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Monday, May 27, 2024
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Ward by ward: Stanford East and Corringham Town

WE have a habit of leaving this one until last. The reason is simple: it is a tricky one. We found it hard to predict Chadwell and this feels even harder.

There has aways been an element of "swing" about this ward. What it proved is that it is not a seat in which you can tae for granted. There was a feeling that Labour did that in 2008 and the Conservatives won by 120 votes (43%).

IN 2010, the Conservatives won again but only by 29 votes (39%).

Labour held sway in 2011 winning by 136 (43%) and 2012, winning by 243 (47%).

But, once again, the rise of UKIP can be seen in the results. Roy Jones polled 515 votes in 2012. In 2014, he won with 1012 votes, winning by 207 (40%).

Since then, Roy has been a model councillor. One that every councillor could learn from. The amount of goodwill that Roy has generated may be key.

2015 was another high point for UKIP as they won again, winning by 289 votes (40%).

The Conservatives came second and Labour third.

Labour had been warned about their performance in this ward. This reporter spoke to Labour voters in Corringham in 2014,, who praised the work of Stanford and Corringham Conservatives whilst berating the "invisibility" of Labour councillor such as Richard Speight and Phil Smith.

This year’s candidate is Terry Hipsey. The former Conservative leader of Thurrock Council has jumped from Stanford West to this neighbouring ward. We can only surmise that he has done that as he believes he has a better chance of winning.

Although, he will meet a lot of people that know Terry, we think Labour needed to find their equivalent of Roy Jones. Terry Hipsey may be a boxing fan but he is no Roy Jones Junior.

Terry may eve have the "blessing" of the last councillor to be elected here, Colin Churchman. He was UKIP but now he is Independent but again, we don’t know how many people know or are bothered.

Likewise, some people get really stress about Terry living in Norfolk etc. Others point to the fact that he has attended nearly every fun council and in particular, chaired long planning meeting son Thursday nights in Thurrock. When you take into account that Terry’s wife, Kay has not been well, some may want to look to themselves.

UKIP’s man is Tim Aker acolyte, Jack Duffin. Young Jack is clearly part of a new breed of young kipper and since his arrival from sunny Uxbridge has clearly embraced political life in Thurrock.

Finally, the Conservative candidate is BBC’s Stuart Smith. If (or when) Stuart becomes a councillor, he will surely be an asset to the group.

We got to know Stuart via the football press boxes over the years and he is a bright, witty and dedicated resident who feels passionately about his community.

A hard one to call and one in which all three would play a part as the local councillor.

We could also see all three winning.

We are going to have a punt here and go for a Cons gain by 45…..

Stanford East and Corringham Town

Jack Duffin – UKIP

Terry Hipsey – Labour

Stuart Smith – Conservative

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