Two-thirds of the 1,284 members who answered
ConservativeHome’s November survey rejected the idea of "special
favours in Conservative Party selection processes" for individuals who
defect from other parties.

Just 17% thought
that the need to encourage future defections meant that rewarding
defectors "in sometimes uncomfortable ways" was justified.

ConservativeHome asked the question following the defection of a LibDem MEP to the Conservatives last week.
Some leading Tory activists in North West England have approached us
to register concern that Sajjad Karim might leap-frog over established
Conservatives in the region when
it comes to ranking candidates for the 2009 European Elections.  Fiona
Bruce and Jacqui Foster are oft-mentioned favourites of grassroots

Mr Karim’s views on
Europe will be controversial to many activists but they are unlikely to
get the opportunity to rank him because of changes to selection
that were introduced by Don Porter and the Party Board
earlier this year.

Karim defected a few days after North West Liberal Democrats gave him
23% of their first preference votes in a contest with the region’s
other LibDem MEP Chris Davies – who won 63% of first preferences.

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