Prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Watford, elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, said she would most likely do both jobs for a year if she won the parliamentary seat in May.

Mayor Thornhill said she would enlist deputies to help, but would probably look to keep the title until the following May to avoid a by-election.

She said: "I wouldn’t want to cause a by-election. I would probably continue to the following May as elected mayor, without taking the salary, to give the residents time to know who the party candidates are.

"But this is all hypothetical. It is really up to the people of Watford. This is the one job where your future isn’t in your own hands. It’s very humbling."

Mayor Dorothy will continue in her role as elected mayor while she campaigns for the parliamentary seat, but said the campaign would in no way interfere with her present role.

She said: "It will be business as usual. I already go out and door knock, meet people and attend community events. I won’t be doing anything differently."

The mayor, who was elected for a fourth term last May, said her candidacy was a "game changer" for the Westminster race.

She will challenge incumbent Conservative Richard Harrington, Labour’s Matthew Turmaine and UKIP’s Nick Lincoln for the seat.

But Mayor Thornhill said the constituency, which spreads Watford and parts of Three Rivers, is a Lib Dem stronghold and she hopes this might be enough to win the seat.

Should she succeed it will likely be one of the few Lib Dem gains in May, as polls predict the party will take a hammering nationally.

Mayor Thornhill said she is not someone who has been bussed in to stand in the election, but has lived in Watford all her adult life.

She said: "I think people are fed up of career politicians. I have lived in Watford all my adult life. My children have gone to the schools here, I use the hospital here. And most of my time here I have been committed to serving the town. I have the knowledge, experience and passion to represent Watford in Westminster."

When she stood for elected mayor in May, Mayor Thornhill said it would be her last term.

She has previously refused to say if she was considering putting herself forward as party parliamentary candidate.

Mayor Thornhill said she wanted to be sure she had the support of her family and the national party before she decided to stand.

Mayor Thornhill said: "During the campaign for elected mayor in May, I made it clear I would stand down in 2018 no matter what. Everything we set out to achieve is now in motion and will go to fruition. It made me think I could step up and represent the town in Parliament knowing all the things we put in will happen."