Flurry of late candidates

LAST minute nominations and candidates deciding not to stand brought an element of surprise across Suffolk and Essex as the final line-ups for the General Election on May 5 were revealed.

By Graham Dines

LAST minute nominations and candidates deciding not to stand brought an element of surprise across Suffolk and Essex as the final line-ups for the General Election on May 5 were revealed.

In Harwich, an Independent Christopher Humphrey of Clacton-on-Sea handed in his £500, the price for standing at the election, while in Braintree, Michael `Buster' Nolan - who in 2001 stood for the Cannabis Alliance - also put his name forward.

The English Democrats decided not to field a candidate in Essex North, while Robert Kilroy-Silk's Veritas Party changed its mind and was absent from the verified list of candidates in Chelmsford West.


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In Braintree - the second most Labour held seat in Britain, with a wafer thin majority of 358 - there will be six candidates. Conservative Brooks Newmark needs a swing of just 0.36% to defeat Labour's Alan Hurst, who has been MP since 1997 for a constituency which also coves Witham, Finchingfield, Coggleshall, Kelvedon and Earls Colne.

Harwich, another highly marginal Labour seat which also includes Clacton-on-Sea, Frinton, Jaywick and Thorpe-le-Soken in its boundaries, will also have six candidates, including a representative of Respect, the anti-Iraq War coalition formed by maverick former Labour MP George Galloway.

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The United Kingdom Independence Party is fighting all seven seats in Suffolk and the majority in Essex. One exception is Colchester, where the party put up one of its worst performances in 2001, polling just 1.4% of the total vote.

The Greens have candidates in Braintree, Waveney, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Coastal and Suffolk Central & Ipswich North, while the English Democrats - campaigning for an English Parliament to counter devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - have entered the lists in Ipswich and Saffron Walden.

There is an Independent standing in Ipswich. Sally Wainman who is fighting on a platform to save Broomhill outdoor swimming pool - "a local issue of national importance."

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