St Albans election race gets underway

PUBLISHED: 08:01 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

CANDIDATES quickly got off their marks for next month s General Election following Tuesday s announcement – and they are all confident of victory. First off the blocks was Sandy Walkington, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for St Albans, who released a

CANDIDATES quickly got off their marks for next month's General Election following Tuesday's announcement - and they are all confident of victory.

First off the blocks was Sandy Walkington, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for St Albans, who released a statement early on Tuesday saying he and his team were going "flat-out" for a great victory in St Albans on May 6.

Mr Walkington is confident that the Lib-Dems can win the seat from the Conservatives and said: "St Albans needs an MP who knows, loves and will cherish the city and villages."

Sitting Tory MP Anne Main said she was looking forward to the election and would be campaigning on her record as a hard-working champion for St Albans.

She went on: "I have taken every opportunity to assist my constituents and involve myself in local issues over the last five years and I think my opponents will struggle to criticise me on my record of representing St Albans residents."

Labour candidate Roma Mills described St Albans as a Tory/Labour marginal seat which was held by former Labour MP Kerry Pollard for two terms from 1997 to 2005. She said she would be campaigning on Labour pledges such as access to a GP out of hours and one-to-one tuition for a struggling child while supporting the economy and creating employment.

John Stocker, the UKIP candidate, said he was confident that his party would win the St Albans constituency and he would be fighting on local as well as national issues including the shortage of social housing, city centre planning and conservation of the Green Belt.

He said: "Since I announced my candidature at the end of last year I have been overwhelmed by the support from the local electorate."

At the General Election in 2005, Anne Main took the seat with 16,953 votes compared to Labour's Kerry Pollard on 15,592 and the Lib-Dem Michael Green with 11, 561.

In Hitchin and Harpenden, Conservative Peter Lilley won the seat comfortably with 23,627 votes compared with the Lib-Dems' 12,234 and Labour's 10,499. This time Mr Lilley will find himself up against Lib-Dem Nigel Quinton and Labour candidate Oli de Botton.

* St Albans Abbey will be hosting a hustings at 7.30pm on Tuesday, April 20, to which all the candidates have been invited and have accepted.

It has been organised by Churches Together in Britain and questions can be submitted in advance via www.stalbans.anglican.org up to next Friday, April 16, or between 7pm and 7.20pm but not after that time.

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