Congratulations to Cllr Simon Hoare who has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Dorset North in the General Election. The sitting Conservative MP Robert Walter who is retiring had a majority of 7,625 in 2010.

Cllr Hoare represents Witney West and Bampton on Oxfordshire Country Council, and also sits on West Oxfordshire District Council. In his professional life, he is Managing Director of Community Connect, his own public affairs agency which works in the property development sector. In 2010 he fought Cardiff South and Penarth, where he increased the Conservative vote share by 4.4 percentage points.

Commiserations to other finalists Caroline Righton, David Skelton and Rachel Joyce.