There will definitely be a new councillor representing the residents of Liden, Eldene and Park South in the council chamber after May 2.

The sitting councillor, Labour's Chris Watts is stepping down after a term - in doing so, while there are a number of husband and wife couples on the council, he breaks up the only family trio, Coun Watts' wife Nadine and father Peter will continue in their seats.

The ward is a mixture - Park South has a high proportion of council housing and is separated from Park North by Whitbourne Avenue. It is a more 'urban' suburb than the areas of Liden and Eldene, across the Dorcan Stream, which feature more recently-built private estates as Swindon expanded east.

While at first glance, the ward looks like a Labour banker, with the party holding all three seats in the ward since it was created in 2012, it's been a much tighter affair at election time, with strong challenges from the Conservatives; and with decent showings from UKIP, at least until last year, when the party struggled everywhere, in Swindon and nationally - perhaps because its supporters felt its purpose had been served.

Coun Watts took his seat in 2015 by a margin of just 39 votes over Conservative candidate Graham Cherry. His 2007 votes was a 37.8 per cent share. In third place the UKIP candidate Rob Short gained 962 votes, at a time when the party was really making the weather politically across the country.

Labour did better in the two subsequent elections. In 2016, Coun Fay Howard held on to the seat she first took in 2003 with a 43 per cent vote share, and a handy 6 percentage point lead over the Conservatives, and last year Coun Janine Howarth was handed her first term as a councillor by 1325 voters, 44 per cent of the total. But again, it was a tight race with the Conservatives, Coun Howarth's majority was less than 100 votes.

This year, Labour are putting up Bazil Solomon, who is a local parish councillor. He will be hoping that the recognition factor for the lower council helps him hold onto the seat for the higher authority.

A voter who took part in last year's election could be forgiven a second glance at the ballot paper in the booth come May 2 - it looks remarkably similar to last year's.

Three candidates, Zachary Hawson for the Conservatives, Martin Costello for UKIP and Krista Salmon for the Liberal Democrats are returning to have another crack at it.

Mr Hawson will have been encouraged by getting to within 94 votes of victory in 2018 and will be hoping that with no incumbent standing, the field is more open to a newcomer.

Mr Costello, who is probably one of the best known candidates standing for UKIP will want to improve on a distant third last year. The well-publicised difficulties the government has had in agreeing a Brexit deal may attract disenchanted voters to his party.

Krista Salmon will be hoping to make progress for the Liberal Democrats.

In normal political times, Liden, Eldene and Park South would be a real battleground ward between Labour and Conservative, both of whom will be desperate to win.

In these rather less predictable days, it's not less crucial to the make-up of the council - but a left-field winner cannot be discounted.

The Candidates

Martin Costello (UKIP)

Never in the field of politics have so many been betrayed by so few!

The tired Tory/Labour duopoly has failed to honour democracy by betraying the will of the people and Brexit setting a very dark chapter in our history.

This is a prime opportunity to send a clear message to the political establishment that we have lost all faith and patience in their ability to represent us. Westminster is full of self-serving career politicians and champagne socialists who live in a bubble and care only for themselves.

There is currently no real opposition in the Council hence why our town is in such rapid decline. Only the true Swindonians of UKIP will breathe life back into Swindon and hold the stale establishment’s feet to the fire.

Enough is enough!

Zachary Hawson (Conservatives)

I was born in Liden and now live in Eldene. I have called this area home for most of my life, I grew up here and few know it better than I do. I have had the privilege of service on the Nythe, Eldene & Liden Parish Council for the past two years, during which time I have delivered much for the improvement of our local area.

This includes delivering an investment of over £90,000 in new play park equipment.

I am seeking election on Thursday 2nd May as I have the drive and commitment to make Liden, Eldene and Park South a better place for us all to live, work and raise a family. I am asking for your support so that I can help bring these improvements.

Krista Salmon (Liberal Democrats)

We live in politically uncertain times, our political leaders are floundering, not knowing which path to tread. A time when it can be difficult to know who best to trust, who to rely on to do what we want done.

Even amidst this uncertainly, there can be a certainty. In my work life I am a staff and field manager which requires planning, certainty, imagination and persuasion in bucket loads. If elected I can bring all these attributes to the role to work for you in the community, so we can work together to create a bright future, with certainty, with imagination, a Swindon to be proud of.

Allow me to work with you and I will not let you down.

Bazil Solomon (Labour)

I am a resident of Liden, an Eldene Parish Councillor and am seeking to be a borough councillor for Liden, Eldene and Park South Ward. I am a teacher and live with my wife and daughter.

I want to build on the good work of the local Labour Team in stopping unwanted housing development in the ward, increasing the opening times in Park Library, as well as improving Coate Water and the Shaftesbury Lake area.

Since being elected as a parish councillor for Eldene, I have been campaigning to get the firm running Eldene doctors’ surgery to change their booking practices. Patients of the surgery were finding it impossible to book an appointment.

I also support Labour’s pledge to fund more PCSOs to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the Liden, Eldene and Park South area.