THE GAZETTE’S hustings event has sold out as campaigning for the General Election gets underway.

On Monday, 160 members of the public registered to attend the free event where they will get the opportunity to grill the candidates hoping for their vote.

The event, held at the Apollo Hotel in Basingstoke, will be streamed online to enable those who missed out on tickets to watch from home. 

All five prospective parliamentary candidates are taking part in the debate including Maria Miller (Conservative), Kerena Marchant (Labour), Sashi Mylvaganam (Lib Dem), Jonnie Jenkin (Greens) and Alan Stone (Independent).

Information about these candidates and their backgrounds will be published in a special election guide in this week’s Gazette, out on Thursday.

The Brexit Party candidate Caroline Gladwin has withdrawn from the election after leader Nigel Farage made the decision not to challenge seats in Conservative strong-holds.

Monday's debate will be chaired by Gazette publisher Bill Browne who will ask the candidates the questions before audience members will be able to put their issues to the panel. 

Katie French, head of news, said: “We now have less than a month until this country goes to the polls for the third time in five years.

“In these unusual political times, it is important that our readers get the chance to get to know the people who want their votes.

“Nearly 28,000 people chose not to vote during the 2017 General Election here in Basingstoke. We are hoping this event will help involve people who aren't usually interested in politics which is why the event is free and also available to watch from home as well." 

In this week’s Gazette, the newspaper is publishing a special election pull-out which features exclusive interviews with all the candidates across Basingstoke, North West and North East Hampshire as well as information about the different parties and how to vote.

Pick up your copy on Thursday for your local guide to the General Election 2019.