POLL: UKIP surge expected but Conservatives will still rule after Lincolnshire County Council Elections
The UK Independence Party will be the biggest gainers in next week's Lincolnshire County Council election – according to an Echo poll.
The Lincolnshire Echo visited all seven districts of the county to ask 250 voters which political party they were voting for ahead of the election polls opening on Thursday, May 2.
The survey suggests the Conservative Party, led locally by Martin Hill, will continue to control County Hall after 32 per cent of people said they planned to choose the blue ticket.
That would be 16 per cent down on the party's share of the overall vote at the 2009 election.
According to the poll, UKIP will be the most significant movers after 21 per cent of people showed support for them.
The party will field 60 candidates, compared to just 11 in 2009. There are 77 seats up for grabs overall.
Nigel Farage leads the party at national level and his group are expected to do particularly well in the south of the county where many residents said immigration was the most important issue in their area.
Labour, which will field a full 77 candidates, received 19 per cent – almost eight per cent up from 2009.
Lincolnshire Labour leader Rob Parker has pinned his hopes on winning all 10 seats on offer in Lincoln and the poll suggests much of their support will come from the city.
There was strong support for the Lincolnshire Independents in North Kesteven. They totalled 17 per cent.
Marianne Overton, party chief and leader of the opposition at Lincolnshire County Council, is expected to retain her seat in Branston and Navenby.
The Liberal Democrats appear to have lost the public's faith.
Part of the Coalition in central Government, the party received just 10 per cent of the vote in the Lincolnshire poll – nine per cent lower than four years ago.
Elsewhere, the TUSC party obtained one per cent.
People were also asked what they felt were the most important issues in their area.
The majority of people said the state of our roads was a huge cause for concern, while crime and a lack of trains to London also featured frequently.
In North Kesteven, 75 per cent of people said a lack of jobs and facilities in the area were the biggest issues. Many others complained that too much housing was being built compared to the lack of necessary facilities.
People in South Kesteven and East Lindsey complained there were too many potholes in their area. Most people complained about the transport network in West Lindsey.
In both Boston Borough and South Holland more than 75 per cent of people complained about immigration.