This timely advice comes straight from the words of former Conservative prospective image parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, Richard Normington, who stepped down last month, and offers these words of wisdom and personal insight on his blog:

The City of Cambridge Association advertised for my replacement on Friday 13th. The deadline for applications is midday on 30th November.

My advice, for what it is worth is:
Live in Cambridge. If you don’t live in Cambridge now, get a local address as soon as possible. The activists are familiar with candidates promising to move in but not doing so. Voters noticed a London address on the ballot paper in a previous General Election.

Commute to the Capital. The retiring MP, David Howarth, was a commuter who avoided the entire moats, ducks and second home expenses fiasco. If you can’t make this promise, matching what the sitting MP actually did, then don’t bother applying. Too many MPs are seen as transplanted Londoners and not representative of the places they were elected to.

Slam the Congestion Charge. The TIF bid is hurting, but the mortal blow has yet to come.

Assess your time commitment. The maximum commitment ‘24/7’ candidate would be single, with no living relatives and a lottery winner. If that’s you, you’re a shoe in.

Work with the City Councillor. Chris Howell has shown how having a Tory on the city council makes a difference.

Come to Events. Andrew Bower is leading the new Coleridge Branch [visit the website ]. We are holding a dinner on 2nd December with Graham Stuart MP- get tickets ASAP. They are available from my wife Stacey, the branch secretary, for £20 (email

Do Research. If you are reading this, then you probably are…

Best of luck,

I would add to that, be seen actively campaigning with your supporters. I am often impressed by the fringe parties who turn out on Saturdays to man a stall in Mill Road. Are we doing that? And on the Market Place too.

May the best man, or woman, win…..