ELECTION candidates have been chosen for South Basildon & East Thurrock and are vying for your votes - find out who they are and what they stand for here. 

In the videos below the candidates tell us why they should be elected as MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock on May 7.

The candidates are: 

Thurrock Gazette: Stephen Metcalfe - Conservative

For the last five years I have been privileged to represent you as your MP. You placed huge trust in me and I always remember that it is you, the people, to whom I am ultimately responsible. Now I am asking for your support again. As well as securing our long term economic future; I will continue to put Education at the top of my agenda and help to raise both the aspiration and the achievement of our students. I will support local businesses to create the well-paid jobs and apprenticeships that we can all benefit from; fight to hold a simple In/Out EU referendum so we can have some control over our borders and work with our local hospital to ensure they continue to improve patient care. I will also continue to act as a community champion fighting against injustice and supporting local clubs, organisations and charities, as well as fighting to protect our Greenbelt.

Thurrock Gazette: Mike Le-Surf - Labour

"As your Labour MP it will be an honour to represent you in parliament. This is a responsibility that I will carry out to the best of my abilities for all residents of South Basildon and East Thurrock. I will be a part of the Labour government that will balance the books and cut the deficit every year. We will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8, and provide 25 hours free childcare. Our NHS is currently in crisis. Labour will build an NHS with the time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. And we will reduce tuition fees to £6,000, guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and ensure smaller class sizes for 5, 6, & 7-year-olds. I will fight for a level playing field for everyone and a better future under a strong Labour government." 

Thurrock Gazette: Geoff Williams - Lib Dem

With ever increasing demands on our greenbelt all parts of the constituency are faced with potentially devastating changes to quality of life and burdens on infrastructure.  We need housing, but priority must be for those in real need. Not at any price: building on every last scrap of green space is already destroying the essential qualities of the vision for Basildon: a real garden city. The future of the NHS is something which concerns many people. Like many, I have the strongest of personal reasons to help protect the NHS. As a party, Liberal Democrats will resist any attempts by other parties to privatise the NHS. We stopped the Conservatives’ privatisation plans and reversed Labour’s policy of allowing private companies to ‘cherry pick’ lucrative NHS contracts. I strongly believe the NHS should always remain free at the point of delivery - based on patients’ needs not on their ability to pay.

Thurrock Gazette: Ian Luder - UKIP

This election is the most important for a generation. Only UKIP has the most sensible approach, being offered to the British people, to overhaul our system of government. Only UKIP will give us a fair Australian-type immigration system, protect our greenbelt and concentrate on building homes for local people. Only UKIP will protect our NHS and and afford to spend £3bn a year more on the NHS. Only UKIP can afford to spend 2% of the UK’s GDP on defence. UKIP will make sure that work and overtime pays at every level by raising the tax threshold so that no one earning the minimum wage will pay tax; and introducing a new intermediate rate of tax of 35%; and raise the starting point for the 40% rate to £55,000. Only UKIP will scrap the bedroom tax, introduce a simplified streamlined welfare system and retain a benefit cap.

Thurrock Gazette: Kerry Smith - Independent

No petty party politics, just a local independent candidate who is fighting for the people’s interests. I am the only genuine anti-EU candidate who wants to end the flow of cheap-labour into the UK. Taxes are too high and politicians throw around taxpayers’ money like confetti. At the same time, these politicians can’t find the money to back the NHS and education. It’s time for good old fashioned financial house-keeping, no more pet projects like foreign aid. Dry Street must be saved and we need the Government quango, the Homes and Community Agency to back off from destroying this beautiful corner of Basildon. I believe in law and order, not the vile EU Human Rights Act. No more traveller sites in Basildon or Thurrock, we have done our bit. Using brown-field land, build a new generation of council homes, for Brits only. Only an Independent and local MP can make a real difference.