Conservative MP John Hayes admits he was as surprised as anyone by Prime Minister Theresa May wanting a snap General Election in seven weeks’ time, on Thursday, June 8.
Mr Hayes, who will be seeking a fifth re-election in the South Holland and The Deepings constituency since first taking the seat in 1997, said: “I don’t think anyone was expecting it.”
He added: “I will be standing on my record.
“People know me well now and know that I live locally. Over the year I get to meet many, many thousands of people.
“You don’t win elections in a few weeks. People will form their view on how well they are served and it’s all year round that counts.”
Assessing the parties nationally, Mr Hayes said: “UKIP have come through a very difficult time. Their core reason for being has now been satisfied. It’s hard to know what their purpose is now.
“I imagine people will know that I campaigned for Brexit.”
The Liberal Democrats, he said, will want to improve on a “disastrous” General Election in 2015 and Labour “will be trying to make a case” for Jeremy Corbyn.
He added: “The Conservative Party is in the best position and will be looking to be given a fresh mandate.”
In South Holland and The Deepings in 2015, Labour candidate Matthew Mahabadi was beaten into third place.
Mr Hayes: “They had a good candidate. Labour will look to improve on their result last time.”
However, he would not be drawn on predicting an outcome to the poll.
“I’m never going to make those kind of predictions,” he said.
Mr Hayes was returned to the House of Commons in 2015 with a majority of 37.7 per cent. Given the short timescale of the forthcoming election and the knowledge that the constituency has historically been a Conservative stronghold, an increased majority for Mr Hayes is a distinct possibility.
2015 result: John Hayes (Conservative) 29,303; David Parsons (UKIP) 10,736; Matthew Mahabadi (Labour) 6,122; Dan Wilshire (Green Party) 1,580; George Smid (Liberal Democrat) 1,466.