After interviews, the longlist of ten seeking selection to fight Boston and Skegness has been whittled down to four.
The finalists will face selection at a public meeting on Saturday, which is open to all voters in the constituency. To register to take part, click here.
Here are brief bios of the four candidates:
- Paul Bristow. Having served as Conservative Future national chairman 2003-05, Bristow stood in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in 2010. There, he increased the Conservative vote share by 3.8 percentage points, cutting an 8,000 vote majority to 1,677. He is also a former Hammersmith and Fulham councillor. Bristow was one of the finalists in South East Cambridgeshire, last November, so has experience of the open public meeting selection format.
- Cllr Karen Buckley. Having left school after her O-Levels, Cllr Buckley later qualified as a solicitor after gaining A-Levels through night classes and studying for a degree while raising her family. She has been a councillor in Fylde, Lancashire since 2007, and the council’s Cabinet Member for Finance since 2010. She currently divides her time between working as Casework Manager for Paul Maynard MP and teaching as an Associate Lecturer of Law at the University of Central Lancashire. In 2010 she was selected only weeks before the election to fight Hyndburn, where the increased the Conservative vote share by 1.9 per cent.
- Tim Clark. Currently the Principal of Skinners’ Academy in Hackney, Clark was previously Headmaster of Spalding High School in Lincolnshire, a grammar school – he has written about education policy for ConservativeHome. In 2005 he stood against David Blunkett in Sheffield Brightside, where the Conservative vote share fell by 1.2 per cent.
- Matt Warman. A journalist, Warman is Head of Technology for the Daily Telegraph, a post which obviously gives him national media experience. Of the four he would be the only first time candidate, but his website emphasises local links – his in-laws live in Lincolnshire and he and his wife are “looking forward to moving home”. He also points to his professional life as a sign that he would use technology as a way to engage new voters.
in 2010, Mark Simmonds won the constituency with a majority of 12,426 votes (28.8 percentage points) – but 2015 could be a tougher fight, with UKIP reportedly planning to place it near the top of their target list.
are looking forward to moving home