A FORMER Vauxhall worker was selected in what was believed to be Merseyside’s first open primary to select a candidate for next year’s local elections.
Steve Smith was chosen by an overwhelming majority in the American-style primary held by the Conservatives in Leasowe and Moreton East.
Mr Smith defeated former Lib Dem councillor Oliver Adam in the landmark contest.
Some 4,451 ballot papers were issued to voters in the ward, including Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens and other party supporters, plus many other people who had never voted before.
A total of 930 ballot papers were returned by the deadline, giving a turnout of 21%.
Mr Smith received 841 votes (91%) while Mr Adam received 79 votes (9%).
The ward’s Conservative councillor Ian Lewis said: “Most candidates at local elections are chosen by a few hardcore party members, meeting behind closed doors. I am really pleased that, instead, we involved almost 1,000 people in choosing our candidate.”
Mr Smith, 37, has lived in Leasowe and Moreton all his life and worked at Vauxhall for eight years before taking redundancy and becoming a youth worker in the area.