GENERAL ELECTION: Make sure you have your say in key seat

Voters are going to the polls today in the 2015 General Election.
Voters are going to the polls today in the 2015 General Election.

Come tomorrow, the Berwick constituency will have its first new MP in more than 40 years.

Liberal Democrat Sir Alan Beith MP has stepped down after serving since he was first elected at a by-election in 1973.

Anyone eligible to vote should do so as a matter of course, but if you needed any more encouragement, then the fact that the seat is a key marginal is surely a good reason, particularly in what is likely to be the closest-fought outcome in a generation.

The outcome in Berwick is still too close to call for the pollsters, with the Conservatives looking to wrest it from Lib Dem control, but the electors voting today look very likely to return just the constituency’s second-ever female MP.

Those standing for election today are: Nigel Coghill-Marshall (Ukip), Scott Dickinson (Labour), Neil Humphrey (English Democrats), Julie Pörksen (Liberal Democrat), Rachael Roberts (Green) and Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative).

If you are still unsure of who to vote for, then the Gazette has published five video interviews with all six candidates answering questions from readers. Plus, the six shared their three key priorities for the constituency if elected.

The count takes place tomorrow, starting at 9am, with a result expected two to three hours in. Follow the Gazette website and social-media outlets for updates.

Northumberland County Council is also urging residents to turn out to vote today.

Voting is a right that so many of us take for granted in this country. Almost 100 years ago, women didn’t have the right to vote and people died fighting for the privilege to place their cross on a piece of paper. Now fewer than six out of every 10 people eligible to vote bother.

Today, 285 polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm across the county providing the opportunity for the public to vote.

Over recent weeks, polling cards have been sent to residents through the post informing them of their elector number and their polling station. It is helpful if this is brought along when you vote, but it is certainly not essential, so if you’ve mislaid it, you can still vote, as long as you are registered and eligible.