Smith Would Be Unseated Based on Latest Results in Redditch

Article excerpt

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith faces the possibility of becoming the most high profile General Election loser after Tories gained two council seats in herWorcestershire base.

Their candidate Juliet Brunner won in the county's Arrow Valley East division which has more than a quarter of the constituency's electorate.

The swing was 14.2 per cent since the last shire contest on the same day as the 2005 General Election.

A shift of just 3.4 per cent since then would be enough to unseat Ms Smith.

A small boundary change is expected to make her even more vulnerable.

There was slightly better news for her party in a Redditch Borough by-election at Batchley.

Tory Brenda Quinney gained but there was a four per cent swing back to Labour from Conservatives' high water result in May when they had won another of the ward's seats.

However Ms Smith would still face defeat on the basis of this result.

Elsewhere, Tories missed another gain by just 22 votes as Liberal Democrats held on at Uckfield New Town, Wealden District, East Sussex.

Labour easily defended a Townfield seat at West London's Hillingdon Borough where the party candidate's nomination papers were signed by Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell. …