Central CCHQ control of selections in recent years has reached the point where, in the safer seats, the identity of candidates is sometimes concealed from local party members. They find out only when they attend the final round of the selection itself. This is wrong – and ConservativeHome will continue to campaign against it.
The speed at which this election was called made such secrecy impossible this time round. And so it is that Mark Wallace landed exclusive after exclusive: Redditch, Harborough, Saffron Walden, the Aldershot shortlist, the Hornchurch and Upminster shortlist, Esther McVey shortlisted for Tatton…Mark produced all this, and much more. Twenty exclusives by my count across the whole team. We are particularly pleased at having bust the bar on making the Hitchin and Harpenden shortlist known.
Mark produced his analysis of the Centralisation and Chaos of candidate selection earlier this week. The Times (£) takes its own view today. Others will soon join in. There is a lot more to say – and we will return to the subject very soon.
But for the moment, the ConservativeHome team simply wants to say: thank you to our readers. Thank you for e-mailing, texting and ringing in with news of what was happening where (and what was being changed where). You made it all possible. Nominations closed yesterday, so it’s all over – until next time.