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Live Reporting

Dan Kerins and Stephen Stafford

All times stated are UK

  1. Good evening from Southampton

    SeaCity Museum at Southampton Civic Centre

    We hope you've enjoyed our special focus on Southampton today ahead of next month's general election.

    The BBC will be visiting other constituencies in the coming weeks, and we'll be back in Southampton on 6 December for a head-to-head leaders debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

    Thanks for reading!

  2. Gallery move had 'transformative impact'

    Woodrow Kernohan
    Image caption: Woodrow Kernohan speaks to BBC South Today's Sally Taylor

    Woodrow Kernohan, director of Southampton's John Hansard Galley, has been describing the "entirely transformative impact" of moving from the university to the new cultural quarter.

    He said: "So we had quite a specialist, small audience when we were on the Highfield Campus, from 1979 up to 2018.

    "When we moved into this brand new, purpose-built building in the cultural quarter, we reach an average audience of about 100 to 150,000 people a year, and also work very closely with our neighboring communities."

    Southampton's Arts Centre, in the city's cultural quarter
    Image caption: Southampton's Arts Centre, in the city's cultural quarter
  3. On the set of South Today

    South Today presenter Sally Taylor and political editor Peter Henley on the set of this evening's live broadcast from Southampton city centre.

    They are joined at the John Hansard Gallery by Southampton University Student Union president Emily Harrison.

    Sally, Peter and Emily Harrison, President of Southampton University Student Union
  4. Which party is going to invest in more police on the streets?

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    We've been out in Southampton today listening to what people want from the general election.

    Terry Callen, 81, from Totton, asked: "Which party is going to invest in more police on the streets?"

    Terry Callen

    While the full manifestos are yet to be revealed, the BBC's policy guide has some of the headline pledges.

    • Conservatives: 20,000 more police officers for England and Wales over the next three years
    • Labour: Recruit extra police officers and prioritise neighbourhood policing
    • Liberal Democrats: More investment in community policing

    The Independent Group for Change, The Green party, The Brexit Party and UKIP have not yet announced policies in this area but the policy pages will be updated when they do.

    You can use Your Questions Answered to ask what you want to know.

  5. Preparing to broadcast live from the John Hansard Gallery

    Sally Taylor interviewing Woodrow Kernohan

    Sally Taylor has been interviewing Woodrow Kernohan, director of Southampton's John Hansard Gallery.

    It's ahead of tonight’s live broadcast of South Today from the gallery, overlooking Guildhall Square, at 18:30.

  6. What do people in the city want to know?

    We've been on Above Bar in Southampton city centre to ask people what they want to know ahead of the election on December 12.

    People can also ask questions online and we will do our best to answer them.

    Video content

    Video caption: Your Questions Answered: Southampton
  7. Campervan chat dominated by tuition fees

    The Newsbeat campervan in Southampton

    The Radio 1 Newsbeat election camper van is also in Southampton today - a city that has almost 40,000 students spread across two universities.

    Newsbeat parked up outside a student house and invited its residents in for a cuppa and a chat about the issues that matter to them in this election.

    Top of the list was tuition fees.

    Sophie Wales, 22, says that if any of the parties committed to scrapping tuition fees entirely in their 2019 manifestos that would definitely sway her vote.

    Kenny Field, 20, says he thinks the current system of paying your student loan back after you graduate and start earning over a certain amount is “not a bad system” but “scrapping them all together would be better because “further and higher education should be open and accessible to all”.

    He thinks maintenance grants would be a better system to help ensure that everyone could afford all aspects of student life, not just the fees. “One of my flatmates who studies nursing had to do placements on her course and got no extra help financially for that - she was in a really tough situation having to work extra shifts to put herself through uni.”

    Newsbeat's Steffan Powell interviews Sophie Wales

    When asked if students across the UK have forgiven the Liberal Democrats for breaking their 2010 election pledge to oppose any rise in tuition fees, Tristan Fancourt, 21, says; “There is still a lot of anger there. It still impacts us right now as we’re having to pay those high tuition fees.

    “I think a lot of the anger now isn’t that we are having to pay for our tuition but that there seems to be such a high level interest on student loans - that just compounds the problem meaning we have to pay back more. It’s almost like we’re being punished for taking the loans because we couldn’t pay our fees.”

    He says that while it’s not the deciding issue for him, he will take it into account when deciding who to vote for.

    When asked if they thought students, rather than the rest of the population, should have to stump up the cash because ultimately they are the ones getting the benefit of their education? Sophie agreed but says she worries that it “could be a disincentive” for students who fear not being able to afford it in the long run. “As Kenny said - education should be an opportunity for everyone.”

  8. 'It's not unlike a northern city'

    Video content

    Video caption: General Election 2019: BBC South takes a look at Southampton Itchen
  9. Southampton voters tell us their questions

    Emily Ford

    BBC South

    I've been in Southampton today speaking to voters who have questions ahead of the general election.

    I got chatting to Joanna MacGowan, 30, from Southampton and Katie Fletcher, 29, from Christchurch.

    They wanted to know which parties were pledging to help first-time buyers and single parents.

    While our team works on the answers please continue to send in your questions and we could be in touch.

    Joanna MacGowan and Katie Fletcher
  10. Why aren't election manifestos legally binding?

    A lot of you have been asking: Why can't we make election manifestos legally binding?

    Peter Barnes

    BBC political analyst Peter Barnes said: "It would be really hard to make manifestos legally binding.

    "So the Prime Minister and the cabinet obviously lead the government but if they want to make any changes they have to get MPs and members of the House of Lords to agree and that’s not always possible, even when a party has a majority."

    Dr Anna Bradshaw

    Lawyer Dr Anna Bradshaw said: "The problem is that it’s a bad idea.

    "If the election manifesto becomes legally binding then firstly you have the risk it will tie the hands of parliament.

    "Secondly, when it comes to enforcement, against whom would you enforce it? Would it be against the Prime Minister? Would it be against the entire government?

    "Who enforces it? Is it a public enforcement action only Or can you bring a private prosecution?"

    Elin Naurin

    Elin Naurin, associate professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg, said: "In the UK, we find that parties mostly keep their promises, and the UK system - being the Westminster system where the winner takes all - is apparently a system that’s more efficient at fulfilling pledges than some of the other countries that we investigate.

    "Breaking a pledge would lead to punishment from the voters. Fulfilling a pledge is something you are expected to do so you don’t get a lot of credit for that."

  11. Economy drives changing face of Southampton

    Dan Kerins

    Digital Editor, BBC South

    The medieveal Arundel Tower and the WestQuay South development
    Image caption: New and old jostle for position in Southampton

    Like many cities in the country, Southampton has had to come to terms with a very different economy over the last few decades.

    As major industrial employers such as Ford, Pirelli and Vosper Thornycroft have left the city, Southampton has attempted to pivot.

    The WestQuay shopping centre opened in 2000 on reclaimed land where the Pirelli factory previously stood and in 2016 an mammoth extension opened opposite part of the medieval walls.

    The old Vospers' site is currently having flats built on it, overlooking Southampton Water and the River Itchen.

    View of western Southampton from the Itchen Bridge

    In an attempt to attract more jobs which aren't in the service and retail industry (or again allow developers to build more flats), the city council made moves to attract new industry to the site of the old Ford Transit factory in Swaythling, on the northern edge of the city.

    Now new offices are being built in the hope of bringing start-ups and companies looking to relocate away from London - the formation of the cultural quarter and a the building of a new arts centre was all done to round out Southampton's appeal.

    Southampton's arts centre overlooking Guildhall Square

    Carnival Cruises have their UK headquarters adjacent to the port, challenger bank Starling has set up offices in the city and a new office development planned for the Toys R' Us site is pitched as trying to encourage graduates to stay in the city and create start-up businesses - instead of building another massive shop.

    With industry no longer what it was and retail beginning to struggle, perhaps we are seeing the start of the next stage in Southampton's evolution.

  12. Southampton head teacher on helping first-time voters

    Liz Lee

    The head teacher of a Southampton school has insisted pupils “care deeply” about the election.

    More than a third of pupils at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College are eligible to vote next month.

    Speaking on the BBC News Channel, Liz Lee said: “We want to make sure they are well prepared, so making sure they are registered to vote is quite a big thing.

    "They need to know more about it – when the referendum was on and the previous election, we held Q and A sessions with local politicians

    "We’re really keen that students who can vote get as full a range of opinions as possible so they can make an informed choice."

    "They are engaged they care deeply about Brexit and know their education requires funding, and university fees – so they are clued up, it’s our job just to give them some more information."

  13. Southampton entrepreneurs on election hopes

    Budding entrepreneurs at the University of Southampton's Future Worlds business “incubator” have been talking to BBC News about their hopes for the forthcoming election.

    Future Worlds

    Emily, who made an app to match and swap "pre-loved" clothes, said: "I want a government that puts sustainability at the heart of business – it would be awesome to see a tax of fast fashion to help tackle this huge mountain of clothing waste."

    Future Worlds

    Josh, who is developing a business to improve the fit of prosthetic limbs, said: "What’s really important to us is continued access to EU funding going forward and for start-ups to attract the best talent from across the world so we can create global scalable businesses and we don’t have those trade barriers."

    Ben Clark

    The centre's director, Ben Clark said: There are tax incentives that encourage people to invest in start-ups, I’d like to see those extended.It encourages the flow of capital into these high-risk ventures."

  14. What Southampton is famous for ...

    Craig David
    • RMS Titanic - the liner left Southampton on her ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912. More than 540 of the 1,500 people who died in the Titanic sinking were crew members from Southampton.
    • Mayflower - Almost exactly four hundred years ago, the Mayflower and Speedwell left from Southampton's Town Quay bound for the “new world” of America. The Pilgrim Fathers set up the first permanent colony of English settlers in Plymouth Massachusetts leaving England because they were not allowed to practise their Puritan religion under the reign of King James I.
    • The Saints – currently languishing at the wrong end of the Premier League, Southampton were FA Cup winners in 1976 and among those who have worn the red and white stripes are Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer and Gareth Bale, as well as local hero Matt Le Tissier, still known as 'Le God' in these parts.
    • Cruise ships – If you are off on your hols on board a cruise ship, the chances are you'll be departing from Southampton. Each ship contributes up to £2.5m to the local economy when in port. However environmental campaigners have urged companies to stop idling their engines while in docks, which contributes between two and 13% of air pollution in the city, according to the port and council respectively.
    • Craig David - The RnB star first broke on to the music scene 20 years ago. As a teenager, he'd record music in his bedroom on the Holyrood Estate and started DJing around the city’s clubs.
    • The Spitfire - The fighter plane designed by RJ Mitchell first flew from Southampton Airport in 1936. During World War Two, the Supermarine factory in Woolston.was bombed with great loss of life to local workers. Production continued in and around Southampton, dispersed in locations as varied as bus garages and launderettes.
    Matt Tissier
    Image caption: "Le God" still holds a special place in the hearts of Sotonians
  15. Southampton issues: Schools, child poverty and Brexit

    The BBC's Hampshire and Isle of Wight political reporter Emily Hudson on the issues that matter to voters in Southampton ahead of the General Election.

    Video content

    Video caption: Emily Hudson on the issues affecting voters in Southampton
  16. Who is standing in Southampton?

    Southampton Guildhall
    Image caption: Southampton's election counts will happen at the city's guildhall

    Southampton is covered by three constituencies:

    • Southampton Itchen covers the city east of the River Itchen, plus the city centre
    • Southampton Test covers most of the western part of the city
    • Romsey and Southampton North covers the northern part, plus the market town of Romsey and surrounding areas.

    The BBC website has a complete list of candidates for these and every other constituency in the country. Follow the links below for more detail:

  17. Looking for Brexitland - Southampton

    Brexit is set to be a defining issue in the forthcoming election. In the 2016 referendum, Southampton voted to leave the EU by 53.8% to 46.2% - about the average for England as a whole.

    Earlier this year, Allan Little visited the city as part of his journey around the UK to discover what opinions were three years after the historic vote.