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

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