Where the July 4 election will be won and lost in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, announces the date for the UK General Election -Credit:Getty Images
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, announces the date for the UK General Election -Credit:Getty Images

The West Midlands will be a key battleground in the July 4 General Election called today in a shock statement by Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The Labour party will head into the six-week campaign confident it can rebuild the 'red wall' in the country's heartland.

Top of its list of targets locally will be Wolverhampton West, a redrawn version of the existing Wolverhampton South West seat which was won by Stuart Anderson by less than 1% at the 2019 election. Birmingham Northfield and MP Gary Sambrook will also come under fire from a Labour salvo, with local councillor Alex Aitken hoping to overturn his tiny majority of just 1,478 votes.

With 57 seats in play across the region - two fewer than in 2019 following boundary changes, and some seats with new names - the region will be a focal point and likely be flooded with party big wigs as the two major parties go head to head. Labour will at least be looking to take back seats it lost to the Boris Johnson-led Conservatives of 2019 to help it build a majority.

But the Conservatives will not give in easily, despite the polls showing Labour with a 20-point poll lead. Special focus will also be on the Conservative seats of Dudley, Cannock Chase and the redrawn seats of West Bromwich, Walsall and Bloxwich and Wolverhampton North East. All are narrowly held.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak calls General Election for July 4 as Prime Minister makes statement

Walsall and Bloxwich, a redrawn version drawn from parts of of Walsall North and Walsall South, is at risk - Labour will need to overturn an estimated 2.4% majority. In West Bromwich West, only 2,150 votes separated the Conservatives and Labour - now renamed Tipton and Wednesbury. Standing for the Tories will be current West Bromwich West MP Shaun Bailey.

Slightly further afield, Worcester and Shrewsbury are also vulnerable. Other Conservative MPs in the region will be looking over their shoulders however, despite relatively healthy majorities. Stourbridge is a swing seat which has been in Tory and Labour hands over recent years. It is currently held by Conservative Suzanne Webb with a 13,571 majority. So far Labour’s Cllr Cat Eccles and Chris Bramall for the Lib Dems are known candidates to challenge Ms Webb.

Gary Sambrook, Conservative MP for Northfield
Gary Sambrook, Conservative MP for Northfield -Credit:Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live

It won't just be about the Tories and Labour, however. Significant numbers of candidates will stand in regional seats for the Lib Dems, the Greens, Reform UK, The Workers Party of GB and fringe parties. In Birmingham particularly we are expecting a swathe of candidates standing as independents, with a strong focus on the Gaza crisis.

Constituencies across the country have recently been redrawn as part of a national review designed to equalise representation. That saw the number of constituencies reduced locally from 59 to 57.

Campaigns will begin immediately, with the pre-election period set to be declared shortly. Parliament will be prorogued on Friday, it has been announced, meaning dozens of Bills in progress will collapse. Dissolution will take place on Thursday 30 May, with the new Parliament returning after the election.