Who will be the next MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham?

Voting papers are being scrutinized as the first ballot boxes arrive at the North Kesteven Sports Centre - now known as One NK. EMN-160812-223415001
Voting papers are being scrutinized as the first ballot boxes arrive at the North Kesteven Sports Centre - now known as One NK. EMN-160812-223415001

The first few party representatives have begun arriving at the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election count.

The by-election was triggered by the shock resignation of Tory MP Stephen Phillips who cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ over policy with the Government.

The ensuing campaign has since become a spot light for major parties looking to make a stance on Brexit and the stakes have been heightened since the recent Richmond Park by-election where former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith lost out to the Liberal Democrats.

It has also become a massive focus for the ongoing concerns about Grantham A&E department being closed at nights, the newly announced Sustainability and Transformation Plan for health services in the county and ganeral issues surrounding lack of funding for everything from council as and policing to rural bus routes and infrastructure.

It has attracted 10 candidates and a host of visits by big political names including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and former Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall and former leader Nigel Farage and Conservative Education Secretary Justine Greening, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, TransportSecretary Chris Grayling, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Digital Minister Matt Hancock.

There have been 112 Polling Stations open today (Thursday) across the constituency. All open from 7am until 10pm.

• The Sleaford & North Hykeham Constituency covers 433 square miles.

• The total electorate at this election is: 88,712

• Turnout in 2015 was 70.20% - higher than the UK average of 66.1%.

The constituency includes most of North Kesteven District, excluding the wards of Skellingthorpe, Bracebridge Heath and uphill Waddington in addition to seven wards to the north of Grantham within the South Kesteven District.