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Voters in South Holland and the Deepings urged to turn out and cast their vote in the 2024 General Election

Voters are heading to the polls today (Thursday) – as the race to pick the next MP now rests in the hands of the public.

While national media might write off South Holland and the Deepings as the safest Conservative seat in the country, that’s purely based on the past, with the future yet to be written.

Nationally and locally, no results are set in stone and this paper is calling on all of our readers to use their hard-won right to vote, in whichever way they see fit.

Polling stations, such as this one at Pinchbeck Village Hall, are open from 7am until 10pm
Polling stations, such as this one at Pinchbeck Village Hall, are open from 7am until 10pm

Six men are now vying to represent the constituency in Parliament – and representatives from all sides are also calling on the public not to miss out on the chance to have their say – ignoring the polls and pundits and making their own mind up.

Yesterday we reported how voters here are feeling ‘frustrated’, ‘bored’, ‘confused’ and undecided about the General Election – showing that candidates still have last-minute work to do to ‘get the vote out’.

Parts of this area have had just two MPs since 1966, and just three since 1937, with Sir Herbert Butcher and Sir Richard Body overseeing the then-Holland with Boston seat before Sir John Hayes was elected.

Between 1983 and 1997, Spalding was part of the Stamford and Spalding seat, held by Sir Kenneth Lewis and Quentin Davies. Sir John has held the South Holland and the Deepings seat since it was created in 1997.

The long-serving Conservative faces a challenge from Rhys Baker (Green), Jack Braginton (Liberal Democrat), Paul Hilliar (Labour), Mark Le Sage (Independent) and Matthew Swainson (Reform UK). Turnout in 2019 was just 64.7% – with more than a third of the electorate not having their voice heard.

In his last pitch for voters, Sir John said residents need someone who is ‘dedicated locally and credible nationally’ adding: “I know too that to make a real difference an MP needs the Parliamentary skills and knowledge to make those in power listen, just as I did in winning £62 million of Conservative government funding for our area.

“I ask for your vote now to deploy my skills, drawing on my experience, in continuing my work for all of you.”

Independent Mark Le Sage said: “Be part of the history that will rewrite the political map. Every great journey starts with the first step, its time for a new breed of politician.

“Use your voice, use your vote, vote for change or it'll stay the same. July 4th is Independent Day.”

Labour’s Paul Hilliar added: “Change will only come if you vote it. If you think our area needs a total reset, only Labour can be that change.”

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm. More information about where to vote can be found at www.sholland.gov.uk/GeneralElection. Details on acceptable ID are available at www.electoralcommission.org.uk

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