I’m quite looking forward to see how the Roding Ward by election pans out. It will be a marker in several different ways in a ward that might not exist, at least in its present form, come the next local elections in 2018. Click on the links for a report from the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian on each candidate’s priorities.
Since 1994 it has been a Liberal Democrat stronghold, with a very good Focus team and councillors who put in a shift and get out to meet the residents. But the coalitions with the Conservatives, both in government and here in Redbridge, didn’t do them any favours and last time out this was one of the seats they lost to the Conservatives. It will be interesting to see if there is a Liberal Democrat bounce, which I am half expecting, and if so, how big it is. Their Candidate this time is Richard Clare who stood for them in the 2015 general election for Ilford North, of which Roding is a part.
It was the Conservatives who benefited in both South Woodford wards at the last local elections in 2014, which perhaps was to be expected as up to 1994 they were traditionally Conservative areas. The Conservatives too have a vibrant, young action team plus an experienced candidate in former Aldborough ward councillor Ruth Clark; who knows a thing or two about roundabouts and Egg Whisks having been a key player in the Gants Hill regeneration project. Can she keep a steady ship and repel boarders to retain the seat for the Conservatives?
For Labour it will be a test of their first ever Redbridge majority administration at exactly the half way point. From the days when they would come a poor third (the lone Green beat all three in 2006 and even St. Wes of Streeting couldn’t break through in 2010) they have, if you look closely at the figures, been steadily closing the gap. I am not aware of any specific Labour team in this neck of the woods but they do have a well-oiled, slick and mobile campaign team and seem to be able to call in troops from other boroughs much better than the other parties. They have a young, fiery and energetic candidate in Lloyd Duddridge who will be looking to join a very short list of Labour councillors elected in a Woodford ward.
With all due respect to the other candidates (below) we are looking here at a very close contest between these three, and we can also expect a reasonable turn out for a by election as it coincides with the Mayor and London Assembly elections.
The other candidates though, will play their part. The Greens tend to do better in London elections and this could well improve their performance here, plus they do have some effective local campaigners. For UKIP, who admit they are pretty thin on the ground, the EU referendum issue could well benefit their final tally. And they could both benefit from the exposure of their London campaigns. Their candidates are respectively Barry Cooper (left above) and Jonathan Seymour (centre above). The final candidate is Marilyn Moore (right above) of the All People’s Party of whom I know little about.