Apologies for a niche post that will probably only be of interest to a small number of people, but tonight something happened that I and a few other people have been trying to achieve for nearly 10 years.
Historically, the Conservative Party has organised on a constituency basis - that is to say there is a different Conservative Association in each Parliamentary constituency. Seven or eight years ago, we sought to merge the three Croydon constituencies to create Croydon Conservatives on the grounds that we should all work together to ensure that we regained control of Croydon Council and that Croydon sent as many Conservative MPs as possible to Westminister. Croydon Central and Croydon South agreed to merge but Croydon North said no.
After May's elections, in which we did well in Croydon Central and Croydon South but badly in Croydon North (where there was a swing from Conservatives to Labour in stark contrast to the national swing and we lost all our Council seats), there was a widespread feeling that we should revisit the issue. Last night, Croydon North voted overwhelmingly in favour of merger and this evening Croydon Central & South Conservative Federation voted unanimously in favour so from 1st January we will have a united Conservative Party in Croydon. Hopefully this will be the start of a rejuvenation of our fortunes in the north of the borough.