Sutton council election - key battlegrounds
The key battlegrounds for this year's election will be areas where the Conservatives and Labour feel they can win seats from the Liberals - although minority parties could play a role.
Wards that are split between parties like Worcester Park, Cheam, Carshalton and Clockhouse and Nonsuch will be seen as up for the taking while Labour will be hoping to make some gains in areas like Beddington, where they have voiced strong opposition to the incinerator, and St Helier, where issues with Sutton Housing Partnership may push voters away from the Liberal Democrats.
One of the key areas the Conservatives say they hope to make gains is in Sutton South. It is split between Liberal Democrat Councillors Heather Honour and Richard Clifton and Conservative Tony Shields but in 2010's poll only just over 100 votes separated the three Liberal Democrats and the three Conservatives.
In Worcester Park just three votes got then-Liberal Democrat Stephen Fenwick in ahead of the Tory candidate.
Labour sees one of its best chances of securing a seat on the council in St Helier where one of its candidates beat Tory opposition in 2010.
"Although it was not enough to get one of the three seats, all now occupied by Liberal Democrats, housing issues in the area may play into Labour's hands. Former Liberal Democrat John Keys has changed from standing in his current ward of Beddington North to stand in St Helier for that reason.
Beddington North, the ward in which the council gave planning permission for an unpopular rubbish incinerator to be built, is another where Labour is hoping to win a seat and could be given a boost by former Liberal Democrat and Tory voters turning to the Green party in protest.
Data analyst and freelance writer Adrian Short, who runs the website www.suttonelections.org.uk, said: "Quite a lot of wards that are marginal.
"Labour will be stronger and UKIP will make a difference. They will take votes from someone - not necessarily the Tories, it could be from Labour or even the Lib Dems, but they will affect the vote in some wards.
"The Lib Dems look strong and I think they will maintain a majority but I think we will end up with a much more balanced council with more diversity and that will be good for Sutton."
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