West Bridgford. Credit: Google Maps

Rushcliffe constituents have been voicing their opinions on who they plan to vote for and what matters most to them ahead of Thursday’s general election.

Ken Clarke stepped down as MP for the constituency after 49 years in the role and now residents must decide whether to back his ‘Leave-favouring’ successor in Ruth Edwards or opt to back another party for the first time since Labour held the seat between 1966 and 1970.

NTU Election Special visited West Bridgford in search of local peoples’ views on this nation-defining general election.

Sally Dowsett, 50, is a personal trainer from Radcliffe-On-Trent.

Who do you plan to vote for?

Probably Labour.

What is the most important issue for you nationally?

Public services and the NHS, just all public services because I think they should be a priority.

What is the most important issue for you locally?

I don’t know too much about the local side of things if I’m honest, we’re quite new to the area so I’m not an expert on local needs. I can only really comment on what I think nationally.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

Yeah, I think they do because people often vote or won’t vote according to whether they like the personalities and I can’t say I particularly like Jeremy Corbyn, but I think that the policies are probably more in line with what I think.

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

I don’t think we should leave, I’m a Remainer.

David McFarlin, 75, is a retired civil servant from Radcliffe-On-Trent.

Who do you plan to vote for?

Labour, I don’t want the Conservatives to win.

What is the most important issue for you nationally?

The EU, leaving the EU, it’s a big mistake. I want to remain in the EU. If things are looking bad, I may even vote for the Liberal Democrats as they could get in here.

What is the most important issue for you locally?

House building in Radcliffe, they’re building on green-belt land and they shouldn’t be doing it.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

The Liberal Democrats party leader, unfortunately, she’s like a one-man-band, that’s all you hear about her. The Labour Party have lots of different people and similarly with the Tory party, but I don’t like Boris Johnson.

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

Well of course if we get a coalition, if the Liberal Democrats get involved, then they want to stay in, and if Labour wins then we’ll have another referendum – which either way, there’s a chance we might still stay in. I’m against leaving the EU, I think it’ll be a disaster for this country.

Lauren Shore, 23, is a civil engineer.

Who do you plan to vote for?

Ok, that’s a tricky one. I’m torn between Green and the Liberal Democrats and that’s because I’m very passionate about the environment right now, but I’m concerned that the Green party hasn’t been taking into consideration other factors apart from the environment, so the Liberal Democrats seem like a happy medium right now. I don’t really want Brexit so that’s why I’m going for that side rather than the conservative side.

What is the most important issue for you nationally?

Definitely Brexit, I think it’s probably up there.

What is the most important issue for you locally?

Probably the environment. I know that’s quite a national issue as well but just locally how we can improve public transport to help the environment.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

Massive. For example, if Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t the leader of the Labour party, I might be swayed to go for them, but I really don’t like him.

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

I think another referendum, bring it back to the people. It’s been too long now, the original one is a bit void, so bring it back to the people.

Darren, 56, is a former garage owner.

Who do you plan to vote for?

Conservative.

What do you feel is the biggest issue for you both locally and nationally?

I’ve lived under both the Labour government and Conservative governments. Up until last year, I was a business owner and I’ve always been better off under the Tories. I believe it is the only way to go for my daughter, my granddaughter and my grandson. I don’t want anyone like Corbyn in – it’s a wasted vote.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

I think Boris Johnson, regardless of the skeletons in his cupboard, is alright. The students who are voting for Jeremy Corbyn should think back to what he promised them last time – how’s he going to give £20,000 to each of them, he’s already nearly four billion pounds over budget. Other than what the country gets from taxes, where’s he getting the money from?

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

We need to come out. Personally, I’d come straight out [without a deal]. There’s no need for a second vote, we’ve voted once and if they can’t take the people’s opinions the first time, what’s to say they’ll take it the second time. Do people realise what a tax burden that is to organise another election?

 

Paul Wilson, 65, is a charity bid writer from West Bridgford.

Who do you plan to vote for?

Probably Labour as I’m fearful of the alternatives.

What is the most important issue for you nationally?

It all boils down to Brexit personally for me.

What is the most important issue for you locally?

Again, it all stems from Brexit, we need to deal with that first before we can deal with local issues. Yes, I have a concern about the NHS and an absolute fear of the government under Boris Johnson.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

I really think we’ve fallen foul of a political spectacle and I have very little belief in the leaders. I would prefer a Labour government under Keir Starmer. I’ve not been happy with Corbyn’s equivocation over Brexit, as one does believe that he is personally on the leave side and I’m very much remain, and I think that is the position of Labour party members.

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

Absolutely yes (to remaining in the EU) and I believe that be the Labour party’s view too, as an international socialist, I think Corbyn has become overly confused with those people who have a kind of culturally engendered belief that if you have a blue-collar job then you have to inherently vote Labour even though I believe many of those people have a political world view that is actually closer to nationalism which is why they want to leave and I find that slightly disturbing.

Roger, 63, is a retired bishop.

Who do you plan to vote for?

I shall be voting Liberal Democrats. I’m afraid, well first of all, I’ve always voted liberal democrats and secondly, I’m feeling that they’re the party that will deal with Brexit, the ‘B’ word.

What is the most important issue for you nationally?

Brexit I suppose is, I wish to remain in Europe but also political integrity.

What is the most important issue for you locally?

I haven’t lived in the area long enough to know.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

I’m sure they have a primary role because they’re the spokespeople for their parties, they command the media attention. They create the image.

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

I suppose another people’s referendum. I don’t think it should have gone to the people in the first place, but that’s because I believe we are a parliamentary democracy, and we should have referenda.

 

Matthew Price, 42, is on a sabbatical.

Who do you plan to vote for?

I’ve done my postal vote, I voted Labour which I don’t normally do but I’m so dismayed at what’s going on in this country at the moment with Brexit and stuff, I am voting tactically to make sure the Conservatives don’t have an overall majority.

What is the most important issue for you nationally?

I think it’s the division in the country and this whole Brexit debate which has got completely out of control. It needs sorting and I think the best way of dealing with that is putting it back to the people because the vote that people cast in 2016 was based on a lot of myth, an uninformed vote. I’ve heard plenty of people that have said “oh I got that wrong”, I don’t think I’ve heard many people say “oh I was remain before, now let’s get out” you know.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

I think it’s pretty significant, I think it’s more of a national conversation with this election than the local issues, so I think that therefore the leaders for me are pivotal.

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

Well I’d personally like it to be cancelled but realising that we live in a democracy and there’s far more fact now about the consequences that have emerged, a sensible thing to do would be to put it back to a people’s vote and then on that basis we have to stick by whatever happens, but I can believe we would vote to go again.

 

Charlotte, 24, is a private school tutor.

Who do you plan to vote for?

I’m probably going to vote Labour. I know that Labour are generally for the poor. I’m only young so I’ve not got a huge amount in the bank. They are also for saving the NHS.

What do you feel is the most important issue for you both locally and nationally?

I don’t want them to up tax anymore. I think the NHS is a big one, especially as in the Olympics the opening ceremony was all about how unique it is – so to get rid of it would be awful, I think.

Do you think the party leaders play a big part in the way people vote?

I don’t really know. I don’t tend to vote for the leader of the party, I tend to vote for the policies they are saying and the parties’ overview rather than individuals themselves.

How would you like to see the issue of Brexit resolved?

I don’t know, I don’t really understand much about Brexit. It’s been going on for so long that I’ve stopped listening to it I’m going to be honest.