In June, I started the process of selecting a PPC for Wycombe, in leafy, and true blue, Buckinghamshire. Tonight saw the culmination of that process, so I was back in High Wycombe for the hustings.
First, the AGM was held, and Wendy Guy, the Chair, breezed through the agenda in double quick time, before reviewing the year. I was touched when she took the time to express her gratitude, and that of the Local Party, for stepping into the breach when their original Returning Officer was unable to progress matters. Given how pleasant an experience it has been, her kind words were quite unnecessary but very welcome nonetheless.
The hustings itself was quite a tough one, with a series of challenging questions to be answered. However, at the end of it all, Steve Guy came through with flying colours, and will have the challenge of leading the Liberal Democrat team in Wycombe in the run-up to the next General Election.
Wycombe is a seat where we are in third place, and is not an obviously attractive seat to fight from our perspective. It reminds me that, for every good seat, where we get a number of interested applicants, there are candidates fighting seats where there is little central support, little in the way of funding or activists, but an abiding sense that we owe it to the voters to give them a genuine choice. From such unpromising beginnings are winnable seats crafted, and we need to be more aware as a Party that our candidates in such seats need to be nurtured a bit more than they currently are.
I know that Steve will work hard in Wycombe, and for Wycombe, and I wish him, and Wycombe Liberal Democrats, all the best in the months ahead.