The beginning of a new year provides a moment to reflect on the events of the last twelve months and also an opportunity to look forward and make resolutions about the time ahead. In Hull North, we focused on the latter by asking voters which issues they wanted politicians to put high on their agenda for the upcoming year.
There’s only four months until voters decide who will be sent to Parliament to represent them and according to the voters of Hull North we surveyed, the top New Year’s resolution politicians should be making is to focus on their communication. One voter said: “I think [politicians] should listen to what the voters are saying, because I think [politicians] pay lip service to what they think the voters want, but they don’t actually listen.”
Others speaking on the video highlighted their concerns over the NHS and education. One voter commented how she wanted greater funding for schools: “I know that there are a lot of parents who struggle to get their children into the school of their choice, and that concerns me rather.” Many of those who unwilling to speak on camera voiced their concern with immigration, particularly the freedom of movement within the European Union.
Hull North was a key Labour-Liberal Democrat marginal in 2010: the Labour MP Diana Johnson ended up winning a majority of only slightly more than 600 over her Lib Dem opponent. The result in 2015 will greatly depend on the swing of the student vote; around 13% of voters in the seat are students at Hull University. However, although the recent decline of student support for the Liberal Democrats looks promising for Diana Johnson to retain her seat, the final result of Hull North is not a done deal for Labour.
UKIP made some gains in Hull Council elections in 2014, albeit the tally of one UKIP councillor out of a 59-strong chamber appears small to the group of eight Councillors out of 42 on the other side of the Humber in the council for North East Lincolnshire, which covers the constituencies of Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes.