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Former council leader chosen as Tory candidate for second time
SOUTHAMPTON’S former civic chief has been selected to stand for MP in the city for a second time.
The city's Tory leader has been chosen as the party's candidate to fight for the seat, which will be vacated by Labour's John Denham in 2015.
Cllr Smith, who currently represents the Harefield ward, fought the same seat in the 2010 General Election, dramatically losing out to Mr Denham by 192 votes.
But Cllr Smith said that his party have “unfinished business” in the constituency.
He said: “I am delighted to have been selected to contest this seat again. The next election may well be even more challenging than the last, but with the support of the dedicated team here in Southampton Itchen, I believe we have a very good chance of winning this time.
“At the selection meeting I laid out my reasons for wanting to fight the next election and why it was only this seat I would apply for.
“We have unfinished business. Not in the obvious 'we came so close last time' way, but in the alternative to a David Cameron led government.
“I am told the definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome.
“So if we don't make our case to the British public, ahead of the next general election, we will hand the country back to Ed Miliband and particularly Ed Balls who are committed to repeating their previous mistakes again.
“We have a duty to stop that nightmare scenario from becoming a reality.”
Writing on his online blog, Cllr Smith added: “I have chosen to seek selection again in Southampton Itchen because I was born here, I live here and I am staying here.
“Southampton is a truly fantastic city and can be even better than it is today.”
Cllr Smith's selection has drawn swathes of support from fellow Tories across the south.
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps added: “Congrats to Royston Smith for being selected our prospective MP for Southampton Itchen.”
Outgoing constituency Chairman, Anthony Kolker said, “Royston has worked tirelessly for Southampton over many years and I am delighted we have re-selected him to fight the seat again.
“He has demonstrated his commitment to residents in the constituency by staying to contest another election.
“We feel privileged to have such a dedicated candidate.”