The Blackpool battleground

Labour candidates out canvassing ahead of the 2015 local elections
Labour candidates out canvassing ahead of the 2015 local elections
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The last two local elections in Blackpool have seen fortunes reversed for both the main political parties as voters made their feelings known loud and clear at the ballot box.

In 2007 the Tories seized power from Labour, but it was their turn to lick their wounds last time round when Labour regained control.

Conservative candidates pictured outside Blackpool Town Hall

Conservative candidates pictured outside Blackpool Town Hall

The Conservatives had gone into the 2011 campaign with a majority of 12 seats on the council, but were left with only 14 seats as Labour took 27 and the Liberal Democrats were left with just a single seat.

There are two seats up for grabs in each of the 21 wards.

During the last four years there have been eight by-elections, three prompted by Labour councillors stepping down due to other commitments, and five sadly due to the deaths of councillors.

Labour have won seven of the by-elections, gaining one seat from the Conservatives, while the Conservatives held on to Waterloo at the most recent by-election last October.

UKIP have shown they are becoming a force to be reckoned with, with their candidate John Braithwaite only 34 votes behind the Tories at the Waterloo by-election.

The party is contesting a number of wards and says its membership in Blackpool stands at about 250 compared to 49 in August last year.

Peter Wood, who is contesting Blackpool South for UKIP in the Parliamentary elections, said: “We’ve got real people, not politicians, standing for us so they are all people who are passionate about their areas.”

But Labour group leader Simon Blackburn today said he was “cautiously optimistic” his party would still be in charge after May 7. He said: “I am very pleased with the progress of our campaign, and the response from the electorate, who are very enthusiastic.

“There is a real sense of anger with the current Government – which is borne out by the fact local Conservatives are distancing themselves from their party, in their literature and on the doorstep.

“With 10 days to go, I am cautiously optimistic about our prospects, both locally and nationally.”

The Conservatives’ mantra is that they will “fix” Blackpool and put local issues first.

Conservative group leader Tony Williams said: “Conservatism in Blackpool has changed. We are no longer a solely politically-driven party.

“Our commitment and mission is to fix Blackpool and help everyone to enjoy living, working and visiting our great town. Conservative-run wards in Blackpool are cleaner, greener, safer and healthier places to live.

“We want to extend those factors to all areas of the town and take everyone away from the years of misery, failure and disappointment we have seen throughout the Labour years.”

The Liberal Democrats held on to only one seat in 2011, with Douglas Green representing Squires Gate.

They are hoping to do better this time round, and say they will help build a “fairer society” with education, the economy and the environment at the heart of their campaign.

A spokesman for the Blackpool and Cleveleys branch of the Liberal Democrats said: “Blackpool Promenade needs regenerating. We will use the £14m recently announced for a new hotel and instead use the money to regenerate the hotels and guest houses we already have. This will attract more visitors to Blackpool and it will strengthen our local economy.”

The Green Party is fielding six candidates, while other groups represented include Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts.

There are also a number of independent candidates including tattoo artist ‘Jaguar Man’ otherwise known as Artur Mrozowski – who hit the headlines when he attempted to sell his skin online – who is contesting Claremont.

Your Candidates:

Clifton

John Braithwaite - UKIP

Adrian Hutton and Luke Taylor - Labour

Bev Ramsden and Phil Ramsden - Conservative

Ingthorpe

Amy Cross and Kath Rowson - Labour

Michael Dillon and Mathew Morris - Conservative

Susan Howlett - UKIP

Bispham

Sandra Braithwaite - UKIP

Don Clapham and Colin Maycock - Conservative

John Hawkins-Arkwright and Nita Sproston - Labour

Gordon Sinclair - The Green Party

Highfield

Graham Baker and Lily Henderson - Conservative

Peter Hunter and James Sorah - Labour

Lee White - UKIP

Victoria

Mark Courtney Massey and Tony Jones - Conservative

Gina Eastwood - The Green Party

Fred Jackson and David Owen - Labour

Terry Knight - UKIP

Park

Gillian Campbell and Maria Kirkland - Labour

Brian Coope and Karen Coope - Conservative

John Bebbington - UKIP

Layton

Kathryn Benson and Martin Mitchell - Labour

John Ridyard and Sue Ridyard - Conservative

Philip Watt - TUSC

Steve Werry - UKIP

Marton

Jim Elmes and Vikki Singleton - Labour

Roger Stansfield and Duncan Whitehead - Conservative

Paul Nield - UKIP

Talbot

Johdan Braithwaite - UKIP

Ian Coleman and Mark Smith - Labour

Billy Coughlin and Charlie Docherty - Conservative

Stephen Troy - TUSC

Anchorsholme

Jon Bamborough and Jane Hugo - Labour

Paul Galley and Tony Williams - Conservative

Jaqueline Sidwell - UKIP

Squires Gate

Alistair Humphreys and Ben Singleton - Labour

Christian Cox and Gerard Walsh - Conservative

Douglas Green and Bill Greene - Lib Dem

Paul White - UKIP

Stanley

Martin Bleeker - UKIP

Irene Greene - Lib Dem

Pamela Jackson and Robert Wood - Labour

Jason Roberts and Andrew Stansfield - Conservative

Tyldesley

Eddie Collett and Allan Matthews - Labour

Moira Graham and Adam McCance - Conservative

Paul Hindley - Lib Dem

Kim Knight - UKIP

Mark Tugwood - Independent

Greenlands

Angela Brown and Vince McNulty - Conservative

Danny Fox - UKIP

Chris Ryan and Christine Wright - Labour

Brunswick

Simon Blackburn and Gary Coleman - Labour

Joey Blower and Shirley Cantrell - Conservative

Colin Porter and Joanna Trafford - UKIP

Marek Radomski

Bloomfield

Phill Armstrong - The Green Party

Liam Bleeker - UKIP

Graham Cain and John Jones - Labour

Mandy Cunliffe and Annemarie Slack - Conservative

Olga Krzyzaniak

Claremont

Fred Barnes and Geraldine Brown - Conservative

Sue Close - Lib Dem

Alex Ewan - UKIP

Jaguar Man

Garry Richardson - The Green Party

Ivan Taylor and Lynn Williams - Labour

Hawes Side

Debbie Brailsford and Barry Wells - UKIP

Debbie Coleman and Kim Critchley - Labour

Vicky Cunningham and Andy Miller - Conservative

Norbreck

Neal Brookes and Rex Langford - Labour

Peter Callow and Maxine Callow - Conservative

Catherine Grimbilakos - UKIP

Warbreck

Kevan Benfold Lib Dem

Tony Brown and Danny Scott - Conservative

David Collett and Matthew Haynes - Labour

Warwick Howlett - UKIP

Kathryn Sinclair - The Green Party

Waterloo

Julie Daniels - The Green Party

David O’Hara and Heather O’Hara - Labour

Derek Robertson and Barry Vernon - Conservative

Spencer Shackleton - UKIP

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