Dr. Sarah Wollaston wins Totnes Conservative Primary(6 Posts)
First Open Primary to be held in the UK, massive turnout, 16,000 people voted, effectively selecting their next MP, given that although the Lib Dems have come close to winning, they are unlikely to gain this seat in 2010
The candidates were
Sara Randall Johnson www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/government/SARA-RANDALL-JOHNSON/article-1186878-detail/article.html
'SARA RANDALL JOHNSON, 57, of Whimple, near Exeter, has been a district council leader for nine years and worked in public relations for the airline industry.
"I have led a council for nine years which has kept taxes low and, as a senior manager at flybe, have contributed to its threefold growth over the last six years."'
(the council being a parish council of about 1000 people)
"NICK BYE, 49-year-old bachelor from Torquay, and Torbay Council's first elected mayor, is making his third attempt to be a Parliamentary candidate.
He was previously a Lib-Dem and fought the then Torbay Tory MP Rupert Allason in 1987, when the Conservatives had a 25,000 majority, and lost.
He tried unsuccessfully to be the Lib-Dem candidate in 1997, but failed to get support and quit the party to become a Tory in 2000."
Dr Sarah Wollaston
"DR SARAH WOLLASTON, 47, a Chagford GP and a mother of three living in Lustleigh, is a relative newcomer to the political arena.
She admits she has little political experience but says as a doctor she has 'a cool head in a crisis and objectivity in the face of difficult problems'."
Apparently the Lib Dems campaigned for Nick Bye, as they felt he was the worst candidate. He trailed in a distant last with only 3000 votes.
From the point of view of Tory HQ, it obviously works well because it keeps out 48-year-old bachelors with the charisma of a carb who've nonetheless spent a long time sucking up to local Tories, in favour of more presentable, less dull candidates.
I like the primary idea. Anything that breaks the stranglehold of local parties (of all political stripes). Hope it catches on.
This is the third thing I've like about the Tories this week (after their education policy (well bits of it) and the quota system for candidates). Should I be worried?
Is it me, or is the term 'bachelor' slightly offensive? Is his martial status an issue?
For primaries to work, all parties have to participate, otherwise there is a jaded snap shot of the candidates from the same party slinging mud at each other, only to reunite and provide a united front for the general election.
Good for democracy though.
Well he doesn't seem very popular anyway:
Mr. Bye ain't too popular it seems: www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/news/Nick-Bye-misses-selection-Totnes-seat/article-1223396-detail/article .html
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