100 days until General Election: Issues that matter to Gazette readers

The General Election takes place on Thursday, May 7.

The General Election takes place on Thursday, May 7.

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Today marks 100 days until the General Election which will deliver a new MP for north Northumberland for the first time in more than 40 years.

Liberal Democrat MP for the Berwick constituency, Sir Alan Beith, who was first elected in November 1973, will stand down ahead of the election on Thursday, May 7.

His party successor, Julie Pörksen, is one of four candidates bidding to take the seat, which is already attracting media attention. Joining her on the ballot paper so far will be Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative), Scott Dickinson (Labour) and Nigel Coghill-Marshall (Ukip). The newly-formed constituency Green Party also plans to put up a candidate.

To mark the 100-days-to-go point, we commissioned a survey to find out what our readers thought about the election and the issues that matter to them.

More than 100 Gazette readers responded and of this sample, 65 per cent thought David Cameron would become Prime Minister again, although only 36 per cent wanted him to be. Twenty-eight per cent thought Ed Miliband would be in charge come May, one per cent Nick Clegg and six per cent Nigel Farage.

However, Mr Farage was the second most popular choice for the top job with 23 per cent, one point ahead of Mr Miliband, who was trailed by Natalie Bennett (13 per cent) and Nick Clegg (one per cent).

In terms of the issues that would have the biggest bearing on how readers might vote, health policy came out on top with 73 per cent followed by immigration policy with 58 per cent. Other important issues included education, welfare and support for the elderly.

See Thursday’s Northumberland Gazette for the current candidates sharing their views on health and immigration.