Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Voters at polls in delayed election

Voters will finally go to the polls in the delayed Thirsk and Malton election

Voters will finally go to the polls in the delayed Thirsk and Malton election - three weeks after the rest of the country voted in the General Election.

Polling in the North Yorkshire constituency was postponed from May 6 following the death in April of the UK Independence Party candidate, John Boakes.

Under electoral law, polling day has to be put back if any of the candidates die after the close of nominations.

The newly created seat is widely regarded as safe Tory territory having been created from two former Conservative held seats - Ryedale and Vale of York.

The Tory candidate Anne McIntosh, the previous MP for Vale of York, is the favourite, with a notional majority of more than 14,000.

The advent of the new coalition Government has not, however, prevented a fierce local challenge from the Liberal Democrats with the party's candidate, Howard Keal, vowing a "full-on fight".

A Lib Dem victory would require an estimated swing in excess of 16%.

However, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg will be anxious to secure a good showing - a collapse in support could suggest a worrying lack of backing for the new coalition among previous Lib Dem voters.

Labour, who were notionally in second place and would require an estimated 13% swing to take the seat, will also be looking for signs of an early bounce-back following their general election defeat which would put pressure on the coalition.

The candidates are John Clark (Liberal Party), Toby Horton (Ukip), Howard Keal (Lib Dem), Anne McIntosh (Conservative), Jonathan Roberts (Labour).

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