In ConservativeHome's end-April survey of the Tory grassroots we asked party members to rate the importance of various characteristics when it comes to the selection of Conservative candidates for parliamentary seats.
At the end of the survey we also asked an open question as to other characteristics that would be important in a selection. Here are some of the verbatim responses to that open question, (chosen to be representative of the replies given):
- Speaking straight, without the jargon
- Knowledge of the particular area. If yellow stronghold then knowledge of them important.
- Proof they are actually Conservative and not just a careerist jumping on the Conservaitive party Bandwagon to further their own careers through a political medium.
- Not from the political class
- A successful life outside politics!
- Willingness to work and lead instead of talk!
- Must be prepared to do what is best for their constituency above political ideolgy or party loyalty.
- Evidence of achievement outside politics, eg running a successful business, charity work, overcoming a big disadvantage or challenge in life.
- Must be capable of original thinking, not just a clone.
- Sadly, ability to look/sound good on TV.
- The ability to form a strong, loyal, and enthusiastic group of workers around them.
- Aptitude for holding executive to account, not just as potential Minister.
- Prepared to be seen about the constituency on a very regular basis.
- Ability to relate to people at all social levels.
A hunger for candidates from outside of politics was noticeable. Westminster village candidates beware!