Thurrock is one of the tightest and most fascinating seats in the country. It’s impossible to call who will take the seat between the Tories, Labour and Ukip.

Conservative Jackie Doyle-Price grappled the seat from Labour in 2010 with a tiny majority of 92 – just 0.2 percent.

Before that it had been a Labour stronghold since 1992. This time around though, Ukip’s Tim Aker is in a strong position to take what the party consider to be one of their winnable seats.

The Euro-sceptic party stole the show at last year’s local elections, winning five seats and taking their total number of members to six on Thurrock Council, leaving the Labour administration with a minority rule. The day after the election Ukip leader Nigel Farage visited South Ockendon with the national media in tow, sending a clear message about how serious and confident the party are of winning in Thurrock.

A big advantage of Mr Aker’s – who is also a Thurrock councillor and MEP - is that he’s a Thurrock lad born and bred, which appeals to many voters who feel disconnected from politics and Westminster.

Labour candidate Polly Billington is fronting a very visible campaign. She’s a champion of Grays town centre with her Stand Up for Grays campaign, and is glowing in her praise for the town. Her views are in stark comparison to her rivals – Mr Aker fears Grays is becoming a “no go zone” and Ms Doyle-Price is often heard accusing the council of wasting opportunities to invest in it and would like to get rid of the “shabby” market.

Ms Doyle-Price has wheeled out the big guns in recent weeks as the fight for her seats intensifies. Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne have visited Thurrock to show their support and back her claims that “Thurrock is the power house of Essex”.

Since holding the seat, the High House Production Park in Purfleet and DP World London Gateway - though not in the constituency - have opened, creating a tonne of jobs for Thurrock people. Ms Doyle-Price has also ensured work has begun on widening the M25/A13 junction 30, much to the delight of motorists.

All candidates champion the green-belt, and are against a new Thames crossing landing in the borough even though it looks increasingly likely that will be the case.

Thurrock really is impossible to call.


  • Immigration
  • Housing
  • Jobs
  • Education
  • Thames crossing


Since the Thurrock seat was created, only twice have Labour not held it. They lost the 1987 election before regaining the seat in 1992, and most crucially they lost five years ago. Both to the Tories.

The 2010 victory for the Conservative’s was a key win – only 0.2 percent was in it – in helping David Cameron into Downing Street.

Ms Doyle-Price and her party are desperate to retain the seat in their bid for another stint in No.10 in what once again looks certain to be a close run election, but the emergence of a third major player in the constituency with a very real chance of victory – Ukip – means this seat cannot be called.

The Euro-sceptic party are splitting the vote of the two major groups with some bookies making them odds on favourites.


Tim Aker - UKIP 

Mr Aker is Thurrock born and bred, and isn’t shy in promoting that fact. Born at the old Orsett Hospital, he grew up initially on Romford Road, then Mill Road, Aveley.  

A student of Kenningtons Primary, Mr Aker says he remember his time there well with no one having a bad word to say about it.  He also recalls Aveley having “some green space, there were no worries about over-development.”

Mr Aker’s education continued to the University in Nottingham, before a stint at a communications firm followed by the Tax Payers' Alliance, before then going on to run his own campaign group.

He now lives in Grays and spends most of his time on Council duties as a newly elected Thurrock Councillor, as well as being an MEP.

Mr Aker said: “I'd love to have free time to play darts more, but I just can't just switch off when there's people who need their damp and mould sorted and who haven't got the help they need from those who are in a position to give it.”

Polly Billington - Labour

Ms Billington took up politics following a 15 year journalism career before she “became fed up of reporting on unfairness and injustice and wanted to get things done instead”.

Taking on her campaign of change, Ms Billington has been working for a the CAB for the last couple of years “to improve people’s lives”. She says that by working in government she knows what works - and what doesn’t.

Growing up, her parents worked as teachers and went to schools that included an all-girls Catholic comprehensive. She says her family and community taught her values, and that when something was wrong, it was right to take a stand.

Ms Billington says: “I've lived in Grays for years and spend my time campaigning for a better deal for people across Thurrock. I work with residents and businesses to achieve that and make our community stronger.”

Jackie Doyle-Price - Conservative

Ms Doyle-Price has lived for many years with her family in Purfleet.  It is her only home and she commutes daily to Westminster, and highlights that she uses local services including GPs and schools and roads, so “knows what Thurrock needs”.

Ms Doyle-Price was born and raised on a council estate in Sheffield.   Her father was a bricklayer and her mother worked in Woolworths. 

She joined the Conservative Party after witnessing the Labour Council’s “intimidation of her parents” when they tried to buy their council house.  She says it was then that she discovered that it is the “Conservative Party which is most on the side of hard-working people who want to make the best of themselves”.

Ms Doyle-Price has worked for the police, in local government and as a financial regulator.  Her recent role as MP was her first job in Westminster, and cites that she has never worked for an MP or MEP.

Daniel Munyambu - Independent

Mr Munyambu was born and brought up in Kenya in a family of eight children.  He was a teacher before he bought farms and ventured in coffee farming while his mum remained home taking care of the family.

He joined politics in Kenya when he contested first for Parliamentary seat in 2002 at the age of 28. He later got involved in campaigning for politicians who are now former Kenya ministers.

Mr Munyambu came to the UK in 2007 to join his wife, and in 2011 was elected Councillor in Basildon.

He has a degree in criminology, is self studied politics and is currently an undergraduate in BSc Human Resource Management.