THE race to win the 2010 General Election is almost underway, with the various political parties hard at work on the campaign trail for the final few days.
The build-up has seen some surprise changes in the polls with the surge of the Lib Dems, and the tightest finish in living memory is predicted.
Candidates for North Shropshire
Conservative - Owen Paterson
MP for the constituency since assuming office in 1997 following the retirement of John Biffen, Owen Paterson has since regained his seat on two occasions, commanding almost 50 per cent of the vote in both 2001 and 2005.
Labour - Ian McLaughlan
Former Stoke councillor, Ian McLaughlan, has the unenviable task of rectifying the vote in their favour, with previous candidate, Sandra Samuels, having been on the reverse end of a 9.3 per cent swing in 2005.
Liberal Democrats - Ian Croll
After Steve Bourne boosted the Liberal Democrats popularity by more than 3,000 votes in 2005, Ian Croll will be hoping to make his own dent in the overall turnout when the ballots are counted on May 6.
Green Party - Steve Boulding
Should North Shropshire decide to go Green then the credit will go to Steve Boulding with the party having failed to make any notable impression in the area in previous elections. However, if people are in the mood for change, then the Green Party could profit as a result.
UK Independance Party - Sandra List
The UKIP in North Shropshire enjoyed a 2.3 per cent swing under the guidance of Ian Smith last time out, the second best swing in the constituency after the Liberal Democrats. Sandra List will be hoping to continue the motion.
British National Party - Phil Reddall
North Shropshire’s BNP candidate, Phil Reddall, will look to increase his party’s standing in the eyes of voters with his party often courting controversy.
Candidates for Eddisbury
Conservative - Stephen O’Brien
Stephen O’Brien 53, was first elected as the Conservative MP for the constituency at the 1999 by-election and re-elected in 2001 and 2005.
Currently a shadow minster for health & social care, since 2003 he has held a number of front-bench positions including shadow minister for skills and shadow treasury minister.
Labour - Pat Merrick.
Pat Merrick 54, wants to see the introduction of family friendly policies to improve the chances of the most deprived members of society through education, health promotion and cultural engagement.
Another priority is keeping local schools viable and open to community use.
UKIP - Charles Dodman.
Charles Dodman is concerned about the poor standards in our NHS hospitals, the lack of police out on the beat, the global warming scam and the gradual handover of power to the EU.
Charles is a chartered accountant and local businessman.
Liberal Democrats - Bob Thompson
A councillor since the early 1990's, he has led many campaigns - against the closure of Post Offices, the closure of a council owned and run respite care centre and the closure of a suburban library, to name but a few.
After university he joined ICI plc, working in the North East and South West before returning to Cheshire in the early 1990's.
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