Friday, 18 December 2009

LibDems Ready For Fight In Reading West

The contest to replace veteran Labour MP Martin Salter in the Reading West seat continues to heat up as LibDems announced their shortlist of candidates vying for a place on the ballot.

The three hopefuls include three well-respected figures including two from West Berkshire and one from Reading.

Cllr Tony Vickers is a former Lieutenant-Colonel and chartered surveyor who currently represents Northcroft ward in Newbury, Alex Payton is a barrister who is a former mayor of Thatcham and Cllr Daisy Benson will be well known to readers of this blog as a highly active representative of Redlands ward in Reading.

The three candidates will be attempting to sway Liberal Democrats ahead of hustings on Friday 8th January when a vote of members will take place.

The party was forced into the late re-selection after Oxford councillor Patrick Murray decided to stand down as the prospective candidate with rumours circulating that the seat is winnable with the right candidate. Between the 2001 and 2005 general elections LibDem support grew from 12.8% to 15.8% of the vote.

Leader of the LibDem group on Reading Borough Council Cllr Kirsten Bayes has publically offered a vote of confidence in Cllr Benson (who is her ward colleague), who also seems to have the support of the Campaign for Gender Balance lined up behind her.


Update: Second ward colleague Cllr Glenn Goodall has given Cllr Benson his backing.

Adrian Windisch approves of the fact that all three candidates are more local than Patrick Murray.

Linda Fort notes the announcement.

For more details Anthony Wells' profile of Reading West constituency and comment thread is worth a look.

Awaiting the winner will be a candidates including Naz Sarkar (Labour - blog), Alok Sharma (Conservative Party - website), Adrian Windisch (Green Party - blog), Bruce Hay (UKIP - website).


More from On The Election Trail


  1. Gideon Mack Orangutan19 December 2009 at 18:36

    Hello Oranjepan

    I hope the Libdems (or indeed anyone) kicks Labour (Salter) out in West Reading however can I recommend that your candidate does a crash course in Lithuanian, Polish and Vietnamise to improve their chances?

    I've read the Green's blog and would ask you the same question I asked Windypops - what do you think should be done about the heroin addicts in West Reading?

  2. Hi Gid,
    anyone who can speak both Vietnamese and Lithuanian has my respect as that's a rare combination, but I'm not sure it'd be much benefit in elections as you'd have to check eligibility to vote in general elections.

    The drugs question is too serious and complex to answer in a one sentence soundbite so if you don't mind I'll answer it in a bit more length on my other blog.

  3. Windypops? Nice.

    I do think local is better, not that you have to live in the constituency, near is ok. How will you answer voters if you havent even heard of the IDR/3rd bridge etc.

  4. Adrian, you know you've arrived when people give you a nickname!


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