INDEPENDENT candidate John Hunt reckons he could cause a major upset by winning the Taunton Deane constituency in the General Election.

Mr Hunt, who is a Bishop's Hull parish councillor, Somerset West and Taunton district councillor and Somerset county councillor, believes he is in with a good shout of beating the three main party representatives in the December 12 poll.

Out campaigning in Taunton town centre at the weekend, Mr Hunt said he hopes the electorate will send him to Westminster as the only candidate capable of promoting local issues rather than simply toeing a party line.

"I really believe I've got a chance of winning here," said Mr Hunt, who ran a pine furniture shop in the county town for 15 years.

"The support I've received is overwhelming.

"Some people have been saying, 'You've no chance of winning'. Six months ago I'd have agreed with them, but the local support I'm getting is phenomenal.

"I'm drawing support from the Conservatives and a lot from the LibDems.

"When I was in Wellington on Sunday morning, people were coming out of their houses to shake my hand and wish me luck."

Mr Hunt said MPs representing parties spend most of their time in London.

"They can't represent the people of Taunton properly. I want to bring proper representation for Taunton. My only reason for standing is to represent the people of Taunton.

"If I'm elected I will keep standing up in the Commons to talk about Taunton.

"People see that if I get elected, I will look after them in Taunton."

Mr Hunt criticised the Greens for pulling out of the contest in Taunton Deane, claiming local students he had spoken to feel disenfranchised as the environment is for many of them the most important issue.

He added: "It's a hugely important issue for me too and I don't want to see democracy being destroyed by denying the young people the chance to vote for who they want to represent them

"I'm standing because the political parties we have don't offer proper representation in Taunton.

"I've had unbelievable support in two elections (county and district councils) - in the district election I polled more votes than any other candidate.

"I hope to repeat that in the General Election."