The Untangled Web has released its Guide to the 2006 Local Elections which includes a complete council-by-council set of predictions for next Thursday’s local elections.
This is the first full set of predictions for every council with elections next week and has been compiled using a combination of past and current voting trends together with information gathered from people on the ground. Key predictions include:
· Labour losing control of Bexley, Croydon, Hammersmith & Fulham and Merton to the Conservatives
· Labour losing Brent, Camden, Ealing, Haringey, Hounslow and Tower Hamlets to No Overall Control (NOC)
· The Conservatives losing Richmond to the LibDems and Redbridge to NOC
· The Conservatives taking control of Hillingdon from NOC
· The LibDems taking control of Southwark from NOC
· Labour losing control of Oldham to NOC
· The Conservatives losing control of Solihull to NOC
· Labour taking control of St Helens from NOC
· The LibDems taking control of Bristol from NOC
· Labour losing control of Derby to NOC
· The LibDems losing control of Milton Keynes to NOC
· The Conservatives to gain Basingstoke & Deane, Bassetlaw, Chorley, Colchester, Epping Forest, Hart, Mole Valley, Rugby, Shrewsbury & Atcham and Winchester from NOC
· The LibDems to gain Norwich and Woking from NOC
· Labour to gain Exeter from NOC
· Labour to lose Crawley and Newcastle-under-Lyme to NOC
The report is not all good news for David Cameron. It states that: "Unluckily for David Cameron, the Conservatives have to perform exceptionally well at this year’s local elections to deliver any genuine mood that the Conservatives are preparing for national government. This is because the period 1993 to 1996 was exceptionally bad as the deeply unpopular Conservative government was punished in local elections to the point of almost being wiped out. This allowed the Liberal Democrats to take hundreds of traditionally Conservative council seats, many of which they have held on to as they do not suffer from the anti-government protest vote. Add to that the fact that Cameron has staked so much of his reputation on building up Conservative support in cities and you have a situation where the Conservatives will only be seen to have succeeded if they get some really impressive gains that go beyond the usual expectations."
Hmmm. Some of these predictions look unlikely to me, but I admit I do not have my finger on the pulse of these local elections. What do you think?