The under the radar ward. While all the fuss is centred down in Grays or across in Ockendon and Aveley, the key key seat could well be tucked away in far east of the borough.
Indeed, YT had almost forgotten about it (both the Tory and Labour candidates are somewhat camera shy) until yesterday morning when we came out of a filming session in Giffards and saw councillor Phil Anderson going door to door canvassing.
YT is tempted to think that any campaign with the charismatic councillor is going to bear fruit. Certainly he has made a mark in his first year and along with Danny Nicklen have certainly made an impression in the ward.
It is hard to write something about Natalie Jay Miles Quirk Gannon. Long name, short cv.
What the ward doesn’t need is another anonymous female councillor. That is what they had with Roisin Hewitt who did a bit but fell way short of the standard set by previous Labour councillors in the area such as Gordon Gambier and Tony Benson and indeed the man on the comeback trail, Phil Smith.
Phil was a quiet but earnest councillor who lost his seat last year. He will have conducted a quiet but effective campaign and been left to his own devices with some Corringham faithful to do what he did last year.
Labour sources tell us that the Labour vote went up in this ward last year despite the defeat in the General Election. They seem quietly confident that they can take this one.
The key question is how many people agree with the national cuts? Will they look at the recent government figures and say they illustrate signs of recovery? How many public sector workers out there who have lost their jobs although they may still blame Gordon Brown’s government.
Tories took this ward in 2008 and 2010.
YT Prediction: Lab Hold: 20
Stanford East & Corringham Town
Natalie Quirk (Conservative)
Roy Jones (United Kingdom Independence Party)
Phil Smith (Labour)
Adrian Stevart (Liberal Democrat)