Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Cload and dagger

The county council elections are upon us.  Expect an avalanche of election literature in Tunbridge Wells as the Conservatives seek to repulse UKIP's charge and forays by the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

The most intriguing contest is in Tunbridge Wells East.  The Conservatives held the seat in a by-election last year, just - the seat is a three-way marginal.

The recent surge by UKIP in the opinion polls must encourage the party to believe it can win the seat.  The Liberal Democrats also hope to win as the electoral division includes their strongest ward.

The decision of Terry Cload to stand as an Independent adds to the uncertainty in predicting the result.  Mr Cload is a former Conservative councillor on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and a former Vice-Chairman of the local Conservative Association.

In 2012 an Independent achieved a resounding victory in Pembury at the Borough Council elections. He is also a former Conservative councillor.

Tunbridge Wells North should be interesting.   The long-serving Conservative member was de-selected.  One ward in the division is a Conservative/Liberal Democrat marginal.  Labour has won two seats on the Borough Council in one of the other wards making up the division.  The 'surprise' candidate is the former Conservative borough councillor, Brian Ransley, who is standing for UKIP.  Mr Ransley has had a few mentions on this blog.

Finally, the contest in Tunbridge Wells West could produce a surprise.  Normally a very safe Conservative seat,  UKIP has won two seats from the Conservatives on the Borough Council in Rusthall ward.  Last year UKIP gained a seat by ousting the Leader of the Borough Council.

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