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General Election 2019: Spotlight on Norwich South

PUBLISHED: 09:25 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:30 02 December 2019

Candidates for the Norwich South constituency in the 2019 General Election (from left to right): Sandy Gilchrist (Brexit Party), Clive Lewis (Labour), Catherine Rowett (Green Party), Mike Spencer (Conservative) and James Wright (Liberal Democrat). Picture: Ormiston Academy/UK Parliment/Antony Kelly/Neil Didsbury/Ormiston Academy

Candidates for the Norwich South constituency in the 2019 General Election (from left to right): Sandy Gilchrist (Brexit Party), Clive Lewis (Labour), Catherine Rowett (Green Party), Mike Spencer (Conservative) and James Wright (Liberal Democrat). Picture: Ormiston Academy/UK Parliment/Antony Kelly/Neil Didsbury/Ormiston Academy

Ormiston Academy/UK Parliment/Antony Kelly/Neil Didsbury/Ormiston Academy

When voters last went to the polls in Norwich South, it was to return Labour's Clive Lewis with a majority which had more than doubled.

And that success - which saw Mr Lewis's majority swell from 7,654 to 15,596 - came despite pre-election predictions that the Conservatives would narrow the gap or even win it.

The swing to Labour came at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, with the Conservatives in second spot.

Mr Lewis is looking to retain the seat and James Wright, leader of the Lib Dems at Norwich City Council, is also standing again.

But they have new Conservative and Green opponents this time around.

Psychiatrist Dr Mike Stewart is the Conservative candidate, while Prof Catherine Rowett is the Green candidate. She is the Green Party MEP for the Eastern region and a philosopher at the University of East Anglia.

The Brexit Party candidate is former civil servant Sandy Gilchrist,

The constituency covers areas such as Lakenham, the Golden Triangle, the city centre, Thorpe Hamlet, Eaton and the area around the University of East Anglia.

What are the issues?

Housing and welfare: People sleeping rough in the city centre is a very visual illustration of issues, but there are also thousands on housing waiting lists and people living in emergency accommodation.

Health: The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is just over the constituency border, but many workers live in Norwich South.

The future of the NHS is an important issue for many who work in it or use its services.

There are also concerns about provision of support for people with mental health, with the trust which has responsibility for it in special measures.

County lines: Parts of the Norwich South constituency have major issues with drug dealing, exploitation and associated crime. Voters will want assurances that parties will help tackle the issue.

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Climate change: The Green Party are the opposition on the city council, with nine councillors Extinction Rebellion are also very active, with a number of members drawn from the UEA.

Brexit: Norwich, as a whole, voted remain in the EU general election and, in Norwich South, 59.47pc were Remainers.

These are the candidates standing in Norwich South:

Sandy Gilchrist (Brexit Party)

Clive Lewis (Labour)

Catherine Rowett (Green Party)

Mike Spencer (Conservative)

James Wright (Liberal Democrat)

And this is what happened in the 2017 election:

Clive Lewis (Labour) 31,311 - held seat for Labour

Lana Hempsall (Conservative) 15,715

James Wright (Liberal Democrat) 2,841

Richard Bearman (Green Party) 1,492.

Majority: 15,596

Turnout: 69.2pc

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