An article in this morning’s Daily Telegraph – using data from this website’s Seats and candidates blog – notes that 32 of the 116 seats that the Conservatives need to win in order to enjoy a parliamentary majority are yet to adopt candidates. The Telegraph highlights seats such as Westmorland and Lonsdale, Gillingham and Rainham, and Rochester and Strood. It seems increasingly unlikely that Gordon Brown will call a quick General Election on becoming Prime Minister – which despite continuing talk of a Miliband challenge – looks the most likely outcome of any Labour leadership race. There is absolutely no reason for panic, therefore. What The Telegraph piece does remind us, however, is that early selection is important for candidate success. The case for choosing early was set out in a paper by David Burrowes MP last May. In ‘Pick ’em local and Pick ’em early’ the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate concluded that early selection gave candidates the opportunity to command local recognition and understandings that were key determinants of victory.
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