Battersea Primary : “Anyone But Ellison”

Guido is fascinated by the line up for the X-factor style Battersea open primary where the voters will get to choose the candidate tomorrow night. It seems a thoroughly healthy democratic development, local people choosing their candidate in public. The choices are a wet, a smoothie, a cutie and Cleverly.

Jane Ellison, studied PPE at Oxford, where she was active in the TRG. Remains active in this ultra-factional and divisive europhile organisation outside the Tory mainstream. Has an expensive looking website where she proudly boasts the endorsement of Gordon Prentice (the Labour MP for Pendle).

Sam Gyimah is an ex-president of the Oxford Union, and centrist Bow Group bigwig. Smart, smooth, successful and a dream candidate for CCHQ .

Louise Bagshawe, novelist fan of Thatcher, went to Oxford. She admits to having joined New Labour and getting suckered by Blair pre-1997. Comes over well on telly.

James Cleverly, army background and works in publishing now. Born and bred Londoner. Was an A-list sceptic who ended up on the A-list.

So the A-list widening of the candidate pool has thrown up three Oxford graduates out of four. Can’t help feeling Cleverly might be the best candidate to win the seat, he is after all a Londoner, he comes over as a nice guy and he didn’t go to Oxford. He also holds more traditional Conservative views. Ellison could win if she got the votes of Labour supporters to go with the endorsement…

Battersea voters will choose, registration starts tomorrow at 7pm. Each of the candidates will be speaking, and will then be asked questions by Michael Portillo and those present. If you are on the electoral roll in the Battersea constituency you are entitled to attend – to pre-register call 020 8944 0378.




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