By Patrick Burns
Political Editor, BBC Midlands Today
Professor Mick Temple said the Tories should not count on victory yet
On the face of it, the Conservatives will be hoping to gain control of those authorities where they do not currently have overall majorities and consolidate their hold of those where they do.
But one observer of the political scene, Professor Mick Temple of Staffordshire University, said if he were a Tory strategist he would not count his chickens just yet, despite the party's strong showing in recent opinion polls.
Warwickshire, William Shakespeare county, is a must-win for the Conservatives. They are currently the largest party in a hung council; their 27 seats in the outgoing authority means they need five more for an overall majority.
But it would be a mistake to see this as a simple prediction. Much will depend on the pulling-power of the Green Party who have invested heavily in Warwickshire with a full slate of 62 candidates, four more than Labour and 16 more than the Liberal Democrats.
And there is no shortage of environmental issues for them to bring into play, not least the continuing furore over the possibility that one of the Government's flagship eco-towns could be sited near the former army barracks at Long Marston near Stratford-upon-Avon.
If planning permission is approved for Middle Quinton there will be a development of 6,000 new homes in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside.
The idea has unleashed a storm of protest, shattering the accustomed calm of the area. The Greens will be hoping to exploit this issue by urging voters to define themselves as environmentalists rather than just NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) campaigners.
Like all the smaller parties, the Greens will also be hoping they can benefit from the general mood of public outrage over MPs' expenses.
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