Emerson Park is Hornchurch’s only Conservative ward. It’s a wealthy area with ten million pound plus houses for sale.1 It’s the fiefdom of Roger Ramsey who’s a veteran councillor He’s smooth, clever, wealthy, massively experienced, a fluent speaker and everything modern Conservatives aren’t. But Emerson Park Conservatives are vulnerable.
Over the years, the Conservatives have lost safe seats in Upminster and Cranham to huge Resident Association (RA) majorities.2 The signs are Emerson Park is going the same way. Roger’s holding it together with his personal vote. He’s done 50+ years but even superstars prefer life without whining colleagues. He’s cabinet member for finance, which is demanding even for eager beavers.
The 2014 election brought UKIP into the equation. One seat was won by a man who wasn’t a Conservative, which was his only virtue. In 2018 three Conservatives were elected but the RAs failed by four votes to win a seat. This is an ultra marginal outcome.
2018 was a good year for Conservatives but Roger Ramsey’s stronghold turned ultra marginal. The next four years weren’t been kind to the Conservatives. Bob Perry left and reinvented himself as a ferocious anti-Conservative campaigner in Squirrels Heath after the gerrymandering scandal.
The Conservatives have been in power 20 years. Their image is tarnished by their use of Special Responsibility Allowances which don’t look warranted. Emerson Park Conservatives may well pay the price in 2022.
1 Correct on 1st November 2021
2 Linda Hawthorn has a 2000 vote majority over the Conservatives in Upminster, which is unbelievable in local elections. Local elections | Election results | The London Borough Of Havering