ELECTION SPECIAL: It’s all to play for as candidates set out their stalls for Cambridgeshire County Council

The council chamber at Shire Hall, Cambridge, home to Cambridgeshire County Council. In Fenland 48 c

The council chamber at Shire Hall, Cambridge, home to Cambridgeshire County Council. In Fenland 48 candidates are contesting nine seats. - Credit: Archant

Was it just four years ago that the UKIP bandwagon was barn storming its way through the English countryside, picking up votes on an almost unprecedented scale?

Their incursion into East Cambs altered the results narrative marginally collecting the Littleport seat but allowing the Conservatives to accumulate the remaining eight.

Fast forward four years and UKIP has gone from the district, with the former UKIP councillor Daniel Divine having decamped to Chatteris where he is contesting the seat as an independent.

East Cambs has reverted to more traditional form with eight Conservatives, eight Lib Dems and eight Labour candidates contesting the revised wards; only a couple of Greens in Burwell and Soham South & Haddenham.

Back in 2005, it was the Lib Dems nosing ahead winning six of the nine seats but by 2009 this dropped to two and in 2013 they failed to win a seat.

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They corrected the imbalance slightly in 2016 when Lorna Dupre won the Sutton by election and have high hopes of adding to the mix in 2017.

With voting on May 4 also including election of a new mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a higher than normal turn out is expected. Whether East Cambs can influence the balance of power at Shire Hall – which has operated these past four years with no overall majority- ensures an absorbing election.

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A trawl of candidate campaign literature provides an insight into the policies being discussed on doorsteps with health, housing and transport among the most prominent.

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