2017 General Election: South Basildon and East Thurrock
CONSERVATIVE candidate, Stephen Metcalfe is defending a majority of 7,692. In the seven years he has been an MP, Mr Metcalfe has carved out a reputation for diplomacy and tact.
Whether it has been the Lower Dartford Crossing, C2C, traveller encampments, Brexit or even going back to Petroplus, Stephen has listened to resident,delivered their concerns to Westminster, fed back and continued to campaign and represent. Whether he has got a result is another matter but in many ways he is an example of how an MP is involved in the democratic process as well as perhaps its limitation (s).
In many ways, the warm regard he received at large meetings in relation to the new Thames Crossing illustrated how it appears that he is a hard politician too dislike.
It looks like he is running a low key campaign, leaving the social media signalling to his younger colleagues and standing on his record.
Theresa May’s perceived transition from “strong and stable” to “weak and wobbly’ may not have helped but we still expect Mr Metcalfe to return to Westminster comfortably.
UKIP’s candidate is deputy leader, Peter Whittle. Mr Whittle appears to be enjoying this campaigning. You get the sense that the London Assembly member is one of those who may still have a political future long after UKIP have ceased to be a political force. We doubt he can stem the tide of antipathy to UKIP that was witnessed at the county elections, that is to say, we expect the 12,097 (26.5%) votes to go down to something approaching 7,000.
The election may be a chance for Labour to get back into second place and at least start the climb to regaining a seat that Angela Smith held for thirteen years. Byron Taylor looks like the type of candidate who might well have had a taste of campaigning in 2017 and we may see him again. They may well settle for getting the Cons majority below 5,000.
Both Lib Den candidate, Nath Banerji and Green candidate, Simeon Harman has campaigned enthusiastically and have been a credit to their parties.
The BNP candidate is Paul Borg.
As usual, we will make a prediction and so predict Stephen Metcalfe to win with a majority of less than 6,000.
Liberal Democrat: Nath Banerji
BNP: Paul Borg
Green: Sim Harman
Conservative: Stephen Metcalfe
Labour: Byron Taylor
UKIP: Peter Whittle