Selasa, 08 Juli 2008

Conservative 'open primary' in Bournemouth descending into farce

Just a few days after David Cameron was in Bournemouth to speak at the LGA conference, the Conservative Party's open primary selection in Bournemouth has had to be abandoned amid much internal rancour and factionalising.

The seat is open following the decision by Sir John Butterfill to step down at the next election.

Officially, the decision by one of the two shortlisted candidates to accept Castle Point is the reason for the delay. It is said that the substitute candidate would be at a disadvantage in the contest.

However, posts on Conservative Home suggest that the local party is kicking and screaming because of the failure to shortlist the Leader and Deputy Leader of the local council.

It now appears that the process will recommence in September.

Many see the Bournemouth West seat as fairly safe for the Conservatives. But a number of factors suggest that it may not be a foregone conclusion. As well as this row, the new Tory administration on the Council put up the Leader's allowance by 34%, cabinet members' pay by 32% and council tax by 4.9%. In addition, boundary reorganisation sees a large number of voters from Annette Brooke's Mid Dorset and North Poole seat to Bournemouth West.

Perhaps Lib Dems in the town for conference in September will be putting in time to help out a seat which could become winnable.

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