I wonder if Tory MP blogger Douglas Carswell will publish this? (He did, Thank you Douglas)
This is a carefully calculated choice for Totnes, which is subject to boundary changes and includes parts of Torbay, where UKIP had it's best vote share in the Euro - Elections (They didn't do badly in the S Hams either):
There are other issues:
This was a tactical decision, and the back room boys who work for Ashcroft, who reputedly has a larger office at Tory HQ than Cameron may well have been involved in the decision to go for the primary.
It may well be a moot point whether the £40,000 initiates the campaign from the point of view of Tory expenditures, which must be kept within the legal limits and declared after the election.
I might add that this sort of populism is bogus and can become counterproductive. Elections by acclamation usually are, and Gordon Brown has suffered from that, just as Michael Howard did, both insisting that their opponents stand down, or be not nominated.
Will all those who voted "own" the result? Or did Ashcroft pay for it, and does he now own the Tory party, lock, stock and stinking barrel?