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Exactly, our last candidate in Rossendale and Darwen was faced with an uphill battle, despite being an excellent candidate and a nice bloke, he was a Yorkshireman.

Nigel was badly let down by a significant minority of the local membership who appeared to have absolutely no interest in getting a Conservative MP elected. It is a crying shame there are not more people of your ilk in Rossendale and Darwen, Mike.

Iain, I'm not going to go in to that here. You know my feelings on constituency matters.

I stand by my earlier comment that Nigel being a Yorkshireman was a disadvantage to his campaign here on the other side of the border.

I also stand by my comment about him personally, that he is a top bloke, outstanding candidate and somebody I'd be happy to campaign with or have a pint with. Any constituency in the York area would be lucky to have him if he is tempted to try again.

Gosh now I'm really confused, I can never define my 'class', and after reading this I don't know if I'm a Midlander/Southerner or Northerner either?

Grew up in Staffordshire, moved to Todmorden West Yorkshire/Lancashire border, then Chadderton near Oldham. Settled in Cheshire so I guess that makes me a Southern Northerner.

But I know I'm definately a woman ;-)

Oh I see my seat Pendle is on the list.

Looks like I will be picking between these A-listers sooner that I thought.

I wondered when McGregor would be mentioned. I live in Cliftonville now (becoming part of Thanet South as part of boundary changes) and Ive heard it said that he was seen wandering round Cliftonville checking out the area.

Im suprized Thanet South didnt appear. Its got a majority of 664 to Labour and the Tories are just a whisker away from claiming it. I thought we'd want a CCO chosen CamCon here to prove its not a white male Kent...

You will note that the most winnable seats arent necesarily up for grabs. What is apparent is that seats seem to have been chosen to match some of the candidates on the list. Almost as if it has all been planned in advance?

Yes Anon, I was thinking that. I wonder if Maude/Jenkin have a piece of paper with who they want for every winnable seat. It wouldn't surprise me.

That's strange - I didn't realise Michael Spicer was standing down in West Worcestershire.

This is just the '1st tranche'. Certainly, in our constituency, the Exec was given a free choice of whether to select now or wait until the autumn.

"That's strange - I didn't realise Michael Spicer was standing down in West Worcestershire."

Yes - he announced his decision at our AGM on 30 March.

Sean,

Your authoress suggestion may well be followed up by CCO ...

Is Lewes a target seat now? I'm glad to see they can get a candidate asap to start the hard work needed to get rid of Norman Baker. Any thoughts on who might apply?


She's also more intelligent and better looking than most of the current Cabinet, Gareth.

If my memory serves me rightly Bury South is still 50-50 weather or not we can overturn majority, Bury North is extremely marginal and Bolton West, a lil further down the road, had the greatest swing in the North of England. Yet weakest of three makes 35 list for priority candidates.....Im assuming here Cameron wants his Prioritys to win if so hed better re think places like Bury South!!!

I have just been alerted to the (mainly!) kind comments posted about me on 11 May from Birmingham, Worcester and others following the Council elections. Thank you!

Having fought the marginal Lib Dem seat of Hereford twice, I know how hard it is & was really pleased to help in the West Midlands in these marginal wards with their excellent and hard working candidates.

Labour may be our main opponent, but it is the Lib Dems who really make me see red!

Virginia Taylor (Fought Hereford 2001 & 2005 - but not standing again).

I note that there is much derision on Bury South on the first traunch. Let us remember that Bury South and other seats have large Tory votes that can not be capatilised by selecting a candidate just 9 months before the election. Also people are forgetting that Bury South has a high jewish vote, surprisingly when we had just under 17,000 votes at 97 when we selected an Protestant we lost 6,500 votes in 2001. Also what is not taken into account is the fact that boundary changes have added the Conservative voting ward of Unsworth into Bury South. With one of two approved candidates living in Bury South one being Jewish I'm sure Bury South's result will surprise many. P.S Conal, Bolton West and Bury are going through boundary changes which will make it very hard to gain such a high vote next time (Bolton West has lost Hulton,, to Bolton South East, whilst gaining Labour voting Atherton.

York Outer presumably would be the obvious choice for Anne McIntosh.

A lot of those seats especially those in the South of England should be a fairly sure bet, Labour gains at the next General Election are more likely to be at the expense of the Liberal Democrats or some of the Independents that have gained seats since 1997 not of Conservative seats although especially with boundary changes there will probably be some surprises.

That the Conservative Party will get more votes nationally than it did in 2005 and more seats I have no doubt of.

>>>>You will note that the most winnable seats arent necesarily up for grabs.<<<<
Most have sitting MP's which is why and naturally most candidates are eager to hold on to a safe seat once elected in one.


I went to York University and am afraid to say I have a strong negative impression of Anne McIntosh. While others MPs went to considerable inconvenience to visit the University she made no effort whatsoever, in spite of living only a short car journey away. She has been asked on an almost annual basis to speak on campus and has refused every time. Ian Lindley, "Edward Lennox" and others will testify to this and I’m sure will share my concerns that she is considered a certainly for one of these seats.

Most have sitting MP's

Nope.

After the dissolution of parliament by the Queen, no party has any MP's at all.

On the day of the election there are no sitting MP's just some seats which are more winnable than others.

I come from Telford and I was stunned to see it on a list of most winnable constituencies. Though I would love it be won by a Conservative, this seems pretty remote, unless the Tories won a landslide victory as great or greater than Labour in 1997.

At 2005 we had a brilliant candidate who worked extremely hard and probably got almost as high a vote as seems likely in Telford for the Tories.

I've heard we've only had one a-lister interested, which isn't suprising as a-listers presumably expect a decent chance of being elected. So, instead of the constituency getting an excellent candidate whose doing it for the experience without expecting to win, because of the a-list we're likely to get the weakest and least ambitious a-lister, which seems the worst of all worlds?

>>>>After the dissolution of parliament by the Queen, no party has any MP's at all.<<<<
I mean't in the sense that there was already a Conservative incumbent in them, in fact at the time that the selections of candidates by parties are going on it is usually before parliament has been dissolved so in fact and certainly parliament is not in a state of dissolution at the moment so there are MP's and selections of PPC's are going on.

I don't understand all the fuss about A list prospective candidates etc. Associations don't have to let it bother them if they don't want to. If, as is unlikely in the foreseeable future, IDS here in Chingford & Woodford Green decided to stand down from Parliament, his successor would be chosen through the due processes of this Association without interference from anywhere. Of course we would look at sensible proposals from the centre but feel equally free to consider anyone, especially good local people.

Some people seem to think that the constitutional "reforms" that followed 1997 GE relieved associations of their autonomy in this regard. In practice that is obviously impossible. At local level this is a voluntary party and supposed to be a democratic one at every level. Certainly here, any attempt to impose external will would have activists "walking" in droves. Perhaps it is appropriate in some quarters to remind those concerned that "trust the people", especially when they're your own people, is a very relaible axiom for politicians to remember.

Lastly, there is I would suggest no evidence that the reforms mentioned above have had any beneficial effect on our Party's fortunes, quite the reverse. The past nine years have been our least successful in living memory. Does anyone agree with me that it is time to look again at structure in all dimensions of the Party with a view to testing its democratic integrity and operational effectiveness?

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