Catton Grove could prove to be the result of the night. Depsite being a safe-ish Labour seat (the party won it quite easily in 2006), one seat went to Tory Eve Collishaw in 2004 who seeks re-election this year. Miss Collishaw is something of a novelty - a proper Tory in Norwich. She like the incincerator, wants to cut tax and build the NDR. However, few people doubt her dedication and she has added to the life of the council. The ward is an odd shape and nobody really thinks they live in "Catton Grove". Cllr Collishaw is - as I understand from Antony - campaigning hard to win. She is up again Nesar Ahmed - the LibDem candidate who could have done better if his party had taken this seriously a few years back. Green lady Penny Edwards looks to be one of the party's few fourth placed candidates. Labour's candidate this time is Martin Booth. After a bit of research I found out he was Labour's former County Councillor for North Walsham and was on the frontbench during their recent spell in power. Mr Booth's campaign doesn't seem to have taken off, so I predicted a very close Conservative hold.
Crome Ward - Despite being the home of the 2000 Tory gain shock of the night, Crome has since reverted to being as safe a seat for Labour as they have in Norwich. Alan Waters, the man who lost by 4 votes 7 years ago, is the candidate again this year and will be hoping that history doesn't repeat itself as he will have hopes of being Council Leader if Steve Morphew falls in Mile Cross. Green candidate Chris Webb and LibDem Irene Bowling won't be making too much of an effort. But then, you have to question if Tory Kay Mason is either. Current Norwich North Association Chairman Ms Mason was Dr Gibson's challenger in 2001. If this is her reaunch for the next election she may have to wait. Prediction: Labour hold with a slightly reduced majority.
Mile Cross: By far the most exciting ward to follow. Perenial Tory candidate David Mackie and Green Christine Way will be just onlookers in this contest. This seat went LibDem under Vic Elvin (RIP) and Labour has to wrest it back. When Vic passed away, young gun Carl Mayhew disproved the theory that "only Vic can win here". The LibDems are throwing the kitchen sink at this whilst Labour are pulling in activists to try and save their Leader. Leaflets and canvassers are everywhere ... Former LibDem Councillor Simon Nobbs - not the most popular guy but hard working - is setting the pace here but don't write off Cllr Morphew's campaignin and personal vote. If Labour lose this seat they are in real trouble - only because they'll lose the most obvious and best leader they've had in years. Prediction: Too close to call, but at this moment I'd go for a LibDem gain from Labour with a very small majority.
Eaton: This last bastion of a safe LibDem seat is under heavy attack from the Tories this year. With former Leader Ian Couzens standing down, the wife of PPC Simon Wright - Ros Wright - is standing and the Conservatives have the bit between their teeth. They are contrasting Mrs Wright's "parachute" jump into Eaton with their own - Vic Hopes - and his 400 years of service to the area. The Conservatives are certainly delivering more leaflets but you just don't gte the feeling this majority can be overcome in one poll. Labour have former Bowthorpe man Ron Borrett, the Greens have Cllr Janet Bearman's husband Richard and UKIP have South Park man John Wilder standing. LibDems to hold but Tories to cut the majority again. A much better fight to watch in 2007.
Mancroft - Whilst some may right Mancroft off as an easy Green hold, for some reason both Labour and the Tories have chosen to make a fight of it here. Labour's David Fullman (who fought the Town Close by-election in 2005) has been heavily leafletting in the ward whilst Tory new boy Niki George is putitng himself about a bit. Odd thing is that Mr George's leaflets seem not to admit to him being a Conservative ... how well this tactic does is yet to be seen. The LibDems hope that Alan Oliver will win their once safe berth but the general consensus is not. The new Green candidate - Cllr Steve Altman quit after just a year - is Tom Dylan. Mr Dylan is by far the scariest man on a leaflet I have ever seen! But he is odds on the take the seat. Prediction: Green hold
Antony's thoughts... I wouldn't agree with everything here - but I did say I would publish them in full. My personal thought is Morph will hold Mile Cross and that the Tories will come a lot closer in Crome. Tory hold in Catton, Green hold in Mancroft and too-close-to-call in Eaton.