Eastbourne’s countdown to May elections

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With fewer than 100 days until the general and borough council elections, politicians are gearing up for a tough campaign.

In Eastbourne voters will go to the polls to elect a Member of Parliament as well as councillors on Eastbourne Borough Council.

The election is on Thursday May 7 and the count to decide the town’s MP will be held throughout the night at the Winter Garden after polling stations close at 10pm. The count to decide those who will sit on the council will be held on Saturday May 9 at the Town Hall.

Current Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd will be defending his 3,435 majority against Caroline Ansell for the Conservatives, Labour candidate Jake Lambert, UKIP’s Nigel Jones and Andrew Durling from the Green Party.

They are the only candidates named officially by the main parties so far although nominations for the General Election close on April 9.

The borough council election will see all 27 seats on the authority up for grabs.

Three councillors in each of nine wards will be elected and those results will be announced late on Saturday May 9.

Already locally the political parties are lining up their candidates but nominations do not have to be submitted until April.

Some familiar faces look set to stand down from the council this year.

Liberal Democrat Neil Stanley in Devonshire, Jon Harris in St Anthony’s and Carolyn Heaps in Old Town will not be standing for re-election and neither will Ratton Conservative Sandie Howlett, Tory Philip Ede in Sovereign or Meads Conservative councillor Caroline Ansell, who is standing in the parliamentary election.

Conservative leader David Elkin, also a prominent member and deputy leader of East Sussex County Council, will not be seeking re-election in Meads.

The only independent councillor, Patrick Warner, who represents Sovereign Harbour, also indicated he would not be standing for re-election after being forced to quit the Conservative Party late last year amid allegations over his failed business and a court appearance for not paying council tax.