#MedwayPredicts19

You may have heard that we’ve got a local election tomorrow in Medway. As such, today we’re going to publish our predictions for how we think things will shake out across each ward and in Medway as a whole.

One caveat: We did this in 2015 and we were wrong on a lot of fronts. But maybe we’ve learnt something four years on? We’ll find out on Friday.

We’d love to hear your own predictions. Drop yours into the comments at the bottom of this post, on our Facebook page, or tweet us using the hashtag #MedwayPredicts19.

Chatham Central – currently 3 Labour

Keevil: It’s not the most controversial of starts to predict this ward staying red. Harinder and Siju have hit the ground running this campaign and I’ve heard promising things about that Maple fella as well.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Jennings: If the result here is anything other than three solid Labour holds, something has gone very wrong and all bets are off everywhere else.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Cuxton and Halling – currently 1 Conservative

Jennings: Labour has pushed here a little harder than in previous cycles, but it’s hard to see the Tories being toppled.
Prediction: 1 Conservative

Keevil: Whilst this will stay blue, it is a ward to watch to see if there is a split between Cuxton and Halling. If Porter can stick with Medway politics long enough, this might be marginal enough to be in play next time.
Prediction: 1 Conservative

Gillingham North – currently 3 Labour

Keevil: No other party made any real inroads here and the councillors here do have a presence.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Jennings: It’s almost hard to believe that this ward used to be a Lib Dem stronghold, such is their fade from prominence here. No one else has risen to fill the gap, so there’s little to stop Labour walking away with this one again.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Gillingham South – currently 3 Labour

Jennings: On paper, Gillingham South should be more in play. The Lib Dems held most seats in the ward up until 2015, and UKIP came pretty close to winning it four years ago. But the sitting Labour councillors have done well and embedded themselves into the ward fully enough that it’s hard to see anything other than three Labour holds here.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Keevil: The fact that Medway Lib Dems aren’t in contention here but are campaigning in River ward boggles my mind.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Hempstead and Wigmore – currently 2 Conservative

Keevil: I’m assuming this is already a declared ward.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Jennings: What can you say? The Chambers have held this ward for the Conservatives forever, and nobody else puts up a fight here, so it’s likely they always will.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Lordswood & Capstone – currently 2 Conservative

Jennings: Home of Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett, not much is going to happen here.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Keevil: Did anybody even campaign in this ward?
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Luton & Wayfield – currently 2 independents, 1 Labour

Keevil: And what should have been the first contentious decision of the night. A host of independent candidates might collectively gather over 500 votes. Lammas has worked hard for the Tories and I hope he runs again, because tonight will not be his night, and it’s not his fault. Burdened by a poor campaign colleague and the ramifications of such. Labour have worked the ward hard and I expect them to bring it over the line.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Jennings: For Labour to make any ground on Medway Council, winning back their previously held seats in Luton and Wayfield is essential. The Conservatives have put in a spirited campaign here, one that may have seen them pull it off in another election. It’s likely Labour have done enough to win all three seats though, but it runs the risk of being close.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Peninsula – currently 1 Conservative, 1 UKIP, 1 independent

Jennings: Possibly the most unpredictable ward in these elections. Formally a Conservative stronghold until around 2014 when it started going a bit UKIP. The residents here have a lot of grumbles so won’t be inclined to vote for what’s left of the Conservatives, but UKIP are only fielding a single candidate, so who knows where that vote will go? Independents are the most likely recipients, so I’m going to roll the dice for Pendergast hanging on and veteran Peninsula candidate Ron Sands pulling through as well. But there’s about ten different ways this one could feasibly go.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Filmer), 2 independents (Pendergast/Sands)

Keevil: Where to even begin? What a shitshow. #Brexit. Housing developments. Amazon lorries. Conservatives don’t have three candidates now, or so we think. So this is the ward that stops a two party council. I could look into a toilet bowl after a bad curry and have as much clarity as I do now. Why did Medway Greens put 3 candidates here? They’ll have their reasons but no. Labour haven’t worked the ward enough. So in the end I’m going with more of the same. The three councillors going in are who come out. Shame Medway People’s Voice didn’t become a party as they’d have a councillor. And I look forward to seeing future contributions at Full Council from Freshwater. Thought this might have one of the big scalps of the night with the loss of Cabinet member Cllr Filmer, but he’ll stay on because why the fuck not? And I’m not even drinking.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Filmer), 1 UKIP, 1 independent (Pendergast)

Princes Park – currently 2 Conservatives

Keevil: On the night this will be a bellweather ward. How bad are things for the Conservatives, and how good for Labour. In the end it’ll be close.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Jennings: Going to go for my first split ward between the two main parties here. Labour have been putting in a bit of effort here, and the Conservative operation doesn’t seem to be up to much. This one could go either way in theory, so I’m hedging my bets.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Bhutia), 1 Labour (Jassal)

Rainham Central – currently 3 Conservative

Jennings: Rehman Chishti had the largest vote of any Medway councillor, so it’s hard to imagine the ward staying as anything other than fully Conservative, even without his presence.
Prediction: 3 Conservatives

Keevil: And so with Cllr Chishti MP standing down, I don’t have anything really to say.
Prediction: 3 Conservatives

Rainham North – currently 2 Conservatives

Keevil: Another clear Conservative win. Just hope Cllr Potter is allowed to stay up and see the result.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Jennings: Another solid Tory ward, where the late Cllr David Carr will be replaced his wife after some shenanigans went on. So as 2015, this ward will elect another Cllr Carr and Cllr Potter.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Rainham South – currently 3 Conservatives

Keevil: One of the shocks of the night. Doe and Barrett to win easily and hit the road as a seventies comedy tribute act. Chatfield to split the ward for Labour.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives (Barrett/Doe), 1 Labour (Chatfield)

Jennings: There seemed to be a time where Labour thought they were in with a shot here so gave it a bit of a push, but things seem to have gone quiet of late. On a disaster of a night for the Tories it could happen, but the smart money is on the Tories holding all three seats.
Prediction: 3 Conservatives

River – currently 2 Conservatives

Jennings: One of the more unpredictable wards, River has regularly swung back and forth between the Conservatives and Labour. There’s a fair chance this splits, but it could just as easily end up with one party taking both seats.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Tejan), 1 Labour (Mandaracas)

Keevil: One to watch on the night. A split result as River has been in the past. The only decision is split what way? In a big upset for the night, the Deputy Mayor to lose and Mackness Mark 2 to win, with Scudder to finally make it across the line for Labour. Lib Dems will continue to spend time after the result explaining to an empty room, why they stood two candidates here.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Thompson), 1 Labour (Scudder)

Rochester East – currently 2 Labour

Keevil: The risk is that there was so little campaigning that residents don’t know they should be out voting.
Prediction: 2 Labour

Jennings: The Labour stronghold in Rochester, and incredibly unlikely for that to change now.
Prediction: 2 Labour

Rochester South & Horsted – currently 3 Conservatives

Jennings: On paper, Labour could possibly make some in-roads here if they put the work in. But they haven’t, so they won’t.
Prediction: 3 Conservatives

Keevil: See comment on Rochester East.
Prediction: 3 Conservatives

Rochester West – currently 1 Conservative, 1 Labour

Keevil: Interesting candidates in this ward; alas whilst they won’t win, I hope we haven’t seen the last of them, for both the Animal Welfare Party and Medway Greens. What could have gone either way will in the end stay where it is and we can continue to watch Paterson and Tranter odd couple it online.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Tranter), 1 Labour (Paterson)

Jennings: Labour broke through here last year with Cllr Paterson making the ward split, but can the party manage to take both seats in a full election scenario? It’s not impossible, nor is it impossible for the Tories to win control back, but I’m leaning toward the ward remaining exactly as it was.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Tranter), 1 Labour (Paterson)

Strood North – currently 3 Conservatives

Jennings: Another ward where Labour really need to make some progress if they are to see power in Medway. Not convinced they have wholly done enough here, but a collapse in the Tory vote could see a couple of them through.
Prediction: 2 Labour (Braithwaite/Hubbard), 1 Conservative (Chitty)

Keevil: Another ward that will experience a change. Chitty, as apparently the only woman available and good enough in the pond to serve in the Cabinet, will carry on. I’ve also been assured that Hubbard has a strong local following which will see him brought back to the chamber. Braithwaite is an interesting candidate and I think there could be another shock here on the night, but unlike some I couldn’t write that. So Illes to cling on, probably as Mayor for life.
Prediction: 2 Conservative (Chitty/Iles), 1 Labour (Hubbard)

Strood Rural – currently 3 Conservatives

Keevil: This will not be a Medway People’s Voice/independent stronghold.
Prediction: 3 Conservatives

Jennings: Independents think they can do something here. They can’t.
Prediction: 3 Conservatives

Strood South – currently 3 Conservatives

Jennings: Another ward where Labour have to make progress, but given how UKIP this ward went in 2015, it’ll be an uphill battle. A Tory collapse will help, but it probably won’t be enough for them to pick up all three seats.
Prediction: 2 Conservative (Buckwell/Iles), 1 Labour (Burke)

Keevil: Think Burke and/or Hill will bring this over the line, and if they don’t then it’s a sign of a bad night for Labour.
Prediction: 2 Labour (Burke/Hill), 1 Conservative (Iles)

Twydall – currently 2 Labour, 1 independent

Keevil: The reestablishment of the People’s Republic of Twydall is the only joy this ward will bring to the council come election night.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Jennings: The Conservatives pulled off a surprise win of one seat here in 2015, and the current candidates are pushing fairly hard. It’s hard to see a scenario where Twydall returns to it’s long tradition of Labour rule though.
Prediction: 3 Labour

Walderslade – currently 2 Conservatives

Jennings: Have seen no signs of any campaigning in this ward, so can’t see anything changes.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Keevil:
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

Watling – currently 2 Conservatives

Keevil: With Asha Saroy standing down, this ward is up for grabs. Will it’s traditional liberal leaning voters return? Will the anonymous ‘Lawrence Letter’ make a difference? Cllr Purdy will be returned, and what the hell, Alan Collins to be third time/party lucky. Return of the Lib Dems to council and I’m still not drinking.
Prediction: 1 Conservative (Purdy), 1 Liberal Democrat (Collins)

Jennings: Possibly the only ward in Medway where three parties are all pushing fairly hard, with the Conservatives, Labour, and the Lib Dems all trying to take the ward. In only one party was battling the Tories, I’d be inclined to say they would be able to win, but chances are they will cancel each other out and allow the Tories to squeak through.
Prediction: 2 Conservatives

So, after all that, what are we left with?

Drumroll please.

Jennings projects a Conservative majority, with the following breakdown:
30 Conservative, 23 Labour, 2 independents.

Keevil projects a Conservative majority, with the following breakdown:
29 Conservative, 23 Labour, 1 UKIP, 1 Liberal Democrat, 1 independent

How accurate will we be? Join us tomorrow night as we bring you the results right through the night.

Got a prediction of your own? Leave a comment below, post on our Facebook page, or tweet us using #MedwayPredicts19.

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