HAVERING - prediction and result Conservatives lose control
Since winning all three parliamentary seats here in 1997, Labour has done badly here and in the adjoining parts of Essex, in contrast to next door Redbridge.
Labour ought to win Gooshays from the Conservatives, which was split in 2010, but UKIP easily won a by-election here to give them their first councillor in London and so will be looking to take the three seats. Labour should also take Elm Park on a 2% swing.
This does not mean that the Conservatives are safe here though. A feature of Havering, especially the Hornchurch area, has been the success of Residents’ Association candidates in local elections. They have 16 seats and split wards with the Conservatives in St Andrews, Rainham and South Hornchurch in 2010.
These could go either way this time, depending on how effective the Residents’ councillors have been and lose the Conservatives control of the council. Labour had one seat in South Hornchurch where a Residents councillor was also elected and could gain more or lose it.
This is perhaps the only area in London where UKIP would have hoped to do well but Residents’ are strong in the sorts of wards they would hope to win and UKIP are only putting up one candidate in these three member wards. Three Conservative councillors have recently defected to UKIP and though they may not take their votes with them the effect on party workers’ morale may weaken the party and let UKIP make some gains from the Conservatives or even Labour.