Candidates prepare for Harrogate and Ripon election battles

The country will head to the polls on May 7
The country will head to the polls on May 7

The countdown to the 2015 general election has begun, and candidates the length of the country are cranking up the pressure on their opponents as the battle to win your vote on May 7 gets underway.

A thrilling race is expected in both the Harrogate and Knaresborough and Skipton and Ripon constituencies, and your team of trained journalists will provide the best local coverage available.

Starting next Thursday (February 26) and running for five consecutive weeks, each candidate for both the Harrogate and Knaresborough and Skipton and Ripon constituencies will be profiled in your Harrogate Advertiser, Knaresborough Post, Nidderdale Herald and Ripon Gazette.

Profiles will appear for candidates, published in alphabetical order of their party name, as follows:

Thursday, February 26:

Andrew Jones and Julian Smith (Con).

Thursday, March 5:

Shan Oakes and Andy Brown (Green).

Thursday, March 12:

Jan Williams and Malcolm Birks (Lab).

Thursday, March 19:

Helen Flynn and Jacquie Bell (Lib Dem).

Thursday, March 26:

David Simister and Alan Henderson (Ukip).

What will sway your vote?

Following the publication of these profiles, we will present the key battlegrounds as voters decide.

Candidates will be quizzed on:

Support for the elderly

Crime and policing

Transport

Economy

Education

Health

Harrogate Advertiser News Editor Alex Johnston said: “Our journalists will be at the heart of the action as voters across our district make their decision.

“From presenting the key battlegrounds, to our exclusive hustings event in April, right up to revealing the result in the wee small hours of May 8, full coverage will be made available to our readers across our newspapers, as well as mobile and desktop websites.”

Schools

High schools across Harrogate and Knaresborough have agreed to allow sixth form students to have their say in the run-up to May 7.

Hustings

All five candidates for the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency have agreed to be panelists at the Harrogate Advertiser Series Hustings, to take place at the Cedar Court Hotel on Thursday, April 9.

The evening will be chaired by Series Editor Jean MacQuarrie., who said: “This is our effort to get readers involved, offering a chance to quiz politicians about what really matters.

“It is vital that we engage with politics at a local level.”

“We hosted a fantastic hustings four years ago, and I would urge readers to come along and contribute to what is sure to be a memorable evening.”

All readers are invited to come along, hear what the candidates have to say and ask questions of their own.

Time to be announced.