ConservativeHome has been informed of Oliver Dowden’s selection as the Conservative candidate in Hertsmere. Here is Mark’s potted biography of him, from last week:

“Currently Deputy Chief of Staff to David Cameron, Dowden comes with extensive experience of CCHQ campaigns and two stints in the public affairs industry. He received some unwelcome media attention following an interview in the US in which he spoke candidly about the hectic life of a Downing Street aide, but is widely recognised in Westminster as one of the Government’s most capable advisers. He lives in the neighbouring constituency of St Albans and last year he was longlisted for Croydon South.”

And his chances? Good to overwhelming, I’d say. Dowden is stepping in for the current MP, James Clappison, who recently announced his intention to stand down in 2015. Clappison achieved a 17,605-vote majority in 2010.


We gather than Dowden won the selection in the first round of voting – meaning that he got over 50 per cent of the votes despite their being four candidates in the ballot. Quite a resounding victory.

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