The current political divide in Harrow is North/South with the Conservatives holding the more affluent wards in the North and Labour winning the more deprived areas in the South.
However, polling has shown swings amongst “middle and upper middle class” voters to Labour and swings to the Conservatives among “lower middle, skilled working and working class” voters.
This is being seen in other outer London boroughs as well, but whether this holds over the next 34 days is a great unknown.
The key battleground wards in the past have been Kenton West, Kenton East and Headstone North. These areas will remain so in 2022, albeit the warding arrangement will be different due to the fact that this election will be fought on the new ward boundaries with the number of councillors reducing from the current 63, down to 55 councillors.
The Labour Party split into two groups – continuity Labour and Independent Labour in 2013-14 and has handed control of the Council to the Conservatives during this period. Labour regained control in 2014 (and the Independent Labour Group was vanquished) with a 12-seat majority which was reduced at the 2018 election to 7 seats.
There are no other parties on the Council and in 2018 Labour won 47% to the Conservatives 45% so the other parties have been largely irrelevant in the past. While it is expected that the fight will be between Labour and the Conservatives this time around, smaller parties including the Greens will have a greater effect in the areas they stand in.
With 28 councillors, the Conservative opposition group is the largest opposition group in the whole of Greater London and in 2019, local MP Bob Blackman saw a rise in his vote which makes Harrow a key target borough for the Conservatives and the result an interesting one to watch on the night!
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