Election 2015 England

Hereford voters offer a mixed bag of political opinion

Hereford from the River Wye
Image caption The Conservatives took Hereford from the Liberal Democrats in 2010

Our general election 'market stall' pitched up in Hereford this week.

The city went from Liberal Democrat yellow to Conservative blue in 2010, but that's only part of the story.

The Conservatives are still the biggest party on Herefordshire council but they've lost their overall majority to a combination of independent candidates.

Image caption Dorian, from Hereford, said he thought government 'should be scaled back'

When voters go to the polls on 7 May, they'll have a wide range of independent candidates to choose from on their local ballot paper, but when they look at their general election slip it will be a much narrower choice: Conservative, Lib Dem, Labour, UKIP or Green.

Image caption Jackie from Hereford said honesty needed to be brought back into government

Many of the people at our market stall said they were sceptical about the record of national political parties.

Dorian, from Hereford, said: "We should scale back government, reducing expenditure and tax.

"We should focus only on the police, the military and the court systems. And we should eventually get rid of those too."

The number of women in government is a major issue for Sue, who thinks there should be more.

"They'd do a much better job at running the country than a bunch of men," she told me.

Image caption Joe from north Herefordshire is concerned about buying his own house. 'We could be renting until we're 50', he said

During the afternoon we had visits from people concerned about the future of the NHS, the impact of a possible EU exit on farmers and from people wanting to hear more about how politicians would help encourage tourism into the area.

As with Kidderminster and Worcester, the NHS came out as the top issue among people who visited the stall.

Image caption Sue is convinced the country would improve if more women were in government

Our 'get on your soapbox' tent was busy with people saying what they'd do if they were prime minister.

Joe from north Herefordshire would prioritise building houses.

"Young people are looking at incredibly high house prices, we could end up renting until we're fifty or older.

"There's a feeling that there just aren't a lot of opportunities around for young people at the moment," he said.

In a county with such a rich independent streak, it wasn't particularly surprising to find such a wide range of issues, opinions and suggestions being thrown around the stall.

Image caption People in Hereford were asked their opinions on a range of issues

You can find a comprehensive guide to the general election in Herefordshire and Worcestershire here - it includes videos and interviews with every one of your candidates and loads of stuff from our market stalls and pub debates.

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