July 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 16, 2014
Battleground borough Redbridge will not be won by any party in next week’s council elections, according to a London consultancy firm’s report.
The London Communications Agency has predicted the poll on May 22 will result in no party taking overall control of the local authority, meaning who runs the council will be determined by back-room deals between parties.
Four Labour defections to the Independent Loxford group have made it harder for Cllr Jas Athwal’s Redbridge party to win the borough, the report said.
The council, run by a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, currently has 29 blue wards, 21 red, seven orange and six independents.
The expected close tie has seen several political big hitters make flying visits to the borough ahead of the poll.
Two weeks ago Labour leader Ed Miliband came to launch his party’s local and European election campaign.
The following week, both ex-Labour Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and Tory Mayor of London Boris Johnson swept into Redbridge to back their parties’ local campaigns.
Outside Fulwell Cross Leisure Centre in Barkingside last Friday, Dame Tessa said the visits of such poltical heavyweights underlined “what a great battleground Redbridge council is”.
Anthony Wells, associate director of the political team at pollsters YouGov, has described the council as being on a “knife-edge” and “one of Labour’s best chances of winning in London.”