AS Northwich prepares to head to the polls on December 12, the Guardian will be interviewing all candidates in mid Cheshire.

In the third pre-election interview, Daniela Parker, Liberal Democrat candidate for Weaver Vale, explains how she could break the constituency's two-party dominance.

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I spent 14 years working in the prison service, working with vulnerable people in reducing reoffending, and now I work for a national charity that supports victims and witnesses of crime that are going through the criminal justice system.

I have spent my entire career working with vulnerable people, advocating on their behalf, and it has exposed me to some of the greatest difficulties that people face in different communities and different walks of life.

I live in Northwich with my husband and daughter, we moved here five years ago but I grew up in Cheshire.

Is it your first time running to be an MP?

It is the first time I have stood as anything. I joined the Lib Dems back in 2015, I didn’t really have any idea of it being a career journey for me.

I felt that the Lib Dems were hard done by, a little bit, after the coalition. We took a lot of the blame for a lot of things, I felt that some of that was unfair and I believed in what they stood for.

Yes we made mistakes and we were punished for that in the polls, and a lot of our MPs have had a lot of apologising to do over the years – and continue to. But I think we have moved forward as a party – we have learnt lessons.

Weaver Vale has swung between Labour and the Conservatives over the years – can the Lib Dems disrupt that this year?

I am not a betting woman. But if I was, I would not put money on this election.

I think it is going to be very hard to call, not just in Weaver Vale but nationally as well, I think no one should be written off just yet. And I think there will be a lot of surprises on the night – we will just have to wait and see.

What are the key issues people are raising with you on the doorstep?

It is Brexit mainly, that comes up a lot. People raise Brexit, then they want a quick answer to that, because there is always a follow-up – there is always something else they want to ask me.

I knocked on a door in Kingsmead, and a teacher wanted to talk about education – funding not just for teachers, but wider funding for education. And I’ve spoken to people about the NHS, social care is a big one – people concerned about ageing relatives, people with additional needs.

But mainly what I have found is that people just want to talk. People will start the conversation with ‘I am a Labour or Conservative supporter’ and I go to walk away, but then they say ‘can I just ask you?’. There’s a real interest from people in learning about the other parties.

Let’s talk about Brexit then – the Lib Dems want to stop it, either by cancelling it if you win an election or by pushing for a second referendum in a hung parliament. Is that fair?

Our position is very clear. A colleague of mine in the south has coined the phrase ‘get Brexit gone’.

Northwich Guardian:

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson. Image: Aaron Chown/PA

If we were voted in as a majority government the first thing we would do would be revoke Article 50. That hasn’t gone down well with some people – ‘undemocratic’ comes up quite a bit – but what I would say is it is not undemocratic to hold a different viewpoint.

There is no democracy without opposition and we are providing the opposition to Brexit. Our position is very clear.

But that is in the case of a majority government. In all other circumstances we will continue to fight for a second referendum. We tabled 17 amendments to get a second referendum, unfortunately each one of them failed, but now some of the other parties are saying ‘yes’.

Many people in Weaver Vale voted to leave and the country is still divided – could your Brexit stance cause further division?

It is a big concern for me, how divided people seem. Some people are really angry and that anger manifests itself in different ways. I have been shouted at unfortunately.

But other people are more – I don’t know how to describe it but you can tell they are angry without having to shout or scream. People are frustrated.

I think a lot of people that I have spoken to just want a solution. They have got to the point where they don’t much care which one it is, as long as it stops.

Whatever happens there are going to be people that are unhappy. That’s always going to be the case, but what politicians have a responsibility to do, is to bring people together however they can.

Away from Brexit, the NHS and social care are key issues for voters. How would the Lib Dems support them?

Funding. It all boils down to funding. Our plan has been for a long time 1p on income tax that would be ringfenced for the NHS and social care. Our plan is clear and costed.

If we lost the Victoria Infirmary then the pressures on Leighton would be nothing compared to what they are now.

Northwich Guardian:

Yes we need new staff, but we need experienced to support those coming through, so we need to find ways to make sure we are supporting existing staff.

Stress amongst nurses and GPs is astronomical, so it’s about what we can do to help them enjoy their employment, and that way they will provide the best service to patients – because they are doing a fantastic job, no one questions that, but it is what they are up against.

Northwich has seen a lot of new houses built in recent years, and there are more on the way. How can we keep our infrastructure up to scratch?

I feel there is a responsibility from everyone – developers and the council – to look at how we are doing this.

Looking at Northwich – the amount of houses we have had, there has been no thought for infrastructure. My personal GP surgery I believe has a three-week wait for an appointment at the moment.

The more houses that we put up the more pressure there will be. And yes we do need more homes, but we need social housing and affordable housing. Hartford’s new homes are out of reach for most buyers.

In Winnington we were supposed to get a school. We didn’t get one, they moved school places around. It’s not ideal, and when we bought our house we did because we thought there would be a local school – a lot of people did and they were disappointed.

You live in Winnington – are you affected by congestion at Winnington Bridge?

Yes – the traffic across that bridge is incredible. I’ve seen some of the ideas put forward, it seems to me that the most logical is to build a second bridge though I haven’t seen a cost for that.

Something needs to be done and we have to look at the best solution because it is unsustainable. We had the Christmas Extravaganza which was a fantastic event, really well attended, but it took people forever to get out of town with that bridge being one of the key points.

Northwich Guardian:

Image: David Dixon

It needs looking at urgently, and I think it is a case of working with the council and with national government. It has been talked about for a long time.

Which one Lib Dem policy is the one you are most passionate about for people in Weaver Vale?

Education – I think our education policy is particularly strong. We’ve identified annual funding for schools of £10 billion a year, but we have identified £7 billion separately for infrastructure – so for repairs, building new schools if necessary, building additional buildings.

We are also looking at how we can support teachers. Ofsted causes a lot of pressure and we are looking at scrapping it, replacing it with a watchdog that would put less pressure on teachers.

I’m also pleased to see we have our skills wallet so people can retrain and upskill throughout their lives. It’s so important that people aren’t disadvantaged because they left school 20 years ago.

On education – Northwich lost its college campus in Hartford recently. Is that an issue you would want to address?

I need to understand why that close and the impact on students having to travel to Winsford and Warrington.

When you are going to learn, you don’t need that tiring journey in the morning.

I do think we need an FE college in Northwich for those people that want to learn apprenticeships, vocational skills, we have not got an offer here – and that is a real shame. I’m not entirely sure why we could not persuade that college to stay.

Hartford does not need another housing development. I think while the building is still there we should try and find someone to move in – is there no chance of someone opening a college up?

Northwich residents have been let down by poor service and broken promises on the mid Cheshire rail line – what should happen to Northern?

The train between us and Manchester is so uncomfortable that a lot of people actually go from Hartford to Crewe, and then to Manchester. The trains need updating, it needs electrification.

At the very least I think people would settle for better and more carriages at the moment. Let’s pick the easiest thing to start with.

Northwich Guardian:

I’m really concerned that the national focus is on faster links to London – brilliant in the long term, but for me the priority is to improve rail transport at a time we want to get cars off the road.

We are talking about freezing rail fares in the Lib Dems, and to be honest I think that is the least that we can do.

What would you say to a voter who might consider the Lib Dems, but is put off by the party’s track record in coalition with the Conservatives from 2010 to 2015?

I think a lot of people have moved on, but it is something we should not take for granted or forget. I think when you make a mistake the first thing you should try to do is learn from it.

I can’t imagine that I would ever vote against my own beliefs and if I say I am going to do something I will do it. If I change my mind, I would give a very good reason, it would not be that I wanted a job as a minister.

I’m taking the work I have done throughout my career and trying to do it on a larger scale. Hopefully the people of Weaver Vale will see that.

Finally, you have a day off – no work or campaigning to do. How would you spend your ideal day in Cheshire?

After all the campaigning I have done recently I think my priority would be to spend time with my husband and daughter.

She would probably pick Anderton Boat Lift if I asked her, and we would let her play and run around, or we would find somewhere new and explore – she loves to put on her wellies and just go exploring.

READ > Labour candidate Mike Amesbury

READ > Conservative candidate Adam Wordsworth

Keep checking the Guardian website over the coming days for our interviews with the remaining Weaver Vale candidates.