And then there were two, Paul Perrin and Graham Cox, candidates in the Westbourne by-election. Yes, this evening the Conservatives chose Graham Cox as its candidate in the by-election. Graham is the former head of Sussex CID and was Divisional Commander in Hove where he gained the reputation for being Supercop. His first tweet (on @CoxGraham) following his selection was “Keep a proper police station in Hove. Vote Graham Cox in the Westbourne by-election”.
Mr Cox, chair of the Hove Conservative Association, is a clever choice. He is well known in Hove, and will no doubt play a law and order ticket in the by-election. But he has a couple of problems. Rumour has it that he and Mike Weatherley are not the greatest friends, each representing the two sides in the Hove Conservatives. The other problem he has is that he is a middle aged man. Should Labour and/or the Greens put up a younger woman, they will enjoy an immediate advantage over the Tories.
Mr Cox also has a problem, known as the Conservative Coalition government. His tweet calling for “a proper police station in Hove” brings the immediate response of “Who is imposing these cuts on Hove and on Sussex Police? He may try to blame the former Labour Government, but there is a growing consensus that the Coalition is going too far and too fast. Mr Cox needs to come out and oppose what his own government is doing.
Having said that, the little contact I have had with Graham has always been positive and I can say I genuinely like him. He will work like a Trojan, he will pound the beat, sorry, the streets of the Ward, and he will work and work and work right up to 9pm on Thursday 22nd December. Clever choice which brings this back to being a genuine 3-way marginal.