A vital vital ward and a classic example that every ward is a political and psephological micro-climate. In many ways it is a triumph for localism in that the three favourites are intensely local and running their campaigns (mainly) on hyperlocal issues
Tim Aker is one of the brightest young politicans to have emerged from Thurrock. In our opinion, it is a shame that he joined the long list of people disaffected with the Thurrock Conservatives because he could have made a real impact there but what Tim possesses is ideology and truly believes in the UKIP cause. Win or lose, he will continue to develop a strong career within the party. A lot of local people admire the young man for what he says, they feel comfortable as illustrated by the number of votes he got last year.
But they feel more comfortable with former Conservative Mayor, Colin Churchman. In his second year running as an Independent, he really taps in to the Aveley psyche. Seeing him stand and berate the Core Strategy at the Planning Inspectorate recently, illustrated why Colin is seen as the people’s champion in Aveley. Indeed, one of the enduring sites in the campaign was Colin and his daughter Shelley, campaigning on the Kenningtons Estate surrounded by 15 Tory canvassers. Flattery indeed.
Can Colin win. Yes. However, the Aveley voters have been pretty loyal to the Conservatives over the years and feel well served by them. Many may see the word Conservative on the card and plump for them. People are affected by the recession but they don’t particularly blame a side that much to depart from their traditional method of voting. Tory Maureen Pearce may not have much to say (although always happy and always polite) and was deeply underwhelming when she stood in Stifford Clays but she is Blue and that may do.
Labour candidate, Cliff Holloway has also been a quiet but effective candidate. One day, one of these candidates is going to come up on the rails. Whilst fair play to John Livermore, who rain and shine, stands for the Lib Dems, year in and year out.
Prediction: Cons Hold: 25 maj
Aveley and Uplands
Tim Aker (United Kingdom Independence Party)
Colin Churchman (Independent)
Clifford Holloway (Labour)
John Livermore (Liberal Democrat)
Maureen Pearce (Conservative)