Ward by Ward: Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park

THIS has always been an interesting seat and will be watched closely on Thursday night.

In 2007, Labour scraped home by just 42 votes, however a popular former Labour acolyte stood as an Independent and polled 269 votes. In 2008, BNP won the seat by 67 votes (again the Independent candidate took just under 200 votes). In Bukky Okunade won by 373 votes, seeing off the BNP and two Independent candidates.

In 2012, local girl Clare Baldwin won, this time beating Independent Keith Hatcher by 339.

This year, Mr Hatcher is running as the Conservative candidate. Keith, an amiable and perceptive gentleman, will no doubt bring a lot of the Thurrock Park faithful with him. That could frustrate UKIP. They have a Tilbury-based businessmen, Richard Newbold standing, who should make an impact but that might be diluted by Mr Hatcher. However, if he wins, there will no doubt be dancing on the streets of Cobham!

They may run the sitting councillor, Bukky Okunade close. Over the last four weeks, Bukky has been digging deep to get the Tilbury voters out and it may well be like in 2010, when Bukky managed to get a lot of voters out on the day.

YH prediction: Lab hold: 125

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