UNTIL a month ago, we would have thought that this was a stroll in the park for Labour. Carl Morris has stood down and former councillor Martin Healy was taking his place.
Recently we interviewed Martin and he was just a little bit vague. Sometimes you catch someone on an off day. Let’s be honest, a lot of people have what they call “yellow dog” voting principles and many people will go into the polling station in Grays Riverside, tick Carl’s name and then tick the Labour council candidate as well.
Tory candidate, Charlie Key shouldn’t have a snowballs chance of winning here. Indeed over the last two elections, the Tories have just put up paper candidates in Grays Riverside. Charlie, however, is the antithesis of a paper candidate. Since his selection last year he has been working hard to establish a reputation in the ward and in the borough. If a paper candidate can get 473 votes in 2008, what can Charlie get?
Every day, Charlie has been seen by PPC Jackie Doyle-Price’s side. Indeed, while many many Thurrock Tories have been notable by their low key approach to campaigning (to put it mildly), Charlie has been putting in the hard yards.
Then, there is the presence of Independent, Michael Abodiun. The only candidate that actually lives in the ward. If Michael can mobilise the vote then he could make serious inroads into the Labour vote and that could be Charlie’s gain.
We have to admit defeat on this one and state that we really don’t know how this one will go. There are many many possibilities. Think we might need to get out there and run an opinion poll.
Prediction: Lab Hold (Just……)