Watch our video interviews with the candidates and voters.

THE General Election got into full swing yesterday as candidates met voters in Wycombe. OLIVER EVANS speaks to the candidates and voters.

The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party canvassed voters within yards of each other as Labour went to the doorstep.

Bookies’ favourite, Tory Steve Baker, met voters outside Lloyds bank armed with blue balloons and a petition calling for more cash and control over the NHS.

He said the NHS is ‘our number one priority for the area’ and slammed service changes at Wycombe Hospital, including the loss of some A&E and maternity services.

The petition calls for ‘fair funding, local control and freedom for clinical staff’. County chiefs say Bucks gets less cash than most other health authorities.

Leaflets also pledged to ‘give cancer patients the drugs they need on the NHS’.

Yet Mr Baker said: “I’d love to be able to promise to bring back maternity and A&E but I can’t do that.

“What I want to do is get to the heart of the problem and that’s that we are under-funded, we don’t feel we’ve got an adequate control and we do have clinical staff burdens.”

He said people were being ‘surprisingly positive’ and he had ‘had some very positive feedback’ about party leader David Cameron.

Current Wycombe MP Paul Goodman announced he is quitting Parliament last summer because of disillusionment over its future.

Shoppers spoken to by The Bucks Free Press gave their views.

Returns administrator Dave West, 64, of Downley said the pledge ‘looks a reasonable policy’.

He said: “My concerns are our local hospitals and they’ve been sort of chopped up.”

Mr West said he was angry his daughter had to give birth to twins at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury rather than Wycombe. Bosses said the service was not safe.

Former NHS worker Mike Gill, 53, from Aylesbury said he had always backed the Tories.

He said: “They are doing a good job – I hope they get in. And why not? It is time for change.”

Visit our website tomorrow for a video report on the day's events.

Mum Claire Schagen, 25, said: “I am still sitting on the fence slightly, to be honest. I am waiting to see the policies that everyone comes out with.”

The flight attendant, of Gordon Road, High Wycombe, praised the ‘absolutely amazing’ hospital, where she had son Charlie last year.

She said: “If they made localised decisions then that would be better because it would be more within our control and we will have more of a say about it.”

Yet Labour candidate Andrew Lomas hit back at the Tory campaign.

Mr Lomas, who was out trying to win support on the doorstep in Hughenden, said: “I have spoken to a few traditional Tory voters actually and one of the things that came across is that they thought Cameron was a shallow salesman.

“With Gordon what you see what you get. It might not be flash and glamorous all the time but they trust that and they depend on that a bit more.”

He said: “There is a real mood for change out there but the only thing I would say to people is is ‘is the change the Tories are offering a change you can afford?’”

Mr Lomas’s leaflet points to Labour’s second place at the last General Election poll in Wycombe and says: “A vote for the Lib Dems will let the Tories in here.”

Yet Lib Dem candidate Steve Guy’s leaflet says ‘Labour can’t win here’ because the party came fourth in last year’s Buckinghamshire County Council elections.

“It’s Lib Dem or Conservative in Wycombe,” it says.

It also pledges to fight over Wycombe Hospital – and Mr Guy he would not seek re-election if voted in unless ‘significant progress’ is made.

It says Mr Lomas and Mr Baker have been ‘shipped in’ from Oxfordshire and blasts Tory-run Wycombe District Council for closing Holywell Mead outdoor swimming pool.

The leaflet also questions the council’s priorities as it has found £750,000 to look into the feasibility of finding a new stadium for Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps.

He was set up in a sea of yellow outside the Guildhall yesterday and said the response had been ‘brilliant’.

Mr Guy, who was joined by South East Euro MP Sharon Bowles, said: “People seem to be really willing to consider the fact that this election’s wide open.”

He said: “I think we’ve got the policies that will get this country out of the economic mess that it’s in.”

Sandra Arkell, 61, of Bowerdean Road, said: “Conservative and Labour have had their chance haven’t they?

“It is time for someone else to have a go and see what they can do.”

Lynne De-La-Haye, 63, of Park Street, High Wycombe said she voted Lib Dem in 2005 and would again this year.

She said: “I think they can’t be any worse than we have got already. I don’t think Conservatives have done anything at all.”

She said of the Tories: “Everything is so expensive with them.”

Yet part-time interior designer Donna Brown, 32, of Wycombe Lane, Wooburn Green said she was not convinced.

She said: “I’m not quite sure, to be honest. As far as politics is concerned I think they should leave Labour where they are.”

John Wiseman, the UKIP candidate, said he had been ‘generally well received’ when handing out leaflets which warned about ‘unlimited’ immigration on the district.

The leaflet says pressure is being put on jobs and says: “It’s not being racist, it’s being realistic.”

He told The Bucks Free Press: “It is just too much. We would certainly impose an immediate cut on immigration and then finally come in with controlled immigration whereby we would allow a limited number of people in where there is no Briton willing or able to do the job.”

He said higher taxes and ‘vicious cuts’ to public services could be saved by axing millions worth of ‘petty rules’ from the EU.

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