Godalming and Ash General Election candidates 2024 hoping for your votes

Surrey, once a stronghold for top Conservative politicians, is facing major changes ahead of the July 4, 2024 General Election. Several high-profile Tories, including Michael Gove, Kwasi Kwarteng, and Dominic Raab, have announced they won't run again. This leaves Chancellor Jeremy Hunt as the last senior Conservative standing in the area.

All eyes are now on the new Godalming and Ash constituency, which replaces Hunt's long-held Southwest Surrey seat. Recent polls show a tight race between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with Hunt's historically safe seat now too close to call.

Pollsters Ipsos say the Conservatives are projected to receive 34 per cent of the vote with the Liberal Democrat Paul Follows, leader of Waverley Borough Council, on 33 per cent.

If correct the final outcome could depend on how the vote share of Labour, currently on 17 per cent, Reform 11 per cent, and Green five, splits on the day.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service gave each candidate 100 words - cut off if they went over - to pitch why you should vote for them.

READ MORE: Surrey General Election candidates 2024: Every candidate standing

The candidates are below, in alphabetical order by surname.

Ruby Tucker from the Green Party is also running for election. She was contacted for this piece but has not responded. This piece will be updated if she gets in touch.

Graham Drage, Reform UK

Graham was born and educated in Guildford, going on to read Politics & French at university. Today, he remains a passionate, bilingual European and a strident supporter of the new geostrategic opportunities surfacing beyond the EU, in the Indo-Pacific and other emerging markets.

Since the late 1990's Graham has been working as business consultant whilst running a small manufacturing business.

He holds political views which are centre-right, believing in small state, low taxation economies which operate 'within their means'. Graham maintains that SMEs are the beating-heart of Britain, which must now be encouraged and incentivised to solve the UK’s debt crisis.

Paul Follows, Liberal Democrats

I am the Liberal Democrat candidate for Godalming and Ash and a passionate advocate for a more accessible and better funded NHS, safe, clean water supplies, and a properly funded social care sector.

I have lived locally for over a decade and am proud to stand up for my home community in this election. As a councillor and council leader in Godalming and Waverley, I have a record of working with residents and others to deliver for our community and rebuild our public services.

The country is crying out for honest, effective, and competent government. Liberal Democrats in Parliament can help bring about much-needed positive change locally and nationally.

Jeremy Hunt, Conservative

Jeremy was born in Shere, went to school in Godalming, learned to swim in Cranleigh, and now lives in Hambledon. After setting up a successful business, he’s represented South West Surrey since the 2005 General Election.

Nationally, he’s known as the health secretary who won record funding increases for the NHS, and the chancellor who restored calm to the economy and brought inflation down to normal.

He’s just as proud of his local record. Widely acknowledged as an effective local champion, he negotiated £25 million for a new cancer centre at the Royal Surrey Hospital, secured new flood defences for Godalming and protected the Surrey Hills from overdevelopment.

James Walsh, Labour

James Walsh is a communications professional and has worked as a journalist and as a senior stakeholder communications manager in the NHS. He was elected to Guildford Borough Councillor in 2016 and is the leader of the authority's Labour group.

James was inspired to go into politics by the example of his grandfather, who was a councillor in Egham Hythe for 31 years and who helped people in his local area. James is married with one son and is standing to represent Godalming and Ash to help bring the change the constituency - and country - needs after 14 years of Conservative-led decline.

Harriet Williams, Women's Equality Party

Harriet Williams is the Women's Equality Party deputy leader with an accomplished record of pushing to end violence against women, campaigning against inequalities in healthcare, misogyny in our institutions and advocating for single parents’ rights.

Harriet believes that politics needs a shake up and that things can get better. From crumbling social care to increasing poverty, Godalming and Ash has seen significant cutbacks to local services that the community relies on.

That’s why Harriet is standing to advocate for the needs of the community and put the people at the heart of politics. She is determined to deliver a brighter future that other parties aren’t offering.