Voting Independent often makes people feel they are taking politics out of their area, but the harsh reality is that many independent candidates in Hampshire have either switched to Independent from Conservative, or support the Conservatives in all but name.

We think people should be open about their allegiance, especially at a time like this, when Hampshire is struggling in the face of Conservative cuts.

People have choice and different options, but what if your choice had unintended consequences, the complete opposite to your beliefs and values?

An example of this is the sole Independent County Councillor in the New Forest, Cllr Jacqui England. Cllr England represents Lymington (now merged with Boldre Parish to become the seat of Lymington and Boldre). Elected in 2013 as an Independent, defeating a Conservative in the process, Cllr England has voted with the Conservatives on every budget, providing tacit support for cuts to vital local services, such as children’s centres and bus routes.

In the Hampshire County Council elections on May 4th, the harsh reality is that it is a two-horse race between the service-cutting Conservatives and the hard-working Liberal Democrats.

The fact is that 40 seats are needed for a majority, and only the Liberal Democrats can stop the Conservatives getting a majority, so a vote for an Independent just helps the Tories.

So this weekend, ahead of postal vote in the days ahead, we are asking you to consider whether a vote for Independent or Labour or Green is going to do anything other than help the Tories keep control of Hampshire County Council.

So please, before you cast your vote, consider whether you can vote Lib Dem this time,  practical tactical vote to keep the Tories out.

The Tories are at the door – will you let them in again?

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