Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 14:58 UK

Cornwall election candidates target women's votes

Pregnant woman
Politicians see women as swing voters

Candidates in a Cornwall constituency have spoken about how they are seeking women's votes.

The candidates of the three main parties in the Cornish constituency of Truro and Falmouth are women.

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have all appeared on women's-interest website mumsnet in the last year.

Associate editor Catherine Hanley said that was because women were seen as swing voters by politicians.

Jobs fear

She said: "Women don't tend to vote on party lines. They are not tribal. Politicians are looking at us as a swing vote."

Terrye Teverson, Liberal Democrat candidate, said: "The Liberal Democrats would extend nursery provision. We know that a first class nursery start gives all children the best start in the primary schools.

"We would extend that from 18 months right up to school age and to 20 hours a week.

"This also allows a lot of mums to go to work and keep their careers going."

We really want to make Britain one of the most family friendly places in Europe
Sarah Newton, Conservatives

Conservative candidate Sarah Newton said: "We really want to make Britain one of the most family friendly places in Europe.

"We have a whole range of policies on flexible working, maternity and paternity leave to enable parents to share that responsibility of raising their family.

"Women with young families are pretty much like everybody else in the country. Their concerns are principally about jobs."

Labour candidate Charlotte MacKenzie said: "I think Labour has completely transformed what it is like for couples to have a family.

"That is both in the opportunity to return to work for mothers and for the support that is available to them as parents.

"The level of support and freedom women have is completely different when you compare the experience of my generation with the experience of the next generation."

UKIP's Harry Blakely said they were not looking for the women's vote specifically because they were as interested in general political subjects as anyone else, so they felt it was patronising.

Ian Wright for the Green Party said they would protect public services and introduce a citizens income, allowing mothers to stay at home.

Loic Rich from Cornish nationalists Mebyon Kernow said services for parents and families should be as local as possible and communities of all sizes should get equal access to services.

Falmouth and Truro: Conservative: Sarah Newton; Labour: Charlotte MacKenzie; Lib Dem: Terrye Teverson; Green: Ian Wright; UK Independence Party: Harry Blakeley; Veritas: Catherine Cracknell; Mebyon Kernow: Loic Rich; Chris Tankard: Liberal Party

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