Birmingham by-elections - everything you need to know about July 4 votes

Birmingham City Council House
-Credit: (Image: Anita Maric / SWNS)

After weeks of political drama, the general election is now just days away. The power shifts to the public when the polls open on Thursday, July 4.

And thousands of voters in Birmingham will also be able to vote in two city council by-elections taking place on the same day - one for a seat in Northfield and another for one in Kings Norton North. The Northfield seat was previously held by former councillor Kirsten Kurt-Elli while the Kings Norton North seat was held by councillor Alex Aitken.

Labour will be hoping to retain both while facing opposition from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Greens. Here’s what you need to know about the Birmingham by-elections taking place on July 4.

READ MORE: What each Birmingham Ladywood candidate said about ‘disgraceful’ child poverty levels

Why are these by-elections happening?

The by-election in Northfield was triggered following the resignation of Labour councillor Kirsten Kurt-Elli. The by-election in Kings Norton North was called following the resignation of councillor Alex Aitken, who also abandoned his bid to become the MP in Northfield.

“Northfield is, and has always been, my home - and I have always wanted to be able to represent my community to the best of my ability,” Mr Aitken wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on May 28. “However, due to some personal challenges that have arisen recently, it has become clear that I am unable to do so.

“This fight was always much much more than me - it was about giving Northfield the fresh start it deserves. It is therefore, with deep regret, that I am announcing that I will no longer be the Labour [Parliamentary] Candidate for Northfield.”

Who are the candidates?

The full list of candidates in the Northfield by-election are:

  • Laura Jane Griffiths - Green Party

  • Andrew William Moles - Liberal Democrat

  • Esther Rai - Labour Party

  • Abigail Margaret Smith - Conservative Party

The candidates in the Kings Norton North by-election are:

  • Carmel Gertrude Corrigan - Labour Party

  • Claire Marie Hammond - Green Party

  • Alex Hemming - Liberal Democrats

  • Daniel Molloy-Brookes - Conservative Party

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When are these by-elections happening?

The by-elections will be held on Thursday, July 4 between 7am and 10pm.

The wider context

There have been two other city council by-elections in recent months. Towards the end of May, candidate Clifton Frederick Welch was successful in retaining a seat in Kingstanding for the Conservative Party.

Following the victory, the Birmingham Conservative Group posted on X: “The people of Kingstanding have sent a clear message to Birmingham Labour over their double whammy of higher taxes and fewer services!" A separate by-election, held in the Bournbrook and Selly Park ward earlier that month, saw candidate Jamie Scott retain a vacant seat for the Labour Party.

In the build-up to the vote on May 4, Coun Scott argued funding had been stripped from Birmingham over the past 14 years. The council’s financial situation is down to Birmingham-specific issues, such as an equal pay fiasco and the disastrous implementation of a new IT and finance system, as well as the rising demand for services and funding cuts.

Council leader John Cotton previously criticised the Conservative government and argued councils across the country face a perfect storm of smaller budgets and higher costs. Conservative politicians, such as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have pointed the finger at mistakes made by the Labour council administration.

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