Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:29 UK

Election rivals fight for support in Great Yarmouth

By Laura MacDonald
BBC News website, Great Yarmouth

Yarmouth and river
A vigorous campaign is under way in Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth used to be a Conservative stronghold, but in 1997 Labour's Anthony Wright won the seat with 53% of the vote.

This election, he faces vigorous challenges from Conservative Brandon Lewis and Liberal Democrat Simon Partridge, who are both intent on taking the seat.

All three candidates told BBC Radio Norfolk about their campaigns and outlined what they are offering the people of Great Yarmouth.

Mr Wright said he is campaigning for the seat on the basis of being "a local member of parliament".

"[I] campaign for the local good, for the local people, the community, trying to bring government resources into Great Yarmouth and I'll continue on that vein while still representing them at Westminster," he said.

He added that benefits in terms of health, education and regeneration projects in the area have "got the fingerprints of a Labour government" on them.

'Phenomenal job'

Mr Lewis said it is vital to win in Great Yarmouth, which is number 66 on the Conservatives' list of target seats, to help his party form a government.

"On a local scale, I've been working for some time now on the train station campaign and there are an awful lot of smaller campaigns going on where we are working hard as well and hopefully bringing change that will help the local community in Great Yarmouth as well," he said.

Mr Lewis said Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council "have done a phenomenal job over the last few years despite a Labour government" to get money into Great Yarmouth.

Mr Partridge highlighted jobs, infrastructure and coastal erosion as among the key issues affecting the area and said that the Liberal Democrats are starting to develop their presence in the constituency.

"For very many years they've been on rather a low ebb if I can put it like that. We're putting in a lot of effort now and I intend to knock on as many doors [as possible] between now and 6 May," he said.

He said it was important to boost the reputation of the town, adding: "We need to fight to make Great Yarmouth great again."

The candidates standing in Great Yarmouth are: UK Independence Party: Alan Baugh; Green: Laura Biggart; Conservative: Brandon Lewis; Matriarchal Party United Kingdom Great Britain: Margaret McMahon-Morris; Liberal Democrat: Simon Partridge; British National Party: Bosco Tann; Labour: Tony Wright.



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