The two politicians vying to be the Conservative candidate for Cardiff North at the 2015 general election have backed the coalition government’s economic policies.
Craig Williams and Meirion Jenkins are to go head-to-head in an open primary after Jonathan Evans announced that he would not seek reelection.
Mr Evans won Cardiff North from Labour with a majority of just 194 votes in 2010. The constituency is ranked fourth in Labour’s target seats for the next election.
Mr Williams and Mr Jenkins, councillors at Cardiff and Birmingham councils respectively, said holding the seat was crucial if their party was to stay in power.
Mr Williams, who represents Pentyrch ward at Cardiff council and stood in the Cardiff South by-election, said: “It’s the battleground for the next election. If we do not win Cardiff North it will be very difficult to win government.
“It will be linked to the economy. We are on the right track and it’s going to have to play out. We can seen that from clearing the deficit by over a quarter and the confidence in the private sector.”
Mr Jenkins, who grew up in South Wales before relocating to Birmingham, where he runs his own IT company, said: “It’s one we have got to hold if we are going to have a majority government after the next election.
“A lot of it will come down to the economy. We know that we need to get the deficit down that we were left with. We have kept interest rates down because of the steps that we have taken on the economy. We need to keep moving in the direction that we are going.”
The primary will take place on Friday, March 22 at 7.30pm at the Whitchurch Rugby Sports and Social Club, on Samuels Crescent, Whitchurch.
Anyone currently on the electoral roll in the Cardiff North constituency can attend, but must register beforehand and bring photographic ID.
Registration will close on March 20.
Attendees can register by calling 029 2073 3225, email firstname.lastname@example.org or post at Cardiff North Conservatives, Rhymney House, Copse Walk, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff, CF23 8RB.
Labour confirmed it would be selecting a candidate from an all-female shortlist.