On December 12 millions of people across the UK will vote in the third UK General Election in four years.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be looking to secure a majority for the Conservatives so he can finally force through his Brexit deal, while the next biggest party, Labour, will seek a government post through the back door.
The Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency will now be seen as a Tory safe seat by the party, with Paul Maynard taking it from Labour in 2010 and holding it by a decent margin of 4.9 per cent in the 2017 General Election, increasing his lead over Labour candidate Chris Webb.
But this election Mr Maynard will be facing down a reformed Liberal Democrat party as well as the Greens. He won’t be battling any of Nigel Farage’s party after he agreed that Brexit Party candidates would not oppose Tory-held seats.
Not only will he be battling for Brexit voters he will also be trying to hold onto the votes of those hit hardest by austerity, with Blackpool North’s unemployment 6.2 per cent higher than the average across the UK.
Blackpool North and Cleveleys was a Labour seat after the 1997 landslide victory of Tony Blair but was a nailed on Tory seat before that.
In fact it was blue from 1945 until 1997 and has been blue ever since 2010.
Paul Maynard will be running in the seat for the fourth time and will be up against some familiar faces in Chris Webb, Sue Close and Duncan Royle, who all, opposed him at the last election in 2017.
The Brexit Party Candidate Jon Conway will no longer be standing as Nigel Farage agreed to not stand in Tory held seats.
There were more than 22,000 non-voters in Blackpool North during the 2017 election with a turn out of 64.1 per cent.
21 people turned up to polling stations across the constituency and were turned away after not registering to vote.
Leaving the EU will be a priority for voters here, Blackpool was one of the country’s biggest Brexit strongholds with some 66.9 per cent of constituents voting leave in the 2016 referendum.
Chris Webb stood against Paul Maynard in the 2017 election but lost out by almost 2,000 votes, a majority of 4.9 per cent.
His main vision for the town centres around making Blackpool into Britain’s first carbon-neutral town, building a million affordable homes, and providing 30 hours of free childcare for all two to four-year-olds.
Mr Webb has also made a five-point pledge to support the armed forces, including scrapping a sector pay cap for soldiers, ending privatisation in the armed forces, supporting high quality housing for veterans and creating a representative body for the army similar to the Police Federation.
He has also consistently called for more police officers in the town and currently serves as Lancashire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.
He also has some celebrity endorsement with actor Eddie Izzard and Corrie Star Nicola Thorp supporting his campaign.
Conservative: Paul Maynard
Mr Maynard will be standing for the fourth time in this constituency and has never lost the seat.
His key polices centre around wise spending on police resources, creating more jobs, creating affordable homes and ensuring that the constituency benefits from a slice of the £20.5bn heading the way of the NHS in the future.
The Tory candidate currently serves in Boris Johnson’s government as the parliamentary under secretary of state for transport.
He has previously been a strong advocate of improving disabled access to apprenticeships. He is a keen Brexiteer who is backing Boris Johnson’s withdrawal plans.
Liberal Democrats: Sue Close
Sue Close opposed Paul Maynard in the last two elections, standing in the constituency for the first time in 2015 when the Liberal Democrats were almost wiped out.
Ms Close gained just 746 votes the last time she stood, a little over 250 more than the Green Party candidate Duncan Royle.
This was less than five per cent of the vote, meaning she lost her MP deposit. She will be backing a second referendum on Brexit as part of the Liberal Democrats’ pro-Remain campaign.
The Green Party: Duncan Royle
Former accountant Duncan Royle stood in the 2017 general election but received just 381 votes, the least amount out of any candidate standing in the Blackpool North seat.
He will be standing on the grounds of providing an alternative to austerity, to preserve the NHS from privatisation and a ‘fair’ economy as well as supporting affordable homes.
Of course the main thrust of his campaign will be on tackling climate change and sustaining the environment which will certainly be popular with voters near the fracking site at Preston New Road.
This content was originally published here.