‘People’s choice of Tory candidate

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Everyone on the electoral roll in Wealden will get the chance to pick the Conservative candidate for the 2015 General Election in an ‘open primary’ contest.

Wealden Conservative Association is giving local people the power to choose their MP.

Charles Hendry steps down at the 2015 General Election following 14 years in Parliament. And this week the Association announces every registered voter in the constituency will be given the chance to choose the candidate they want to run on behalf of the Wealden Conservative Party at the 2015 general election. ‘Open primaries,’ used in the USA to open candidate selection to the public, are rare in the UK. Wealden Conservatives’ chairman Huw Merriman said: “Usually, party members select their candidate and people vote for each party’s candidate in a general election. We want to make sure local people get a choice over who is their next MP.”

Huw believes this new method will build trust and interest in the democratic process. “With traditional party membership declining and people sceptical of the political process, we want to ensure every voter is involved at the earliest possible stage. It will be straightforward and inclusive. People will be able to cast their ballot at an open hustings for the candidate they prefer.” The ‘open primary’ will be held on Thursday, December 5 and they are currently seeking a large, central venue.

To build a short-list they ask for applications from approved Conservative Party candidates. To pre-register to take part, call the constituency office on: 01323 489289 or send details to: jeanette@wealdenconservatives.com .