The battle lines are drawn: General election candidates are formally announced

The battle lines have been drawn and the fight for votes is heating up as political hopefuls embark on their final few weeks of campaigning.

Friday, 10th April 2015, 4:08 pm

Parliamentary candidates had until yesterday afternoon (Thursday) to hand in their nomination papers to run for the position of MP.

In Hemel Hempstead there are six hopefuls vying for votes. They are: Mike Penning for the Conservative Party, Tony Breslin for Labour, Liberal Democrat Rabi Martins, Alan Borgars from The Green Party, UKIP’s Howard Koch and independent candidate Brian Hall.

Mr Penning has been the town’s MP since 2005 after defeating Labour’s Tony McWalter - he won the seat by 499 votes.

In the South West Herts constituency, which covers Berkhamsted and Tring, there are also six candidates standing.

They are: Conservative David Gauke, Simon Diggins for Labour, Liberal Democrat Nigel Quinton, Charlotte Pardy for The Green Party, UKIP’s Mark Anderson and Graham Cartmell is standing for the Common Sense Party.

Here, Mr Gauke has held the seat since 2005. Previously Richard Page, also Tory, represented the area.

The General Election is being held on Thursday, May 7. On the same day borough, town and parish elections will be held in Dacorum.

There is still time to register to vote - the deadline is Monday, April 20.

Register online at or call electoral services on 01442 228071.

>The Berkhamsted Citizens Association is planning its traditional hustings event so that the town’s people can question and challenge their candidates ahead of the General Election.

The free event on Wednesday, April 22, is being held in the Great Hall of Berkhamsted Town Hall from 8pm. 
All parliamentary candidates for South West Herts have been invited to attend.

Chairman of the citizens association Susan Johnson said: “In these days of social media, when everything seems to be done without the need for personal contact, it is ever more important for residents actually to see and hear the people who aspire to represent them, and to question your MP for the last five years.

“You have the opportunity to challenge candidates, rather than just shouting at your TV screen.”