Crompton (Lab defence) on Bolton
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 39, Conservatives 15, Liberal Democrats 3, UKIP 3 (Labour majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 2,363 (60%), UKIP 826 (21%), Conservative 456 (12%), Liberal Democrat 148 (4%), Independent 121 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Bilkis Bashir-Ismali (Lab), Laura Diggle (Green), Paul Eccles (UKIP), Ryan Haslam (Con), Garry Veevers (Lib Dem)
In the 2004 local elections something quite remarkable happened in Bolton, the Liberal Democrats became the largest party on the council (Lib Dem 21, Lab 20, Con 19) of course it didn’t last long and in 2006 they started a long slide to their three councillors at the moment and Bolton returned to it’s long term tradition of being a solid Labour council which poses the question therefore of whether Bolton wants an inbuilt majority for Labour or are they seeking an alternative but each option disappoints? If that is indeed the case then UKIP could be in for a very bad night indeed, after all polling 19% at last year’s elections (from a standing start in 2011) means that they have a long way to fall back.
Lower Stoke (Lab defence) on Coventry
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 41, Conservatives 13 (Labour majority of 28)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 1,854 (47%), UKIP 938 (24%), Conservative 600 (15%), Green Party 259 (7%), Trade Unionist and Socialist 248 (6%), British National Party 70 (2%)
Candidates duly nominated:Aimee Challenor (Green Party), Christopher Glenn (Lib Dem), Harjinder Sehmi (UKIP), Rupinder Singh (Lab), Eliane Yebkal (Con)
When the Conservatives gained control of Coventry in 2004 Labour were sure “This is just a temporary blip” and it is true that just six years later Labour regained control and now have a majority of 28, but at the same time at the general election the three seats that make up Coventry there was a 0.45% swing to the Conservatives making Coventry North West as well as Coventry South into Labour marginal seats and whilst there is no chance of the Conservatives gaining Coventry in 2016, the fact that Coventry has seen a Labour lead of 33% in 1997 slump to just 15% in 18 years is something that will no doubt give Labour several sleepless nights for years to come.
West End North (Lib Dem defence) on Eastleigh
Result of council at last election (2015): Liberal Democrats 38, Conservatives 6 (Liberal Democrat majority of 32)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Liberal Democrat 1,156 (40%), Conservative 1,020 (35%), UKIP 446 (15%), Labour 280 (10%)
Candidates duly nominated: Andy Andrews (Lab), Janice Asman (Lib Dem), Steven Broomfield (Con), Glynn Fleming (Green), Hugh McGuinness (UKIP)
When the Conservatives brought Eastleigh back into the fold at the general election, they managed to do so on a very fractional increase in the Conservative vote (from 39% in 2010 to 42% in 2015) the real reason was the collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote from 47% to just 26% so you would expect therefore that in the Eastleigh council elections (held on the same day) the Liberal Democrat vote would collapse compared with the 2011 local elections (and while it did fall 10%) there was only a 7% swing from Lib Dem to Con compared to the 12% swing at the general election so therefore there has to be a very strong chance that the Lib Dems should be able to hold this ward.
Cranford (Lab defence) on Hounslow
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 49, Conservatives 11 (Labour majority of 38)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,085, 1,813, 1,643 (55%)
Conservatives 987, 851, 801 (26%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 508 (13%)
Liberal Democrat 235 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Sukhbir Dhaliwal (Lab), Nico Fekete (Green), Hina Malik (Lib Dem), Sukhdev Maras (Con), George Radulski (UKIP)
The last time that Labour had 49 seats back in 1994, the opposition was made up of 6 Conservatives and 5 Liberal Democrats and from that moment on Labour dropped so that by 2006 Hounslow was a hung council but that didn’t last too long and it only took two elections for Labour to get back to 49 councillors and eliminate the Liberal Democrats as an opposition group member. However, with the London Mayoral and Assembly elections on the way a good Conservative performance in a Labour heartland will allow them to say that they are the only challengers to Labour in the capital and that as a result, Zac Goldsmith should be elected Mayor to counter a Labour controlled Assembly.
Compiled by Harry Hayfield