BASILDON MP Angela Smith has admitted it may be difficult for her to retain her seat at the next election due to the boundary changes, but denied the game is over.

Mrs Smith, who won by a majority of 3,142 in 2005, faces a tougher challenge in 2009, because she will be fighting for the newly created South Basildon and East Thurrock seat.

The changes to the boundary means the new constituency will no longer incorporate the Labour stronghold of Fryerns, but it will take in traditional Tory voting Pitsea.

She said: "Clearly the boundary changes will make it more difficult for Labour to hold the seat and every MP would love to be in a safe seat, but I will put myself forward and it will be up to the electorate. However, it is very arrogant of the Conservatives to assume the election result is a forgone conclusion.

"When I first contested the seat, even when people in the background were saying I would win, I never took it for granted."