Tories hope to bag 'Norman factor' voters
PUBLISHED: 16:22 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:29 15 November 2019
The Conservative party is hoping the end of the "Norman factor" will turn North Norfolk blue again after almost 20 years.
The constituency has been held by Sir Norman Lamb since 2001 when he beat Tory David Prior. But Sir Norman has now stood down and Tory hopeful Duncan Baker thinks many traditional Conservative voters had backed him in the past.
"Lots of people in North Norfolk have voted for Norman Lamb but are really Conservatives - now the Norman factor has gone," father of two Mr Baker said. "People in North Norfolk voted to leave the EU and they are extremely unhappy about the Lib Dem policy of stopping Brexit. I hope they will now come back to us and vote for me."
Mr Baker, finance director at Holt department store Bakers & Larners, has been involved in local politics and community work for 10 years. He believes being a candidate with strong local links is key.
"North Norfolk wants one of its own. That is why the association backed me. Sir Norman has been a fantastic constituency MP and what you will get from me is that package of being rooted in the area but also hopefully inside a party that is in power.
"I have lived in North Norfolk virtually all my life - I am Norfolk through and through. There is no greater honour than to be chosen to stand in the constituency you were born in.
"I have always been very keen to give back to the community. I joined the town council in 2009 and really enjoyed making a difference for the community I grew up in.
"I can honestly say I have never sat there and thought 'I am going to become an MP' - that is not what I set out in life to do. But people told me they thought I had what it takes.
"People said that when someone succeeds Norman they wanted another local person as MP - someone who knows and understands the patch."
Mr Baker added that although he backed Boris Johnson's Brexit deal he was not afraid to disagree with the party.
"There will be areas of national policy I disagree with. I am pretty independently minded. I am not afraid to stand up for my constituency against the party line."
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Also standing in North Norfolk is Emma Corlett (Lab), Karen Ward (Lib Dem) and Harry Gywnne (Brexit).