GENERAL ELECTION: Everything you need to know as Peterborough goes to the polls
For the second time this year voters in Peterborough go to the polls today (Thursday, December 12) to choose their next MP.
It is the third General Election since 2015, not to mention a by-election which was held in the Peterborough seat earlier this year.
By the early hours of tomorrow morning voters in the Peterborough constituency may have elected their fourth different MP in four years should Labour’s Lisa Forbes fail to defend the seat she won as recently as June. Although a victory for the incumbent would make it a third straight victory for Labour in one of the most marginal seats in the country.
For voters in North West Cambridgeshire, which covers large parts of Peterborough, the competition is expected to be far less ferocious with Conservative Shailesh Vara heavily tipped to claim a fifth straight victory having been first elected back in 2005.
Should that be the result attention will be focused on the Peterborough seat where the bookmakers are predicting a third different MP in 2019 with Conservative Paul Bristow expected to claim victory.
However, the Brexit Party’s Mike Greene was also tipped to win by the bookies before June’s by-election - which was triggered by the recall of Fiona Onasanya after she was convicted of lying over speeding points - but missed out on the seat by 683 votes.
Although 15 candidates stood in Peterborough back in June, this time there are just eight.
The major parties are all fielding the same candidates as they did earlier this year, with Beki Sellick (Liberal Democrats - To Stop Brexit), Joseph Wells (Green Party), Tom Rogers (Christian Peoples Alliance), The Very Raving Mr P (Monster Raving Loony Party) and Luke Ferguson (independent) the other candidates contesting the seat.
In North West Cambridgeshire, aside from Mr Vara, the other candidates are: Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach (Labour Party), Nicola Day (Green Party) and Bridget Smith (Liberal Democrat).
Polling stations open at 7am today and close at 10pm.
Voting will also be taking place in the nearby North East Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon, Grantham and Stamford, South Holland and the Deepings and Corby constituencies where the Tories are defending seats.
The Peterborough Telegraph will be running a live blog tonight and will cover events as they unfold at www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk.
The first ballot box will arrive at the election count shortly after 10pm and we will bring you all the latest news/rumours during the evening as we await to see who has won.
Both results are expected to be announced between 2am and 4am on Friday morning.
Electoral fraud hotline
Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Peterborough City Council have once again set up a dedicated team to investigate allegations of electoral malpractice, with voters urged to report anything suspicious.
Gillian Beasley, acting returning officer, said: “People are entitled to use their vote in elections freely without fear or intimidation. That is why we work closely with the police for every election that we hold and go above and beyond our legal responsibility to ensure that the process is run as fairly as possible.
“If you are concerned that you are being asked to do something which could be illegal, or you’re being forced to vote in a certain way, please call our election fraud hotline on 01733 452277, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the police on 101.”
Detective Sergeant Fiona Bail said: “We are working closely with the city council to ensure the elections in Peterborough run smoothly and in an honest and transparent manner.
“People can rest assured that any corrupt practices will be treated very seriously, and action will be taken if any offences come to light.
“The electorate must have complete confidence in the integrity of the system and our operation will seek to ensure that’s the case.”