11:27AM, Thursday 31 October 2019
Maidenhead’s political candidates are preparing themselves for a general election after a December date was approved in the House of Commons and House of Lords.
On Tuesday night, MPs voted for the poll to take place on Thursday, December 12.
The legislation went before the House of Lords on Wednesday, when the pre-Christmas vote was given the go-ahead.
The former Prime Minister Theresa May will now prepare to defend her Conservative seat, which she won by a landslide in the last general election in 2017.
The Advertiser has spoken to Maidenhead’s Parliamentary candidates to see how ready they are for the first December general election since 1923.
Richard Kellaway, chairman of the Maidenhead Conservative Association, who spoke to Mrs May on Wednesday, said: “Happy Christmas to one and all. I am extremely optimistic.
“She’s keen to go, she’s always keen to get out canvassing.
“In certain times in life you just have to do things when you don’t like them and the general election is well overdue.
“You can’t have a government that’s not allowed to do anything in the House of Commons, that’s absurd.”
Labour’s Pat McDonald ran Mrs May closest in 2017, winning 11,261 votes compared to her 37,718.
His party is yet to select a candidate for the constituency, but he has put his name forward.
However, he has admitted that winning will be a ‘challenge’ and said that, if a younger local candidate wanted to put themselves forward, he would step aside and support them.
Mr McDonald said: “We have been ready for some time. Everyone has been in election mode.
“The party has been sorting out the target constituencies before they move to parts of the world where it’s a challenge to win.
“I am looking forward to a change of government because we have had three years of nonsense.”
The Liberal Democrats will go to the polls with a new candidate, 20-year-old Joshua Reynolds, who was elected a borough councillor for Furze Platt in May.
He said: “We are making sure everyone’s ready to go. There’s a lot of preparation you can do before the election.
“If you look at the local elections, the Lib Dems did very well and in the EU elections, we did staggeringly well.
“People in Maidenhead are coming around to a new way of working. It’s going to be a very busy few weeks but that’s how we like it.”
The Green Party confirmed Emily Tomalin, founder of MaidEnergy Co-Operative, would be its candidate.
She said: “I suppose the general election is going to be quite a lot about Brexit, but I am not sure it will solve the Brexit problem.
“The Green vision is a verty exciting one, I think everyone’s a bit fed up with Brexit and the Green Party’s ideas are exciting and healthy.
“We have a really urgent need to reduce carbon emissions.”
The Brexit Party will be contesting the Maidenhead seat, with Claire Mowbray as its candidate. She said: "I am ready. It has been a steep learning curve, as I have no previous political experience but I have superb supporters who have been working tirelessly to deliver newsletters, help on street stands.
"It is obviously going to be a huge challenge and I have had to acknowledge Theresa May has done a lot of good for the constituency. However, she failed to take us out of Europe despite promising this 108 times."
Meanwhile, uncertainty surrounds the Beaconsfield seat, which covers Burnham and Marlow, as the former Conservative and incumbent MP Dominic Grieve looks set to run against his old party as an independent after he voted against the Government and had the Tory whip withdrawn.
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