Guido reports that Crispin Blunt is being forced to reapply for his seat after the Reigate Association Executive voted against the usual approach of automatic re-selection for a sitting MP.
Despite the Party’s experiments with open primaries to select new candidates, and the still unfulfilled promise for a Recall Law, it remains extremely rare for an incumbent to be made to apply for reselection.
Blunt apparently intends to put it to a vote of the full Association membership, so he must feel that the opinion of the grassroots differs from that of the officers who have put him in this situation.
In the most recent similar case, in 2009 Anne Main took the same decision to fight it out. She won the vote of the St Albans Association, so the outcome is far from certain at this stage.
(As an aside, it is worth mulling the fact that at the moment it is viewed as a humiliation when a sitting MP has their reselection put to a vote of party members. Perhaps it should be the norm? As with the MEP selection process, it seems wrong that incumbents are ordinarily protected from being democratically accountable to the membership.)