Ward by ward: Mark Hall by-election: Will this seat steer in the Tory direction?
General / Wed 7th Jul 2021 at 03:11pm
THE by-election was called after the deaths of Labour councillor Danny Purton. Our thoughts are with Danny’s family.
The by-election is set for Thursday July 8th.
The Conservative success in Harlow in May came as something of a shock for many (in other words all our predictions were wrong!).
We are still mulling over why they were so successful?
The Harlow Conservatives would say that they ran a very professional, targeted campaign. They were right. It was relentless and it was smart.
Others may say that factors such as no UKIP candidate, vaccinations, Brexit bounce all came into play. Arguably, we are in a wartime type scenario.
If you compare 2021 to 2019. The Labour vote only dropped by 74 votes. But the Conservative vote increased by 698!
The gap between the Conservatives and Labour is now 494 voters. As a percentage Labour have a 30% gap to make up.
This has been a volatile seat before. In 2014, UKIP won it. Six months later, there was a by-election and there vote halved. This is only two months later and the scenario is different.
We think Labour will be looking for little victories. Moral, statistical or otherwise.
Labour’s Kay Morrison stood in Netteswell for the first time in May. A veteran of the scottish political scene, Kay is a great campaigner and would be a welcome addition to the political scene.
The Conservative candidate, John Steer has been loyal Conservative campaigner over the years. It has been quite a while since we formally interviewed John but he always seemed to have a handle on all the issues in the town.
It has been good to see a Green candidate. Jamie Gilbert has been a breath of fresh air which may be a rarity if they build a large highway through the Stort.
Somewhere along the line, a number of the fringe parties may need to decide whether some form of progressive alliance is needed in Harlow.
Even though this is just two months since the local election, it will be interesting to see how the Tories do without the big promotion evidenced in May.
Prediction: Tory Gain (as they say don’t @me!)
Mark Hall 2019
Mark Hall 2021
List of candidates
Hopefully, the good people of Mark Hall will vote for John Steer, a long-standing resident of Harlow and a thoroughly decent person, active in the community.