Once marginal Waveney looks safe for the Conservatives in 2019 General Election
PUBLISHED: 07:30 04 December 2019
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Waveney is a seat that has been held by both the Conservatives and Labour at different times over the last 25 years – but these days is not really considered a key marginal.
Most of the seat is made up of Suffolk's second largest town, Lowestoft, but it also includes the nearby market towns of Beccles and Bungay.
Key issues in Waveney:
Port-related problems: Lowestoft was traditionally a fishing port, and this industry has declined significantly over the years. It is now becoming a significant port for supplying and maintaining offshore energy production - an industry many are relying on to bring prosperity to the area.
Transport: This area is Britain's most easterly point and the road and rail links are not great - they are slow whether you are heading south towards London or west towards the midlands. There are also problems with getting around Lowestoft which could be eased by the construction of a third crossing - but negotiations about that have taken much longer than expected.
Tourism: With miles of sandy beaches and its position as the gateway to the Suffolk and Norfolk Broads, Waveney has much to offer people looking for a long holiday or a short visits. Whoever is MP will be expected to support these efforts.
The downside of a large tourist industry is that many jobs are seasonal. What can be done to ensure there is enough work for people throughout the year?
Poverty: Within Lowestoft, as in other large coastal towns around the country, there are significant problems with poverty and homelessness - the large number of Bed and Breakfast establishments that are no longer used by families on holiday has fuelled this increase. What can be done to address this problem?
Who is standing?
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Peter Aldous, Conservative MP since 2010. He has seen his majority rise significantly in recent polls.
Sonia Barker, Contested the seat for Labour in 2017 and is having another go at winning a seat in Westminster.
Helen Korfanty, Liberal Democrat - switched from Bury St Edmunds after an electoral pact with the Green Party lead to her standing down from that contest.
Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, Green Party county and district councillor from Beccles.
Dave Brennan is standing for the Christian People's Party.
Who will win in Waveney?
For many years this was seen as a key marginal seat - it was held by Labour between 1997 and 2010. But at the last general election the Conservative majority leapt from 2,400 to more than 9,000 and only the most optimistic Labour voter thinks they have a chance here this time.
The seat has been off the main politicians' tour itinerary this time, leaving all the parties to tackle an essentially local campaign.
The Liberal Democrats have never really made much of an impression in this constituency and it is difficult to see why that should change.
And while Ms Brambley-Crawshaw has a strong powerbase in Beccles and the surrounding area, the main aim of The Green Party in this campaign will be trying to retain their deposit.
Mr Aldous' main threat in this fiercely anti-EU seat had been seen to be coming from The Brexit Party - but they withdrew from the contest during the early days of the campaign leaving him with what looks like a clear run back to Westminster.
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