Been an important week for the Montgomeryshire Conservatives. On Thursday night we selected our candidate to contest the Assembly election on May 5th 2011. Almost 300 of us turned up at Welshpool Town Hall to elect Powys County Councillor, Russell George to carry our banner. Here's Jonathon Isaby's report.
Since the National Assembly was established in 1999, Montgomeryshire has always been held by the Liberal Democrats, in the person of Mick Bates. Mick is standing down in 2011, midst a bit of turmoil, and the new Lib Dem candidate will be a Llanfair Caereinion lamb buyer named Wyn Williams. Must admit that I really fancy Russell's chances of winning. It's going to be a full blooded battle, and I hope to play my part as one of the seconds in the 'blue corner' - in the nicest possible way of course, since the Lib Dems are now my honourable allies at Westminster.
Montgomeryshire's selection of a well-known, young, dynamic, local businessman from Newtown has injected some real interest into the whole Mid and West Wales position. Because of the way the Assembly election voting system works, its likely that three Conservative candidates will be elected to represent Mid and West Wales - either directly elected to represent one of the eight constituencies or indirectly elected to represent the whole region. If no Conservatives win constituency seats, (as happened in 1999 and 2003) either two or three 'list' members are likely to be elected. If only one Conservative wins, two list members are likely to be elected. If two Conservatives win (as happened in 2007 - Paul Davies and Angela Burns) just one list member is likely to be elected (which is how I came to lose my position as an AM). And of course, if three Conservatives win seats, its likely that no list members at all will be elected. At the last Assembly election, Conservative group leader, Nick Bourne was elected as a 'list' member. I daresay you can work out the permutations and consequences for yourself. Whatever, Russ has been selected, and I seriously fancy his chances - but its an election, and anything can happen.