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Labour 'has better chance' in council elections

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Labour 'has better chance' in council elections


Published by Anonymous for in Local Government

Labour 'has better chance' in council elections Labour 'has better chance' in council elections

Labour may gain hundreds of seats in elections on Thursday - even if not in the one for Parliament.

About 20 million electors will be entitled to a second vote on the same day in 164 council polls in England, including those for 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan authorities and 20 unitaries.

A total of 15,785 candidates are fighting 4,222 seats with five already returned unopposed - two Tories at Cherwell and one at Daventry, one Labour at Hartlepool and an independent at Purbeck.

When the seats up this year were last fought in 2006, a BBC survey put Tories 14% ahead.

This is more than that shown in the latest opinion polls, suggesting Labour has a chance of overall gains in these contests - the party's first for more than a decade.

Its best hopes of control gains are in the London boroughs where all the council seats are at stake and small switches could give it Islington and Southwark from no overall control - although Liberal Democrats could also be in with a chance in both if their latest surge is maintained.

Labour may also take Ealing and Enfield from Conservatives.

Tories could face losing overall control at Barnet and Harrow.

Gains will be more difficult for Conservatives from their 2006 high point with their best prospects being the Lib Dems' south London outposts of Kingston-upon-Thames, Richmond-upon-Thames and Sutton, which however could now be held on the back of leader Nick Clegg's nationwide advance.

Nearby Merton, currently under no overall control, is targeted by both Tory and Labour.

Elsewhere with only a third or half of the seats at stake control changes are less likely.

In the metropolitan councils Labour may take St Helens.

Tories could be ousted at Bury and also lose their majority of councillors at North Tyneside where, however, their elected mayor would still wield much of the power.

Liberal Democrats defend small majorities at Liverpool, Rochdale and Sheffield.

In the unitary councils, Labour may recover Thurrock.

Possible Labour gains in the shire districts include Lincoln from Tories and Oxford from no overall control. Tories face possibly losing outright control at Hyndburn, Maidstone, Redditch and Winchester.

In the event of any switches in their favour Conservatives might capture Woking and Worcester.

There are mayoral contests at Hackney, Lewisham, Newham and Watford where residents face a triple election on the same day - general, council and mayor.



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