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?
Looks a bit odd to me. How would Labour lose Haringey to NOC? Labour could lose Haringey, for sure, but given there are currently only two parties on the council and I don't see that changing - unless the Greens surprise us by reversing their recent steep decline here - it's either Labour or Lib Dem. Saying it will be NOC either means a very fine prediction about mayor's casting vote or means "too close to call" - which might be about right, I suppose.
I can't see the LibDems gaining Norwich either - to do so they'd have to hold everything they have and GAIN 2 seats. They are currently gloating about being able to win Mile Cross (probable), Sewell (unlikely) and Crome (hardly) but are under real pressure in Wensum, Town Close, Mancroft (from Greens) and Lakenahm & University from Labour. Even given Labour's woes, I cannot see the Greens not making goes and thus any LibDem gains will be wiped out. I think they;ve got this very wrong - the only result in Norwich is NOC hold.
Are there any predictions for Cambridgeshire?
Elections are like football matches in many ways - you think you know who will win, but there's often a surprise or two thrown in, a major upset.
You have to remember that people's perceptions and beliefs do not change overnight, they are often deeply ingrained and they need convincing very firmly before switching parties who have held their loyalty for many years.
My view is that the majority of these are entirely plausible.....
Norwich and Woking would be particularly interesting if they do come off.
I'm sure that there will be the odd gain here and there, but I doubt that there will be many spectacular changes. My forecast is that the Tories will make a little ground - the Cameron effect has yet to bed in. The Lib Dems will do OK and make a few gains while Labour will lose seats, but not meltdown as has been forecast. I think the whole thing will be a little more lacklustre than everybody expects.
I would expect Woking to go the other way .... we'll see. But, I suspect the Lib Dems will do well across the country as David Cameron hasn't yet provided a focus for the growing anger with the government. However I think he's doing the right thing repositioning the party first (reform before investment - something Gordon Brown might like to think on). The only safe prediction for next Friday is a large hangover.
I would love to see Bassetlaw go from NOC to Conservative hands. They have some hard working councillors and some excellent new candidates. Extremely possible
Much as I would love us (Conservatives) to take Winchester from NOC, I don't think it's very likely. We need to win 7 new seats and Labour need to hold both of theirs from LD.
I guess it's theoretically possible but my money isn't on it.
My best guess is 2- 4 net gain.
The solid progress that the Conservatives are making will not show as many gained seats or councils. There will of course be successes, but they will be overshadowed by the usual local election success of the Lib Dems and the absence of a Labour meltdown. The loss of Woking would surprise me as I have not heard any rumble to that effect but as the Lib Dems are skilled at taking seats by stealth, it would not be impossible. I had noted (again "as usual") that the Lib Dem posters are "up" in Woking already but I have yet to see a Conservative one. Oh, well...
Epping Forest will hopefully be a Tory gain as predicted, but as a council with one of the most complex political make-ups in the country, anything could happen.
Cambridgeshire County Council had it's election last year and won't be up for election again until 2009. I guess you must be asking about Cambridge City Council of which a third is up for election this year.
This website http://www.cix.co.uk/~rosenstiel/camelect/ has an incredible amount of detail regarding elections to both councils - althouh no predictions.
Kate - they wrongly state that the Conservatives are not involved in running Epping Forest when if fact the Tories are the biggest party on the council's Executive. Nevertheless they may be right about the prediction. Epping Forest and Brentwood & Ongar are both very safe for the Tories at parliamentary level. Its amazing the local group didn't get their act together and take control years ago. Let's hope the BNP are beaten back in Debden.
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