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Reporter election poll shows main parties are neck-and-neck

PUBLISHED: 16:35 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 23 August 2010

BIG CHOICE: Labour candidate Kathryn Smith

BIG CHOICE: Labour candidate Kathryn Smith

RESIDENTS are split in their support for the two major political parties in the forthcoming general election, an exclusive poll has revealed. A poll of 100 shoppers in Gravesend town centre discovered that loyalties are split, with both Conservative and

RESIDENTS are split in their support for the two major political parties in the forthcoming general election, an exclusive poll has revealed.

A poll of 100 shoppers in Gravesend town centre discovered that loyalties are split, with both Conservative and Labour candidates collecting just over a quarter of the votes.

Kathryn Smith, the Labour Party candidate, holds a slender advantage of just two per cent over Conservative incumbent, Adam Holloway.

Ms Smith said: "This reflects the views we are hearing on the doorstep.

"The next election will be a big choice about the future we want for Britain. When people take a long hard look at the Tory policies, they are worried. They are especially concerned that Tory plans for immediate cuts will damage the recovery, leading to more job losses and house repossessions."

Gravesham has traditionally been seen as an indicator of how the nation will vote, the 2005 election of a Tory candidate being a notable exception, and National polls indicate the gap between the Conservatives and Labour is narrowing.

In 2005 Adam Holloway defeated Labour MP Chris Pond by just 645 votes to take the seat.

George Munns, of Weavers Close, Gravesend believed that Mr Holloway was the right man to continue in charge.

"I'll be voting Conservative," he said. "I find Mr Holloway an extremely personal man so I will be voting to keep him in again."

Kate Bruce, 83, of Queen Street, Gravesend said: "I was brought up on Labour, and that is who I will be sticking with.

"I think they have been doing a good job, certainly better than the lot who were in before them."

Raj Bholoa, Hampton Crecent, Gravesend, said: "I have always voted Labour and I will be again. Gordon Brown has done alright considering the mess the country has been in.

"As well as that we have got a war going on which I think he is doing the best he can with so I will be voting for him."

The poll revealed that almost a quarter of people were still undecided and it is these 'floating votes' that candidates will be hoping to secure in the coming three months before election day, which must be before June 3.

Anna Arrowsmith, the new Liberal Democrat candidate said: "Well I would say that those 22 'not sures' are saying I do want to vote, but I don't really know who to vote for and that is exactly where I come in.

"People often discount the Lib Dems but we have been here since the Gladstone years and I think people will hear a lot more of us in the coming months."

Other votes went to the UK Independence party, whose candidate Geoffrey Clark collected three and a single vote for a coalition government.

PartyNumber of Votes

Conservatives26

Labour28

Lib Dems8

Ukip3

Not Sure23

Won't vote12

The 2005 general election

Adam Holloway, Conservative 19,73943.7%

Chris Pond, Labour 19,08542.2%

Bruce Parmenter, Liberal Democrat 4,85110.7%

Geoff Coates, UK Independence Party 8501.9%

Christopher Nickerson, English Independent 6541.4%

Others

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