AND so we get to our final ward by ward. We have been thinking long and hard about this one.
It goes something like this.
This was a fairly strong Labour ward. Then Phil Anderson came along and won the seat in 2010, but only by an handful of votes. Labour won in 2011 and 2012 by over 200 votes on each occasion.
However, UKIP won the seat in 2014 through the impressive Roy Jones. Since then cllr Jones has made a real impression.
The UKIP candidate this time is the former Conservative mayor of Thurrock Council, Colin Churchman. Colin can certainly fight a passionate campaign and may appeal to the voters who backed Roy Jones.
It was a worry that Labour got pushed into third place last year. But this time, they have veteran Phil Smith standing and he is a good campaign man.
But Labour lost by 346 votes last year and that is perhaps too big a gap to close.
So, on that basis , we say.
Prediction: UKIP gain.
Stanford East & Corringham Town
CHURCHMAN Colin James, UKIP
COLLINS Gary, Conservative
SMITH Philip George, Labour