Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Alyn and Deeside candidates confident

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Media captionPolitical reporter Bethan Lewis has been out with the candidates of Alyn and Deeside

Labour has held Alyn and Deeside since it was created in 1983, but UKIP opened an office in the constituency and claim they are now the main challengers.

Deeside is a mainly industrial area and is home to large employers such as Tata Steel, Airbus and Toyota.

New industries have rejuvenated an area which struggled for decades after huge job losses at Shotton Steelworks.

At the last election, the Conservatives slashed Labour's majority and took a third of the vote.

Image caption Labour candidate Mark Tami has been an MP in the area for 14 years

Labour candidate Mark Tami was elected as Alyn and Deeside MP in 2001 and has held the seat ever since.

Jogging from door to door in the village of Mancot, he says it is crucial to speak face-to-face with as many voters as possible during the campaign.

Many raise devolved issues such as health and education, but he says the UK government is responsible for cutting cash for Welsh public services.

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Media captionThe Airbus wings factory in Broughton is a major local employer

"What the assembly has found is a massive funding gap because of the money that isn't coming from Westminster," he said.

"Above that, of course, is the unfair funding that Wales gets in the first place.

"We don't get anywhere near what we actually need and that's why we need a Labour government to look at that."

Though UKIP are visible in the constituency, he still considers the Conservatives to be his main threat.

Image caption Laura Knightly, the Conservative candidate, has been campaigning on issues such as childcare

In the 2010 general election, the Conservatives cut the Labour majority to less than 3,000 votes.

The party's candidate Laura Knightly said: "The area is changing. It doesn't have that sort of tribal loyalty to Labour that it perhaps has done in the past."

Campaigning in Connah's Quay, she claims people are interested in what she has to say about increasing childcare, cutting income tax and opposing cuts to the health service.

Image caption UKIP candidate Blair Smillie

UKIP candidate Blair Smillie is upbeat too. "I'm confident we'll be first or second," he said.

Mr Smillie said there has been an "amazing response" since opening an office on Shotton's high street last September.

He is the great grandson of one of the first Labour MPs but believes UKIP is in tune with local people's concerns about immigration.

"There's a lot of low-paid work here which has been taken up by especially eastern European people," he said.

"It's not their fault they are here, they are trying to better their lives.

"But it's the politicians who have allowed such a mass immigration into this country without making sure that the public services are here and the money is here within the country to support them."

Image caption Tudor Jones, the Liberal Democrat candidate, says his party can 'moderate' a Labour or Tory government

Canvassing in Buckley, Liberal Democrat candidate Tudor Jones thinks his party could play a crucial role if, as the polls suggest, no party has an overall majority after 7 May.

"Having had a coalition, people now realise there is probably going to be another and they're really interested in what the outcome could be," he said.

"We're not a party that's big enough to take power on our own but we can moderate whichever government is in whether it's red or whether it's blue."

Image caption Plaid Cymru's Jacqueline Hurst believes SNP's popularity in Scotland will have a knock-on effect in Wales

This is a constituency with strong social and economic ties with the north west of England and not traditional Plaid Cymru territory.

But the party's candidate Jacqueline Hurst is looking to Scotland and the SNP's surge in the polls to claim that no constituency has to be beyond Plaid's reach.

She said: "The establishment parties pay much more attention to what Scotland needs and wants than they do to Wales.

"The more that the voters support us - because we only pay attention to Wales - then the better. We could have the same kind of voice."

Image caption Alasdair Ibbotson, the Green Party candidate, wants to see the Wrexham-Bidston line electrified

Standing for the Green Party is 20-year-old student Alasdair Ibbotson. He claims his party would support people on low incomes in areas such as Alyn and Deeside.

"Greens will put taxes for the top 1% up, which will mean we can defend our NHS, make the minimum wage a living wage - £8.10 an hour now, rising to £10 by 2020 - and make our public transport work for us", he said.

"By renationalising the trains and buses we can electrify the Wrexham-Bidston line and reduce fares across Alyn and Deeside by 10%".

The full list of candidates for Alyn and Deeside can be seen here.

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