The boroughs of Redbridge and Waltham Forest form another area of London where the boundary commission couldn't quite keep the Parliamentary boundaries within the council boundaries. This area is politically split as the northern wards in both boroughs tend to back the Conservatives and the southern wards are Labour territory. This has resulted in two divided councils and 5 safe Parliamentary seats. Leyton & Wanstead is the seat that transcends the council boundary but there have been very minor alterations to the Westminster seats since the last General Election.
At the last local elections the Conservatives held control with 34 of the 63 seats. But their small majority was wiped out after severe infighting within the Conservative group left the council with no leader. They are now running the borough as a minority administration and this episode might cost them in May when the whole council is up for election. Waltham Forest's last council elections left Labour as the largest party with 26 of the 60 seats. They are currently running the borough with the help of the Liberal Democrats, who became the second largest party in Waltham Forest in 2006.
Leyton & Wanstead
Chingford & Woodford Green
Iain Duncan Smith
Lee Scott took Ilford North for the Conservatives in 2005 avenging their defeat here in the Blair landslide. Before 1997 they'd held the seat for 23 years so despite the small majority it's hard to see the seat slipping back into Labour's hands; Tory Hold.
Mike Gapes gained Ilford South for Labour in 1992 when he beat the Conservative incumbent by just 402 votes. Since then he has made this seat his own and his large majority should see him through this election. Gapes was asked to repay almost £200 over a council tax claim but this was reduced to just 40p on appeal. This might seem a bit petty to some voters but not enough to unseat him; Labour Hold.
Harry Cohen had been the MP for Leyton & Wanstead (formerly Leyton) since 1983. However, he was seriously caught out by the expenses scandal and has had to stand down as a result. Cohen has designated a house in Colchester as his main residence despite using his home in Leyton for both Parliament and Constituency work. His conduct was so serious he has been stripped of his pay-off and is currently being investigated by the police. But despite all this Labour are clear favourites to hold this seat. They have selected former MP John Cryer who lost his Hornchurch seat at the last election. Cryer is on the left wing of his party and was a popular MP. The opposition in this constituency is severely split between the Tories and the Lib Dems which will allow Cryer an easy to return to Parliament; Labour Hold.
Walthamstow has been held by Labour for all but one term since its creation in 1974. Neil Gerrard won the seat back for his party in 1992 but he is standing down after almost 20 years in Parliament. Labour have selected former Waltham Forest councillor Stella Creasy to hold this for her party, which she should do quite comfortably. The Liberal Democrats did significantly increase their vote here at the last election and have selected the same candidate, Farid Ahmed, again for this election. If he manages the same swing again Creasy may be in trouble but I imagine a large bulk of that vote would have been in protest at the Iraq War. This year the Lib Dems have more chance of slipping to third than winning this seat; Labour Hold.
Chingford & Woodford Green (formerly Chingford) has been represented by Iain Duncan Smith since 1992. The seat was Norman Tebbit's before that which should confirm how unlikely the Conservatives are to lose this. The former leader of the opposition will be comfortably returned; Tory Hold.