Saturday, 9 January 2010

Making Minds Up In Reading West

LibDems have selected Daisy Benson to be the prospective parliamentary candidate in the Reading West seat at the general election later this year.

She beat out competition from two highly regarded opponents, former Thatcham mayor Alex Payton and veteran West Berkshire councillor Tony Vickers, in a stong contest which Reading List understands raised turnout by over a third among members compared to the selection of Cllr Patrick Murray previously.

Adam Hewitt reports her immediate reaction that she was "delighted" to win the chance to represent local residents, with the offer of a promise "I won't let you down."

Mark Reckons notes that Cllr Benson "regularly tops the list of the most hard-working councillors in the borough" (see report) and points to her innovative use of social media as a way in which she keeps a close relationship with residents and supporters.

In fact Reading Post picks up that she was "overwhelmed" by the number of messages of support sent to her from the online community.

LibDem colleagues in Reading are also backing her to the hilt.

Cllr Ricky Duveen describes how Daisy has built up an "enviable reputation" after less than 4 years on the council, becoming deputy leader of the group and chair of the Health and Housing Scrutiny Committee.

Cllr Glenn Goodall picks up her campaigning efforts on crime and housing issues.

Glenn offers a telling compliment that when she first knocked on his door his housemate described her as "genuine and human" - which was what convinced them to vote for her.

Cllr Warren Swaine goes a step further and says she is a "hard working local politician who can demonstrate a real record of action helping people across the political spectrum," by inspiring grassroots support, not organised backing from millionaire non-doms and trade unions.

And Reading Liberal Youth proudly considers voters will appreciate "the opportunity to elect such a passionate individual with an incredible track record."

Conservative opponents were also quick to congratulate Cllr Benson, even praising her abilities!

Cllr Richard Willis went so far as to compliment her as "very active and outspoken", offering the insight that she will 'hope to make an impact' to raise the LibDem share of the vote in the next few months, although he notes the highest LibDems have achieved in the past is 18.1% in 1992.

The list of candidates in the Reading West constituency is now complete (in alphabetical order): Daisy Benson (Liberal Democrats) joins Bruce Hay (UKIP), Naz Sarkar (Labour), Alok Sharma (Conservative) and Adrian Windisch (Green) vying for votes.


Update: Adam Hewitt discovers a bit more about Cllr Benson's LibDem policy platform.

Linda Fort grabs a conversation with the candidate.

On her candidate website Cllr Benson says "join me in my campaign to take back power from the two other parties who have both lost touch with the ordinary person."

Josh Harsant, Reading's Member of the UK Youth Parliament, offers good luck to all, saying, "may the best candidate win!"


Previously: LibDems Ready For Fight In Reading West

More from On The Election Trail


  1. Great news! We love Daisy Benson in our neighbourhood (Christchurch Road/ Gardens). She's always been so helpful. I'm definitely voting for her!

    Go get 'em Daisy!

  2. Abbey Nationalist10 January 2010 at 16:55

    Sorry, Elizabeth, but if you live there you are in Reading East, not Reading West.


"Reading List... is fantastic, it could help revolutinise politics in Reading"
Matt Blackall

Matt Brady

Adrian Windisch

Reading Geek Night

"A bloggers digest of the Berkshire blogosphere"

"An easily accessible collection of Berkshire's excellent blogs"
The Cookham Blogger

"An excellent digest of the thoughts of local bloggers"
Reading Guide