Incinerator campaigner to contest North West Norfolk election seat

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A leading light of the campaign against the Lynn incinerator has been chosen to contest the town’s seat at May’s general election.

As national campaigning began in earnest this week, Michael de Whalley, the founder of King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN), was selected as the Green Party’s candidate for the North West Norfolk constituency.

His nomination was confirmed during a meeting at Downham Town Hall on Tuesday night where Sandra Walmsley, a parish councillor from Weeting, was also chosen to fight the South West Norfolk seat for the Green Party.

Mr de Whalley said: “I’m honoured that the local members feel it appropriate to select me.”

It’s the second time Mr de Whalley has contested the seat, having previously fought it in 2010.

Party officials say local membership has risen three or four-fold in recent months and the selection process was delayed in order to allow as many members as possible to take part.

And they hope their new recruits will help them to improve on their performance in 2010, where they finished sixth in both seats, recording less than two per cent of the vote.

Mr de Whalley said: “We have been getting credible results where we stand and I can’t see why that shouldn’t be the case this time.”

The announcement means that almost all of the main parties’ candidates for West Norfolk’s two Parliamentary seats have now been chosen ahead of the May 7 poll.

The Liberal Democrats have yet to choose their candidate for the North West Norfolk constituency, though party officials say they expect to do so early next month.

But, although many commentators have claimed this could the most unpredictable election of modern times, a team of academics say they are almost certain West Norfolk will remain true blue Conservative territory.

The group, which includes Dr Chris Hanretty of the University of East Anglia, has assessed each party’s chances of winning all 650 Parliamentary seats.

They say there is a 100 per cent probability of the Conservatives retaining the North West Norfolk seat, meaning Mr Bellingham would be elected for a seventh time, and a 96 per cent probability of them holding South West Norfolk.

They give UKIP just a four per cent chance of unseating incumbent MP Elizabeth Truss

And, despite a string of bad election results for his party in recent years, the group says there is only an eight per cent chance of North Norfolk’s Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb losing his seat.

The candidates who have been confirmed so far are as follows:

North West Norfolk: Henry Bellingham (Conservative), Toby Coke (UKIP), Michael de Whalley (Green), Jo Rust (Labour).

South West Norfolk: Rupert Moss-Eccardt (Liberal Democrat), Peter Smith (Labour), Paul Smyth (UKIP) Elizabeth Truss (Conservative), Sandra Walmsley (Green).