Friday, 10 July 2009

Open primary and all-postal ballot to be held in Totnes

For the first time in British politics, the Conservative Party will use an open primary and an all-postal ballot of an entire constituency to select a parliamentary candidate.

Every voter in Totnes will be able to cast their vote to choose who succeeds Anthony Steen as the next Conservative parliamentary candidate for the General election. They’ll receive a ballot paper and a freepost envelope to return it in.

This is the largest attempt undertaken by a British political party to engage with the electorate in choosing their parliamentary candidate.

David Cameron said, "This is the first time any political party in Britain has sought the views of the voters in such a direct way. It is an exciting opportunity to re engage with the voters in Totnes and give them a real say in who will be the Conservative candidate at the next election.”

He urged people to take part in this “unique chance to have a real say over how politics works and who represents them.”

Local party members have already chosen a shortlist of 11 people from the initial applications. This will be further reduced to a list of between 2 and 4 people, who will then seek the support of the whole electorate.

This will be the first time that a candidate will have a mandate from the whole electorate.

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