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General Election - Dartford Constituency
(8 May) Conservative Hold The result for Dartford was announced at 6.03am. Mr Johnson increased his majority from 10,628 to 12,345.

Conservative 25,670 (49.0%) +0.2%
Labour 13,325 (25.4%) -2.1%
UKIP 10,434 (19.9%) +16.2%
Libdem 1,454 (2.8%) -11.9%
Green 1,324 (2.5%) +2.5%
Engdem 211 (0.4%) -3.9%
Others n/a (n/a) -0.9%

There were 199 rejected ballots.
Turnout was 70.0% (+4.3%)

(7 May)'s prediction for Dartford Academics for five thirty eight predict the following result - Cons 44.8%, Lab 26.3%, UKIP 17.9%. This would represent a 1.4% swing to Labour.

(6 May) Final YouGov nowcast The Dartford predictions for the nowcast poll conducted by YouGov show a slight fall for the Conservatives with their range down a couple of points to 36-48%, Labour are unchanged with a 24-35% range while UKIP have improved to 13-22%. The LibDems and Greens are very close for 4th place. Overall the nowcast predicts a dead heat between Conservative and Labour with 276 seats each.

(6 May) The Poster Campaign Probably the fewest ever number of election posters this year. In Hartley I have counted 6 Conservative, 5 UKIP, 1 Labour and 1 Green.

(4 May) Bookies bet on Conservative win Current constituency odds for Dartford are Conservative 1/20, UKIP 12/1, Labour 14/1. Sevenoaks is even more one sided in the bookies' eyes with Conservative being 100/1 on to win there.

(4 May) Party Leaflets Although we have 6 candidates, I have only received communications from three.

For the Conservatives, Mr Johnson claims unemployment in Dartford is now back to the level it was under the last government in 2007. Details from the Office of National Statistics for Dartford Constituency show that while unemployment has fallen since 2010, so has gross weekly pay (by 2.7%). Unemployment has risen in the first quarter of 2015 from 823 to 910.

He claims Darent Valley has a bigger A&E department, but is this anything to do with the downgrading of the A&E at Sidcup in spite of his party's promises in 2010? For the future, apart from the usual claims that the sky will fall in if the Conservatives don't win, the leaflets are full of vague aspirations, but little on specifics.

Looking back to Mr Johnson's leaflets in 2010, one of his key pledges was for more police on the streets. However House of Commons Library research has found that the number of Kent Police Offices is likely to have fallen by 13% in the period 2010-15. There was also a pledge to fight to abolish Dartford Crossing tolls, but they have actually risen, although the booths have gone.

The leaflet from Mr Thomson, the Labour candidate, features a lady from Hartley who remembers that people couldn't afford healthcare before the NHS was founded. He promises to reverse privatisation in the NHS (but Labour in the past has encouraged this as well as the Conservatives) and makes specific promises of more health workers and a guarantee to get a GP appointment within 48 hours. He promises to help ordinary people with help on rents, fuel bills and banning zero hours contracts. He wants Southeastern railway to be taken into the public sector, but doesn't claim it is party policy (and it was Labour who created the Southeastern franchise in 2006, replacing a successful public sector company).

The Libdem candidate Mr Beard, seems to claim that any successes of the government are entirely down to the Libdems! He claims Labour will borrow too much again and the Conservatives "only care about themselves". He promises £400 cut in income tax and £8bn more for the NHS (without saying when).

(29 April) Yougov Nowcast As an alternative to standard opinion polling, pollsters YouGov have produced an alternative called Nowcast "that combines the respondents we have in each seat with modelled observations from similar types of people across the country". For Dartford they currently have the Conservatives currently in the lead with a range of 38-51%, Labour have 24-35% and UKIP 12-21%. (See Dartford nowcast page.

Candidates Announced The following are the candidates for Dartford: Simon Beard (Lib Dem), Andy Blatchford (Green), Gareth Johnson (Con), Elizabeth Jones (UKIP), Simon Thomson (Lab), Steve Uncles (Eng Dem). Sadly no Fancy Dress Party candidate this year!

County Poll suggests UKIP support well up in Kent (Kent Messenger, 10.4.15). Poll of 1,000 in Kent with change from 2010 in brackets): Con 39% (-12%), UKIP 24% (+20%), Lab 22% (+1%), Green 8% (+7%), Libdem 6% (-15%). Percentages based on those who said they were likely to vote, 22% of likely voters were undecided. Dartford should remain Conservative on these findings.

Paul's Prediction (Dartford Messenger 2.4.15) Paper's political editor forecasts Conservatives will win 15 seats in Kent with UKIP tipped to win in Rochester and South Thanet. He says the conservatives should be "untroubled" in Dartford.
Posted on 11 Apr 2015 by administrator
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