Snap election .. but who will win trust of voters this time?
Published on: 14 May 2017
by Rebecca Day
Filton residents are contemplating which box to cross on the ballot sheet following the Prime Minister’s shock announcement of an early general election.
Theresa May’s call for a snap election has been approved by MPs, and now residents will be going to the polls on June 8 to vote for their preferred parliamentary candidate.
Incumbent MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke Jack Lopresti will be standing for election although his candidacy was in the balance after calls were made by an anonymous person for Conservative members to deselect him. See Page 3
The Liberal Democrats have put forward Eva Fielding – a former mechanical and electrical engineer who now works for Gloucestershire County Council.
The Labour candidate was expected to be confirmed as Naomi Rylatt, a former Bristol city councillor for Hartcliffe.
Current predictions on the respected Electoral Calculus website indicate that the Conservatives have an 88 percent chance of winning the seat. Labour has a seven per cent chance, Lib Dems four per cent, and UKIP one per cent.
For some residents, an MP who would pledge to stop landlords from purchasing large family homes and letting them out to students would get their vote.
Resident Stephen Clarke says that he would support any candidate who makes this promise. “[This] would be the number one thing to at least try to do,” he told the Filtonvoice. “Number two being to try and stop giving planning permission if possible for yet more eateries Filton clearly doesn't need. Whoever will try this, I'd gladly give them my support.”
Liz Bartlett added: “One of the root causes of the student lets is that it's very profitable to buy houses to rent out at the moment. Whichever party will massively tax the people profiting from this will increase the number of houses available to buy, lessening the housing crisis. I don't know any party's specific policy on that but I doubt the Conservatives will go in for taxing the greedy people.
“I would be voting Lib Dem but unfortunately I may vote tactically and vote for Labour. I hate this current system that forces tactical voting, and wish Lib Dems and Labour would team up for this election.”
Both remain and leave voters say that Brexit is their motivation.
Fi Cantillon says that she will tactically be voting Labour. “Anything to stop Brexit,” she told the Filtonvoice. “Theresa May has tried many times to abolish our human rights. Who protected us? EU, that's who.
“It has been clear that the lies spouted to get Brexit are just that. Lies! Local businesses suffer, people are struggling to survive financially with this going to get harder under Brexit.
“I will tactically be voting Labour. I do not like all their policies but locally when our local Labour councillor is approached at least he communicates within a decent timescale and will provide updates.”
Caroline Nicholas voted Brexit and will be supporting the Conservative party in the general election. “I have voted Labour all my life apart from twice then voted Tory. I also like the majority voted Brexit so will vote Tory. Our prime minister did the right thing choosing to call a general election. She has no opposition, Labour are rubbish – they will be crucified in the general election.”
Jocelyn Briffett said: "Make no mistake this election is not about party loyalties, but is about Teresa May having sufficient Brexit politicians on board to negotiate the best deal as the UK leaves the EU, without constant disruptions from those 'Remainers' who do not like the result of the democratic vote on June 23rd last year."
Some residents questioned Mr Lopresti’s suitability as Filton’s next MP, while others have supported his work in the area.
Sejal Hampson, Cheswick Village resident, told the Filtonvoice: “I don’t find that he stands up for what the majority of his constituents believe in and just goes down the middle of the road with the party lines. I will vote tactically this time round..”
Philip Rea said: “Jack gets a lot of bad press, but couldn't help me enough when I required his assistance with a personal matter. His input was pivotal in me getting the result I needed and my family can't thank him enough.”