General election 2019: Here's what the successful candidate in Havant will have to deal with
SINCE it was created in 1983 the Havant constituency has only been blue.
Its 36-year life has seen the town’s Conservative candidates notch nine general election victories, with just three different MPs representing the area in Parliament.
The most recent was returning candidate Alan Mak, who was elected in 2015 and took over the seat following David Willetts’ 23-year tenure.
Before Mr Willetts, now a life peer, Ian Lloyd was Havant’s MP. If you include the seat's former life as the Havant and Waterloo and Langstone-Portsmouth constituencies, he was the area's member of Parliament for some 28 years.
In 2019, odds put the seat as a safe Conservative hold again - but whoever inherits it will have a tough task on their hands.
Figures compiled by Havant Borough Council show the area must create more than 11,000 new jobs just to match national density averages, or 23,000 to achieve a rate of one job for every resident of working age.
This need gives the borough the second-lowest job density in Hampshire, with only Gosport lower, with about 26,000 Havant residents commuting elsewhere for work.
The local authority has set its sights on regenerating town centres in Havant and Waterlooville to help address the shortage, after a spate of closures have left sections of West Street, East Street and Wellington Way inactive and worse for wear.
But partly to blame, business owners say, are high rents and business rates some independent traders have historically been unable or unwilling to pay.
While a rate relief scheme was introduced by the council in 2017, to last until 2021, local businesses want their MP to fight their corner for the sake of value - at a time when online shopping threatens the traditional high street.
Chris Hitchen, owner of the long-run family firm CJ Meats, in West Street, said: 'Relief rates have been a sore situation but I tip my hat to the reliefs.
'Now we need to look at the return businesses like ours are getting for their money. For example I pay for my dustbins separately and we've got no Christmas lights in the town. We want more incentives.'
As well as a need for jobs, the constituency is wrestling with the government-set objective of 10,000 new homes by 2036.
The total has raised concerns for existing infrastructure, including on Hayling Island, which houses more than 17,000 people and is connected to the mainland by a single bridge with two lanes. Despite this, it has been earmarked for 1,000 new homes.
As well as the strain these residents could have on schools, doctors' surgeries, roads and Queen Alexandra Hospital without adequate infrastructure, there are also fears about what their arrival will mean for local ecology.
The constituency is home to environmental groups unafraid to battle to retain its 15 per cent make-up of green space, in the interests of the species which live there. Unlike job density, this is an area where Havant measures up at five times the UK average.
Weigh up these issues with the behemoth that is Brexit - which Havant voted for - and crime, and the future MP will take on a mighty balancing act.
HAVANT GENERAL ELECTION STATS
Last five elections
Alan Mak (Conservative): 27,676
Graham Giles (Labour): 11,720
Paul Gray (Liberal Democrats): 2,801
John Perry (UKIP): 2,011
Tim Dawes (Green): 1,122
Ann Buckley (Independent): 984
Alan Mak (Conservative): 23,159
John Perry (UKIP): 9,239
Graham Giles (Labour): 7,149
Steve Sollitt (Liberal Democrats): 2,929
Tim Dawes (Green): 2,352
David Willetts (Conservative): 22,433
Alex Payton (Liberal Democrats): 10,273
Robert Smith (Labour): 7,777
Gary Kerrin (UKIP): 2,611
Fungus Addams (English Democrat): 809
David Willetts (Conservative): 18,370
Sarah Bogle (Labour): 11,862
Alexander Bentley (Liberal Democrats): 8,358
Timothy Dawes (Green Party): 1,006
Stephen Harris (UKIP): 998
Ian Johnson (BNP): 562
Russell Thomas (Veritas): 195
David Willetts (Conservative): 17,769
Peter Guthrie (Labour): 13,562
Catherine Cole (Liberal Democrats): 7,508
Kevin Jacks (Green): 793
Timothy Cuell (Ukip): 561
Roy Stanley (Independent): 244
Last MP: Alan Mak (Conservative)
Odds on winners (via William Hill)
Alan Mak (Conservative): 1/200
Rosamund Knight (Labour): 25/1
Paul Gray (Liberal Democrats): 80/1
John Colman (Green): 300/1