Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Defection Watch: Another Solihull Lib Dem Goes Green

Cllr Jean Hamilton (Elmdon ward, Solihull MBC) has defected from the Liberal Democrats to the Green Party.  This moves the Green Party ahead of Labour into third place for number of seats on the council.

Defections from the Lib Dems to the Greens are a well-trodden path in Solihull.  Cllr Howard Allen (Shirley West), originally elected as a Lib Dem, joined the Green Party shortly after the 2011 council elections where the Greens had made gains in the Chelmsley Wood and Smith's Wood wards.  He went on to hold his seat in the 2012 elections, after which another Shirley West Lib Dem, Cllr Andy Hodgson, also switched to the Greens.

The latest defection comes in Elmdon ward, one of the Lib Dems' three holds in the metropolitan borough in the most recent elections, where the Greens had polled only 4.5%.  However, Lib Dem defectors seem to fare well under their new Green colours here - Howard Allen increased the Green vote share in Shirley West from 4.8% in 2011 to a winning 39.1% in 2012.

Solihull is now one of the Green Party's strongest council areas, and now they're closing in on replacing the Lib Dems as the official opposition on the council ahead of elections here in May.

New council composition:
Conservatives - 28
Lib Dems - 9 (-1)
Green - 7 (+1)
Labour - 6
Independent Ratepayers and Residents - 1

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