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It's decision day as voters head for the polls

PUBLISHED: 13:54 06 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:54 25 August 2010

PARLIAMENTARY hopefuls have revealed what sets their party apart from the competition in their last campaign push. Candidates have been campaigning for the past two months in the closest election for a generation.

PARLIAMENTARY hopefuls have revealed what sets their party apart from the competition in their last campaign push.

Candidates have been campaigning for the past two months in the closest election for a generation.

The polls are predicting a hung parliament, with Tuesday's surveys putting the Tories at 35 per cent of the vote and Labour and the Liberal Democrats head-to-head, both scoring 28 per cent.

Since the change of fortune in the Liberal Democrats' standing, due to Nick Clegg's perceived success in the television debates, party leaders have been trying to distance themselves from each other.

Green Party parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich Andy Hewett said: "Unlike the other parties who are all competing over how savage they can be with their cuts, the Green Party are pledging investment in jobs and public services.

"We have a fully costed manifesto to tackle inequality and promote social and environmental justice. A key element of this is our commitment to invest £44 billion to create over a million green jobs, essential for a just transition to a sustainable society. This will include workforce training, investment in renewable energy, public transport, insulation, social housing and waste management."

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Old Bexley and Sidcup Duncan Borrowman said: "At the heart of Liberal Democrat policies is fairness. Removing Income Tax from the first £10,000 of earnings will be far fairer than anything put forward by the other parties. Rewarding hard working people with £700 a year in their pocket to help revive the economy."

Conservative candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich Spencer Drury said: "On a national stage, I think the Conservative Party's most important policy is a clear commitment to reduce the amount borrowed by government each year. Last week we saw what happened in Greece when government spending is left unchecked and the Labour Party's plans mean that £1 in every £4 the government spends is now borrowed.

"The government currently owes £23,000 for every man woman and child in Britain. This deficit reduction process will not be easy, but I think the Conservatives are the only party being honest with people about the difficulties which face our country."

Labour candidate for Bexleyheath and Crayford Howard Dawber said: "I think Labour's most important policy is the Child Trust Funds. Every child gets a £250 fund which is topped up later and provides a small amount when they reach 18. They can use this for education, starting a business or other worthy things.

"It's the first thing that a child gets from the government, and it helps young people start out as adults.

"It works because it is not means tested, everyone gets it, and there is a little industry built up around administering the funds. If the middle class families did not get it, there would be no interest in the financial services companies setting up special products to help make it work.

"The Conservatives want to means test the Child Trust Funds and only pay them to children of poor parents. This would be a very bad move as it would undermine the whole idea and result in few people claiming the fund.

"I'm also expecting a baby - at least my partner Laura is - at the end of May and as a new parent we want the best start in life for our baby."

marina.soteriou@archant.co..uk

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