventry, where former Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth could be a candidate. The Coventry Telegraph reports:

“Mr Ainsworth is campaigning for a “yes” vote in a referendum on May 3, which will decide whether Coventry replaces the existing system of a council leader with a mayor chosen directly by voters. If the city does vote for the new system, he then plans to apply for the chance to become Labour’s candidate in the election.”

And of course if Ainsworth is selected as Labour’s candidate – that means a by-election in Coventry on November 15th too.

  • http://www.liampenninton.blogspot.com/ Liam

    For a party which, shall we say, had little enthusiasm for the roles of Police Commissioner or elected Mayors at one point, Labour sure are making rapid pace at getting out of the Commons. Are pay and conditions in Westminster so bad?!

    • ThePurpleBooker

      I am a massive supporter of directly-elected mayors in fact why do we need referenda to chose whether we should have directly-elected mayors, the government has not put referenda for elected police commissioner – there is no need.
      In fact, we should put forward directly-elected mayors for city cornubations, regions and towns across the country who can have great powers over transport and policing – like in London. That would be a great reflection of our federalist tradition as a Labour Party.

      • Brumanuensis

        We have a federalist tradition?

        Must have missed that. I was under the impression we were a highly unitary party. Too damn right as well.   

        • ThePurpleBooker

          We have had a strong federalist tradition which seeks to empower communities, regions and local government. Look at how the party was founded or Tony Crosland or devolution. We need a more federal United Kingdom.

    • Brumanuensis

      Ah Liam. At least you aren’t accusing us of wasting public money
      by holding a by-election early, eh?

      Of course, if we’d refused to stand candidates you’d have accused us of being out of touch.

      But do carry…     
        

  • ThePurpleBooker

    Liam Byrne will remain in the shadow cabinet, he will not become Mayor of Birmingham. Gisela Stuart, MUST not and SHOULD not be selected as the Labour candidate for Mayor of Birmingham – it would be disastrous. I like Gisela Stuart, but she is the one reason we still hold Birmingham Edgbaston. It’s because she is such a good, independently-minded, outspoken, brilliant and active MP that we still hold the seat because the Tories should have taken the seat last election (in fact they should have taken it in 2001 or 2005)! If she becomes our candidate for Mayor, there will be a by-election and the Tories will probably win the seat FROM Labour, and that CANNOT happen. Also, Sion Simon stood down as an MP in order to become Mayor of Birmingham, so I think that the Birmingham Labour Party should think wisely and select him – and I think he’ll get it.
    In Manchester Central, I hope Lucy Powell or Afzal Khan become the Labour candidate for the by-election in November (but it will probably be Powell since she lives in the seat and is Ed Miliband’s former chief of staff) but Khan should consider standing for Manchester Withington because he’ll definately beat John Leech by a significant majority (I predict between 5,000 to 7,000 (the Lib Dems being dead people walking)!
    It would be interesting to see who would stand as our candidate in Coventry, I hope it would be someone, new, young and refereshing (maybe Aaron Porter should consider standing).

    • AlanGiles


      Also, Sion Simon stood down as an MP in order to become Mayor of Birmingham, so I think that the Birmingham Labour Party should think wisely and select him – and I think he’ll get it. ”

      Sion Simon? – the Ken Dodd of politics. As somebody said the other day – “you’re having a laugh”

      • Brumanuensis

        I can’t think of Sion Simon without bringing up this:

        http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/conference/2007/09/labour-majority-increase

        Oddly prophetic in a way. Not the electoral prediction of course, but the lines  ‘[T]here is a fin de siecle, self-destructive, decadent craziness about Conference 2007. Somewhere in the wads of twenty somethings and thirtywouldbes jamming the chintzy Bournemouth bars long after they’re normally silent lurks the jitterbugging desperation of the Twenties before the Crash

        • AlanGiles

          Get the peroration!:

          “We’ve learned that we cannot be killed. And we’ve come to accept that we’ll never go home”

          Perhaps he should be IN a home. I think Labour would be mad to select such a joke as their candidate – the only party Mr Simon belongs in is The Monster Raving Loony Party. He  was also famous for making an ass of himself on the Radio 4 “PM” programme and on “You Tube”

          • ThePurpleBooker

            You belong in the Monster Raving Loony Party!

          • AlanGiles

            So do you if you think that cretinous idiot Sion Simon deserves another position in public life. The man is a total joke. He was a typical little Blair toady

          • ThePurpleBooker

            He called for Blair to resign.

        • AnotherOldBoy

          Mr Simon’s article always amuses: thanks!

    • http://www.liampenninton.blogspot.com/ Liam

      Edgbaston has always been tricky – more so when you factor in what could happen across Brum due to boundary changes. Labour may find this selection the hardest. Sion would be….erm…..’interesting’. 

    • Brumanuensis

      PLEASE not Gisela.

      She has a massive personal vote and the moment she steps down, Edgbaston is as good as Tory. I was amazed she held on 2010, to be honest. 

      No, get Byrne to do it. Removes him from the Shadow Cabinet and gives him something more useful to do and with more need of executive skills – of which he undoubtedly has plenty.

      • Brumanuensis

        (Posted just to emphasise how much I agree with you PurpleBooker)

      • ThePurpleBooker

        Byrne has ruled it out, he is not going to become the new Mayor of Birmingham, he is staying on as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary to implement responsibility. I hope it will Sion Simon, but really Anyone But Gisela because she’s such an asset to Labour in Parliament, and we will probably lose Edgbaston – a seat we should have lost in 2005 or 2010.

    • Daniel Speight

       Aaron Porter? Is he already carrying someone’s bag then? Or is he in an NGO now? Or maybe he’s spadding? After all with all that work experience he’s obviously ready to become an MP.

  • ThePurpleBooker

    Oh, I’ve been reading that John Hemming (who is surprisingly running the ‘No’ campaign for a directly-elected mayor in Birmingham) could stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Birmingham. That would be brilliant, if stands down as an MP to contest the candidacy because it will mean that we can take a seat of the Lib Dems before the next election.

    • Brumanuensis

      Counting no chickens…

      But yes, a by-election there would be excellent news. And local to me too.

      • ThePurpleBooker

        Let’s be clear – the Liberal Democrats will not survive the next election. A by-election in Birmingham Yardley would be a clear win for the Labour Party!

  • Jeff_Harvey

    This would be my ideal career trajectory for Liam Byrne:

    Member of Parliament —-> Failed Mayoral Candidate —-> DEMOS twonk.

    If Byrne were Japanese I could replace “DEMOS twonk” with “Commits Seppuku”. 

    Sadly Byrne is English.

    • AlanGiles

      You never know, Jeff. If Birmingham take leave of their senses and choose Sion Simon, the jester might still offer Byrne a job – head of Public Conveniences. Reminds me of a very early Monty Python sketch:

      Well-heeled father: What do you do for a living, Mr Shabby?
      Shabby: I clean out public lavatories
      W-H F: Is there any promotion involved?
      Shabby: Oh yeah – after six months they give me a brush!   :-)

  • ThePurpleBooker

    On upcoming by-elections due to Mayoral and PCC selections, I think now Liam Byrne has now decided to our candidate for Mayor of Birmingham, I think that for the Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election, Majid Mahmood will be the right person to be our candidate there.
    On Coventry, I have no clue but on Cardiff South and Penarth I believe that Brian Tomlinson will be the best candidate for that seat.
    Also, let’s remember that John Hemming wants to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Birmingham, if the people of Birmingham vote “yes” (even though he is leading the No campaign there). If that happens, he’s have to step down and then there will be a by-election in Birmingham Yardley, a seat where the Lib Dems have a majority of 3,002 something we will easily overturn. If Sion Simon wants to return to Parliament after losing the Mayoral candidacy, he shuould go for it. Also, Stephen Williams wants to be Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Bristol, if there is a yes vote even though he is campaigning for a no vote. That means there will be a by-election in Bristol West a seat which will be close since the polls indicate we will take it due to mass Lib Dem unpopularity. I know there will be a AWS for the next election, so we should select Jo McCarron for that seat.

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