North Norfolk Conservatives set for spring selection of candidate

New North Norfolk Conservatives committee. Left to right : Janet Farrow, David Wooley (treasurer), F

New North Norfolk Conservatives committee. Left to right : Janet Farrow, David Wooley (treasurer), Fred Lunt, Rhodri Oliver (chairman), Madeleine Ashcroft (president and outgoing chairman), and guest David Campbell Bannerman (Conservative MEP candidate) - Credit: Archant

Conservatives in north Norfolk are set to pick their general election contender this spring.

They are the last main party to declare their hand for the battle for a seat currently held by Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb with a 11,626 majority.

Rhodri Oliver, who has just been elected as chairman of the local party, said:

'Central Party is drawing up a short list, which will be sent to us, probably in May, from which local members will pick their candidate.

'We were aiming to have one in place a year away from an election, so we are on target.

'It gives us lots of time to work hard to tackle pavement politics and local issues,' he added.

In the meantime the party was continuing to deal with district council issues, and the European Parliament elections this May.

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Mr Oliver said the party was growing and was moving its offices from the long-standing base at Louden Road in Cromer to Waterbank House in Sheringham opposite the North Norfolk Railway station.

When selected the Tory candidate will also be up against Denise Burke (Labour), Michael Baker (UKIP).

Mr Lamb first won the seat in 2001 with a slim 483 majority, having twice being beaten into second place by the Conservatives, with David Prior having a 1,293 majority in 1997 and Ralph Howell a massive 12,545 cushion in 1992.

In 2005 Mr Lamb saw his majority rocket to 10,606 when pitched against Tory Iain Dale, when Mr Lamb polled 31,515 votes and Mr Dale 20,909, with Labour's Phil Harris third with 5,447.

The result last time in May 2010 was: Norman Lamb (Lib Dem) 27,554, Trevor Ivory (Con) 15,928, Phil Harris (Lab) 2,896, Michael Baker (UKIP) 2,680, Andrew Boswell (Green) 508, Simon Mann (Ind) 95.