I haven’t picked up the phone to ascertain the claim made in my headline, sent a single text, or dispatched an e-mail to a contact to probe either matter – let alone had a reply.

So on what basis do I make it?

Simples, as the meerkat puts it.  I’ve just completed and returned a survey sent to by Lord Feldman – well, by the CCHQ team, but you get the drift – which asks, inter alia:

  • To widen the pool of Parliamentary candidates, do you agree with introducing bursaries to help people who might struggle with the financial cost of being a Parliamentary candidate?
  • Do you think that Associations should work together so that strong Associations can help those with fewer members?

Admittedly, the second question doesn’t specify federation, championed on this site by Andrew Kennedy and our columnist Paul Abbott, but when the wind is southerly one knows a hawk from a handsaw.

The survey also asks about the cost of regular Party membership, and about Party logo.

ConservativeHome has long favoured the bursary idea, and not to support stronger Associations helping weaker ones would be, well, quirky.

Mind you, weaker Associations being helped by stronger ones doesn’t require federation – a matter on which we haven’t taken a view yet.

We undertook our own special survey on Party reform and the Feldman Review at the end of last month, and have had over 900 replies to date.  We will be publishing the results next week.