Open Primary Elections to find my successor

I don’t often write about party politics in this column, but I really think this is something everyone should know about.

After what will have been twenty three fascinating and enjoyable years as a Member of Parliament, I am standing down at the 2015 general election. So, the search is on to find a new Conservative candidate and I am very pleased to say that she or he will be selected by an ‘Open Primary’.

An Open Primary is where residents are invited to the final selection meeting to hear and question the applicants, and to cast their votes alongside those of Party members.
Everyone on the electoral roll can register to attend the meeting and have their say in who will contest the seat for the Conservatives in 2015 – when, of course, you will get a second vote, choosing this time between the candidates of the various parties.

This decision shows how serious the Mid Worcestershire Conservative Association is about listening to the views of the electorate. It is a great and unusual opportunity for local people. Normally only Conservative Party Members are able to vote to choose a candidate. But this system means that the new candidate should enjoy the support and confidence of a much wider – and more representative - group as soon as she or he is selected.

I know that whoever is selected will not take victory at the 2015 general election for granted. They will have to work hard to earn the trust of those who they wish to represent.

The final details of the Open Primary are still to be confirmed, but it will take place in late November, and the details of how to register will be publicised widely throughout the constituency. I really hope that many of you will take up this unique opportunity to get involved in the political process.


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