Chance to quiz candidate you want as the next MP

Current MP John Hayes (centre) at the Tory Party campaign launch at Spalding Constitutional Club. SG020415-123TW
Current MP John Hayes (centre) at the Tory Party campaign launch at Spalding Constitutional Club. SG020415-123TW

The countdown has begun to the Lincolnshire Free Press/Spalding Guardian Election 2015 debate.

Residents will have the opportunity to question their next MP on the biggest issues facing South Holland and the Deepings in a Question Time-style debate at the South Holland Centre in Spalding on Thursday, April 23.

Liberal Democrat candidate George Smid in Spalding.

Liberal Democrat candidate George Smid in Spalding.

Campaigning has now begun but the hustings debate will be your opportunity to see all of the candidates in the spotlight.

Current MP, Tory John Hayes (56), has held his seat in the House of Commons since the 1997 elections.

On Polling Day, May 7, he is being challenged by Labour’s Matthew Mahabadi (26), UKIP’s David Parsons, Liberal Democrat George Smid and the youngest candidate, Dan Wilshire (19).

They will go head-to head at the debate on local issues such as immigration, the NHS, transport, education and jobs – with the questions coming from you.

UKIP candidate David Parsons in Holbeach.  SG031214-123TW

UKIP candidate David Parsons in Holbeach. SG031214-123TW

Each candidate will give a one-minute opening statement before questions from the audience and others that have been submitted.

After each question, each candidate will have one minute to speak on it, before it is opened up for a free-flowing debate.

At the end of the questions, each candidate will give another brief statement on why residents in South Holland and the Deepings should vote for them.

Free seats for the debate were snapped up within days of being made available. But readers can still submit a question and follow the debate on Twitter @LincsFreePress #SHDElectionsLive

Labour candidate Matthew Mahabadi in Market Deeping.

Labour candidate Matthew Mahabadi in Market Deeping.

If you wish to put a question to the candidates, please fill in the form in today’s Lincolnshire Free Press and return it to: Lincolnshire Free Press, Priory House, Spalding, PE11 1AB.

• There is still time to put forward nominations for the South Holland District Council elections.

Nomination papers are available from the SHDC offices in Priory Road, or online at www.electoralcommission.org.uk

The deadline to hand them in is 4pm on Thursday, April 9. 
Nomination papers must be returned to the SHDC offices by hand.

Green Party candidate Dan Wilshire.

Green Party candidate Dan Wilshire.

It’s still not too late to register to vote.

A spokesman said: “Registering to vote will only take five minutes of your time and can be done online at www.gov.uk/
registertovote before the deadline of April 20.

“If you are unsure whether you are currently registered to vote contact us on 01775 761161. For further information about the local elections email elections@sholland.gov.uk.”

Election counts will begin at Springfield’s Events and Conference Centre on Polling Day and will continue into the following day.