Election 2015 England

General Election 2015: This is my truth, tell me yours

Heywood town centre Image copyright Google
Image caption Heywood and Middleton is a likely Labour hold but ripe ground for UKIP to establish itself

It's always interesting to see two people who genuinely believe completely different versions of the truth discussing things.

How can one see all the evidence that the other refuses to acknowledge? How can one's understanding of reality twist in so many other directions to their opponent who is also claiming to be right?

Debate and discussion is always good but it's essential in these coming weeks as the public prepare to choose their MPs and ultimately their government.

Last week, BBC Radio Manchester hosted the first of three live election debates in Withington, a seat currently held by the Lib Dems and tipped for a Labour victory, if the swing in support remains as is currently expected.

'Spoke with passion'

Our second debate takes place later in Heywood and Middleton, a likely Labour hold but ripe ground for UKIP to properly establish itself after last year's close run contest in the by-election.

And then next week we head to Bolton West, a key target for the Conservatives and one that David Cameron must win if he's to be handed back the keys to No 10.

Last week the panel of candidates were forthright in their views and well-rehearsed in the mantras… "a long term economic plan"… "a brighter, better future"… "a stronger but fairer society".

What we heard were essentially watered-down versions of their leaders mixed with a desire to show they understood how the local community ticked better than anyone else. They all spoke with passion because they believe they would be the best MP.

There were rows on a number of topics: tuition fees, as you might have expected; whether discrimination against disabled people has increased in the past five years and whether we should stay in Europe or not.

They also talked about the billions of pounds which are going to be spent on the HS2 rail line between London and Manchester.

The Tories, Lib Dems and Labour were strongly in favour but the Greens, UKIP and the Independent candidate were all really against. Both sides argue eloquently for their case - so who should the electorate believe?

Blood pumping

Independent Marcus Farmer had an interesting take on what's really going on. He said the rail line is a front for a water pipe so southerners can steal the Lake District's water.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Is HS2 really a front for stealing water from the Lake District?

Despite derision from his opponents, Mr Farmer defiantly stood his ground. I'm hoping for more insights like that in the next two debates.

For the candidates, these events will certainly get the blood pumping. Some of them are a bit shy and nervous, others are brash and fairly intimidating. But it's a moment to step up and sell yourself, your party and the improvements you would make to people's lives.

The final question last week was from an undecided voter who wanted to know how they would persuade him to choose them. They were given 30 seconds because time was running on.

Why me? Why my party? That's what it comes down to in the end and the quality of their answers to those questions could make all the difference on 7 May.

Related Topics

More on this story