IT always intrigues us as to why the other parties don’t perform better in Belhus. Apart from 2007, when Labour sneaked in by 27 votes, it has been a cakewalk for Labour. Perhaps, the residents are very happy with the Labour trio of Wendy and Charlie Curtis plus Sue Gray. If they want to go and see them then they can pop into the Ockendon hub and there is a fair chance they will have their issue addressed.
Some say that of the 6,000 plus voters in the ward only a handful of people are unhappy about their performance and so that is why it will be difficult to de-lodge them (I see what you did there-Ed).
Apart from 2007, the Conservatives have never really taken Belhus seriously and have put forward a host of paper candidates. No, we don’t know who the 2014 candidate, Gary Collins, is either.
We did meet the loyal UKIP candidate, Chris Baker on Saturday (Dog and Partridge car park). But he told us that he was not allowed to talk as “the press twist words”. However, this is local man, Chris’ fourth crack at Belhus, so he is clearly here for the long haul. Plenty of cars were bibbing their horns at them on South Road on Saturday afternoon. However, do they have the machinery and wherewithal to turn that into votes on Thursday May 22nd? Chris got 423 votes in 2012. Like many seats, the question is whether he can add another three hundred?
Cllr Wendy Curtis polled 1687 votes in 2010 beating Cons Emma Woods by 515 votes. That was a year in which Labour were pretty unpopular. Her husband, Charlie won by a whopping 641 in 2011. Sue Gray only won by 273 in 2012.
You get the feeling that the personal popularity of deputy mayor should get her through but it could be close.
YT prediction: Labour hold: Maj 95
A full list of candidates can be found here