A Labour candidate has won the Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath East by-election with a landslide result, despite an overall low voter turnout.

Saima Ahmed won the council seat after receiving 2,410 ballots from residents, 22% of whom turned out to vote.

NHS worker Ahmed takes over the late Cllr Mohammed Azim, who held the seat until his sudden death in August, triggering the by-election.

The official boundary of the Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East ward in BirminghamBCC
The official boundary of the Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East ward in Birmingham

Results for the four other candidates who stood for election were:

Shaukat Ali Khan (Liberal Democrats) | 517 votes
Zhor Malik (Local Conservatives) | 305 votes
Phil Bevin (Workers Party) | 158 votes
Michael John Harrison (Green Party) | 72 votes

Ahmed, who has lived in the ward for nearly two decades, is now the newly elected councillor for Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath East, and becomes the area’s next official council representative.

“I’m not a career politician and this is my first time standing for election, however, for many years I have campaigned alongside Councillor Shabrana Hussain, and the late Councillor Mohammed Azim,” said Cllr Saima Ahmed said following her victory.

“As a local community activist, I have been involved in local litter picks and street patrols. Now, I want to represent the people of Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East, fighting for a cleaner, safer and better future for our area.

The death of former councillor Mohammed Azim triggered the by-election BCC
The death of former councillor Mohammed Azim triggered the by-election

“As a working-class mother in the NHS, I have seen on a daily basis the hardship that local people face with the succession of heartless Tory Governments that we have had.

“My roots are in Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East, my children attend a local school and I lived in the ward for 17 years, and still live and work locally to this day.

“The Conservatives have let Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East down, whilst they have been busy arguing with themselves in a leadership election, prices and energy bills have been rising.”

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