AS Britain prepares for the upcoming general election, reporter CLAIRE HACK asks residents and shoppers in Wanstead for their views on the political future of the country.

Following the recession and ensuing unemployment and economic uncertainty, people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Labour Government – and voters in Wanstead are no different.

Tom Burling, 53, who lived in Wanstead for 26 years and still works in an office there, but now lives in Southend, Essex, said he had become extremely frustrated with dishonest MPs.

He said: “I'm very angry – all politicians have been telling lies. I think the Conservatives will just win it but I'm planning to vote for the BNP.”

And Sally Box, 24, of Inglehurst Gardens, Ilford, is also planning to steer clear of the three main parties on election day.

She said: “I don't know enough about it, but I'm not planning to vote for any of the big parties.

“I'm thinking of voting for UKIP, but I need to do a bit more reading about it.”

Balvinder Rattan, 52, of Nutter Lane Wanstead, will also be voting for one of the main parties but has yet to decide between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

He said: “I'm thoroughly fed up with Labour – you can't believe in them and you can't trust them.

“I wasn't happy with what they did the Middle East and Afghanistan in particular.

“I think Gordon Brown might have been a good chancellor but he wasn't a very good Prime Minister.”

And Laura Scullion, 26, who lives in East Ham but works in Murdoch Solicitors in Wanstead High Street added she believed the recession would have an effect on the way people vote.

She said: “I don't know how it's going to come out – I've got some more thinking to do myself.

“I'm undecided about who to vote for.”

Gwenda Phillips, 54, of Rivenhall Gardens, Snaresbrook, said she has become so disillusioned with the Government that she plans not to vote at all.

She said: “I think it will be the first time in my life I'm not going to vote. I can't see the point.

“They're all the same. I think they think we're here to serve them and they're not here to serve us.”

Local and general elections have officially been called for May 6, leaving voters with a month to make up their minds.

Ed Northover and Farooq Qureshi, respectively the Conservative and Lib Dem candidates for Leyton and Wanstead, have been on the campaign trail since last year.

Labour candidate John Cryer was finally chosen in February this year after the selection process was hit by numerous delays.