THE General Election has got under way in Winchester with the two main candidates in the city centre.

More than 170 people gathered on Oram’s Arbour on Sunday afternoon for the launch of the Liberal Democrats’ campaign.

Paula Ferguson, candidate for Winchester & Chandler’s Ford said: “We are excited about the election. The Liberal Democrats are offering an ambitious plan for the country and it’s time that Winchester & Chandler’s Ford had an MP who properly represents them. We’ve already beaten the Conservatives twice in elections here this year but this time the stakes are even higher.

“This was our biggest ever campaign launch and we’re planning to fight our biggest ever campaign. More and more people are joining us from Labour, the Green Party and the Conservatives – and others are joining us who’ve never been politically active before.

“It’s going to be a close race here between the Liberal Democrats and Boris Johnson’s Conservative party. It’s time for a change. A Liberal Democrat government will stop Brexit and build a brighter future.”

“For too many people, things simply aren’t working as they should be. We need to stop Brexit and focus on the future instead – properly funding the NHS and our schools, tackling the climate emergency and creating a fairer Britain where everyone can succeed."

Meanwhile Steve Brine took his stand to the Buttercross on the High Street. He told the Chronicle: " Steve Brine MP said; “I don’t think my constituents are thrilled at the prospect of a Christmas poll but it became unavoidable if we’re to unblock Parliament. This is obviously a national election but in many ways it’s a local election and it’s about the kind of MP who represents us.

“I’ve done the job for almost a decade which gives me the strength and experience to ensure our voice is heard and that delivers for our area; significant new investment at the RHCH and a big new funding settlement for local schools are two good examples. I’ve consistently respected the EU referendum result but stood up when it mattered against a damaging no-deal and I know many appreciated that.

“Ten years ago, I promised to be the best constituency MP we’ve had and I’ve worked so hard to live up to that. No one owns Winchester but I’m standing again on my record as a person we know and can trust. It’s worth remembering there’s a great deal at stake and what happens here, no matter how well intentioned, will play a big part in how it ends. After this election we will either have a Conservative Government or one led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. It’s a sobering thought.”