David Cameron has just announced on Andrew Marr that he is reopening the Conservative candidates list and encouraging new people to apply to become Conservative MPs. He said he was asking people who've never been involved in politics or the Conservative Party to apply. When you consider that there are already many hundreds of people on the list, who will have comparatively few seats to fight over, they will undoubtedly see it as a bit of a snub. But they shouldn't. The A List is effectively dead. If constituencies agree to hold open primaries they don't use the A List, and I imagine now that all seats will be forced to hold open primaries anyway. It's important that the process is opened up as much as possible and that the best people around are put forward to constituencies to select.
One result of opening up the candidates list is that the selection of new candidates might be delayed until the autumn. I'm not sure that would be a good idea. We are so close to an election now that constituencies need to get candidates in place as soon as possible. Whoever is chosen in constituencies like Gosport, Bracknell and Sleaford needs as long as possible to 'bed in'.
Cameron's interview with Marr was superb. He came across as a real leader, a compassionate human being and a man with ideas. Marr didn't lay a glove on him, although to be fair he didn't really try to. Most important of all, Cameron displayed that he understands the real anger the electorate is feeling.