We need to bear in mind that this is a tight election so predictions are notoriously difficult and I notice a lack of predictions from local bloggers Julian Ware Lane, Matthew Dent and Tony Cox and I lay down the gauntlet and ask them to publish their predictions.
Firstly the General Election.
Rochford and Southend East
In theory this is a safe Conservative seat. However James Duddridge is so unpopular that my birds tell me there are 4 or 5 former councillors and activists who wont be voting or will be spoiling their vote due to James’ unpopularity. Local bloggers like John Barber have commented on this It was also interesting that at the hustings, James kept saying not to vote for him but to vote for David Cameron as he must know how toxic his personal name is. James can count himself very lucky that UKIP shot themselves in the foot by selecting the wrong candidate and it is for this reason i predict another 5 years for James.
A lot easier here, despite a challenge by Labour’s attack dog Julian Ware Lane I feel that after the result he will look like a poodle and be beaten by Sir David Amess who should win comfortably albeit with a reduced majority.
Now on to the local elections which is always a difficult one to predict (you only have to look at the way UKIP took so many by surprise last year to see why it is hard! (table copied from Julian Ware Lane’s blog!)
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council elections candidates announced
Belfairs Dave Alston Lesley Salter Mike Grimwade David Dearle Barry Bolton Stephen McKiernan
Interesting to see former Lib Dem councillor Mike Grimwade try here instead of Prittlewell which is looking for a new councillor (the incumbent ric morgan is leaving), being beaten humiliatingly into 3rd last year must have affected him. However i can only see Lesley Salter regaining her seat here.
Blenheim Park Matthew Dent James Courtenay Richard Herbert Paul Lloyd Jimmy Wild
Here is one I will keep an eye on closely mainly because i like both the Lab and Cons candidate and UKIP could pull a surprise here! I think James will do just enough to hold on here.
Chalkwell Lars Davidsson Stephen Habermel Jessie Skinner Peter Walker Lucy Courtenay
This is usually a fairly safe Conservative ward and so I predict a win for Stephen Habermel, one of the quieter members of the council!
Eastwood Park Martin Berry Trevor Byford Paul Collins Fiddian Warman
Paul Collins is very likeable but as Lib Dem candidate for general election wont have been able to do enough work here to unseat Trevor Byford.
Kursaal Judith McMahon Alex Bright Richard Betson Verina Weaver Simon Cross
Another interesting election. Simon has been very vocal on facebook and one wonders when he has had the time to campaign with all his postings on there! I know he has been very worried about retaining his deposit there and although i predict he will lose it in the general election i predict he will keep his deposit and come fourth here. I predict 3rd place for Cons. I think that even though UKIP were elected last year and Cllr Davies has done his hardest to throw away all their support that with Greens eating into Labour votes that UKIP will win once more here. Given the tensions between the 2 Labour councillors (indeed judy did not even vote for Anne) I dont suppose that secretly Anne will be that disappointed to lose Judy from the council.
Leigh Chris McGurk Bernard Arscott Peter Wexham Jon Mullett
Lib Dems seem to have this sewn up each year no matter what is happening nationally so i cant predict anything else that despite comparing taxi drivers to the Mafia, a victory for anyone other than Peter Wexham.
Milton Gray Sergeant Jonathan Garston Robert Howes Vida Mansfield Tammy Cooper
Some strong candidates in Jonathan Garston and Vida Mansfield here but I predict a hat trick for Labour and a Gray Sergeant victory.
Prittlewell Tony Borton Meg Davidson Colin Davis Andy Beale Paul Ryder
The Conservative candidate is an impressive candidate and only lost by 100 votes to UKIP last year. Her name recognition on the doorstep is strong and I predict a Conservative gain here.
Shoeburyness Maggie Kelly Roger Hadley Norman Redican Susan Smith Anne Chalk
A 2 way fight between former councillor Roger Hadley who has been showing what good opposition should do in holding the local coalition to account on a few issues and Independent party Anne Chalk (who i personally dislike and so trying to give a non subjective prediction is hard). I think the fact it is a general election year which traditionally favours Tory and Labour candidates as the focus is on them nationally that Roger will just pip it.
Southchurch Ros Sanders Ann Holland Roger Fisher Barrie Page Julian Esposito Keith Sharman
I got this wrong last year and thought it would stay Conservative but even though i dont rate her as a councillor I think Ann Holland will prevail here.
St Laurence Reg Copley Steve Buckley Ted Lewin David McGlone Tanya Rayment Carl Whitwell
Sean Jones David Burzotta Carole Roast Denis Walker
Some interesting possibilities here with some big names. I predict a win for Cons and Ukip and so David Burzotta will finally get in with David McGlone also getting in.
St Luke’s Jes Phillips Val Jarvis Nora Goodman Roger Weaver Stephen Jordan Paul Van Looy Anthony ABC
My home ward and despite two former mayors standing, I can only see a victory for Paul Van Looy. His personal support has been too strong and I suspect that he has copied Castle Point UKIP and has paid shopkeepers to display his posters as there is an incredible amount of them in every shop. I dont think he is a good councillor and rarely speaks up for St Lukes in the chamber. I think Roger will push him a close second and if there was to be a surprise UKIP victory it will come here.
Thorpe Rod Birks Jon Bacon Jim Clinkscales Liz Swanson Ron Woodley
With the Burges Rd Mafia vote all stitched up the leader of the council unfortunately will win here.
Victoria David Norman Denis Garne Donna Collins Peter Breuer Ian Hurd
Some seasoned campaigners here but one of the most respected councillors on all sides will win here. Easy victory for David Norman
West Leigh Jay Woods Georgina Phillips Chris Bailey David Stansfield Sarah Yapp
Strong Conservative area and especially in a GE year will mean a victory for Georgina Phillips and a second defeat for Sarah Yapp given her defeat in the GE.
West Shoebury David Carrington Tony Cox David Betson Eddie McNally Nigel Outten Margaret Haydon
Matt Zarb-Cousin Derek Jarvis Charlie Row Alex Moyies
2 elections here and i predict two wins for Conservatives Derek Jarvis and Tony Cox despite some dodgy campaigning apparently from Alex Moyies who was caught delivering leaflets from what was apparently a protest group.
Westborough Charles Willis Daryl Peagram David Barrett Paul Mansfield Alan Hart
I would love Alan Hart to win here as I like him and I know David Webb’s nomination hurt him as he was expecting to be candidate and nobody told him he wasnt. However I can only see a victory for Charles Willis here.
Overall 3 Labour victories with one loss (one gain)
1 Lib Dem victories with zero losses
11 Conservative victories with one loss (3 gains)
2 UKIP victories with 0 loss
2 independent victories with 1 loss
I would love to see the others predictions.