Thursday, 6 May 2010

A Look @: Ealing [updated]

Currently Labour hold all three Parliamentary Seats in Ealing but the Conservatives will be expecting at least one pick up this year. In the 2006 Council elections Labour lost control of the borough to the Tories following a big changeover in seats. The Conservatives gained 20 council seats and now run Ealing with 37 of the 69 councillors. This will certainly help the party's Westminster ambitious in this borough.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed



Ealing Central & Acton






LD Gain

Ealing North

Stephen Pound




LAB Hold

Ealing Southall

Virendra Sharma





LAB Hold


The Ealing Central & Acton seat
is made up
of the Ealing and Acton wards from the old Ealing, Acton & Shepard's Bush seat with a few stolen from the two other Ealing seats. On paper this is a three way marginal but in the end it might be a lot less competitive than the notional results suggest. The 'incumbent' MP, Andrew Slaughter, has followed his Shepard's Bush wards into the new Hammersmith constituency, so it's going to be even harder for Labour to defend this as an open seat. Ealing councillor Bassam Mahfouz is the man charged with holding this for his party but the former leader of the Conservative's London Assembly group, Angie Bray, is the clear frontrunner for this. All three of the Lib Dem councillors in Ealing are from wards in this constituency and one of them, Jon Ball, will be hoping to cause an upset in this close three-way-marginal. The Conservatives won 15 of the 21 seats here in 2006 and they'll be pretty confident of taking this in May. But the swing to the Lib Dems seems to be holding up well in London so I think they can take this if Labour voters realise their candidate can't win; Lib Dem Gain.

Ealing North has been only slightly altered around the edges but this has added 1000 votes onto Stephen Pound's notional majority. This has put it just above the expected swing and might just allow Labour to hold a seat they won in 1997. But Pound hasn't helped himself by claiming over £6,500 for travel expenses, despite living 11 miles from Parliament. In the grand scheme of the scandals this isn't the worst but if the Conservative PPC Ian Gibb, an Ealing councillor, can push this issue he might be able to squeak home. At very least they will be a reduced majority and this is the sort of seat that could go either way depending on the campaign. You'd have to fancy Labour right now but if the polls draw out then Pound could be in serous trouble. For now though, Labour Hold.

Ealing Southall was the scene of an interesting by-election in 2007. Virendra Sharma held the seat for Labour with a majority of 5070 and so they remained the only party to win this constituency since its creation in 1983. But the big story locally was the defection of five Labour councillors to the Conservatives during the campaign, although it didn't do them any good as the Lib Dems pipped them to second place. In a General Election Sharma shouldn't have a problem winning this with a majority somewhere in between the one he secured in his by-election victory and the margin his late predecessor Piara Khabra managed in 2005; Labour Hold.


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