James was delighted to be selected to run in the same seat again. This time the Association Chairman who co-ordinated support was Ed McGuinness, who James had introduced to the party only two years previously and was himself standing as the candidate in Hornsey and Wood Green.
James raised more funds than his campaign cost, all of which was donated to the Association. Much of this was raised at a dinner event but there were also donations from friends and well wishers. James appeared on foreign broadcast television news whilst campaigning and attended the only hustings available which focused on education. James again delivered in every ward in the constituency. This time he was beaten into third by the Liberal Democrats.
Whilst winning in Islington North was a target of the campaign so was supporting other candidates in marginal seats. James campaigned in Hertford and Stortford, Milton Keynes North, Runnymeade and Weybridge, Kensington and Chelsea, Cities and Westminster, Chingford and Woodford Green, Chipping Barnet, Braintree and South West Hertfordshire. All of these seats were retained or won by the Conservatives.
James was selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Islington North, the seat of Jeremy Corbyn, the current Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the 2017 snap General Election.
He worked closely with the Islington Federation Association Chairman, Evan Williams who also acted as his agent. James mobilised supporters, ran a fundraiser, spoke on the Jeremy Vine show, went campaigning in the constituency every day and spoke passionately at an NHS focused hustings. Another hustings on Eduction was cancelled due to the appalling terror attack in Manchester.
James was not successful in defeating the incumbent MP who had been in the seat longer than James had been alive. James won 12.5% of the vote, keeping the challenging Lib Dems at bay and thoroughly defeating the strong Green candidate. It was great to meet all of the candidates and their teams particularly Keith and Richard.
Any campaign has too many volunteers involved to thank all of the personally (but James did try – letters, a thank you drinks and calls, texts and emails!) but a huge thanks to Hannah, Josh, Toan, John, Chris, Evan and all of the friends and friends of friends who came out for our launch and on subsequent leafletting rounds. Thank you Jason, my running mate and battle buddy for this adventure in Islington South and a huge thanks for the support of the local Association and Conservatives from all over the country.
James likes to keep in touch with the Association and attend their events and will no doubt lend a hand when the next election comes round! For more information or if you would like to join the Association, please go here.