Almost a prediction – the local elections for Southend-on-Sea in May

The last time the local and national elections coincided was in 2010. This was the General Election that saw David Cameron elected as Prime Minister, it also saw the Clegg bounce. Gordon Brown’s outgoing Government was thumped, although somehow they managed to stop an overall Conservative majority.

On the same day, in the seventeen wards that make up Southend-on-Sea, we saw the following numbers elected:

10 Conservative
5 Liberal Democrat
1 Labour
1 Independent

Those elected in 2010 are not seeking re-election, they were up last year. However, there is one very important statistic in these numbers – the single Independent elected.

In the elections either side of 2010 we see a different picture. In 2008 four Independents were triumphant, and in 2011 the same again, four elected.

This campaign will be dominated by the General Election, and local voices are marginalised. Whilst I know that the national electoral landscape has changed, I still expect the major parties to dominate. I also expect a good showing by UKIP, whose rise in the polls and popularity in Essex mean that there is potential for their group of councillors to grow. However, their internal bickering is not helping their cause.

I will not make an exact prediction, but I feel confident enough to say that I do not believe the Conservatives will win anywhere near what they managed in 2010 (and I expect a couple of losses), the Liberal Democrats are in trouble and will do well to hold on in Leigh, and my party will do better than its single victory in 2010. As for the Independents, I cannot help but think this will be a tough year for them.

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