This is the eighth in a series of blogposts (scroll down for the others) which will seek to predict the outcome of every seat in the run-up to the next general election. The notion of a universal swing in May 2015 can be totally discounted. Each seat has to be treated on its merits. I’m starting off by trying to analyse the counties I know best, but eventually will turn to ones I know very little about at all. Feel free to add your comments and tell me where you think I have got things wrong. I will return to update each county analysis when and if I get new information.

Seats: 9
Current Political Makeup: Con 9
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 9

1. Ashford

2010 Result:
Conservative: 29878 (54.1%)
Labour: 9204 (16.7%)
Lib Dem: 12581 (22.8%)
Green: 1014 (1.8%)
UKIP: 2508 (4.5%)
MAJORITY: 17297 (31.3%)

Sitting MP: Damian Green (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Safe as houses for Damian Green.

2. Canterbury

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22050 (44.8%)
Labour: 7940 (16.1%)
Lib Dem: 16002 (32.5%)
Green: 1137 (2.3%)
UKIP: 1907 (3.9%)
Others: 173 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 6048 (12.3%)

Sitting MP: Julian Brazier (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

A high LibDem vote in 2010 may well fragment to Labour, giving Julian Brazier a higher majority.

3. Chatham & Aylesford

2010 Result:
Conservative: 20230 (46.2%)
Labour: 14161 (32.3%)
Lib Dem: 5832 (13.3%)
BNP: 1365 (3.1%)
Green: 396 (0.9%)
UKIP: 1314 (3%)
English Dem: 400 (0.9%)
Christian: 109 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 6069 (13.9%)

Sitting MP: Tracey Crouch (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

By rights this seat ought to return to Labour if the Tories are in trouble next May. If Jonathan Shaw had stood again, Tracey Crouch may have been in difficulties, but she is blessed with a hapless Labour opponent who is not just called Tristan, but Osborne too. But she has proved to be a powerful constituency MP and has built up a strong personal following. In addition there isn’t a huge LibDem vote to crumble to Labour and UKIP haven’t got much of a presence. I’d be astonished if this was anything other than a Tory hold.

4. Dartford

2010 Result:
Conservative: 24428 (48.8%)
Labour: 13800 (27.6%)
Lib Dem: 7361 (14.7%)
UKIP: 1842 (3.7%)
English Dem: 2178 (4.3%)
Independent: 264 (0.5%)
Others: 207 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 10628 (21.2%)

Sitting MP: Gareth Johnson (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Labour held this seat from 1997 to 2010 but Gareth Johnson achieved a huge swing in 2010, turning a narrow Labour majority of a few hundred into a Tory majority of more than 10,000. That might be eaten into somewhat in May, but I doubt very much whether Labour has any real chance of winning the seat back.

5. Dover

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22174 (44%)
Labour: 16900 (33.5%)
Lib Dem: 7962 (15.8%)
BNP: 1104 (2.2%)
UKIP: 1747 (3.5%)
English Dem: 216 (0.4%)
Independent: 82 (0.2%)
Others: 200 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 5274 (10.5%)

Sitting MP: Charlie Elphicke (Con)
Prediction: Narrow Conservative hold

Dover is quite a volatile seat. It was held by Labour between 1997 and 2010 and Charlie Elphicke did well to win it back for the Tories with such a good majority. He’s been a doughty defender of Dover and had quite a high media profile. Although Labour requires quite a high swing here, they may be aided by UKIP. They haven’t been very strong in Dover up until now, but they may benefit here from the Farage effect in South Thanet. The question is, will they take more votes off the Tories than Labour? I predict a narrow Tory hold.

6. Faversham & Mid Kent

2010 Result:
Conservative: 26250 (56.2%)
Labour: 7748 (16.6%)
Lib Dem: 9162 (19.6%)
Green: 890 (1.9%)
UKIP: 1722 (3.7%)
Others: 940 (2%)
MAJORITY: 17088 (36.6%)

Sitting MP: Hugh Robertson (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Safe as houses.

7. Folkestone & Hythe

2010 Result:
Conservative: 26109 (49.4%)
Labour: 5719 (10.8%)
Lib Dem: 15987 (30.3%)
BNP: 1662 (3.1%)
Green: 637 (1.2%)
UKIP: 2439 (4.6%)
Independent: 247 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 10122 (19.2%)

Sitting MP: Damian Collins (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

At the last three elections the LibDems have tried to persuade the media that they had a serious chance of winning this seat. It was total bollocks of course. This time UKIp are trying the same trick. And it’s still bollocks. Damian Collins will get an increased majority here.

8. Gillingham & Rainham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21624 (46.2%)
Labour: 12944 (27.7%)
Lib Dem: 8484 (18.1%)
BNP: 1149 (2.5%)
Green: 356 (0.8%)
UKIP: 1515 (3.2%)
English Dem: 464 (1%)
Others: 250 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 8680 (18.6%)

Sitting MP: Rehman Chishti (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

A stupendous result for the Tories here in 2010, ousting the popular Labour MP Paul Clark with a massive swing. The only fly in the Tory ointment here is UKIP, who may well benefit from a Rochester effect, with Nigel Farage. But it would be a major shock if Chishti didn’t pull it off again.

9. Gravesham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22956 (48.5%)
Labour: 13644 (28.8%)
Lib Dem: 6293 (13.3%)
Green: 675 (1.4%)
UKIP: 2265 (4.8%)
English Dem: 1005 (2.1%)
Independent: 465 (1%)
MAJORITY: 9312 (19.7%)

Sitting MP: Adam Holloway (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Another Medway seat which has traditionally been seen as a bellweather. held by Jacques Arnold in the Thatcher/Major years, it was held by Labour with 5,000 majorities in 1997 and 2001. Adam Holloway won it in 2005 with a majority of a few hundred, but absolutely thrashed Labour in 2010. Will it be different in 2015? It would be a brave person who would bet that Labour could win here in May.

Coming next: Kent Part 2

To see the complete list of predictions click HERE