Robert Courts (Con) – 17,313 (45.02%)
Liz Leffman (Lib Dem) – 11,611 (30.19%)
Duncan Enright (Lab) – 5,765 (14.99%)
Larry Sanders (Green) – 1,363 (3.54%)
Dickie Bird (UKIP) – 1,354 (3.52%)
Easy Tory hold though a big swing to the LibDems, very bad result for UKIP.
Batley and Spen
Tracy Brabin (Lab) – 17,506 (85.84%)
Therese Hirst (Eng Dem) – 969 (4.75%)
David Furness (BNP) – 548 (2.69%)
Garry Kitchin (Ind) – 517 (2.54%)
Labour uncontested in Batley and Spen.
Fair to say 37 year-old barrister Robert Courts is a surprise choice as the Tory candidate in Witney. Just 48 hours ago he was a 6/1 outsider with the bookies – at one point they were offering 20/1 – so how did this humble underdog secure the seat? Grumbles from West Oxfordshire suggest CCHQ attempted to stitch up the selection for David Cameron’s chosen successor, his aide Natasha Whitmill. The party blocked the general candidates list from applying for the seat, then blocked the two local bookies’ favourites, James Mills and David McFarlane, from the final shortlist. Whitmill should have comfortably beaten the remaining lower profile candidates and become the MP. However, Witney Tories rejected Dave’s choice and plumped for Courts, a military history fan and lover of Game of Thrones, instead. A tale of the unscrupulous methods of Tory selections and the brutality of local politics, and how Dave failed to fix it for his final crony…
Robert Courts, the deputy leader of West Oxfordshire district council, has been selected as the Tory candidate in Witney. He’ll be an MP on 20 October…