THE days are counting down to the General Election when the voters will decide who is elected to Parliament.

To help constituents in Colchester, we asked candidates for their views on three more topics.

The candidates had to answer in 50 words or less. If their answers ran over, we cut them down when they hit the 50-word mark.

If you missed our last question sessions, you can catch up using the links below:

Want to know more about the candidates? Click here.






Which of your parties specific policies do you LEAST agree with?

Gazette: General Election Taunton Deane: Polling day is here

Mark Goacher (GREEN): "THERE are a few antiquated policies on the national policy website, such as abolishing the monarchy and changing the way our Armed Services operate that I don’t agree with. These are not Green Party priorities. I fully support our Armed Forces and the work that they do, and this won’t change."

Jordan Newell (LABOUR): "I’M 100 per cent behind Labour’s better plan for a better future. It’s a plan that will deliver fairness and hope for people in Colchester and across the country."

John Pitts (UKIP): "THERE are none of my party policies I really disagree with. However there are some in our party who would like to see publicans able to choose whether smoking is permitted in their own pubs or not. This most definitely does not have my support."

Will Quince (CONSERVATIVE): "I PLEDGE to be an independent-minded MP and will always put my constituents first. If that means voting against my party, then so be it. There will always be difficult decisions to take but I will never forget that the people of Colchester are my boss."

Ken Scrimshaw (CHRISTIAN PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE): THE CPA party is like no other party, as all its policies spring from godly principles and Biblical truth. As a practising Christian, I obviously agree with these values and have played a small part in crafting our manifesto. So, there is no one policy I least agree with."

Sir Bob Russell (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT): "I DO not agree with any relaxation in the laws relating to illegal drugs. In my opinion, the only drugs people should take are those prescribed for medicinal purposes. When I served on the Home Affairs Select Committee with David Cameron, he was softer on drugs than me."

What do you think of the level of immigration into the UK?


Mark Goacher (GREEN): "THE key issue isn’t immigration, but our overall population level. We need to welcome immigrants who keep our NHS running and overseas students, who fund our universities. However, we also need to stabilise our population by ending the obsession with economic growth beyond the capacity of our population size.

Jordan Newell (LABOUR): "IMMIGRATION arouses strong opinions and it’s impossible to answer this question in just 50 words. Colchester was built by the positive effects of immigration, and we wouldn’t be the town we are today without it. But we need to ensure today’s immigration system is fair, transparent and controlled."

John Pitts (UKIP): "THE level of immigration into the UK is far too high. I am not against all immigration by any means, but it does need effective control. I would therefore support an Australian-style system, which controls immigration based on skills and ability to support themselves whilst living in the UK."

Will Quince (CONSERVATIVE): "UNCONTROLLED immigration puts pressure on our local services. However, our local services could not operate without immigration. Our hospital, for example, is about 160 nurses short. We need a commonsense approach to immigration, which takes into account our needs and capacity."

Ken Scrimshaw (CHRISTIAN PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE): "IT is too high and insufficiently checked, so existing residents have difficulty in finding employment. Border Agency policies and actions must be audited for just, ethical standards. We favour a version of the American Green Card system for determining who works in Britain, or ensuring student status is genuine."

Sir Bob Russell (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT): "THINK of NHS doctors and nurses, many small shops and restaurants, public transport and HM Armed Forces – without immigrants, our country would be in a dire situation. Who would do these jobs? Counting out those who leave the UK, not just those who enter, is long overdue."

If no one party gets a majority, should the country be run by a coalition, or a minority government, and why?

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Mark Goacher (GREEN): "I FAVOUR a minority government and negotiating on an issue-by-issue basis. Coalitions just lead to the smaller partner being used as a scapegoat by the bigger partner. This is what happened to the Lib Dems, who were daft enough to get well and truly used."

Jordan Newell (LABOUR): "I’M campaigning for a majority Labour Government, but I am not going to prejudge the outcome of this election. I am disappointed the concept of Coalitions has been damaged by the current Government, which has broken the promises it made during the last election and traded principles for power."

John Pitts (UKIP): "COALITIONS do not generally work well, but parties working together on a confidence and supply agreement can work, on an individual issue basis. I support this, going forward after the general election, if as seems likely, there is no overall majority, and Ukip would support this, subject to conditions."

Will Quince (CONSERVATIVE): "I’M campaigning to become Colchester’s next MP, at the heart of a strong government, led by David Cameron. This election isn’t like last time. People can’t vote the way they have in the past and hope David Cameron will still be the Prime Minister.

Ken Scrimshaw (CHRISTIAN PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE): "A MINORITY government is in a very weak position. A country run by a coalition gives a good chance of getting the best policies of each party. However, individual policies may have to be watered down by compromise, bringing tensions between leaders and blurring the boundaries between parties."

Sir Bob Russell (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT): "UNTIL the make-up of the 650 MPs is known, it is pointless to speculate on what may emerge. What is clear from the past five years is that Britain has been better governed because it was necessary for two parties to work together in the national interest."