Let the battle begin
ELECTION 'O5: SWINDON'S election candidates start
four weeks of campaigning today after polling day
was confirmed as May 5.
Prime Minister Tony Blair visited the Queen
yesterday morning to ask her to dissolve Parliament
then announced the date of the election outside
In Swindon, candidates were delighted with the
announcement and are now looking forward to the busy
Although the final date for nominations for
candidates is not until April 19 five candidates
have already announced they will stand in each of
the Swindon seats.
Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats
and the UK Independence Party will all contest South
and North Swindon while the Green Party will stand
in South Swindon and Socialist Unity in
Anne Snelgrove, Labour candidate for South
Swindon, said: "I am relieved that he has fired the
"We are ready to go. I think it is going to be a
close race in South Swindon and we can't take any
vote for granted.
"All Labour voters have got to come out and vote,
we can't take the election as won."
Justin Tomlinson, Conservative candidate for
North Swindon, said he was very excited by the
"I am looking forward to a very hard four weeks
of campaigning and there is a real opportunity for a
Conservative gain in North Swindon.
"Locally we will be fighting a very positive
campaign focussing on the difference a Conservative
government would make to Swindon." South Swindon's
Liberal Democrat candidate Sue Stebbing said: "It is
absolutely fantastic, very exciting.
"The Liberal Democrats are the real alternative
and now the election has finally been called we will
set out to demonstrate our policies which are based
on our fundamental principles of freedom, fairness
Stephen Halden, UKIP candidate for South Swindon,
said: "It is an excellent opportunity to bring the
issue of Europe to the attention of the voters and
to highlight that the EU is gradually turning into a
European super state of 25 countries."
Andy Newman, who will stand for Socialist
Unity in North Swindon, said: "Bring it on. We are
all ready. "We are concentrating our campaigning on
the working class areas of Swindon where the Labour
Party is not to be seen any more."
Bill Hughes, Green candidate in South Swindon,
said the announcement was overdue.
"It is a relief they have called it," he said.
"But I think the electorate should know where they
are with elections.
"All this hanging on until he goes to see the
Queen is ridiculous. We should have fixed terms."
Voters in Swindon had mixed views on the election
Jenny Thomas, 46, an admin officer from West
Swindon, said: "I will be following the campaign but
do you believe them?
"They all seem to have their own agenda. But it
ought to be quite close."
Muriel Giles, 56, from Greenmeadow, will be
studying the parties' policies.
"I will probably download the manifestos and
compare the three," she said.