Ben Howlett was tonight elected Chairman of Conservative Future. Howlett phoned tBg at 17:16 to tell him the news first. The results were published at 17:19 on tBg first. tBg backed Howlett's campaign for Chairmanship and congratulates him on his success.
Congratulations to all those elected.
The total vote count for the Chairmanship was Howlett 113, Cox 60. CF has a membership of 18,000, so to have a total vote count of 173 is very embarrassing for the Tory Party. Howlett's opponent Craig Cox put it best earlier: "I lost by 53 votes in an election with a turnout of around 1%." tBg thinks these figures also give Labour Youth and the Lib Dems much needed ammo to paint Conservative Future as, well, not the future.
We know many members did not receive ballots. tBg would like to know how many ballots were sent out. This will give us a better view on whether this is mass apathy amongst the politically active, or a massive cock-up by CCHQ.
Ben Howlett's surprise first job must now be to launch an unprecedented inquiry into how this election was handled, and what needs to be done to put things right for the future.
Another outcome of these results is that CF now has an openly gay Chairman and two female Deputy Chair's, without any kind of list or 'interfered with' selection process.
The full result is as follows: