Bembridge politics has been interesting — and controversial — in recent years.

If you're voting in Bembridge on May 6, who can you choose from this time round?

Isle of Wight Council election

There is a two-horse race for the seat on the Isle of Wight Council.

The Isle of Wight Council ward previously covered Brading, St Helens and Bembridge, and was the Island's only ward with two representatives.

Incumbent councillor, independent Michael Murwill, is stepping down after a tenure which saw him absent for a while through ill health.

The other, Conservative Brian Tyndall, is standing in the new ward of Brading and St Helens.

It means the new Bembridge ward is being fought by Conservative Joe Robertson and Our Island representative Alasdair Steane.

Isle of Wight County Press: Left, Joe Robertson, right, Alasdair Steane.Left, Joe Robertson, right, Alasdair Steane.

Mr Steane's supporters have questioned opponent Joe Robertson's commitment to the village, because he lives in neighbouring St Helens and in 2019 ran as MP in London, for Erith and Thamesmead, and lived in London then, according to his campaign material. He lost to Labour.

Mr Steane said: "I was brought up and live in Bembridge. I am committed to this community and have been heavily involved in local issues, and I am a former parish councillor.

"While other candidates may make their case to the voters for their election they should take care not to deliberately mislead the electorate. The other candidate in this election is clearly misrepresenting himself to obtain votes."

However, Mr Robertson told the County Press: "I grew up in Bembridge and St Helens. For most of my life I have lived on Bembridge Harbour and I am the third generation in my family to have done so.

"In 2019, my work meant I was also living in South East London but this commitment ended early in 2020, allowing me to be on the Island full time with my wife and young children."

Isle of Wight County Press: Joe Robertson's campaign material from 2019.Joe Robertson's campaign material from 2019.

He said he has held a wide range of jobs in Bembridge, organised and participated in beach cleans around Bembridge Harbour, been a volunteer driver for older people in the village, and has been a volunteer fundraiser for a dementia charity.

He added: "Bembridge residents have a clear choice on Thursday — continuing with the politics of division or a vote for Joe Robertson who will bring people together and work positively with all residents and parish councillors for the good of the wider community."

Bembridge Parish Council election

The parish council has hit the headlines many times in recent years.

Members of community action group Open Bembridge clashed with other members over several years, mainly over proposed plans for 5/7 High Street, since 2017.

There was a bizarre incident in December 2018 when a former councillor presented some 'unsolicited' biscuits as a Christmas gift, after being banned from e-mailing, calling and visiting the parish office.

Demonstrators then stood outside the Bembridge parish office with a giant inflatable digestive in protest at the treatment of Alexander Hopkinson-Wooley, the former parish councillor.

Isle of Wight County Press: Memories of "biscuitgate" in BembridgeMemories of "biscuitgate" in Bembridge

In 2019, a former parish council member was ordered to pay £7,155 costs after bringing a case against the local council to the Isle of Wight County Court — which was struck off in its entirety.

Claimant Madeleine Reeder brought the case against co-defendants Cllr Grant Stillman, then council vice chairman, and Bembridge Parish Council.

This was followed by an unseemly row over whether a four-letter word was used towards a councillor.

An investigation concluded that there was insufficient reliable and irrefutable evidence to reach a conclusion that a breach of the code of member conduct had occurred.

All the councillors who gave evidence saying the word wasn't used — Cllrs Richard Weaver, Grant Stillman and Margaret Donlon — are up for election, as is Alasdair Steane, who said the insult was directed at him.

Then in August 2020 there were more headlines, with some councillors being 'kicked out' after a row over meeting attendance.

In January, former councillors Liz White and Nigel Maclean announced their resignation from the parish council following issues with the Bembridge Village Hall roof project.

At Thursday's elections, there are 12 seats available in Bembridge, but 17 people want a place.

Six will be chosen from the North Ward, from Jay Chapman, Martin Groom, Paul Kenny, Rosamond Poncia, Alasdair Steane, Mike Tarrant, Richard Weaver and Liz White.

A further six will be chosen from the South Ward, from Harriet Brabazon, Iain Delaney, Margaret Donlon, Josh Lake, Liz Mitchell, Grant Stillman, Marianne Sullivan, Sheila Weedall and Ray Widger.