THIS is a fascinating ward which is in the heart of Harlow and in many ways is the very heart of Harlow.
From Northbrooks all the way across to Bishopsfield, it is big ward with many an issue within it.
Frances Mason has only been a councillor since December as she won the ward in a by-election back in December. Since then she has done everything you could ask of a local councillor: learned the ropes, been out in the door, spoken up for her constituents in council and been a thoughtful and thoroughly engaged local councillor.
With only a 16% turnout, Cllr Mason will firstly want more people coming out to vote. That might be a problem. There is a feeling that people are so fed up with politics that they may just not turn up on May 2nd.
Alternatively, they may go back to Ukip, who, lest we forget, came within 28 votes of victory a few years ago but as they only got 89 votes four months ago, they may get close to 200 but may be about it.
A reminder to what we wrote in December 2018″ Yes, they will struggle to a get a hundred votes but their long term ambition should be to stay on the pitch should Brexit go pear-shaped”.
Labour will want to get back to a majority over 300 plus.
The Conservatives got over 300 votes back in December and will want to at least get more than that and increase their share of the vote. This is such an uncertain time that again people may take out their frustration with Theresa May and Brexit or simply continue to vote on local issues.
YH spoke to Cllr Mason on Tuesday afternoon in Bishopsfield.
Frances Mason (Lab and Co-Op)
Thomas Reynolds (Cons)
Stephen Troup (Ukip)
Prediction: Lab hold.
Labour won by:
2015: 410 (General Election Year)
Result: By-Election in Dec 2018
Frances Mason (Lab): 464…51.1% (+5.4)
Tom Reynolds (Cons): 311…34.3% (+0.9)
Dan Long (Ukip): 89….9.8% (-11.2)
Chris Millington (Lib Dems): 44…(4.8%)
Popularity: 1% [?]