Thirsk & Malton
You'd be forgiven for thinking the 2010 General Election finished almost three weeks ago. So much has happened in that time you might also be surprised that is was only three weeks ago! However, the voters in Thirsk & Malton have yet to have their say as the election in their constituency was countermanded following the death of the UKIP candidate John Brookes.
The constituency is newly formed for this election and takes in most of the old Ryedale seat and a large portion of the disbanded Vale of York seat. This led to a selection battle between the two sitting Conservative MPs in the abolished seats. The Vale of York MP Ann McIntosh beat her colleague John Greenway to the candidacy leaving her as the firm favourite to win on Thursday. McIntosh did have cause to worry last September when she was subjected to a mystery deselection vote. Having survived this she should win by a large margin, just by virtue of being the Conservative candidate. Although McIntosh will not enjoy any incumbency advantage in most of the wards, this is such a safe seat for the Tories it's hard to see anyone else getting close.
What will be far more interesting is the actual vote totals for the three main parties. The events of the last few weeks are likely to affect this election and the Liberal Democrats will be very interested in their vote share. On May 6th they increased their vote by 1% nationally, and 2% regionally, but their decision to go into coalition with the Tories is not universally popular and so this may help a newly Brown-less Labour. However, I suspect it will be hard to deduce too much from the result on Friday as the Lib Dem's greatest fear is sure to be the loss of tactical voters in seats where they are second, and Labour are not competitive. As neither are likely to get close to the Conservatives in this seat I suspect a few Lib Dem voters who are particularly against the coalition deal will vote Labour, or even for the Liberal Party candidate, but nothing too drastic will happen. My prediction is a pretty boring result on a considerably reduced turnout; Tory Hold.
Ann McIntosh (CON)
Howard Keal (LD)
Jonathan Roberts (LAB)
Toby Hawton (UKIP)
John Clark (LIB)