Government support for Woking Council, fixing the NHS, cutting the cost of living and protecting the environment are the key priorities of newly elected MP Will Forster. 

The Liberal Democrat became the constituency’s first non-Tory MP since the seat’s formation in 1950. He overcame a 10,000 vote majority, with 24,019 votes to the Conservative’s 12,773.

Mr Forster, who was born and raised in Woking and is an experienced local councillor and former mayor. Spoke to the Local Democracy Reporting Service about what he hopes to achieve. 

He said: “As Woking’s MP my priorities are clear: get help for Woking Council from the Government, fix our NHS, cut the cost of living and protect our environment.

“That means getting fairer funding for councils, making it easier to see a doctor when you need one, it means a real windfall tax on oil and gas, and ending sewage dumping in our rivers.”

The seat comprises the borough of Woking with the Guildford villages of Pirbright and Normandy. Those who keep a close eye on local politics would have noticed voters shifting from Conservative to Lib Dems since 2022, when the council changed hands after years of Tory rule.

Despite the surge in popularity for the party, national polls were calling the seat too close to call and predicted Labour as the Conservative’s biggest rival. While some residents believed the rise of Reform UK would further muddy the waters.

In the end, Woking voters continued to favour the Lib Dems.

Mr Forster was first elected on to Woking Borough Council in May 2011 where he served in Lib Dem opposition until the group took control from the Conservatives in May 2022. He represents residents in Hoe Valley.

He has also been a county councillor since 2009 representing Woking South.