Tories oppose Cameron policy on female candidates

// 2 October 2006

Only 6% of Tory party members support David Cameron’s policy on increasing the number of female electoral candidates and candidates from ethnic minorities.

The figure came to light in a poll of members undertaken by the Independent, which revealed widespread discontent over Cameron’s failure to promise tax cuts and to talk about Europe and immigration policy.

While 15% think he’s taken the right tack, 35% think he should keep schtum about these issues now, but take a “traditional” stance once in power. As in, get elected under completely false pretenses?

Back in August, when Cameron launched the proposals, there was already dissension in the ranks, but this survey reveals the extent of it.

Only a tiny number of members have confidence in the A-list of candidates drawn up by Tory headquarters in an attempt to change the party’s public face by ensuring that more women and people from ethnic minorities are chosen at the next election. Just 6 per cent believe the A-list includes the party’s most talented candidates. Some 32 per cent think the list does not represent its full talents but is a necessary mechanism to increase the number of women and ethnic minority candidates. But a majority (54 per cent) regard it as “just a politically correct list that has excluded many of the party’s most experienced male and local candidates” and is “a backward step”.

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