Final word from Brent Central candidates as residents cast their votes

Who will capture Westminster North?

Who will capture Westminster North? - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Residents in Brent Central are heading for the polls today for a nail-biting finish to the General Election this evening.

Alan Mendoza is the Conservative candidate

Alan Mendoza is the Conservative candidate - Credit: Archant

Still haven’t voted? Still not sure who to vote for? We called the candidates today in their final hours of campaigning to ask them a few questions including who they predict to win.

What’s the first thing you’d do if you were elected?

Lauren Keith (Liberal Democrat) – Make sure I meet all the community leaders and see what their priorities were.

Alan Mendoza ( Conservative) – I’d look for a place to move into the constituency as I think it’s important for an MP to live in the constituency.

Shahrar Ali (Green Party) – Give a rousing speech at the Civic Centre.

Stephen Priestley (Ukip) – Organise my constituency office and organise surgeries for the constituents to they can come to see me as frequently as possible about their concerns.

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John Boyle (TUSC) – Keep my pledge to only accept the wage of the average worker of the constituency and donate the rest of that salary back to campaigns against the cuts and privatisation.

Lauren Keith is the Lib Dem candidate

Lauren Keith is the Lib Dem candidate - Credit: Archant

If you were in Government, what would be the first policy you’d like to introduce?

Keith (LD) – Something to do with housing so make sure our Lib Dem policy of Rent to Own got through. People don’t have to put deposits together they can own their home through monthly payments.

Mendoza (C) - The budget that sets out all our manifesto claims and pledges. For example the £8bn spending on the NHS, the tax changes on inheritance tax, money for more school places etcetera. Our manifesto is excellent for Brent Central and I want to see it enacted as quickly as possible.

Ali (G) – We need a move to a carbon based currency to meaningfully combat climate change.

Priestley (U) – To introduce the NHS Reinstatement Bill to try to make sure that all attempts of the privatisation of the NHS are immediately killed off and it’s enshrined in law that the NHS must continue to be free at the point of delivery, and continue to remain operating from taxation based on clinical need only.

Boyle (T) – Housing is very important so to start to really tackle the housing problem by building lots more council housing, returning the powers to local councils so we’ve got the ability to build housing which is affordable to local people.

Shahrar Ali is the Green Party candidate for Brent Central

Shahrar Ali is the Green Party candidate for Brent Central - Credit: Archant

If you don’t get elected what will you do?

Keith (LD) – I’ll carry on being a local activist. I’ve enjoyed it and met lots of great people so I’ll carry on fighting the Lib Dem cause.

Mendoza (C) – I’ll continue to campaign on behalf of residents of Brent Central for the Conservatives.

Ali (G) – There’s everything to play for so I’m not considering that yet.

Priestley – Stand again in 2020. It’s been a fascinating campaign for me as a new arrival in politics. I just hope I do reasonably well tonight but I’ve learnt so much it’s a beginning for me.

Boyle (T) – We’ll carry on building our option to put forward a socialist alternative because a new political voice is desperately needed.

The likely outcome is a coalition – what would be your favoured option?

Stephen Priestley UKIP parliamentary candidate for Brent Central

Stephen Priestley UKIP parliamentary candidate for Brent Central - Credit: Archant

Keith (LD) – I don’t have a preferred option, it would depend on who had the most seats. Also, which party would honour our red lines, we’ve got a few red lines on education spending, health spending.

Mendoza (C) – Preferred option is a Conservative government then look at the alignments, if the numbers are similar to last time, the Liberal democrats.

Ali (G) – We’ve got a series of coalitions that the Greens would endorse. We’ve got enough candidates to actually form a Green government so I’m not considering those options yet.

Priestley (U) – Although I’m not by any means a Tory in my leanings their management of the economy is something one has to give them credit for so for. My second choice is the Liberals.

Boyle (T) I’m not going to go down that route because all of the parties, whatever government they make, are going to cut things that matter to ordinary people. I couldn’t endorse any of the combinations because they are all austerity.

What do you think is the most likely outcome of the election? If a coalition, which parties?

Keith (LD) – No idea, with polls there’s so much room for error. It’s going to be a hung parliament. I hope the Libdems get returned and hopefully I’ll be one of them.

John Boyle parliamentary candidate for Trade Union Socialist Coalition in Brent Central

John Boyle parliamentary candidate for Trade Union Socialist Coalition in Brent Central - Credit: Archant

Mendoza (C) - Looking at the polls, a Conservative government is going to happen.

Ali (G) – I don’t really think in those terms, sorry.

Priestley (U) – We’re going to be in for a surprise by my gut feeling is the Conservatives will scrape through by the skin of their teeth.

Boyle (T) – It looks like it’s going to be hung parliament and one possible outcome is that we have another general election in not too long.

Who do you think will win in Brent Central?

Keith (LD) – I like to think that Lauren Keith will win in Brent Central.

Mendoza (C) – It’s a two horse race between the Conservatives and Labour.

Labour candidate Dawn Butler

Labour candidate Dawn Butler - Credit: Archant

Ali (G)– The Green Party.

Priestley (U) – The balance of probability is that Dawn Butler will win. Maybe Alan Mendoza will cause an upset

Boyle (T) – The likelihood is that Labour will win.

Where will you be going on election night to celebrate/drown your sorrows?

Keith (LD) – I’ve a hen weekend to go to, but probably the Queensbury (in Willesden) for a drink afterwards as that’s a great local pub.

Mendoza (C) – Depends what time Brent Council finish counting. Home to my wife and baby.

Ali (G)– A good night’s sleep will be the number one priority.

Priestley U) – I’ll be at the Civic offices burning the midnight oil probably until the small hours.

Boyle (T) – We’ll definitely be celebrating. We’ve had a great campaign from a very a low standing.

What has been your favourite memory from the campaign so far?

Keith (LD) – The amount of people on the doorstep that were lovely and kind and generous and warm. It really made me realise that Brent is a lovely place full of great people.

Mendoza (C) – Meeting so many residents from so many walks of life and giving them chance for them to engage with politics and with me.

Ali (G) – Engaging with a man who was desperate to find a job but was hampered by his criminal records and feeling for him.

Priestley (U)– It was at a Mapesbury hustings where we were asked to talk about something that was difficult and managed to get everybody laughing because I said I’m so new to politics that I’m standing in front of my cupboard looking for skeletons and I can’t find any.

Boyle (T) – I really enjoyed the Harlesden hustings. It was good and packed and buzzing with interest.

Dawn Butler, the Labour candidate, asked us to email the questions to her. The Times is waiting for a reply.

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