Stunned Tories in Birmingham silent as exit poll predicts wipeout, while Labour activists joyful

General election count in Birmingham
-Credit: (Image: Nick Wilkinson/Birmingham Live)

The exit poll predicting a Labour landslide across the country brought relief and joy to the party's activists and councillors arriving at the count in Birmingham tonight. But despondent Tories were staying quiet as they reflected on an exit poll that predicted a wipeout.

Cllr Lisa Trickett, who represents Kings Heath and Brandwood, said nothing was certain until the results were confirmed but the exit poll suggested a 'fantastic' night ahead. "It's brilliant, the country need a strong and secure Labour majority so we are able to rebuild a broken Britain. How it plays out in specific constituencies in Birmingham is yet to be seen but it is looking very positive.

"We have taken nothing for granted, we have been working day and night to get our message out to voters, and to get them out voting. Our activists and volunteers have been just brilliant, from 15 to 80 they have been out pounding the streets and the phones to show people what Labour offer. We have had new people join us, determined to get the Conservatives out and Labour in.

"Feedback on the doorstep has been of real hope, that people believe Labour will bring about change."

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The exit poll suggested Labour could take all ten seats in Birmingham for the first time ever, with Andrew Mitchell's Sutton Coldfield seat deemed at risk. In the Black Country, every seat was set to turn red, along with previously Conservative safe seats like Lichfield, Stourbridge and Wyre Forest.

Cllr Kerry Jenkins, Labour councillor in Moseley, said things were looking incredibly positive. But she also acknowledged that in some city seats the Independent candidates had delivered a strong and powerful message that Labour needed to heed in power.

"People have shared a lot of feedback and concerns on the doorstep and we absolutely respect and understand those concerns. They want us to be strong on a ceasefire, on our call for a two state solution, and we have supported those calls.

"Keir Starmer told the people of Birmingham that he was listening to concerns about Gaza, and would act on them, and we will see that response," she added.

Sir Albert Bore, council veteran and former leader, who represents Ladywood ward, said he had been waiting 14 years for this night. "We have been working for this result and many of us wanted to believe it would happen but the exit poll seems to be categoric and it looks like a fantastic night ahead." But he too sounded a note of caution. "We won't celebrate until we see the results," he said.

But Conservatives in the ICC were staying tight-lipped. Several activists looked despondent as they huddled in the corridor outside the counting hall. Cllr Alex Yip, who represents a ward in Sutton Coldfield where Mr Mitchell was at risk, said it was not yet the time to comment on the outcome, with all focus on the count.