THE general election campaigning may be well under way but there are, it seems, still a few last minute tickets to the big House going. It’s not for me to spread the rascal of a rumour that Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn might decide to leave his safe-as-houses Islington North right at the last minute, other mischief-makers are doing that. But there are genuine goodies on the Tory side for those who have played the long-game and not let themselves get tied up with marginals or unwinnables.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind leaves a creamy majority in Kensington; his exit comes too late for Uxbridge champion Boris Johnson to slide in, and therefore opening up quite the prize fight. And last night Faversham and Mid Kent, another Conservative safie, was up for grabs due to parliamentary departure of Sir Hugh Robertson. Were former Camden councillor Laura Trott’s former colleagues up in Hampstead rooting her for to claim victory after making the shortlist? Ask them and see. Either way, she ultimately drew a blank from the locals. Helen Whately was selected – a story which should, however, serve as encouragement for serial selection contest contestants. She had been a losing finalist in Wealden, North East Hampshire, South Cambridgeshire, Bury St Edmunds and Banbury before securing victory here.