Just one more day of campaigning before voters decide political fate of Mid Bedfordshire

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Voters go to the polls on Thursday (19 October) to choose who will succeed controversial Conservative MP Nadine Dorries as Mid Bedfordshire MP.

There are 13 candidates contesting the parliamentary by-election in her old constituency, which covers several small towns and rural areas.

Ms Dorries won the Mid Bedfordshire seat with a majority of 24,664 in 2019, having been elected five times as the local MP since 2005.

The outcome is expected to be keenly scrutinised as a key indicator towards voting patterns ahead of the next general election, which could be less than a year away.

With Ms Dorries delaying her eventual formal resignation from Parliament, campaigning has been taking place either online or on the doorstep since early summer.

That has added to the speculation around the likely result, with no shortage of names on the ballot paper for local residents to consider.

Festus Akinbusoye is the Conservative Party candidate, Sid Cordle is representing The Christian People’s Alliance, Dave Holland contests the seat for Reform UK, and Emma Holland-Lindsay is standing for the Liberal Democrats.

Ann Kelly represents the Monster Raving Loony Party, Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India stands as an Independent candidate, Gareth Mackey is also an Independent, while Chris Rooney is from the Mainstream Party.

Cade Sibley is standing for the Green Party, Alistair Strathern represents the Labour Party, Alberto Thomas is the Heritage Party candidate, Alan Victor is contesting for the True and Fair Party, and Antonio Vitiello is from the English Democrats Party.

The Mid Bedfordshire constituency includes the Bedford borough wards of Turvey, Wilshamstead and Wootton.

Among the Central Bedfordshire wards represented are Ampthill, Barton-le-Clay, Flitwick, Shefford, Toddington and Woburn.

The by-election was triggered after Ms Dorries completed her formal resignation in August, having initially announced her intention to stand down as an MP with immediate effect on June 9.

She delayed vacating her seat to receive information from the government as to why her name was left off former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list. It was expected Ms Dorries would be made a peer by Mr Johnson.

Pressure had been increasing on the former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to formally resign from Parliament. More than 80,000 people signed a public petition calling for a change in the law that would force a by-election.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, with the counting of votes due to start shortly afterwards and expected to be completed in the early hours of Friday.

by Euan Duncan
Local Democracy Reporter

 
 
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