Candidate selections 290 seats not yet selected.
It looks like the next 8-9 months won’t be much fun for anyone working in CCHQ candidates department. As far as I can make out, as of today’s date, 290 constituencies still do not have a Conservative Parliamentary Candidate.
I understand from a number of sources that no CSI seats will be selected until after the May elections. This is probably also true for most non-CSI seats although the advert for Erewash has already gone out with the deadline for applications being midday 25th March.
To make any sort of dent candidates surely need 6 months in post. So if the aim is to have all seats worked by a candidate for 6 months and selections are postponed until after the May elections, there will have to be a minimum of 40-50 candidate selections a month from May.
There was once an accepted wisdom that active and focused candidates could negate most of any incumbency advantage – IF selected 2 years before an election. If that remains true we have missed a trick here.
I fully understand the financial and family pressures of a candidate fighting a seat for 24 months before an election and the argument will be that the 40/40 seats selected candidates early for that very reason. (How effective the 40/40 silver bullet will be is another story).
But have a look at some of the seats that have not been selected yet – they may not be “easy wins” or even “maybe wins” in 2015 – but many are surely seats that should be worked with a view to a decent result in 2020 – or is that too far away?