Waveney candidates seeking to win your vote on May 2
- Credit: Archant
Political parties in Waveney are vying for votes at next month's Suffolk County Council elections which could see a change in the electoral status quo.
This year's election on May 2 involves 13 seats across Waveney's eight divisions and could be one of the most unpredictable elections in recent years.
The last election in 2009 saw the Conservatives clinch all but one of the seats for Waveney, with UKIP gaining the other seat.
And across Suffolk the Conservatives took 55 out of 75 seats – a feat most political commentators say will not be repeated.
In Waveney, UKIP, Labour and the Green Party hope they can all swoop to victory in some divisions – or at the very least dent Conservative votes across the district.
You may also want to watch:
Labour strategists hope a 5pc swing from the 2009 election could see them gain at least 24 seats county-wide at the election, with divisions such as Lowestoft South and Pakefield up for grabs.
The last election saw Labour only gain four seats across Suffolk.
- 1 Norwich sees biggest rise in Covid infection rates in the country
- 2 Hotel 'nobody wants to buy' for sale as housing for £365,000
- 3 Aviva to close two large office sites in Norwich
- 4 Nine Norfolk flood alerts ahead of Storm Christoph
- 5 Man who died in west Norfolk crash named
- 6 Man who drove 128 miles for fish and chips among latest Covid fines
- 7 Part of seventh skeleton discovered in city street
- 8 Delivery van towed from deep water on road closed due to flood risk
- 9 Going full term during this coronavirus pandemic fills me with absolute terror
- 10 Carer caught on CCTV letting dog scratch vulnerable pensioner
Although the party hopes to gain up to 24 seats this time around, analysis of district and borough council elections in Suffolk from 2011 predicts it could end up with 16 seats – 12 more than 2009's results.
And UKIP hopes voters may desert the Conservatives across Waveney, with the party putting up eight candidates in all the Lowestoft divisions, including current county councillor for Lowestoft South Bill Mountford.
And a swing to UKIP by Conservative voters could open the way for Labour's attempt to gain more seats across Waveney.
In Beccles, Green candidate Graham Elliott hopes he can repeat on his success at the last Waveney District Council election for the town and win a seat on the county council – with 12 other fellow candidates across the region hoping their focus on what local people are concerned about will help them at polling booths.
And the Liberal Democrats leader Dave Woods also hopes his party's focus on local issues will attract votes.
However, despite some Conservatives' concerns over the election results, and the impact especially of UKIP, party leaders are in an upbeat mood.
Party leader Mark Bee and new deputy Lisa Chambers say the message they are getting from the electorate is that voters like their pledge of a four-year council tax freeze and feel their policies are generally supported.