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12 General Election candidates are vying for your vote in Tower Hamlets today

PUBLISHED: 10:05 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:15 12 December 2019

Polling Day... the big count as Romford, and Hornchurch and Upminster residents make their vote. Picture: LBTH

Polling Day... the big count as Romford, and Hornchurch and Upminster residents make their vote. Picture: LBTH

LBTH

Polling stations are open as 12 wannnabe MP candidates fight it out in the two Tower Hamlets parliamentary constituencies.

Getting ready for the big count as in previous years when the polls close at 10pm. Picture: LBTHGetting ready for the big count as in previous years when the polls close at 10pm. Picture: LBTH

Six candidates are on the ballot paper for Poplar & Limehouse which includes the Isle of Dogs, with 74,919 registered voters in a population of around 180,000.

Another six are listed in the neighbouring Bethnal Green & Bow constituency with its 79,581 registered voters in a population of more than 125,000.

The polling stations close at 10pm when ballot boxes are transported for the big count that's being held at the ExCel centre in Beckton, well outside Tower Hamlets, which has the capacity and security needed to avoid the challenges faced in past elections.

This is the third general election in four years, in addition to the EU elections in June, the local elections for Tower Hamlets Council and the mayor in May last year and of course the EU referendum in 2016.

One of the many packed hustings that have been held in the East End in the past two weeks. Picture: Mike BrookeOne of the many packed hustings that have been held in the East End in the past two weeks. Picture: Mike Brooke

Both constituencies voted to 'remain' with Europe, but Brexit is not the only issue in town today.

We have climate change which had big protests in Whitechapel and Mile End in the summer.

The NHS has played a part in the run-up to today's voting, with East End GPs and hospital doctors joining long-running campaigns to stop privatisation creeping in.

Poverty is another big issue, with Tower Hamlets having the highest levels of child deprivation in London.

Social housing shortage, bad housing and homelessness have featured in the campaigns, as well as tackling street crime, air pollution, unemployment and a decent living wage for all.

Added to the political arena this time are issues of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in an East End which has had protests against racism and discrimination over the years.

Poplar and Limehouse General Election candidates

(alphabetical order of surname):

Apsana Begum (Lab)

Andrew Cregan (Lib Dem)

Catherine Cui (Brexit)

Andy Erlam (anti corruption)

Neil Jameson (Green)

Sheun Oke (Con).

Bethnal Green and Bow General Election candidates

(alphabetical order of surname):

Mohammad Ali (Green)

Rushanara Ali (Lab)

David Axe (Brexit)

Joshua Babarinde (Lib Dem)

Vanessa Hudson (Animal Welfare)

Nicholas Strovold (Con).

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