SO, WHAT will it be for you?

Brexit? Or the bins?

That’s the question many voters will be pondering as the region gears up for the local – and possibly the Euro elections - which take place next month.

Almost 300 people are standing as candidates for election in 76 seats for the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council.

Conservative candidates have been but forward for every seat while Labour and the Liberal Democrats have 70 and 67 prospective councillors.

However, what none of those standing can gauge is the effect the current Brexit debate will have on the electorate.

Will Leavers use these elections as a stick to beat incumbent Tories with? Or will they decide that the cost of their council tax, the frequency of bin collections and what happens to their allotment is far more important?

It’s the same with Remainers. Will they cast their vote on local issues? Or will they take the opportunity to parade their displeasure?

Only last week 100 furious Tory activists sent a letter to Theresa May telling her they are struggling to get enough volunteers to help with the local elections. In a letter published in a national newspaper they said: “'We are short of party members to come out and canvass because the belief in the party they joined is gone.

'Many of us have knocked on the door of paid-up party members only to hear that they will no longer support Conservatives because they feel betrayed over Brexit. Donations have dried up.

'We are extremely concerned that the Government's breach of faith with the electorate on Brexit will result in long-serving Conservative councillors losing office through no fault of their own.”

In Bournemouth, however, candidates may have an even bigger problem than punishment voting – people not bothering at all.

The Daily Echo spent a morning asking voters in the town centre whether they’d be using the local elections to give the political parties a kicking.

But most said they were wondering whether to cast any ballot.

Mary and Clive Edwards were on holiday from Cornwall. But, said Mrs Edwards: “I’m not sure if we’ll even bother to vote.” She would not reveal what they had voted in the Brexit referendum.

A Bournemouth shopkeeper, who asked not to be named, said she had ‘voted once’, in the referendum, but was so despondent at how things had gone that she would not be voting in the local elections.

“If they mention it at all, that’s what most of our customers seem to be saying, too,” she said.

A couple from Torquay, enjoying the sun in the Lower Gardens, said they had voted Remain and would be voting in their local elections but: “We haven’t really made up our minds.”

Even students, often seen as more politically active, seemed less interested.

Student Alicia said she wouldn’t be voting as she ‘wasn’t interested’.

Student Charlotte Bowler, who comes from Brighton and studies here, said she intended to vote but needed to think about who to give her vote to.

Tony Thorpe of Winton said he usually voted Conservative but had found the whole Brexit process ‘staggering’ and it would affect how he cast any vote in the local elections. “I will have to think,” he said.

Only one interviewee, pensioner Ralph of Boscombe, said he would be voting ‘against the Tories’ as a result of their failure to implement Brexit. “I voted Leave and will not vote Conservative until they give us Brexit as they said they would,” he said.