Democracy and Rainham North

A much needed review of the local election result in Rainham North.

As reported by the local newspaper:

Medway TUSC had valid concerns about the result:

And as our own Ed Jennings said, this wasn’t about a result for Medway TUSC:

Dave Nellist is national Chair of TUSC:

The Medway TUSC group took legal advice and discussed the situation with the National Agent Clive Heenskirk, who researched electoral law and advised that the legal position was a matter of private law and not going to change the result, even if it raises concerns about the whole count.

Paul and four other residents were all willing to sign a legal affidavit and this would have to go through the High Court, which would require the hiring of a QC, which would have significant costs.

Medway TUSC insist that they did question the result on the night, but no recount was called. Medway Labour’s Vince Maple recognises that this is an issue caused by a long count and Rainham North being the 21st of 22 results, and that electoral law does little to support if nothing is done on the night.

ITV Covered the story here.

Whilst the Medway Greens Gillingham Candidate told us;

“As a newcomer to politics and the election process, the 7th May 2015 was an eye-opener for me. Especially the archaic vote-counting process at Medway Park. I expected a long night but to be there until 8.30 the next morning was a bit of a shock.
Therefore it is no real surprise to me to learn that something could go wrong in the process. However, for the unfortunate TUSC local election candidate for Rainham North, Paul Dennis, not to register a single vote did seem unfathomable to me. Had he forgotten to vote for himself or spoilt his ballot paper? What about his friends, family, supporters….?
It is very important to investigate every issue that is raised to keep that image whiter than white and for Medway Council to be fully supportive and transparent when questions are raised.”
Neil Williams Medway Green Party

Medway TUSC started a campaign on the issue:

IMG_2008

We covered the protest creating the following short video

38 Degrees provided support with a petition that has now attracted over 750 signatures:

Ultimately though, things aren’t looking good:

However, questions do still remain:

Medway Council’s response has not changed:

 “I can confirm that having double-checked our records, the paperwork confirms a zero return for TUSC in Rainham North. Whilst I accept this is unusual, now that the result has been declared, I am afraid there is nothing else we can do to investigate the matter further as we are bound by the rules of election law.”
Neil Davies, Acting Returning Officer

Medway TUSC are now relying on a public support, to lead to a public enquiry rather than a recount.

“The legitimacy of the result has been called into question, the system is a shambles, there were people under enormous pressure with small resources.”
Chas Berry,  Medway TUSC

And then things became more complex in Rainham North:

IMG_2070 (1)

Medway TUSC made this revelation at the Council AGM, approaching ourselves and Medway Labour Group leader Vince Maple.

Medway TUSC Gillingham Candidate had this to say:

https://twitter.com/jacqui_berry/status/603589294805098496

“Regarding the nominations process in Rainham North, there was no agent query and questions to be asked. I have spoken with senior officers and am awaiting a response.”
Vince Maple, Leader Medway Labour

Medway Council have made the following statement, as if the previous concern’s regarding the Rainham North vote hadn’t occured.

“Rainham North is a two-member ward which was contested in our elections on 7 May 2015.
“It has been brought to our attention by TUSC that one particular individual has signed more than the maximum number of nomination papers for the ward.
“Having looked into this, the individual concerned has signed nomination papers for three candidates in the election, which should have meant the last nomination paper submitted would have been invalid.
“If it had been invalidated, there was time for the affected candidate to have completed and submitted a new nomination paper. The affected candidate was not either of the two successful candidates in the election for the ward.
“Whilst this is clearly a matter of concern, the outcome of the election in the ward is not in doubt.
“We are conducting an in-depth review of our systems and procedures to ensure that this will not occur again.
“This clearly should not have happened, and we are very sorry it did. We have advised the Electoral Commission of the situation.”
Neil Davies. Returning Officer

Keevil

A Short Film Audioboom Union and Socialist Coalition

On Saturday, members of Medway Trade Union Socialist Coalition (TUSC) were in Rainham precinct following the zero vote result they got in the local elections for their candidate Paul Dennis in Rainham North.

We will be posting a more detailed look into those events and following events as they unfold.

Post #TheOtherElection Analysis

Medway Council

Current Administration: Conservative

Keevil Prediction: No Overall Control
Jennings Prediction: No Overall Control

Result
Conservative Administration

Thoughts
Our 3 months of political punditry showed that we knew less then Jon Snow (Game of Thrones reference rat fans (80’s reference)). Conservatives not only maintained control, they strengthened it.

Council Groups

Conservative: 31 Members
Labour: 17 Members
UKIP: 4 Members
Liberal Democrats: 3 Members

Keevil Prediction:
Conservative: 24 Members
Labour: 23 Members
UKIP: 6 Members
Liberal Democrats: 2 Members

Jennings Prediction:
Conservative: 23 Members
Labour: 20 Members
UKIP: 9 Members
Liberal Democrats: 3 Members

Result

Conservative: 36 Members
Labour: 15 Members
UKIP: 4 Members
Lib Dems: 0 members

Predictions Result
Keevil 38 of 55 = 69%
Jennings 39 of 55 = 71%

Thoughts

Even Cllr Rodney Chambers OBE (Conservative leader of the council) admitted to being a little surprised by the result!
None of the councillors who defected to UKIP held their seats! Of the 4 who won, how many were ‘paper candidates’ and will soon do or say something UKIP regrets and find themselves independent councillors before 2019?
Will Catriona Brown-Reckless be the leader of the UKIP Medway group?
Although it was felt it wouldn’t be a good night for the Lib Dems, nobody expected a wipe out. Diana Smith was expected to win on reputation alone. They almost did as well in the wards they didn’t campaign in than in their long held Gillingham roots.
Whilst we felt that Labour would not gain control of the council, we expected them to reach 20 candidates, but in the end they reduced their number, including in Twydall, which has been solid Labour for as long as both authors of this blog can remember!
TUSC were the only small party to stand a candidate in ever ward, well done to them for that. One candidate Paul Dennis in Rainham North, received 0 votes, which is shocking, especially when you consider he lives in the ward and claims he voted for himself. TUSC are currently protesting this with the council. Will TUSC stand again in 2019, or will Left Unity have a go at it?
Chris Irvine, Peninsula councillor, bravely/foolishly stood in Labour held Rochester East. He not only did not win, but came behind former English Democrat Sean Varnham.
Of the 22 wards UKIP stood candidates in 18 of them. Of those they won in 2. Of they remaining 16 wards, they came second in 10!
Paul Monck, UKIP Cuxton parish councillors, is one to watch in 2019.
SDP Mike Walters got move votes for ward councillor than for MP.
UKIP’s average vote share overtook Labour, and Medway Greens average vote share overtook the Liberal Democrats.

5 6 Wards to Watch

Gillingham South
Keevil said: 2 of the 3 current councillors are not standing for reelection. A busy polling card, will see Lib Dems reduced to one councillor, and I wouldn’t put money on that being Goeff Juby! 2 Labour Councillors, 1 of which you would expect to be Khan. A telling ward for the development of the smaller parties.
Jennings said: Labour are throwing the kitchen sink at Gillingham South, as it’s a ward they need to even come close to taking control of the council. They almost managed it in 2011, but if the Lib Dems are ruthless enough in their campaigning, Juby’s name recognition should be enough to help him hang on, but I definitely wouldn’t put any money on it.
Result: 3 Labour
Thoughts: Khan won as predicted, but Juby didn’t. Gillingham now under the watchful eye of Labour. Will Lib Dems return in 2019?

Peninsula
Keevil said: I was preparing to predict 2 UKIP councillors returned by the Penisula word, but with Irvine not standing in the ward, I think it is a big ask for two new UKIP candidates.
Jennings said: Peninsula appears to be very fertile ground for UKIP, with them handily winning the by-election there in November. That said, their most recognisable candidate, Chris Irvine, is attempting to move wards, so they face a slightly tougher battle here, but they should at least be able to defeat the two new Conservative faces.
Result: 1 Conservative, 2 UKIP
Thoughts: Cllr Filmer held his seat and UKIP added to their by-election result. A ward to watch over the next 4 years!

Princes Park
Keevil said: Seems a site for an actual contest. Current Councillor Pat Gulvin not standing for the seat currently held, adds to the interest in this ward and a seat changing to Labour.
Jennings said: A curious ward where both sitting councillors are standing down, with both Conservatives and Labour putting forward serious candidates. I’d be inclined to say Labour can take both seats, but the Conservatives are putting forward respected former councillor Tashi Bhutia, a split ward appears to be looming.
Result: 2 Conservative
Thoughts: Not only did the Conservatives take the ward by a good margin, Labour didn’t even come 2nd!

Rochester East
Keevil said: To turn half purple! This is based on no rational look at the numbers. Only that the UKIP group leader has given up the Penisula seat he won with a healthy majority for a strong Labour ward. There MUST be something we don’t know otherwise the UKIP group are in serious trouble.
Jennings said: The most baffling thing about this ward is the decision for Medway UKIP group leader Chris Irvine to stand here. This ward has been safely held by Labour for some time, so to give up a reasonably safe position in Peninsula to stand here is one hell of a gamble. Still, these things aren’t done lightly, so UKIP must be confident that they can win here. If not, the Medway UKIP group could well be thrown into chaos post-election.
Result: 2 Labour
Thoughts: We readily said our prediction at the time was crazy and we were willing to accept we got it wrong. And we did.

Rochester West
Keevil said: I am going to predict a labour seat gain here, but I think Tolhurst will win a #GE2015 bounce which will keep her safe until 2019.
Jennings said: The Conservatives, Labour, and the Greens are all putting forward strong candidates here. Under normal conditions, this ward may well have been a strong contender to go red, but Kelly Tolhurst’s status as PPC, along with the Green’s Clive Gregory taking votes away from Labour, should be enough to see her home here.
Result: 2 Conservative
Thoughts: Cllr Tolhurst MP kept her seat and then some. Labour candidates Garrick and Scudder are two to watch for the future. An increase but still disappointing result for Medway Greens, who will need to re-evaluate their council seat strategy if they are to ever hope to become more then a protest vote locally.

Strood Rural
Keevil said: UKIP are working well in Rochester & Strood and this will lead to seats being held here, and if Mason does hold his seat that will be embarrassing for the Conservatives who deselected him.
Jennings said: The only ward that I’m predicting to go completely UKIP, almost wholly on the name recognition of sitting councillors Mason and Rodberg. They’ll face a tough fight, but they should be able to pull off the clean seat sweep.
Result: 3 Conservative
Thoughts: Sitting councillor recognition came to nothing, and UKIPs experience on the council was wiped out. As was any potential for embarrassment for Cllr Mackness.

See you in 2019.

 

Post #MedwayVotes Analysis

General Election

Chatham & Aylesford

Keevil Prediction:
Conservative win. Medium majority. Greens, Lib Dems, TUSC and Christian People’s Alliance to lose their deposits.
Jennings Prediction:
Conservative win. Medium majority. Greens, Lib Dems, TUSC, and Christian People’s Alliance to lose their deposits.

Result
Increased turnout.
Conservative win with a large majority. Increased vote and vote share.
UKIP gains.
Lib Dems reduced vote.
Greens vote increased.
Lib Dems, Greens, CPA and TUSC lost their deposits.

Thoughts
A victory and re-election for Tracey Crouch which wasn’t nearly as close as we thought it would be, a sign of the election overall.
The Labour result was very disappointing for them given it was a target seat.
UKIP result here was significant, considering they changed candidate late on, who only made his presence known late into the campaign.
Liberal Democrats should focus on clarifying their local party system rather then thinking too much about the result.
Some positive news for Medway Greens where their vote increased into four figures.

Gillingham & Rainham

Keevil Prediction:
Conservative win. Large majority. Greens, TUSC and independent candidates to lose their deposits. Naushabah Khan, Councillor, to stand and do better in 2020.
Jennings Prediction:
Conservative win. Large majority. Greens, TUSC, and independent candidates to lose their deposits.

Result
Turnout similar to 2010.
Conservative win with a large majority, up on 2010.
Labour vote share down on 2010.
UKIP gains.
LibDems failed to break 5% of vote.
Greens vote increased.

Thoughts
Will Naushabah, bruised by a by-election and General Election battle in Rochester & Strood stand again? If so, then the recently elected Councillor for Gillingham South should be Labour’s focus in this constituency.
Did we see the rebirth of the SDP, with Mike Waters? (No, we didn’t – Jennings)
Will TUSC and Left Unity build on this result? Or stand separately in future?

Rochester & Strood

Keevil Prediction:
Conservative win. Small majority. Lib Dems and TUSC to lose their deposits
Jennings Prediction:
UKIP win. Small majority. Lib Dems and TUSC to lose their deposits.

Result
Turnout up on 2010 and by-election.
Reckless vote almost the same as the by-election.
Conservative vote almost the same as 2010.
Labour increased result from by-election, but still below 2010 level.
Greens failed to hit 5% but vote stayed above 1500 from by-election.
Lib Dem result in four figures.
Greens, LibDems and TUSC lost deposits.

Thoughts
Will Mark Reckless stand again, as he has a General Election record of 1 win in 4!
Will Clive Gregory stay as Medway Greens coordinator and presumptive candidate?
Can Labour return to being the second party of Rochester & Strood, let alone win the constituency?
Whilst Lib Dems were being massacred nationally, how did they gain 1,000 votes after the by-election?

Total Medway Vote Share by Party
Conservative: 47.2%
UKIP: 23.7%
Labour: 22.9%
Lib Dems: 3%
Greens: 2.6%

Predictions Result
Keevil 3 for 3
Jennings 2 for 3

See you in 2020.

Local election coverage

Counting is now underway for the Medway Council elections.

We’ll be updating this post with the results as they come in. Our predictions for the results are here, so we’ll see how accurate we were later on.

In the meantime, we’re livetweeting proceedings from the count on @centrewhatsleft (Keevil) and @Ed_Jennings (Jennings).

Current council counts
Conservative – 36 (+5)
Labour – 15 (-2)
UKIP – 4 (-)
Lib Dem – 0 (-3)
TUSC – 0
Green – 0
All seats declared

Candidates Elected
Chatham Central – Paul Godwin (Lab), Vince Maple (Lab), Julie Shaw (Lab)
Cuxton and Halling – Matt Fearn (Con)
Gillingham North – Pat Cooper (Lab), Adam Price (Lab), Andrew Stamp (Lab)
Gillingham South – Clive Johnson (Lab), Naushabah Khan (Lab), Dan McDonald (Lab)
Hempstead and Wigmore – Diane Chambers (Con), Rodney Chambers (Con)
Lordswood and Capstone – Alan Jarrett (Con), David Wildey (Con)
Luton and Wayfield – Sam Craven (Lab), Michael Franklin (Con), Tristan Osborne (Lab)
Peninsula – Roy Freshwater (UKIP), Phil Filmer (Con), Mick Pendergast (UKIP)
Princes Park – Tashi Bhutia (Con), Gloria Opara (Con)
Rainham Central – Rehman Chishti (Con), Barry Kemp (Con), Mike O’Brien (Con)
Rainham North – David Carr (Con), Martin Potter (Con)
Rainham South – Howard Doe (Con), David Royale (Con), Leslie Wicks (Con)
River – Andrew Mackness (Con), Habib Tejan (Con)
Rochester East – Nick Bowler (Lab), Teresa Murray (Lab)
Rochester South and Horsted – Trevor Clarke (Con), Sylvia Griffin (Con), Rupert Turpin (Con)
Rochester West – Kelly Tolhurst (Con), Stuart Tranter (Con)
Strood North – Jane Chitty (Con), Phil Hall (Con), Steve Iles (Con)
Strood Rural – Gary Etheridge (Con), Peter Hicks (Con), John Williams (Con)
Strood South – John Avey (Con), Catriona Brown-Reckless (UKIP), Mark Joy (UKIP)
Twydall – Anne-Claire Howard (Con), Dorte Gilry (Lab), Glyn Griffiths (Lab)
Walderslade – David Brake (Con), Adrian Gulvin (Con)
Watling – Wendy Purdy (Con), Asha Saroy (Con)

Election count coverage

It’s election night and counting for the three Medway constituencies is now taking place.

We’ll be updating the key results here as they come in. They are due in around stupid o’clock.

In the meantime, we’re livetweeting proceedings from the count on @centrewhatsleft (Keevil) and @Ed_Jennings (Jennings).

Rochester & Strood
Conservative 23,142
UKIP 16,009
Labour 10,396
Green 1,516
Lib Dem 1,251
TUSC 202

Gillingham & Rainham
Conservative 22,590
Green 1,133
Labour 12,060
Lib Dem 1,107
TUSC 273
UKIP 9,199

Chatham & Aylesford
Conservative 21,614
CPA 133
Green 1,101
Labour 10,159
Lib Dem 1,360
TUSC 125
UKIP 8,581

Game of Wards

2015 what lies ahead

Note:

This isn’t about preferences which would have shown Medway sending a rainbow coalition of Green, Lib Dems and TUSC to Gun Wharf (again, no it wouldn’t – Ed), but rather based on our misunderstanding of numbers and how vote swings work. Also we understand that every party is working to win every seat, and every seat is(nt) a target. Also, anything is possible. But..

Medway Council

Current Administration: Conservative

Keevil Prediction: No Overall Control
Jennings Prediction: No Overall Control

Council Groups

Conservative: 31 Members
Labour: 17 Members
UKIP: 4 Members
Liberal Democrats: 3 Members

Keevil Prediction

Conservative: 24 Members
Labour: 23 Members
UKIP: 6 Members
Liberal Democrats: 2 Members

Jennings Prediction

Conservative: 23 Members
Labour: 20 Members
UKIP: 9 Members
Liberal Democrats: 3 Members

5 6 Wards to Watch

Gillingham South
Peninsula
Princes Park
Rochester East
Rochester West
Strood Rural

Keevil Analysis

The first thing you discover when you look at the numbers is how many of the wards are held with relatively large majorities, large enough so as to make you question wether the wards are even in contest. Some contests there are though, and between a potential drop in Conservative and Lib Dem vote as well as an increase in Labour and UKIP vote means there are predicted changes. This will lead to the council being under No Overall Control, which I think will be a good thing for Medway after years of single party cabinet control and a lack of scrutiny. The two main groups will have an almost similar number of wards meaning co-operation is essential.

Wards
Cuxton and Halling: Whilst I am predicting a Conservative hold, Monck, who is a parish councillor for UKIP is a big question mark. One to watch for 2019!
Gillingham North: Whilst I think this will be an easy hold for Labour, the interest is an alternate universe where in 2011 Stamp and Cooper stood and won as Labour, rather then Independents before changing. In this universe Khan stood in Gillingham South in 2011 and won, leading to a different Labour candidate in the Rochester By-Election and a different 2015 campaign.
Gillingham South: Back in this Universe 2 of the 3 current councillors are not standing for reelection. A busy polling card, will see Lib Dems reduced to one councillor, and I wouldn’t put money on that being Goeff Juby! 2 Labour Councillors, 1 of which you would expect to be Khan. A telling ward for the development of the smaller parties.
Luton and Wayfield: This could have been a Labour seat loss but I think Osborne will gain a #GE2015 recognition bounce which will see him through to 2019.
Peninsula: I was preparing to predict 2 UKIP councillors returned by the Penisula word, but with Irvine not standing in the ward, I think it is a big ask for two new UKIP candidates.
Princes Park: Seems a site for an actual contest. Current Councillor Pat Gulvin not standing for the seat currently held, adds to the interest in this ward and a seat changing to Labour.
Rainham North: Hewett’s choice to join UKIP is an interesting one, especially as it’s not with support of the seemingly better organised Rochester & Strood UKIP. Will it lead to UKIP taking the ward? Or Labour taking the seat? No.
River: With Mackinley standing in South Thanet and Mackness, who had the smaller majority in 2011, busy deselecting Conservative councillors in Rochester & Strood, Labour must feel River is for the taking. With better candidates it might have been. UKIP to do well, but not well enough.
Rochester East: To turn half purple! This is based on no rational look at the numbers. Only that the UKIP group leader has given up the Penisula seat he won with a healthy majority for a strong Labour ward. There MUST be something we don’t know otherwise the UKIP group are in serious trouble.
Rochester West: I am going to predict a labour seat gain here, but I think Tolhurst will win a #GE2015 bounce which will keep her safe until 2019.
Strood North: The two councillors contesting their seats, leaving a battle for the third seat. I’m going to say the UKIP surge won’t get them a seat, and Labour will win it.
Strood Rural: UKIP are working well in Rochester & Strood and this will lead to seats being held here, and if Mason does hold his seat that will be embarrassing for the Conservatives who deselected him.
Strood South: Had a low turnout in 2011, an increased turnout from the General Election, and a UKIP surge mixed with a Reckless bounce, means I am predicting a three way split of seats.
Walderslade: Had a large poll card in 2011, and this isn’t the case in 2015 which will change the outcome to a Labour seat gain.
Watling: This will be a very close battle, Smith will see her majority reduced by the collapse of the Medway Liberal Democrat vote, but will hold on. Chaplin will have a #GE2015 bounce but not enough to min a council seat. The battle for the second seat will see a Labour win.

Jennings Analysis

I think it’s generally accepted now that Medway Council will be under No Overall Control following this election, it’s just the exact make-up that is up for debate. My numbers are perhaps more pessimistic for the establishment parties, with the Conservatives losing 8 seats, but Labour only being able to pick up 3. This does lead to UKIP being the main beneficiaries. While their poll numbers have slipped in recent days, they have built a good infrastructure in Medway, and relatively easily topped the Euro elections in May and the Rochester by-election in November. The problem is exactly where these predictions leave us. It’s difficult to imagine either the Conservatives or Labour working with UKIP in Medway, meaning the only viable route to a council that can get anything done is a ‘grand coalition’ of the Conservatives and Labour. If the parties do decide to go down this route, there will certainly be interesting times ahead.

Wards
Cuxton and Halling: This is a tough one to call, but a combination of the incumbent Conservative councillor standing down, along with the local popularity of UKIP candidate Paul Monck means that I think he can just about pull it off.
Gillingham South: Labour are throwing the kitchen sink at Gillingham South, as it’s a ward they need to even come close to taking control of the council. They almost managed it in 2011, but if the Lib Dems are ruthless enough in their campaigning, Juby’s name recognition should be enough to help him hang on, but I definitely wouldn’t put any money on it.
Peninsula: Peninsula appears to be very fertile ground for UKIP, with them handily winning the by-election there in November. That said, their most recognisable candidate, Chris Irvine, is attempting to move wards, so they face a slightly tougher battle here, but they should at least be able to defeat the two new Conservative faces.
Princes Park: A curious ward where both sitting councillors are standing down, with both Conservatives and Labour putting forward serious candidates. I’d be inclined to say Labour can take both seats, but the Conservatives are putting forward respected former councillor Tashi Bhutia, a split ward appears to be looming.
Rainham North: The wildcard here is Vaughan Hewett’s defection to UKIP. Traditionally a safe Conservative ward, the question is whether his name alone will be able to see him through. I think it will, but it’s not entirely out of the question that the ward will turn completely blue again.
Rochester East: The most baffling thing about this ward is the decision for Medway UKIP group leader Chris Irvine to stand here. This ward has been safely held by Labour for some time, so to give up a reasonably safe position in Peninsula to stand here is one hell of a gamble. Still, these things aren’t done lightly, so UKIP must be confident that they can win here. If not, the Medway UKIP group could well be thrown into chaos post-election.
Rochester West: The Conservatives, Labour, and the Greens are all putting forward strong candidates here. Under normal conditions, this ward may well have been a strong contender to go red, but Kelly Tolhurst’s status as PPC, along with the Green’s Clive Gregory taking votes away from Labour, should be enough to see her home here.
Strood Rural: The only ward that I’m predicting to go completely UKIP, almost wholly on the name recognition of sitting councillors Mason and Rodberg. They’ll face a tough fight, but they should be able to pull off the clean seat sweep.
Strood South: An interesting one that the Conservatives, Labour, and UKIP are all fighting. The national winds should see Labour pick up a second seat here, and there’s a chance UKIP will come through and snag the third. The question though is which candidate will be able to pull it off?
Walderslade: If Labour hadn’t spectacularly screwed up their candidate selection here, they might have been able to pull it off. But as they selected two candidates, both of which pulled out, leaving two late selections, they face an uphill battle here.
Watling: I was originally going to predict the Lib Dems winning both seats here as a result of UKIP taking from the Conservative vote. UKIP have decided not to run here though, making the battle tougher for the Lib Dems. Sitting councillor Diana Smith is incredibly popular though, and combined with the name recognition of Gillingham PPC Paul Chaplin, if they are ruthless enough in their campaigning, they should just be able to pull it off.

Ward Breakdowns

  1. Chatham Central (current: 3Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 3 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 3 Labour
  2. Cuxton and Halling (current: 1 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Conservative
    Jennings Prediction: 1 UKIP
  3. Gillingham North (current:3 Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 3 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 3 Labour
  4. Gillingham South (current: 2 Liberal Democrat1 Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 2 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat
  5. Hempstead and Wigmore (current: 2 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 2 Conservative
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Conservative
  6. Lordswood and Capstone (current: 2 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 2 Conservative
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Conservative
  7. Luton and Wayfield (current: 3 Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 3 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 3 Labour
  8. Peninsula (current: 2 Conservative1 UKIP)
    Keevil Prediction: 2 Conservative, 1 UKIP
    Jennings Prediction: 2 UKIP, 1 Conservative
  9. Princes Park (current: 2 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 1 Conservative, 1 Labour
  10. Rainham Central (current: 3 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 3 Conservative
    Jennings Prediction: 3 Conservative
  11. Rainham North (current: 1 Conservative1 UKIP)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Conservative, 1 UKIP
    Jennings Prediction: 1 Conservative, 1 UKIP
  12. Rainham South (current: 3 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 3 Conservative
    Jennings Prediction: 3 Conservative
  13. River (current: 2 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Conservative
  14. Rochester East (current: 2 Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Labour, 1 UKIP
    Jennings Prediction: 1 Labour, 1 UKIP
  15. Rochester South and Horsted (current: 3 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 2 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 3 Conservative
  16. Rochester West (current:2 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Conservative
  17. Strood North (current: 2 Conservative, 1 Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 2 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Labour, 1 Conservative
  18. Strood Rural (current: 1 Conservative2 UKIP)
    Keevil Prediction: 2 UKIP, 1 Conservative
    Jennings Prediction: 3 UKIP
  19. Strood South (current: 2 Conservative1 Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Labour, 1 Conservative, 1 UKIP
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Labour, 1 UKIP
  20. Twydall (current: 3 Labour)
    Keevil Prediction: 3 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 3 Labour
  21. Walderslade (current: 2 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Conservative, 1 Labour
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Conservative
  22. Watling (current: 1 Liberal Democrat1 Conservative)
    Keevil Prediction: 1 Labour, Liberal Democrat
    Jennings Prediction: 2 Liberal Democrat

To read our General Election Predictions

Game of Seats

Note:
This isn’t about preferences which would have shown Medway sending a rainbow coalition of Green, Lib Dems and TUSC (no it wouldn’t – Ed) to parliament, but rather based on our misunderstanding of numbers and how vote swings work.
Also we understand that every party is working to win every seat, and every seat is(nt) a target.
Also anything is possible. But….

Our meaning:
Small Majority: Under 1,000
Medium Majority: 1,000-3,000
Large Majority: Over 3,000

At least 5% of the vote is needed to keep the deposit.

 

Chatham & Aylesford

Conservative win from Labour in 2010.
Labour’s only target seat in the area.

Keevil Prediction

Conservative win. Medium majority.
Greens, Lib Dems, TUSC and Christian People’s Alliance to lose their deposits.

Keevil Analysis

It will be close, but not as close as it could have been. A mixture of Crouch being a hard-working and likeable MP and Labour understandably focusing on winning Gun Wharf. Also anything could and maybe does happen in Aylesford.

Jennings Prediction

Conservative win. Medium majority.
Greens, Lib Dems, TUSC, and Christian People’s Alliance to lose their deposits.

Jennings Analysis

It’s a bit of a boring start, but I’m with Keevil on this one. Crouch has proven herself to be an outstanding constituency MP, and her only competitor is Tristan Osborne, who perhaps not put across the best image for his party. He’ll increase the Labour vote compared to 2010 thanks to the electoral winds, but Crouch should be retaining here.

Gillingham & Rainham

Conservative win from Labour in 2010
Not a target seat.

Keevil Prediction

Conservative win. Large Majority.
Greens, TUSC and independent candidates to lose their deposits.
Naushabah Khan, Councillor, to stand and do better in 2020.

Keevil Analysis

A backward step for Labour re-standing Clark, who was soundly beaten by Chisthi in 2010, and nothing since then, not Chisthi’s questionable voting record on equal rights or Clark’s support of a primary school in Twydall has changed that. If Clark has stepped aside for new blood he could have continued to support as an elder statesmen of the local party.

Jennings Prediction

Conservative win. Large majority.
Greens, TUSC, and independent candidates to lose their deposits.

Jennings Analysis

Well this is all a bit boring, isn’t it? Chishti hasn’t been the strongest local MP, but he’s built up a reasonable level of support in the community. Paul Clark, who vanished from the area for a while following his loss, is locally popular, but also too tainted by the sins of Labour past. Again, he’ll improve on his vote from 2010, but it won’t be enough to allow any other than a strong result for Chishti. This is the one seat in Medway where the Lib Dems can possibly retain their deposit, but reaching that 5% of the vote will be a struggle here, but their levels of support in Gillingham should be able to see them through.

Rochester & Strood

Conservative win from Labour in 2010.
UKIP by-election win in 2014.
Conservative (non)-target seat.

Keevil Prediction

Conservative Win. Small Majority
Lib Dems and TUSC to lose their deposits

Keevil Analysis

This depends on whether you think there will be a UKIP surge and whether the Conservative machine turns up to vote.
Whilst UKIP will do well in the peninsula, where other parties except TUSC seem to avoid. The Conservative machine will turn out, in spite of, not necessarily because of Tolhurst.
Having bloodied the Government nose in the by-election, a late result will show UKIP should have favoured Proportional Representation, not First Past The Post.

Jennings Prediction

UKIP win. Small majority.
Lib Dems and TUSC to lose their deposits.

Jennings Analysis

Finally, an area of disagreement! UKIP have developed a strong local infrastructure in Rochester and Strood (emphasis on the latter part there). While the national party may not be able to throw the same resources at the seat as in the by-election, the recent publicity from that and the local groundwork will be enough to see them home here, albeit on a wafer thin majority. Which means to say the Conservatives could still squeak it. A lot of that potential depends on convincing tactical voters to come to them purely to keep UKIP out, but if they couldn’t manage that in a by-election, they likely can’t here either. The Greens are the party to watch here, to see if they can capitalise on their strong by-election performance and just about manage to hang onto their deposit.

 

To read our Local Election Predictions