There’s rather a spate of target seat selections underway at the moment (pity the candidates for Darlington, who must fight it out a day after Conservative conference ends next week). Tonight will see candidates chosen in Ipswich (the shortlist for which I’ve already published) and Bristol North West (Labour majority: 4,761).

Bristol North West

I can now reveal the names of the three finalists in the latter seat. They are:

Kirsty Finlayson: A solicitor by profession, Finlayson contested East Ham for the Conservative Party at the 2017 General Election, and stood in Tower Hamlets in the 2018 local elections. She also previously worked in Parliament for Anne Milton, and is a former member of the European Youth Parliament. In her spare time, Finlayson is a Samaritans volunteer and serves as Vice Chair Political of Conservative Young Women.

Simon Jupp: Currently Special Adviser to Tim Bowles, the elected Mayor of the West of England, Jupp is a former journalist, having worked as a News Editor for ITV and as a BBC Radio Presenter. He is also a former press adviser and Head of Broadcast for the Conservative Party.

Cllr Mark Weston: The Leader of the Conservative group on Bristol City Council, Weston works as Chief of Staff to Ashley Fox, MEP for the South West. He was the Conservative candidate for Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016, and contested Bristol South in last year’s General Election. He has written twice for this site.


I gather that the original line-up of finalists for Bristol North West included Annabel Tall, but she was victorious in last night’s selection meeting in Bath (Lib Dem majority 5,694), and therefore withdrew. Congratulations to her on her selection – here is our customary sketch bio of the new candidate:

Annabel Tall: A qualified electrical engineer, Tall currently works as constituency assistant to Liam Fox in nearby North Somerset. She is a former North Somerset councillor, and contested Bristol West in last year’s General Election. Tall is also a disability rights activist, and for ten years worked as a volunteer on a national Special Educational Needs advice line for the Independent Panel for Special Education Advice.

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