DCSIMG

Minority parties join the fray as election candidates are announced

MINORITY political parties are hoping to get a foothold in power in next month’s local elections.

Anticipation over who will clinch seats up for grabs across the region is hotting up after councils published who is standing in their areas.

The elections take place on May 22 and polling stations will be open to voters from 7am to 10pm.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is making its presence known more than ever as it fields candidates for each seat that is up in Portsmouth’s 14 wards.

The party is made up of community campaigners, the RMT trade union and city socialist groups.

Sean Hoyle, RMT organiser, said: ‘Only Tusc candidates have pledged to oppose all cuts to our vital public services.’

‘Neither Labour nor Ukip represent an alternative to coalition cuts.

‘We’re standing because if working people want an alternative to austerity, we have to do it ourselves.’

The Justice and Anti-Corruption Party is also putting up candidates up in two wards – Fratton, where Mike Hancock’s seat is up, and Charles Dickens, where his wife Jacqui is defending her position as a Lib Dem councillor.

Mr Hancock is standing as an independent, despite a spokesman confirming yesterday he was still in hospital.

In the Labour camp, attention will be paid to taking the Fratton ward.

Councillor John Ferrett, leader of the council’s Labour group, says it would be seen as somewhat of a ‘coup’.

‘We are targeting a few seats across the city,’ he said.

‘There are four main targets – Nelson ward, Paulsgrove, Cosham and Hilsea.’

Meanwhile, Ukip has got members standing across the region, with the party having a full house of candidates in Portsmouth.

Ukip Hampshire leader Ray Finch said: ‘In the past, Portsmouth has been more or less a two-party thing – the Lib Dems or the Tories.

‘We are confident we will pick up seats.’

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem leader of the city council, said: ‘The canvassing we have done has been very positive because people think we run the city well.’

European elections will be happening on the same day.

Ten members will be elected to the European Parliament to represent the South-East region.

Votes will be verified before being counted and revealed on May 25.

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Portsmouth City Council candidates

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Havant Borough Council candidates

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Gosport Borough Council candidates

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Fareham Borough Council candidates

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Winchester City Council candidates

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