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It seems someone at CCHQ reads ConservativeHome – we’ve been concerned for some time at the delay in selecting candidates in many seats, and pressing for them to pick up the pace. Indeed, our latest call for them to do so was in this morning’s analysis of the Newark result, which showed the advantages of having candidates in place.

Happily, the Candidates’ Department has listened. As of this afternoon, no less than 44 more associations are now open to applications from would-be PPCs (the full list is enclosed below).

It’s a welcome change of policy (and it is a change of policy – previously, we were told that the system could only handle 15 or so selections all at once, and I spy several seats on the list who were recently told they would have to wait until the Autumn before selecting). The sooner we have people in place, the longer they will have to get their campaigns up and running, the greater the name recognition they will have when the General Election comes and the less likely it is that we will be caught napping should another by-election arise.

It will be interesting to see how opening so many seats all at once affects the pattern of candidates being selected – those who might be tempted to apply for every seat that comes up might well be forced to choose a few to focus on instead, and there’s a wide range of different majorities facing the eventual PPCs.

The seats are:

Barrow and Furness

Batley and Spen

Birmingham Edgbaston

Birmingham Selly Oak

Blackburn

Blackpool South

Bolton NE

Bridgend

Burnley

Bury South

Cambridge

Cardiff West

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

Darlington

Dulwich and West Norwood

Dwyfor Meirionnydd

Ellesmere Port and Neston

Feltham and Heston

Gedling

Great Grimsby

Greenwich and Woolwich

Hartlepool

Holborn and St Pancras

Huddersfield

Leeds NE

Llanelli

Mitcham and Morden

Newport West

North Tyneside

Norwich South

Scunthorpe

Sefton Central

Southampton Test

Stockton North

Streatham

Torfean

Tynemouth

Vauxhall

Wallasey

Workington

Wrexham

Wythenshawe and Sale East

Ynys Mon

York Central

8 comments for: Selection Big Bang: 44 seats open applications for would-be candidates

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