Candidates standing to be the next MP for Southampton Test have explained why they deserve your vote ahead of the general election on July 4.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked all candidates standing for the constituency to tell voters why they should earn their vote.

The seat has been held by Labour’s Alan Whitehead since 1997, however, he is not seeking re-election.

YouGov has projected another win for Labour, with more than 50 per cent of the vote share.

Katherine Barbour – Green Party

I believe strongly in the right to decent, affordable housing.  Southampton residents deserve excellent healthcare, great homes and safe, clean water. With NHS dentistry services not performing, waiting lists rising and healthcare services collapsing under the weight of underfunding, it’s time to restore NHS dentistry and support the wider health and social care system.

Being a resident of St Denys, I’m more than aware that Water Utility privatisation has been a disaster for Southampton and our country as a whole. Water Companies are now accountable to shareholders and not us. The major two parties failed to address this when they were in power and it’s time to return water utility to public ownership.

I have worked on over 170 cases in the year since becoming a councillor and brought a motion to protect waterside access for Southampton residents along the River Itchen.

The following are my key pledges as an MP candidate for Southampton Test: motion for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, stop NHS privatisation, more renewable & clean energy options, ensure creation of suitable & affordable homes, hold water companies to account, tax system reform for fair taxation of corporations and individuals, bringing utilities back into public ownership.

Ben Burcombe-Filer – The Conservative Party Candidate

Ben Burcombe-FilerBen Burcombe-Filer

Above all the residents of Southampton Test want their local services to work and a city they can take pride in.

We want security on our streets and the knowledge that Council tax bills won’t skyrocket to pay for the mismanagement of the Labour Council or for priorities residents do not share.

The biggest issue locally is without doubt finance. The council still needs to save £40m a year, to try and stave off bankruptcy.

This means people are worried that their bills will go up even more and vital services will be cut.

In addition, the council is ranked bottom five nationally for amongst other things, post-16 education and housing. The people of Southampton Test are entitled to have opportunities for our young people, and have quality housing.

It is clear Labour have delivered none of this locally when they had the chance.

If Southampton Test ends up with a Labour council, MP and Prime Minister, all checks and balances are effectively removed. We will just be told what our priorities are, rather than asked.

This is why I am standing to be your MP, to work with you; to deliver your priorities!

John Edwards – Reform UK

John EdwardsJohn Edwards

I live and work in the constituency being active in local politics so I am well aware of the challenges people face. Reform UK has great policies that would immediately have a positive effect on everyone’s income. Raising the tax threshold to £20,000 would help those in low-paid employment. Reducing VAT on energy bills and reducing fuel duty, thereby benefiting both consumers and businesses.

Lowering corporation tax, removing IR45, driving the freeport status which has stalled under the Tories and Labour thus stimulating growth thus making the city more prosperous.

We need to control our borders as migration is impacting on housing, services and infrastructure.  We will stop the boats and limit legal migration.

Our country needs an affordable integrated transport system to reduce congestion on our roads. Petrol and diesel vehicles should be retained until viable alternatives are ready and affordable.

Reforming the NHS means redistributing NHS finances to enable the training and retaining of doctors. Doing away with those diversity and equality officers leaving more cash for patient care. Reform sees everyone as one people in one nation, regardless of ethnicity, colour, or religion.

A vote for Reform would ensure your interest comes first.

Maggie Fricker – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Maggie FrickerMaggie Fricker

Fourteen years of Tory cuts, privatisation and war have been disastrous.

Labour call for change but what exactly? The nationalisation of utilities cut from their 2019 manifesto. A Workers Charter but full of holes according to UNITE leader Sharon Graham.

Shamefully Starmer backed the Tories’ support for Israel’s brutal genocide on Gaza. We call for mass trade union action to stop arming the Israeli state.

When striking workers demand pay restoration, Labour say the money is not there. We say full pay restoration for all workers.

Britain is a wealthy country but big business has the politicians in their pockets. We need a new trade union-led party for the working class.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition stands for an economy run for the 99 per cent, a £15/hour minimum wage, free education, rent controls and council housing for all in need to tackle the cost of living crisis.

We call for fully funded public services, reverse all privatisation. This must include the immediate restoration of funding for councils and NHS to restore jobs and services.

We say make the one per cent pay. Nationalise banks and monopolies then use wealth to meet the needs of all and the environment.

Thomas Gravatt – Liberal Democrats

Thomas GravattThomas Gravatt

I’m standing to be the Liberal Democrat MP for Southampton Test because Southampton needs change. Our city is in trouble. Decades of financial mismanagement by Labour and the Conservatives has pushed Southampton to the brink of bankruptcy.

While the Conservatives mismanaged the national economy, Labour in Southampton wasted your money, turned off the streetlights, and slashed funding to children’s services. We deserve better.

The Liberal Democrats will repair our struggling NHS and social care system, protect our environment, tackle poverty, end homelessness, and importantly fix our broken political system by introducing proportional representation.

Southampton is my home and I love living here, but our city has been left struggling by Labour and the Conservatives. We can make things better, we can build a United Kingdom that is fairer, safer, and greener – but to do this we need to fundamentally change British politics – the Liberal Democrats will do this with your support.

The Conservative vote is collapsing across Southampton, and we need a strong opposition to Labour here. The Liberal Democrats will provide this. On Thursday, July 4, back me and the local Liberal Democrat team. Vote for real change and a brighter future for Southampton and the United Kingdom.

Satvir Kaur – Labour Party

Satvir KaurSatvir Kaur

Southampton is my home. It’s where I grew up and have always lived. I’m proud to be a working-class kid from St Mary’s – our great city has made me who I am!

I got involved with politics and became council leader to champion Southampton and make a difference. However, after 14 years of Conservative failure, real change is only possible with a change of Government – and we need that new Government to be Labour.

Britain is broken. It’s heart-breaking seeing families I know struggling. Opportunities I had growing up have been robbed from the next generation.

If I’m elected your MP, my priorities for Southampton will be rooted in the things residents tell me matter most to them. I will fight for well-paid jobs, decent affordable homes, and for fairer funding for our communities. I’m passionate about reclaiming our streets from crime, protecting our environment, bringing energy bills down and getting our NHS back on its feet.

I always have and always will fight for Southampton. A better future for you and our city is possible – but only if we vote for it. Only Labour can beat the Tories here, so don’t waste your vote. Vote Labour.

Wajahat Shaukat – Workers Party

Wajahat Shaukat

My name is Wajahat Shaukat and I am a prospective Member of Parliament for the Workers Party of Britain. I am deeply committed to the principles and values of our party, and I am dedicated to serving the people of our community.

My political philosophy is rooted in the 10-point plan of the Workers Party of Britain. I believe in the importance of public ownership of key industries, the provision of decent housing for all, and the protection of our NHS. I am committed to fighting for workers’ rights, advocating for a living wage, and ensuring that everyone has access to quality education and training opportunities.

In line with the manifesto of the Workers Party of Britain, I am dedicated to promoting peace and cooperation on the international stage, and I am opposed to imperialist wars and interventions. I believe in the importance of safeguarding our environment for future generations, and I am committed to taking decisive action on climate change.

I am also a strong advocate for the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.