On May 22nd students at the University of Birmingham were given the chance to vote in two elections to Birmingham City Council and to the European Parliament.
Students, and the local electorate, voted in two elections to choose their representatives to Birmingham City Council and the European Parliament. Edgbaston, Harborne and Selly Oak, the three main student wards, were up for grabs in this double-election.
The winners of the Birmingham City Council wards were announced over the following evening. Rob Sealey, from the Conservative Party, held their council seat in Edgbaston on 44% of the vote. John Alden, also from the Conservative Party, held their council seat in Harborne on 41.42% of the vote. Changese Khan, from the Labour Party, won the Selly Oak council seat, taking it from the Liberal Democrats with 32.45% of the vote. Mr Khan narrowly beat his Liberal Democrat opponent, Dave Radcliffe, by 75 votes. Across Birmingham, where one third of the ward councillors were being elected, Labour won the majority of seats and retained their large majority control of the council.
The results for the European Parliament elections were not announced until the evening of the 25th May, due to having to wait for other countries to complete their polling days. The vote is held using a Proportional Closed List System, which meant that the seats were roughly allocated proportionally to the percentage the party achieved in each region. Despite Labour doing best in the Birmingham City Council elections, UKIP were the clear winners in the West Midlands region, taking 428,010 votes, roughly 60,000 ahead of Labour. Of the 7 West Midlands seats, 3 were allocated to UKIP, 2 to the Conservative Party and 2 to Labour. The Liberal Democrat MEP, Phil Bennion, and the We Demand A Referendum Now Party MEP, Nikki Sinclaire, both lost their seats.
UKIP won the popular vote, with almost 28% of the votes going to the anti-European Party, whilst Labour came second and the Conservative Party came third. The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party battled for fourth place, but the Green Party were successful. The Green Party’s success was found across Birmingham, where they came ahead of the Liberal Democrats in many seats, sometimes securing second or third place in ward seats, including Selly Oak.
These elections may gave an indication of how next year’s General Election will play out, as political analysts are predicting further successes for UKIP and multiple losses for the Liberal Democrats. All House of Commons seats will be up for election in May 2015.