Norwich South CLP will select their parliamentary candidate on November 19th from a shortlist of four. The date of the selection has caused some disquiet in the constituency, as it clashes with Norwich City Football Club’s match against Arsenal. In a city where most residents have some connection to the club, that could lead to a lower than expected turnout on selection day.
There are four candidates , although LabourList understands that the initial plan had been to have a shortlist of six. The final four in the running are:
Experienced Haringey Councillor Joe Goldberg, who stood against David Cameron in Witney at the last general election. Goldberg is currently the Cabinet Member for Finance and Carbon Reduction in Haringey, and is pushing his practical political experience in local government as one of his strengths, in a solid and combative campaign focussed on the fight against the Green Party.
A local BBC TV news and politics presenter, Lewis is considered to be on the centre-left of the party. He’s a former soldier – and fought in Afghanistan – but was against the Iraq War. He’s also – as you’d expect from him job – a polished media performer.
Long-time activist and local councillor MacDonald is the self-styled most local candidate in the race – both living and working in the constituency. MacDonald is well liked within the constituency – and active on social media – but the success of her candidacy may depend on whether that popularity translates into votes at the final selection, and how effective her online campaigning proves to be.
The best known candidate in the race – unsurprisingly as he’s the drummer from Blur – was Labour’s candidate in the Cities of London and Westminster seat at the last general election, and is training to be a solicitor. As a bone fide celebrity he obviously attracted a great deal of interest from the local press. It’s unclear to what extent his candidacy will be plagued by questions about Blur reforming though, which – perhaps annoyingly for Rowntree – broke just two weeks before the final selection. His celebrity certainly brings something different to the selection, as does his slogan – “Banging the drum for Norwich”.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the race as it comes to a close, and will bring you the result as soon as we have it.