Winchester Apr 15, 2016 19:07:48 GMT
Post by Khunanup on Apr 15, 2016 19:07:48 GMT
Alresford & Itchen Valley (3 seats)
An area that has had Lib Dem representation in recent memory, I expect this to be a solidly Conservative ward. Ernie Jeffs is probably the lead candidate here and is very well-known locally. This is Watercress Country and Alresford hosts the annual Watercress Festival.
Badger Farm & Oliver's Battery (3 seats)
An abomination of a ward taking in rural Hursley, Otterbourne and Compton on one hand, and chi-chi Oliver's Battery and generic housing estate (and former home of your correspondent) Badger Farm. Traditionally Badger Farm has been solidly Lib Dem, Oliver's Battery tends more Conservative, Compton & Otterbourne have tended strongly Tory in recent times but have been Lib Dem in recent memory. This is a tough one to call but I suspect it'll be two Conservatives and one Lib Dem. The only problem for the Tories is that their coverage is patchy, with almost no activity- two of the candidates live on my old patch and I've heard of neither of them. Differential turnout will be the key.
Bishop's Waltham (3 seats)
For years, independents did well here, until 2015 no less, where they were doubtlessly swamped by the GE turnout. The independent this time is (I think) related to a former Lib Dem councillor for Whiteley. This area has elected Conservatives and Lib Dems in recent years, and one of the local big-hitters is former council leader Rob Humby. This is going to be very tough to predict, but I'm going to go for two Conservatives and one Lib Dem.
Central Meon Valley (3 seats)
I don't know this particularly well, but I suspect three Conservatives.
Colden Common & Twyford (2 seats)
A mix of posh Shawford, fairly posh Twyford and the expanding Colden Common. Rumours of the demise of the Lib Dems in this end of the district tend to prove false, and Richard Izard will be tough to beat. One Conservative, one Lib Dem.
Denmead (3 seats)
Rural. 3 Tories with a strong UKIP showing.
Southwick & Wickham (3 seats)
Very rural. Hard to call, but I think 2 Conservatives and one Lib Dem, but with little confidence.
I'd take particular issue with only two of these. The current The Alresfords ward has two Lib Dems and one Tory (the above mentioned Ernie Jeffs). It does expand a bit but I don't see that as having a major enough impact to stop the Lib Dems winning two of the three seats. I agree that something catastrophic would have to happen for Jeffs not to win.
Wickham and Southwick has all three of the current councillors as Lib Dem in the two preceding wards (Wickham and Boarhunt & Southwick) and all three are restanding so I'd make them favourites to get all three this year (as you say, it's pretty rural territory, especially the existing Boarhunt and Southwick so these wards have been won with some really hard work).