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Newark by-election: Liberal Democrats say they're ready to cause a "political earthquake"

June 3, 2014 6:59 PM
By Alexander Britton in Nottingham Post
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Nigel Farage may have claimed that his party caused a "political earthquake" last week but the Liberal Democrat candidate at the Newark by-election is plotting one all of his own.

Lord Newby with David Watts in NewarkDavid Watts, leader of the Lib Dem group at Broxtowe Borough Council, is hoping to perform strongly at the ballot box at the election on Thursday.

Key issues for Mr Watts include the removal of accident and emergency facilities at Newark hospital as well as making the area better equipped to deal with flooding.

He said: "It's all about getting the message across - we are fighting for what we believe in and if we get the message out there, we could also cause a political earthquake.

"When out campaigning, the hospital is the top thing that people talk about. People talk about protecting the hospital and getting accident and emergency restored to the Newark site.

"I also feel very strongly about fighting for better flood defences in Southwell.

"I've recently been flooded myself and know how devastating it can be - I really feel for those who had their homes underwater for days in July."

But Mr Watts will be facing an uphill battle to win in Newark. His party came third last time with 20 per cent of the vote, behind Labour on 22.3 per cent and the Tories on 53.9 per cent.

And recent election results and polling have suggested a national drop in support for his party.

Mr Watts said: "I think the coalition has done some good things and it has done some bad things, but the party took the steps it needed to when the country needed stability.

"And I'm proud of what the Liberal Democrats have done in Government. We need to get the message out there to people."

Mr Watts also pledged to stand up for the area if elected, and took a swipe at the Tories.

He said: "The Conservatives have taken Newark for granted as a safe seat, which is why our area hasn't had the attention or representation it deserves."