ELECTIONS: Hundreds attend Yeovil hustings at The Gateway

ELECTIONS: Hundreds attend Yeovil hustings at The Gateway

IF people were undecided about which candidate to vote for at the General Election in the Yeovil constituency – they might be more clearer now following last night’s (Tuesday, May 5, 2015) hustings event at The Gateway.

The five candidates in the Yeovil election – Marcus Fysh, Sheena King, David Laws, Emily McIvor and Simon Smedley – went head-to-head last night at a packed Gateway where several hundred people attended to hear the views of those vying to become the constituency’s MP.ELECTIONS: Hundreds attend Yeovil hustings at The Gateway

Voters go to the polls tomorrow (Thursday, May 7, 2015) in what has been described as the most important General Election for decades.

David Laws will be looking for a fourth straight election victory in Yeovil for the Liberal Democrats, but will come under pressure from the Conservative candidate Marcus Fysh.

What could be crucial in the outcome is the number of votes gained by Labour’s Sheena King, UKIP’s Simon Smedley and Green Party’s Emily McIvor or will there be tactical voting in which those voters try to keep Mr Laws in the seat in order to keep the Conservatives out or vice versa.

Around 400 people attended last night’s hustings event at The Gateway in Yeovil which had been organised by the town's churches.

The candidates were posed a number of varied questions from the audience about issues including education, defence, foreign aid, housing, mental health, population growth and public transport.ELECTIONS: Hundreds attend Yeovil hustings at The Gateway

PHOTO – TOP: The Yeovil hustings last night at The Gateway with (from left) Emily McIvor (Green Party); David Laws (Liberal Democrats); James Cary (chairman of the debate); Sheena King (Labour); Simon Smedley (UK Independence Party) and Marcus Fysh (Conservative). Photo courtesy of Jenny Miles-Byrd.

PHOTO – RIGHT: Voters will go to the polls tomorrow (Thursday, May 7, 2015) with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm.

Marcus Fysh told the audience that “Britain was on its knees” when the Conservatives first took power five years ago, but his party was sorting out the economy and creating more jobs. “We want to continue that job,” he said.

Sheena King said Labour wanted to look after the “weakest and most vulnerable” members of society.

David Laws said it was going to be the most important election for “30-40 years” for the future of the UK and for the nation’s future in the European Union.ELECTIONS: Hundreds attend Yeovil hustings at The Gateway

Emily McIvor said the Green Party was “breaking through” and that they wanted to create a "fairer and safer world."

Simon Smedley said UKIP wanted to push ahead and have a referendum on the European Union.

Those in the audience will have formed their own opinions as to which candidate performed best on the night and some may have decided for the first time in the 2015 campaign on who they will put their X next to come tomorrow’s election.

But not everyone.

“I’ve no idea,” said one member of the audience when asked while leaving The Gateway at the end of the proceedings.

And not everyone was apparently engrossed by what was being said during the debate with the sound of snoring coming from one section of the crowd with a man soundly asleep.

Credit should go, however, to James Cary, a member of St   John’s Church in Yeovil, who expertly chaired the debate with fairness and good humour. He was probably the actual winner on the night.