JUST a week after residents went to the polls in the local council elections the major political parties are back out on the trail for voters’ support.

Ballots will take place for the European Parliament on Thursday, May 23 after the United Kingdom’s delayed exit from the EU.

The Liberal Democrats, who enjoyed an extremely successful set of results both in Dorset and nationally at council level, launched their campaign on Thursday at Bournemouth beach.

Cllr Vikki Slade, who was elected to represent Broadstone on Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and is the party’s county representative, said: “I think there is a really good chance what happened last Thursday is an indicator of what will happen in two weeks’ time.

“We have a real chance of returning at least one of our MEPs for the south west.”

She added: “We will be knocking on doors across the whole area.

“We are going to be targeting carefully the people we feel are going to go out and vote.

“I don’t think the apathy is as great as people think.”

Residents’ votes in Dorset will be combined with those across the south west region to elect six MEPs.

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse was at the Liberal Democrat’s Dorset launch. She told the Daily Echo: “We have been proud pro-Europeans and internationalists as Liberal Democrats long before even the Brexit vote.

“We are proud we are still members of the European Union. We want to stay in the European Union and we are giving this message unashambaly to the Brtisih people – if you want to stop Brexit vote Liberal Democrat.”

The Conservatives, who had a diabolical result in the council polls, have also started their European election campaign.

Tory Ashley Fox, who is standing in the south west and Gibraltar constituency, said he did not want to fight these elections but added “democracy is a messy business”.

“It (Brexit) is taking far longer than anyone wanted but we will get there,” said Mr Fox. “The Conservatives are going to honour the referendum result and deliver the orderly Brexit that people expect, businesses crave and our economy demands.”

He added: “For anyone who supports leaving the EU, this election boils down to a clear choice between the good, the bad and the unelectable. Only the Conservatives can deliver the good, orderly Brexit that will set our country on the road to greater prosperity.”