Election 2015 England

Telford: Parties target election success

Southwater, Telford
Image caption Telford has seen growth and big investment in recent years, not least at Southwater

Come 7 May, chances are all eyes in Shropshire will be firmly focussed on Telford.

There Labour's David Wright is defending a majority of less than 1,000.

The Conservative Party has declared it a target seat and candidate Lucy Allan has been actively campaigning in Telford for the past two years. The reason? Name recognition.

It's key to get her name linked with the new town, she said.

Such is the Conservative Party's desire to win the seat they have sent a number of big hitters to the constituency. In recent months, Chancellor George Osborne's rolled into town as has mayor of London Boris Johnson and Oliver Letwin.

For his part, Labour's David Wright is hoping to retain the seat he's represented since 2001 and increase his 978 majority. His campaign highlights what he's done for the town during his time as MP and the fact that he's a Telford man born and bred.

Questions over NHS

However, this is by no means a two-horse race - what impact will UKIP's candidate Denis Allan have on the results and where will his votes come from?

Image copyright Google
Image caption Could Shropshire's only A&E be based at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital?

The Green Party has also put up a candidate in the shape of freelance journalist Peter Hawkins and Ian Croll will stand for the Liberal Democrats.

Some of the key issues being fought in this constituency include hospital re-organisation and whether in the future just one of the county's two main hospitals will feature an Accident and Emergency unit - either the Princess Royal in Telford or the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

The Conservatives' challenge to the "spare room subsidy", what Labour call the "bedroom tax", has also got voters talking as has the provision of zero hour contracts.

Historically, Telford has long been a Labour seat but David Wright's majority was reduced from 5,406 in 2005 to 978 in 2010.

North Shropshire, Shrewsbury & Atcham, Ludlow and The Wrekin were all retained by the Conservative Party in 2010 and Owen Paterson, Daniel Kawczynski, Philip Dunne and Mark Pritchard are all standing again.

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