Monday, November 13, 2006

Meon Valley Conservatives pick the right man in George Hollingbery

Prospective candidate George Hollingbery

Meon Valley- the Lib-Dems haven't been round to put up the yellow boards yet...

I've always had a lot of time for George Hollingbery and I was delighted to read that he was selected to fight the new seat of the Meon Valley on Friday.
Meon is a seat that the Conservatives simply have to win if they are to form the next government. Electoral Calculus indicate a Conservative majority of 2089 had it been fought at the last general election while UK Polling Report give the new seat a notional Tory majority of 1,989 if it had been fought in 2005.
Over optimisically, E.C. are predicting the Tories to get 49.61% share of the vote next time with the Libs getting just 31.18% -so on paper it is an attractive prospect indeed for any wannabe Tory MP.
With an electorate of 68,534, the patch is made up of a large chunk of the old Winchester constituency, East Hampshire and a small part of Havant, so its a pretty rural and certainly affluent seat. So far, both the stats and the geography would seem to indicate natural hunting ground for the Tories then. However, Mark Oaten worked the part of the seat that was within his constituency very diligently. There is also a tradition of Independents standing and winning in parts of the constituency in local government terms while there are also a sprinkling of Lib-Dems. It will be no cake walk.
George however is the man to do it; an Oxford graduate, he has been a successful businessman founding a chain of vets that was later sold at a considerable profit and a former stockbroker. He fought the old Winchester constituency in 2005 and has been a Winchester city councillor since 1999. With Oaten standing down, the contest is wide open. Naturally affable, he is a good listener and has a reputation for being an astute and competent councillor as well as a good campaigner.
Apparently the final selection was nail-bitingly close; the other three contenders were former Winchester city councillor Flick Drummond (who stood in Southampton Itchen at the last general election), Rebecca Harris (Special Adviser to Tim Yeo MP) and Kwasi Kwarteng (who fought Brent East in 2005) .
Caroline Dineage, (daughter of TV anchorman Fred), Steve Brine (one-time Conservative Campaign Director for Hampshire), Vicky Ford (candidate in Birmingham Northfield at the last general) and Amber Rudd (PPC in Liverpool Garston 2005 and Chairman of Travel Intelligence) were eliminated during the previous round.
Eastleigh selects in the new year...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When does Southampton select?

11:22 pm  
Blogger Matt Dean said...

I'll let you know if you join the Conservative Party!

9:14 pm  
Blogger Ryan Newell said...

Meon Valley is certainly a must for the Tories to win if they are to form the next government.
I think they will take Meon Valley, Romsey and Southampton North, Eastleigh and Winchester.
I dont think however that they will take either Southampton seat although out of the two Itchen would be the most likely to fall to the tories.

UKIP have selected both thier candidates for the next general election.

11:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doctor Dean,

I've really enjoyed reading through your rants. I can almost hear your voice in the more indignant pieces...

Now, "I've got a question for you" - what are your plans for Saturday? I'm going to be in Soton to stay over for a christening on Sunday morning. Give me a call if you're around, I've lost your number. Again.


10:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you say Eastleigh selects in the New Year is that fact or speculation? It does not seem to feature on any of the lists being bandied about.

11:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How will the announcement that an ex Tory PPC is standing for this new seat affect GH? Meon Valley resident Graeme Quar is taking on the Tories and the Liberal Democrats - he even has a web site.Does this threaten the projected 1900 Conservative majority?

6:07 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home