- Labour Party and Business: A Difficult Relationship?
- Chameleon Conservative Cameron Shows True Colours
- An Election Reflection for a Majority Minority
- Mhairi Black: Giving Politics a Makeover
- Galloway Threatens Legal Action Over Election Result
- Voter Turnout: What The Numbers Tell Us About The 2015 General Election
- Looking At The Reaction to the Election Explains its Result
- The Polls Were Wrong Because People Lied, it’s That Simple!
- Russell Brand “Resigns” from Politics following General Election Result
- It’s Not The Cold War Anymore, We Don’t Need a Nuclear Deterrent
- The Future of Labour: Who Will Be The Next Leader?
- The Future of the Liberal Democrats: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- The Future of UKIP: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- A Tale of Three Ends
- The Tory Legacy
- If the Party Leaders were characters from Friends…who would you vote for?
- The Ten (Well, Six) Commitments: Is Stone Legally Binding?
- Tuition Fees: A Hollow Attempt to Pander to the Student Vote?
- 6,417 Ed Milligrams – What Do You Actually Vote For?
- Boris Johnson to become Gangster Rapper
- Political Engagement: The Calm After the Storm
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Green Party’s John Spottiswoode.
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: TUSC’s Sue Atkins
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, Independent Candidate Chris Daviss
- “I don’t think the Liberal Democrats should be in government just for the sake of it” – An Interview With Nick Clegg
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, TUSC’s Nick Chaffey
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Conservative’s Jeremy Moulton.
- Should Young People Be Made To Vote?
- The Nationalist Parties
- No Votes for Women?
- None of the Political Candidates Ticking Your Box? There is Another Option.
- The Other Parties
- Liberal Democrats Party Profile
- The Green Party
- Labour Party Profile
- In Defence of the Coalition
- Why Labour Should Win the Election But Won’t
- The Protest Vote: The Weapon of the Disenfranchised.
- Why Young People Must Use Their Vote
- An Interview With Natalie Bennett
- What Will a Multi-Party System Mean for Britain?
- Tuition Fees: Must Try Harder Ed
- Science and Policy
- This Election is Far Bigger Than Party Politics
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Ian Callaghan, Green Party
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Lib Dem’s Adrian Ford
- Paliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Darren Paffey
- Parliamentary Candidates Interviews: Lib Dem’s Eleanor Bell
- TV Debates: The Crucifixion of David Cameron
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Rowenna Davis
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, the Green Party’s Angela Mawle
- Can We Trust Politicians Who Act Like Schoolchildren?
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – UKIP’s Sandra James
- Manifesto Focus: Labour
- Why Nuclear Weapons Are Imperative For The UK’s Security
- Southampton’s Role in the General Election Should Not Be Overshadowed by a Sausage Roll
- Just When You Thought UKIP Couldn’t Do Anything Right…
- What the Hell Do You Want?
- Which Political Leader Are You?
- The EU: To Be or Not To Be
- Your 2015 General Election Candidates
- What a Silly Sausage: Southampton UKIP Candidate Accused of Bribery
- UKIP Party Profile
- Conservative Party Profile
- The Leaders Debate: The Insurgents, The Pretender & The Incumbent
- SUPA’s Short and Sweet Guide to Voting on 7th May
- TV Debate: Clash of the Titans
- Leaders Debate Brings Hope For Progressive Politics
- TV Debates: David Cameron and Ed Miliband Versus Britain
- 14,000 Voters Missing From Electoral Role in Southampton – Register to Vote Now!
- Men’s Rights Party Set To Contest in General Elections
- A Royal Coup? – Queen Guitarist Brian May Considering Standing for Election
- Debating Over Debates
- Galloway Demands Inclusion in TV Debates
- The General Election 2015 – A Disunited Kingdom?
- 99 Days To Go: The Most Unpredictable Election Yet!
- Poll Indicates Demand for Green Party to be Included in Election Debates
- Have You Registered To Vote?
- Is Sol Campbell running for Parliament?
- Salmond to Stand as MP
- Students May Hold the Key!
- The Green Party Should Not Be Included in the 2015 General Election Debates
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Alan Whitehead MP
- What’s at Stake for Students in the General Election?
- It’s Time For Politicians To Get Down With The Kids
- The Debates Debate
- Who Will Run The Country in 2015?
- New Year, New Government? New Politics?
- Newly Elected Itchen MP Accused of Helping UKIP Secure Labour Votes
In the run up to the 2015 General Election, Wessex Scene are interviewing the candidates running in all three Southampton Constituencies. Here, I interview Liberal Democrat Candidate for Southampton Itchen Eleanor Bell.
In general there are so many things that it’s difficult to make it one only, but I would say public services, health, social care, housing – all of those together. You really can’t have a cohesive society going forward without all of those things… Obviously that’s combined with the economy thriving, a vibrant economy for Southampton and jobs available for everyone… It all goes together towards wellbeing.
What can you offer to students?
I personally would like to see education being free and funded by taxation, but I can’t guarantee that. Many members I’ve spoken to want no tuition fees or small tuition fees, but I don’t know if it’ll be reflected in our policies. It was actually Labour who introduced tuition fees in 1997, which wasn’t in their manifesto either. With regards for tuition fees, its hard to say what we would do. You have to remember that tuition fees fund universities – labour haven’t said where they’ll get the extra funding from if they cut them.
Lib dems are proposing subsidies on travel – I think a discount of 2/3. We also want to improve the situation for mature students.
What are the Lib Dem policies on climate change and renewable energy?
Liberal democrats in Southampton and nationally are very interested in all renewable energy. We want houses insulated properly – they have good standards in Scandinavia and we want to catch up with that. All new builds have to reach a certain standard of energy efficiency for new builds.. sadly (I will blame the conservatives for this), those standards have been watered down in the interests of business.
Specifically to Southampton, I will be looking at trying to build on the potential for tidal energy off the isle of Wight. This could be a big advantage for everyone, bringing a lot of jobs to the area. Each area of the UK could have its own forms of renewable energy that are suited to it.
Could there be any disadvantages to tidal energy in Southampton?
The main disadvantages to this are visual. My impression was from the conference I went to on the subject that it was very high on the agenda that there wouldn’t be any changes made that would disrupt shipping or the local wildlife.
What was your opinion on the channel 4 documentary Immigration Street?
I’ve seen that from the outside because it wasn’t in my constituency, but I think it’s important to the whole of Southampton. The people of Derby road were very angry and so were wider communities in Southampton. They felt it was painting a biased picture. I saw the one hour that was shown and I saw a lot of aggro, but this was caused by the film crews being there. My understanding is that there is much more cohesion and friendliness between communities than would have been depicted in that documentary. The documentary makers seemed reasonable but they seemed to have a failure of communication – people were probably worried after the ‘Benefits Street’ documentary that something similar would happen there.
Do you see any party other than Labour or the Tories holding the majority of power this election?
It’s very likely that either the Labour party or the Conservative party get the most votes, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the only party in parliament. Some parties come and go. For example, the BNP have come and now arguably gone from British politics entirely. UKIP haven’t been around for a long time, but are getting very popular; at the moment they’re a party of protest – this used to be the Lib Dems! The Green party have been around for a long time, but have had a lot of attention recently – they have a very different agenda to UKIP. I like a lot of their green policies, but they don’t really have much experience of power and I think some of their policies beyond environmentalism reflect this. Whether in many years – as they get more experience and things change – we are governed by the Green party (or another party) I can’t say.
In the event of a hung parliament, where are the Lib Dems likely to stand?
A hung parliament seems very likely… more so than the last time – almost inevitable. The Liberal Democrats will stand for holding left and right to account. It’s fair to say that the conservatives were not be our natural partners, but it was a matter of arithmetic in the last election. We were negotiating with both of these parties last time, but our negotiations with Labour broke down.
If there is a hung parliament there are two options – a coalition, or something called confidence and supply agreement… This is where a party works with the minority party with most seats indirectly by voting with (or against) them on their policies on a case-by-case basis.
Which party will you side with this time?!
Either Labour or Conservatives will have the most votes but maybe not a majority. We will look very seriously at a coalition with either the Conservatives or Labour. In the past we would have been more ideologically more tuned with Labour, but they’ve done some strange things like deregulating the economy and bringing in tuition fees in 1997. If considering a coalition, we will hold an emergency special conference with all of our members to discuss and vote for the options.
A list of all candidates running in Southampton and Winchester can be seen here.