The next general election will take place on Thursday 7th May 2015, and this last week has seen the parties gearing up to battle for the North West Hampshire seat that covers Andover. This has, in the past, been a safe Conservative seat looked after by Sir George Young, who is set to retire next year.
In the summer of 2014, Conservative, Kit Malthouse, was announced as the candidate for the area and has, since then, been a firm presence at local events and businesses. Kit is the Conservative London Assembly Member for West Central. He is also the Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, responsible for economic development, regeneration, trade and science policy, and is chair of London & Partners, the Mayor’s international promotional and investment agency. Kit is relocating to the Andover area and has secured a property in Abbotts Ann.
UKIP last week announced Diane James as their Parliamentary Candidate for the area. She previously worked in the healthcare sector for more than 30 years, setting up her own international consultancy business. She came second in the Eastleigh by-election, 2013, receiving 27.8% of the vote. She was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. Diane lives in Surrey and visited Andover the week prior to being announced as the UKIP candidate.
The Liberal Democrat candidate has been announced as Alex Payton, following a vote at Andover’s Guildhall last week. Alex is a barrister and resides in Newbury. A councillor in Newbury, Alex has also held a councillor position in Thatcham, as well as a mayoral position. Alex ran as the Havant Liberal Democrat candidate for the general election in 2010. He came second to the conservative candidate.
The Labour Candidate for North West Hampshire is Andrew Adams from Micheldever. Andy represents his community in various ways including Sovereign Housing’s Hampshire Regional Panel and as a charity Trustee.