The Conservative candidate dilemma

Unsurprisingly, both the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties have decided to go ahead with selecting candidates for the 2015 general election based on the current constituency boundaries.

Where does that leave the Conservatives? In rather a tricky position given David Cameron’s talk of still pressing on hoping to win the boundaries vote.

All three options that leaves his party with are far from good.

Option one: copy the other two parties and select candidates based on existing boundaries. That undermines the talk of still hoping to win the boundaries vote, opening up Cameron to criticisms that not even his own party believes the vote can be won and giving members of other parties an absolute gift when it comes to the eventual debate.

Option two: select candidates based on the new boundaries. That runs into the problem of who is going to want to be selected for the new boundaries, putting time and effort into working a constituency which most likely won’t exist? Even if they do put in the effort, large parts of that effort will end up being wasted in the wrong places if the boundaries do not change.

Option three: only select for those seats which do not change much either way. The safe option – and also the option which leaves rival candidates a free run in many marginal seats.

Three options, all poor. I guess David Cameron wasn’t thinking through the practical details of political organisation when he decided to say he’d press on hoping to get boundary changes through…

UPDATE: Dilemma no more; the Conservatives will select on the old boundaries.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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One Comment

  • Yes, it’s a very daft bit of posturing by Cameron designed to distract attention from the fact that he and the wrecker Jesse Norman MP haven’t just cost the Tories any chance of winning outright in 2015 (and a considerable time after that). Wait till the headlines start appearing of how much money is being wasted by forcing the boundary commission to continue working on something that’s already binned. Cameron seems to have a desire for gaffes right now.

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