Thursday, 1 April 2010

A Look @: Kent (Part I)

We've split Kent into three posts. This one focus' on the western side of the county and you can find the eastern seats here and Medway here. The Conservatives are virtually without opposition on the Kent County Council holding 74 of the 84 seats. There isn't awful lot stopping them increasing their dominance of a county where they currently hold 8 of the 12 seats (excluding Medway). Labour are defending small majorities in all four of their seats and it won't be a massive surprise if the whole county turns blue.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




Dr Howard Stoate




CON Gain


Adam Holloway




CON Hold

Maidstone & The Weald

Anne Widdecombe





CON Hold

Tunbridge Wells

Greg Clark




CON Hold

Tonbridge & Malling

Sir John Stanley




CON Hold


Michael Fallon





CON Hold


Howard Stoate took Dartford off the Conservatives in 1997, securing a large majority in the process. This has been gradually eroded to almost nothing and Stoate has now retired from Parliament to continue his work as a GP. He has left Labour candidate John Adams with a tough task to hold this seat in his third run for Parliament. The Tories have re-selected their 2005 candidate Gareth Johnson who is also hoping to win a Westminster seat at the third attempt. All indications are that Labour are a spent force in the South East and this will be another easy pick up for the advancing Conservatives; Tory Gain.

Gravesham was another seat Labour gained in their 1997 landslide but unlike their other pick ups in Kent they lost it in 2005. Considering they held on to all their other seats the difference was probably the fact the Labour MP, Chris Pond, was cautioned for criminal damage over a parking row only a few months before the election. Adam Holloway won the seat for the Conservatives and looks set to hold on again this year. Holloway had to repay £1,000 after he'd claimed for his council tax twice I doubt that will be enough to let the former councillor Kathryn Smith regain the seat for Labour. The Lib Dems got the media interested in this seat by selecting Anna Arrowsmith, a managing director of an adult entertainment firm. This is somewhat of a coup for the local party as she has received a disproportionate amount of press attention in relation to how likely she is to win. This shouldn't be a problem for the incumbent MP; Tory Hold.

Anne Widdecombe had represented Maidstone and The Weald since 1983 but she has called an end to her colourful Parliamentary career and she is apparently relieved to be leaving. She has left Conservative PPC Helen Grant a handsome majority and it's one she'll do well to lose; Tory Hold.

Tunbridge Wells has been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1974. Greg Clark is finishing his first term as an MP and should easily secure a second in May; Tory Hold.

The Tonbridge and Malling constituency was created in 1974 and has been represented by Sir John Stanley ever since. Stanley was a minister during the Thatcher years and he is seeking re-election at the age of 68. There isn't much to prevent him winning his 10th election; Tory Hold.

Sevenoaks is one of those seats that the Conservatives have held since World War II and they aren't likely to lose it any time soon. Michael Fallon was first elected in 1997 and although he has had to repay £2,000 following 'inadvertent' mortgage claims this won't make much of a dent to his large majority; Tory Hold.


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