Key Battlegrounds in Ealing's Local Election
Can the Conservatives defend their remaining seats in the borough?
The local elections taking place on 3 May look set to be a challenging one for the Conservative party in Ealing borough.
Polls are suggesting there has been a swing to Labour since the last election in 2014 and the Liberal Democrats will be hoping to make ground in one of the most pro-Remain local authority areas in the country. With EU citizens having the vote, unlike in the General Election and the EU Referendum, many local Conservatives are concerned that their party will be the subject of a backlash due to Brexit.
The bookmakers are currently making the contest for Wandsworth Borough neck and neck between Labour and the Conservatives, a change of control there would be a major blow to Theresa May. The possibility of a complete wipe out of the Conservatives in Ealing has been raised by some but as the analysis below shows this would require an even bigger swing to Labour than that need for them to take Wandsworth.
All of the wards held by the Conservatives are in areas around Ealing town. They currently hold 12 seats compared to 53 for Labour and 4 for the Liberal Democrats. EalingToday.co.uk has done an analysis of the votes in the key wards which shows the swing needed for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to make gains.
All wards in Ealing contain three seats with each voter being able to select three candidates. In our analysis we have ranked each seat within a ward 1,2 or 3 depending on the size of the majority of the sitting councillor over the closest candidate from an opposition party and calculated the swing needed. Normally the seat designated '1' would require the biggest swing to be taken. For the purpose of the analysis we have calculated the swing just on the basis of that needed by the best performing opposition party in the ward last time out.
Ward By Ward Analysis
The Conservatives hold all three seats in this ward and look highly vulnerable in at least two for which a swing of just 3.1% is necessary for Labour to win. In the third seat the high personal vote achieved by David Millican, who is standing again makes the swing needed to take the seat held by him much higher. The Conservatives may also benefit from the lack of a UKIP candidate this time out. The Greens outperformed the Liberal Democrats in 2014 when fielding a full slate of candidates. This time they are standing just one hoping to gain the third vote of supporters of other parties.
The ward has a very significant proportion of voters that are EU passport holders from other countries at 18.2% according to the 2011 census. This number is likely to have risen markedly since that time. Even though most of these residents were not allowed to vote in the EU Referendum, the ward had one of the highest pro-Remain votes in the country at 71%
Ealing Common ward currently has two Conservative councillors and one Liberal Democrat. Assuming that a swing to the Liberal Democrats means that their incumbent councillor is re-elected then the Liberal Democrats need only a 4.5% swing from the Conservatives to take the other two seats. They will be hoping that Brexit is a big factor in the election as the ward voted by 70% to remain in the EU and 17.7% of residents holding passports from other EU countries according to the 2011 census.
For Labour to take the two seats currently held by the Conservatives they would need a swing to them of 6.5%
The Conservatives may benefit from a lack of a UKIP candidate this time out.
The Conservatives hold just one seat in this ward and will do well to hang on to it with just a 2.5% swing to Labour required for them to make a gain here. The Greens will also be looking at the ward with interest as they outperformed the Lib Dems last time out.
Three Conservative councillors hold the three seats in this ward having won substantial majorities in 2014. A lack of a UKIP candidate may help them defend the ward and Labour need a challenging 11.3% swing to take all of the seats. The Greens will also be hoping for a gain here having outperformed the Liberal Democrats in 2014. The big concern for the Conservatives will be how important Brexit is in the vote. The ward was the second most pro-EU in the borough during the referendum with 74% voting to remain and 18% of the population held a passport from another EU country in 2011.
This is the safest Conservative ward in the borough and a massive 14.6% swing would be needed to take all three seats including that currently held by Joy Morrissey the party's candidate for Westminster in the last General Election. Their main concern, as in other wards in the borough, will be the high level of support for Remain at 71% and the high concentration of EU citizens in the ward which was at 18.3% at the time of the last census. The impact of this might be somewhat mitigated by Duma Polska or Polish Pride fielding a full slate of candidates in the ward although the impact of this is difficult to predict.
Polling stations through the borough will be open on 3 May from 7am till 10pm .
If you are not sure which ward you are in or where you need to go to vote Ealing Council have a polling station finder which will supply you this information if you enter your post code.