IT IS now less than five weeks to the general election and if you believe the polls, no one really knows who is going to win.
It certainly seems that whoever does win will not have an overall majority and may have to once again be forced to create a coalition Government.
In East Worthing and Shoreham, there is a pretty good selection of candidates to choose from. So far, six candidates have been declared, seeking election to represent us at Westminster.
Tim Loughton has represented us since 1997 and is defending a 22.9 per cent majority, suggesting that this could be a safe seat. In 2010, the Liberal Democrats were in second place, ousting the Labour Party from the position they had held since 2001. UKIP, of course, has not really featured in the equation in past general elections.
Only last week, the Lib Dems came up with a master plan by appointing the former mayor of Worthing and current town crier, Bob Smytherman, as their candidate (see more on page 5). This was after the ‘now you see me now you don’t’ candidate Jemima Bland vanished off the face of the earth, well, went to Australia.
We should not underestimate the growth of support for UKIP. As the second biggest party in West Sussex and with six members on Adur District Council, it must be the official opposition. Mike Glennon, leader of UKIP in West Sussex, stood in 2010 and received just under 3,000 votes, putting him in fourth place.
An interesting choice for the Green Party is James Doyle, who fought the 2010 election as the Lib Dem candidate and took second place with just over 12,000 votes.
Not much is said about Tim Macpherson in his Labour Party election leaflet and he will have a hard act to follow after the much-publicised Emily Benn, granddaughter of Tony Benn, stood in the 2010 election, achieving third place with 8,000 votes.
Carl Walker is standing for National Health Action. I know little of Mr Walker or what he is standing for, but I wish him luck.
Adur has a long history of ‘fringe’ candidates. In 2010, we had Clive Maltby from English Democrats, who achieved 389 votes. In 2005, Chris Baldwin was popular with Legalise Cannabis, receiving 677 votes, but in 2001, when he stood previously, he received 920 votes (perhaps five years later, the good people of East Worthing and Shoreham went off the idea of smoking cannabis!). In 1997, the Referendum Party had a candidate, James McCulloch, who received 1,683 votes.
It doesn’t matter how you vote, the important thing is to vote. Good luck to all the candidates. I look forward to receiving leaflets and door knocks!