With the local elections just around the corner, Southampton residents have revealed what will impact their vote.

Previously controlled by Labour for nine consecutive years, Southampton is now a key battleground, with 25 seats held by the Conservatives, 22 Labour seats and a vacant seat.

On Thursday, voters will head to the polls to elect one third of city councillors.

How people will vote will most likely be influenced by local issues.

However, recent national scandals such as partygate, the war in Ukraine and the rising price of bills are bound to have an impact too.

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Kevin Barclay, 62, believes that the recent partygate scandal could have a devastating effect for the Conservatives in the upcoming elections.

The term itself goes back to Prime Minister Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak being fined for attending an illegal gathering during the first lockdown - breaking rules they had enforced themselves. 

“The way things are looking I think there could be a landslide [win] for Labour because of the partygate situation,” Mr Barclay said.  

Katie Emma, 21, has a similar opinion and said that in light of partygate, she “wouldn’t be surprised if less people are voting” as she feels as though current political parties “don’t represent us well enough”. 

Sir Keir Starmer, who has served as leader of the Labour Party since 2020, visited the Bitterne precinct yesterday in an attempt to rally some last-minute votes for his party.

He told the Daily Echo that members of the public have repeatedly expressed their concerns to him that “they can't pay the bills, particularly their energy bills”.  

The Prime Minister himself was at Southampton Airport earlier today, promising to "get people through" the crisis.

Despite pledges to help from all parties, some residents feel as though local MPs are not doing enough to support them in the current climate.

John Wiltshire, 70, says he feels as though more proactive measures need to be taken.

He also argued politicians should make more of an effort to meet and get to know the people they're aspiring to represent.

“You don’t see day to day canvasing, you just see leaflets through your door,” he said.

“I would like to have a chat with a respective MP or a councillor - I can’t talk to [this] piece of paper.” 

Tomorrow, the polls will be open from 7am to 10pm.

Counting will begin shortly afterwards with the full results being announced on Friday morning.

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