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Last chance for candidates to woo readers

PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 May 2010 | UPDATED: 11:41 23 August 2010

A curious meerkat is pictured on April 29, 2010, beside a plastic post box as part of a photocall at London Zoo to simulate the animals casting postal votes ahead of the May 6 general election in Britain. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

A curious meerkat is pictured on April 29, 2010, beside a plastic post box as part of a photocall at London Zoo to simulate the animals casting postal votes ahead of the May 6 general election in Britain. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

2010 AFP

FOR eight weeks your campaigning Reporter has given in depth analysis of the campaign trail. We covered hustings, attitudes to issues such as the Heritage Quarter development and asked for your views in the build up to the General Election. Notable po

FOR eight weeks your campaigning Reporter has given in depth analysis of the campaign trail.

We covered hustings, attitudes to issues such as the Heritage Quarter development and asked for your views in the build up to the General Election. Notable politicians such as Labour's Lord Adonis and Conservative David Davis have made appearances as the area came under scrutiny as a pivotal marginal seat. We also exclusively revealed porn director Anna Arrowsmith was standing as a Liberal Democrat candidate and was

featured on Nick Ferrari's LBC breakfast show due to our ongoing coverage. As the electorate head to polling stations across the borough your candidates have a final chance to lay out the reasons you should put a cross against their name.

LABOUR: Kathryn Smith

LABOUR'S manifesto is based on the three main challenges we face in our economy, our society and our politics.

Labour will rebuild the economy to secure the recovery and invest in future growth and jobs.

We will renew our society to further strengthen the communities that bind our country together and we will restore trust in politics with greater transparency and accountability in a system battered by the expenses scandal.

As your Labour candidate, I support the Cancer Guarantee to see a specialist within two weeks and get test results in a week.

I also support the guarantee that all young people will be offered an apprenticeship, college place, work or training and I promise to make a Sure Start Children's Centre available and within easy reach of every parent.

Labour policy will give every person the chance to save in a workplace pension with guaranteed

contributions from employers and we will provide help for the most difficult families to tackle persistent ant-social behaviour, truancy and crime that can blight

neighbourhoods.

All this is under threat if the Tories win.

I promise to be a hardworking and dedicated MP for Gravesham and I ask for your support.

Please vote Labour today.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT: Anna Arrowsmith

Why vote Liberal Democrat? Because we genuinely want to hand power back to you.

You have an opportunity to change the two party political structure into a more democratic three party system if you vote for us.

Your vote has never counted as much as it does now.

You can vote to increase your power as a voter, by voting for us.

No longer will there be corrupt MPs, as we will give you the right to sack them!

It is not fair that the poorest pay the most tax.

We will not tax anyone on the first £10K they earn, meaning the average person will pay £700 less tax per year.

We will invest in the NHS, put 3,000 more police on the streets and £2.5billion into our schools by cutting waste and scraping schemes like ID Cards and the renewal of Trident.

Vince Cable is the most respected economic mind in politics. Everything we offer is fully planned and costed. We offer a firm but fair

immigration policy which would mean Gravesham would get far fewer immigrants.

I am driven to fighting for the residents for Gravesham and

getting the job done!

UKIP: Geoffrey Clark

I am married and have a 14-year-old daughter. I am a consultant providing risk management and internal audit.

I am not a professional politician and as an internal auditor I have integrity, honesty and diligence.

As a risk manager I understand the risks facing our country.

Believing that the UK political process is being increasingly corrupted by the existing political class and also that membership of the EU is no longer in Britain's best interests, I joined UKIP.

Our aims are to introduce a 31 per cent flat tax rate, abolishing National Insurance and inheritance tax

Confront the threats to British culture of unlimited EU immigration, Turkey joining the EU and militant Islam with a five year freeze on immigration.

Repeal the Human Rights Act, leave the EU leaving them to suffer the tragedies which await us and an economic renaissance will follow and reform the political system

Locally, I would allow citizens to decide Kent and Gravesham budget cuts, fight the Thames Crossing at Higham, the new airport and the Heritage Quarter plans.

Usually Conservative in outlook, I believe in driving change quite hard where it is necessary.

I offer my services while I still have the brains and energy to contribute much.

GREEN PARTY: Richard Crawford

THE Green Party argues for government investment to create a million new jobs, mainly in the fields of house renovation and building (including new council houses), public transport, free social care, free home insulation, renewable energy, waste management, flood defence and drainage.

We want a more equal society where poorer people are better off.

This would include big increases in the state pension and child benefit, reintroducing the 10 per cent tax band and increasing the minimum wage.

We aim to reduce the country's borrowing faster than the government plans to. Paying for this will involve tax increases for the better-off, including a permanent special tax on bankers' bonuses, higher taxes on pollutants, combined with selected cuts, including big reductions in military spending, cancelling the ID card scheme and the new roads programme.

It's important to protect our public services, partly by reducing top earning public sector wages, thereby preventing job cuts.

Higher alcohol and tobacco taxes will fund increased expenditure on the NHS.

The Green Party would withdraw British troops from Afghanistan and operate an independent foreign policy, not subservient to the USA.

Recent high levels of immigration have been driven by our involvement in unnecessary wars, creating refugees and by our open door policy to EU citizens.

I'm in favour of withdrawal from the European Union.

INDEPENDENT: Alice Dartnell

AS MP, the people of Gravesham can trust me 100 per cent.

Myself, my family and friends are born and bred in Gravesham, so I understand what it is like to live here, unlike the other candidates. I will make myself accessible to all, not use confusing political terms and publicly display my expenses.

My policies are based on 'intervention and prevention', the idea that problems can often be averted with forward planning, looking into long-term consequences, locally and nationally.

The best way to deter crime is more police on the street. Furthermore, early education into the options in life providing alternatives for teenagers to avoid 'boredom' can help reduce mindless crimes.

The government needs to stop focusing on league tables and start concentrating on the pupils. There needs to emphasis on vocational courses rather than just university.

I support a more thorough sex education in schools and lessons in basic life skills such as how to avoid debt and understanding banking terms such as APR.

Educating children about the importance of health before it becomes a problem is the solution to issues such as obesity

Gravesham is a beautifully historic town and future developments need to take this into consideration.

Long-term consideration and environmental impacts need to be looked at in line with Gravesham's growth.

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