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Sir Patrick back with 'resounding' win.

Veteran Midland Tory MP Sir Patrick Cormack was "resoundingly" endorsed yesterday as his constituency's candidate at the next General Election, after two previous abortive attempts to "deselect" him.

Sir Patrick (below), Conservative MP for South Staffordshire, secured what he described as a "resounding victory" in a ballot of the local party membership, numbering about 500, in what was the third attempt since last February to reach a decision on whether he should continue to be the candidate.

Although precise figures were not available, Sir Patrick, 68, said more than 80 per cent of the membership voted and he secured more than 75 per cent of the vote. He said: "This is a resounding victory. This is a great relief after a long period and I am very grateful that the membership has expressed such confidence in me. I look forward to fighting the next election. I hope we have put all the worry and unpleasantness of the last eight months behind us."

The two previous votes were conducted by the party executive. The first was declared null and void after discrepancies were exposed; the second ended in a tie. It was at this point that Sir Patrick, who has represented the area at Westminster since 1970, decided to test the opinion of the entire local party membership. The ballot was a secret postal vote, under the auspices of Conservative Central Office. Sir Patrick had the largest swing to the Conservatives of any candidate at the last General Election, 9.5 per cent.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 15, 2007
Words:252
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