— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) September 4, 2014
Boris’s selection for Uxbridge is not a foregone conclusion
We all know that the main impediment to Boris being Cameron’s successor is that he’s not an MP. That appeared to have been resolved a few weeks ago when he made it clear that he would seek to return to the Commons at GE2015.
Suddenly the London seat of Uxbridge came into the frame and there was a widespread assumption that if Boris wanted the Tory nomination there then he would get it. Indeed at one stage a bookie was offering 50/1 that Boris wouldn’t get it – a bet that, alas, is no longer available.
Today the local party is announcing the names of four people on the shortlist and the Sun reports this morning that one of them, the deputy leader of the council, David Simmonds, could be in with a good chance. The paper quotes what it describes as a “prominent Uxbridge Tory”:
“Boris is not at all a shoe-in and heâ€™s got a real fight on his hands now. David Simmonds is very popular around here, and Uxbridgeâ€™s kind of guy. We donâ€™t go in for flashy and weâ€™ve never been interested in celebrated MPs…”
The Conservative party way is that the decision is in the hands of local party members who will vote. Simmonds has, it appears, been regarded as the heir apparent for years and there must be a chance that he’ll get it.
For Boris this would be a huge set-back and could make it harder if he sought another seat.
My view is that the Mayor should put his hat into the ring for the Clacton by-election.