Almost time to cast your vote ...

Polling stations across the borough open at 7am tomorrow meaning the time to make up your mind for the general election is fast approaching.

Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 11:49 am
Updated Thursday, 8th June 2017, 3:39 pm

To help our readers do this, the Wigan Post has run its second One Minute Manifesto series, inviting MP hopefuls to spell out why they deserve your vote.

Across Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield, 10 out of the 13 candidates have taken part and their video messages are available on our website.

Tasked with the difficult challenge of condensing their key campaign points down to 60 seconds, a cluster of key issues have cropped up in several of the candidates’ pitches.

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Brexit, for example, and the direction the UK should take as negotiations with the EU are set to begin, feature in several videos.

Meanwhile, the future of the NHS, the economy and levels of immigration are among the national policy areas that have received a lot of focus.

On local terms, several candidates have voiced concerns about school funding levels and the controversial Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plans and the potential development of green belt land across the region is also a prominent issue.

Polling stations close at 10pm on Thursday with results expected in the early hours of Friday morning with counts taking place at Robin Park (for Wigan and Makerfield) and Leigh Sports Village.

Labour remains favourite to maintain their three parliamentary seats and if there are no shock results the borough will have three female MPs for the first time. In 2015, turnout in all three constituencies hovered around the 60 per cent mark but that increased to nearer 70 for last year’s EU referendum.

Some party sources have suggested a high turnout can be expected on Thursday although this may be tempered by the weather if the inclement conditions experienced earlier in the week continue through until Thursday.

On a national scale, latest figures show more than a million voters across the UK have been added to the electoral roll ahead of Thursday.

A total of 46.9m people are eligible to vote on polling day. This is up from 45.8m in December 2016.

Those to submit videos for the One Minute Manifesto series are Wigan candidates Lisa Nandy (Labour), Will Patterson (Green), Nathan Ryding (Ukip) and Alex Williams (Conservative).

In Makerfield, Bob Brierley (Independent), Adam Carney (Conservatives) and Yvonne Fovargue (Labour) have taken part.

And in Leigh Mark Bradley (Leigh), James Grundy (Conservative) and Jo Platt (Labour) have submitted videos.

Liberal Democrat trio Richard Kilpatrick, Mark Clayton and John Skipworth and the only ones to have not submitted a video at the time of going to press.

For latest updates from the counts in both Wigan, which includes Makerfield, and Leigh, follow @WigToday on twitter in addition to reporters James Illingworth (@JIllingworthWIG) and Andrew Nowell (@ANowellWIG) on Twitter.

Watch the videos here