NEWS: Conservatives win Kingstanding by-election with 5.8 percent swing of votes

Words by Erdington Local election editorial team 

The Conservatives have won the Kingstanding by-election with a 5.8 percent swing of the votes, in a result which will take on national significance ahead of the General Election.

Under the party name Local Conservatives, Clifton Frederick Welch polled 829 votes – retaining the second councillor seat in the North Birmingham Ward for the Conservatives.

Mr Welch had previously stood for the Pype Hayes Ward in local council elections, losing out to Labour’s candidates by 92 votes in 2022 and only 16 votes in 2018.

Coming in second place in the Kingstanding by-election, Naz Rasheed won 680 votes for Labour – losing by 149 votes to the party’s main political rival.

In third place, and significantly behind the front two candidates, was Lucy Haywood for the Liberal Democrats who received 82 votes.

Christopher Lee was forth with 72 votes for the Green Party, Pete Higgins of George Galloway’s Workers Party of Great Britain came in fifth with 46 votes, whilst Kris O’Sullivan of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition took only 20 votes in sixth place. There were ten spoiled ballots counted.

Yesterday’s by-election in Kingstanding was sparked by the resignation of the Ward’s former Conservative Councillor Rick Payne’s – after a slew of his racist social media comments were made public following an investigation by national anti-racism charity HOPE Not Hate.

The by-election was the first Erdington constituency poll since Birmingham City Council was effectively publicly declared bankrupt, after a section 114 notice was issued by city officers in September 2023.

The nationally reported financial chaos brought in Government appointed commissioners, and saw Birmingham’s current Labour run Council increase Council Tax bills by 20 per cent over the next two years and pass a cost-cutting budget which axed lifeline services for the city most vulnerable adults and children.

The election is also the last meaningful vote before the General Election scheduled on 4 July. A Conservatives win in Kingstanding, with a 5.8 per cent swing, will send shockwaves throughout Westminster.

The result will be analysed by all the national parties and commentators looking for trends which can shed a light on voters intentions in the General Election.

The combined vote for the leftwing alternative to Labour, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and the Workers Party was 66 votes which even if had gone to Labour would have still seen the Tories win.

Even if the Green vote, which many tactically vote instead of Labour, were added to the Workers and Socialist Parties the Tories still would have come out on top.

Further possibly reflecting the national trend, less than 1,700 Kingstanding residents turned out to vote in the by-election, with the official figures yet to be released by Birmingham City Council.

Rishi Sunak’s election team will likely seize on the result of what in national terms is an obscure by-elections as a glimmer of hope they can still win the General Election.

Following the results of the KIngstanding by-election, the Birmingham Conservative Group tweeted: “Birmingham Local Conservatives have won the Kingstanding by-election – with a 5.8% swing. The people of Kingstanding have sent a clear message to bankrupt Birmingham Labour over their double whammy of higher taxes and fewer services!”

At the time of writing, no message had been posted by either Birmingham Labour or their candidate Naziah Rasheed.

Polling company Election Maps UK claimed the Tories vote went up 4.7%, clinching 47.9% of the vote, whilst Labour’s vote dropped by 6.1% since the the 2022 local elections.

Councillor Welch is a familiar face in Erdington, campaigning in Pype Hayes with Birmingham City Council Conservative Group leader and Erdington Councillor Bobby Alden.

Erdington Conservative candidate for the General Election Steve Knee was knocking doors with Councillor Welch over the last week.

He said: “It was great to be supporting Clifton Welch in Kingstanding! Two out of the three days of this Bank Holiday weekend were spent in support of Clifton Welch in Kingstanding.”

Erdington Local has approached all political parties for comment.

For more on both local and national elections held across the UK, alongside advice on how to register to vote, visit

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