Croydon Central is a unique and very interesting constituency in the 2010 election. Andrew Pelling won the seat with a slither of a majority, just 75 votes, standing as a Conservative in 2005. Since then, some incidents have lead to speculation that he would stand down at the forthcoming election. In a slight twist to the plot, Pelling announced he would be standing, only this time, as an independent. Which leaves the math for nearly all notionals a fair way out. Looking at R&T's notionals (widely regarded as the most accurate) they say the small boundary alteration (7.3%) has left the seat notionally Labour, less than one point ahead of the Conservatives. Gavin Barwell, Tory PPC, might be salivating at those stats, seemingly a small swing for him to overcome. However, as usual, it's not that simple. This could be a rare four-way marginal should Pelling mount a successful attempt to claw at the Conservative electorate who voted for him in 2005. Locally, he is well known and has been an elected official in Croydon since 1982. It's hard to see him dropping much below ten thousand-votes, if at all. In light of this, PPC's Gerry Ryan and Peter Lambell for Labour and Lib Dems respectively, easily have a chance. In whats sure to be an exciting contest, I think Ryan has the most 'decided' support here. He will benefit immensely from the squabble for Tory votes between Pelling and Barwell. The bookies may have Ryan at 6/1 to win, but he's most likely to take Croydon Central on 6th May. Lab Gain.
Labour MP Malcolm Wicks sits for Croydon North. He has a large majority, just over 31%. Although there will inevitably be a fair sized Conservative swing in May, its hard to see Tory PPC Jason Hadden, eating enough into the fourteen thousand-vote notional majority Wicks commands. Most likely Wicks will be returned with a reduced majority. Lab Hold.
Croydon South sits Tory MP, Richard Ottaway. R&T say that the small alteration to his constituency hasn't altered his 28% notional majority. It will easily see him through the election. Con Hold.