ROSSENDALE is a Conservative stronghold – and that is not expected to change after this election.
Twelve seats on the borough council are up for grabs, but Labour are defending three of those.
And with the Tories holding a 10-ward lead over Labour, it is hard to see that being overturned.
The Conservatives currently have 21 seats compared to Labour’s 11, with three Liberal Democrats.
A key battleground will be Stacksteads, where local postmistress Jackie Oakes (Labour) is challenging Tory Fred Lynskey, who won the seat by a whisker last time around.
For their part, the Tories have run an energetic campaign in Goodshaw, where Labour group leader Alyson Barnes is up for election.
In addition, the Green Party, the Community First Party, the English Democrats and the National Front are all contesting one ward apiece.
Lib Dem Bob Sheffield is fighting on two fronts as the party’s General Election candidate for Rossendale and Darwen, and hoping to capture the Longholme ward against Mohammed Abdullah of the Conservatives and Labour’s Liz McInnes.
BALANCE OF POWER: Con 21, Lab 11, Lib Dems three.
SEATS UP FOR GRABS: 11.
WILL IT CHANGE HANDS? Would be a major surprise.
Anne Cheetham, Conservatives
Simon Holland, Liberal Democrats
Nick Pilling, Labour.
Alyson Barnes, Labour
Tony Justice, English Democrats
Sandra McWicker, Conservatives.
Sadaqut Amin, Liberal Democrats
Granville Morris, Conservatives
Marilyn Procter, Labour.
Jimmy Eaton, Conservatives
Amanda Hewlett, Labour
Bill Jackson, Liberal Democrats.
Colin Crawforth, Labour
Michael Pickup, Conservatives.
Brian Essex, Conservatives
Emma Harding, Labour.
Healey and Whitworth
David Barnes, Conservatives
Colin Cunningham, Liberal Democrats
Alan Neal, Community First
Sean Serridge, Labour.
Kevin Bryant, National Front
Michael Christie, Conservatives
Graham Haworth, Labour
Helen Jackson, Green.
Mohammed Abdullah, Conservatives
Liz McInnes, Labour
Bob Sheffield, Liberal Democrats.
Fred Lynskey, Conservatives
Jackie Oakes, Labour.
Jean Hayler, Labour
Barbara Marriott, Conservatives
Jim Pilling, Liberal Democrats.
Ann Kenyon, Labour
Mark Thomson, Conservatives.