Smaller parties hope to break hold of big three in local elections

HARD AT WORK Votes are counted in Winchester after the 2010 election
HARD AT WORK Votes are counted in Winchester after the 2010 election
Fareham MP Suella Fernandes with members of Solent Waspi at her Senior Citizens Fair, in Fareham.

Solent Waspi campaigners attend Fareham fair

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SMALLER parties are hoping voters will look beyond the mainstream and choose an alternative in next month’s local elections.

Across the region a number of candidates looking to woo voters away from the big three will be going toe to toe with seasoned veterans in an effort to get their views represented in town halls.

In Portsmouth three challengers from the Green Party will join seven standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) to take on the Lib Dem administration and Tory and Labour opposition.

Across Havant, Fareham and Gosport there will also be a total of 12 candidates from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) – four in each district – as well as a further seven Greens and one BNP candidate.

At present only the three main parties or independent councillors hold seats across the district, but UKIP candidate in Barncroft ward Ray Finch is hoping to change that.

‘I think we have a very real chance to winning a seat this time around,’ he said.

‘The problem here is the Tories dominate the council so much, with 35 out of the 38 seats, that the other two big parties hardly campaign at all.

‘All we need is two seats and we would be the real opposition in Havant.’

Green challenger for Portsmouth’s Charles Dickens ward Russell Anderson said while he was not confident his party would win any seats on May 3, it was worth standing to get their message out.

It helps keep our profile in view,’ he said. ‘We are known for environmental issues, but we are also campaigning in support of the public sector and a more sustainable society.’

Voters in Portsmouth must be registered by tomorrow.

Call (023) 9283 4074 or email elections@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.