James Gray's re-selection makes North Wiltshire a top Lib Dem target

The reselection of James Gray as Conservative candidate for North Wiltshire makes the seat an interesting prospect next time for the Lib Dems.

North Wiltshire has for some years been a top Lib Dem target. The majority last time was just over 5000, normally the Conservatives would assume he would be safe. However, it has been alleged that he used the "sympathy vote" for his wife's illness at the last election and, of course, he would have built up something of a personal vote over the years, many of whom may now be angry at his actions. Indeed, a large number of local Tories must have been angry at his actions or he wouldn't have had to go through the re-selection process.

I wonder also how David Cameron is feeling. It was reported that David Cameron had "shunned" Mr Gray, and it also undermines the "family" values that the Conservatives try to play so strongly to the electorate. On top of the Greg Barker story, when he left his wife for another man, it leaves Mr Cameron's party looking a bit less glossy than he might want.

Given the right Liberal Democrat candidate and support, North Wiltshire could provide an interesting result next time.

Read more about Mr Gray's reselection HERE.

P.S. Liberal Review have a succinct but interesting post that adds more weight to Lib Dem chances HERE.


Tabman said...

The most Lib Dem bits of the old N Wilts seat (Chippenham and Corsham) have been split off, along with Bradford on Avon, to the highly marginal new CHippenham seat. The boundary changes made N Wilts much safer for the Tories. This has made things better but its not a gimme.

Iain Dale said...

Those in glass houses... Winchester/Meon Valley anyone?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, I could argue that Mark Oaten went back to his wife. I guess showing that family counted more for a Lib Dem MP, if I were being pedantic.

Praguetory said...

Do you really want to play this game? I would prefer deselections to be ideological or at least competence based rather than personal.