It's looking tough for Labour

IN 1999, I was one of only a handful of people who forecast that UKIP would win a seat in the East of England. In 2004, I thought it possible they would get two but that was without any degree of certainty.

Graham Dines

IN 1999, I was one of only a handful of people who forecast that UKIP would win a seat in the East of England. In 2004, I thought it possible they would get two but that was without any degree of certainty.

So what about this time?

With no great confidence because of the uncertainty over how voters who are angry with Westminster MPs will put their cross, I'm sticking with the Conservatives to win three seats. UKIP will get at least one - their lead candidate is David Campbell Bannerman, the great nephew of a former prime minister - and the Liberal Democrat Andrew Duff will hold his seat.

As for the other two, although I find it difficult to believe that Labour's Richard Howitt will not hang on, stranger things have happened. Should Labour's fears be realised and the BNP do well, then Labour could very well find itself out in the cold.

The last seat could go UKIP, giving them three, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, or the BNP.

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Perhaps the smart money should be on no change - three Tories, two UKIP, and one each for Labour and the Liberal Democrats